Read Luke 5:1-11
This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Year of Supernatural Manifestation”, with our mini-series on “The Miracles of Jesus.” A few days ago I introduced you to the story of Simon Peter’s miraculous catch of fish. The Holy Spirit won’t let me move on from this story. So, let’s go back to it.
Here’s a quick recap. Simon the fisherman (later known as the Apostle Peter), fished all night and caught nothing. He was cleaning his nets by the shore of the Sea of Galilee, getting ready to go home, when Jesus walked up and asked him for help. Jesus wanted to preach to a crowd that was following Him. Simon agreed to help. The fisherman contributed his time, talent and treasure into Jesus’ ministry. When Jesus was done preaching, He honored the principle of sowing and reaping and saw to it that the fisherman received a harvest on the seed sown. Simon gave from his fishing business, so he was going to receive in his fishing business. Jesus told him to launch out and let down his “nets” for a catch. Simon almost missed out on the blessing. After years of fishing, Simon knew how difficult it was to catch fish in nets during the day. Which is why he had fished all night. Furthermore, this was just not a good time to fish. All his human efforts had proven fruitless.
As he considered all knew about fishing and all the toil he had already put into a fruitless night, Simon’s head was telling him to tell Jesus “No, thank you”. He was the fisherman and Jesus the preacher. But thankfully, his heart overrode his head. Something ‘on the inside’ told Simon to give the preacher a chance. So Simon said, “Just because you said so, I am going to do it.” However, I don’t think Simon was truly convinced. He launched out with only one net; not the “nets” Jesus told him to cast. Simon put that single net into the water and it was like the fish were jumping into it. There were so many fish that the net began to break and the boat began to sink. This was a net-breaking, boat-sinking load of fish! SImon had to call for his partners to help bring in the load. This caused Simon to fall down on his knees and worship Jesus. From that point on Jesus would make Simon and a couple of his friends fishers of men.
So what does this mean to you today? I am going to bring out a few points about working hard (toiling) by human effort.
- Adam did not toil before the fall.
- a) While Adam was in the Garden of Eden he did not rely on human effort at all. All he had came from God and all he did was led of God.
- b) God gave Adam a tremendous position. He was ruler over the Garden and projected to be ruler over the entire planet. God gave Adam power. He had dominion over the earth and the power to name, define and govern. God gave Adam provision. All Adam’s needs were met, he and his wife had more than enough to eat, and God saw to it that the Garden was sustained. It was fed by four streams and and it had a subterranean irrigation system. God gave Adam a partner. While Adam had a thriving relationship with the Father, he realized every animal had a partner on the earth and he did not have one. So, God gave him Eve. Adam being alone was the only thing God saw that was “not good”, so God addressed the issue by giving him a wife. Adam had it all. He was lacking nothing. This is a picture of God’s best. This is a picture of what God desires for His children. This is the original picture of God’s will, before it was tainted by sin.
- c) Before the fall, Adam did not work to earn anything. Adam did not work for provision, he only worked as part of his divine purpose. His work was to walk out his purpose in the earth. This work was fulfilling and there was no “toil” associated with it.
- Toil is part of the curse.
- a) When Adam was in the Garden of Eden he had a position, power, provision and partnership. God also gave Adam one parameter. See, power without parameters is dangerous. God put the fruit of one tree ‘off limits’ to Adam. The parameter made Adam a free-moral-agent, giving him the right to choose between obedience and disobedience. Without this choice Adam would not be ‘his own man’. As we all know, unfortunately, Adam disobeyed God.
- b) In response to man’s disobedience God cursed the serpent, the woman and the man. As part of Adam’s curse, man was going to have to earn his provision by the sweat of his brow (Genesis 3:19). Prior to the curse, Adam’s provision was sweatless. As part of the curse, he was going to have to work hard for everything he got.
- c) While Adam was in the Garden of Eden, his provision came from God, by grace, without human effor After he was kicked out of the Garden, he (and everyone after him) was going to have to work hard, with human effort, to earn what was previously provided.
- Jesus redeemed us from every curse Adam brought upon us.
- a) Jesus came to get us OUT OF everything Adam got us INTO.
- b) In the story of Simon’s miraculous catch of fish we see the redemptive power of God in operation. Simon had worked hard all night long. The Bible says he “toiled” all night and had nothing to show for it. He, like all of us prior to coming to Christ, was living under the curse. He was working hard to earn his provision and in this case, all his human effort was fruitless.
- c) Jesus gave Simon a glimpse of what it was like before the fall of man, when man did not have to earn his provision. As soon as Simon put his net into the water, God supernaturally caused the fish to jump into it. This was the largest load Simon had ever drawn in, and it came by God’s supernatural power.
- d) Once you are Born-Again, God has to teach you to rely on Him as your source. He does not want you relying on human effort.
I have much more to say about this. I will stop here and pick it up from here tomorrow.
Closing Confession: Father, this is a year of Great Victory for me. I was Born-Again the moment I acknowledged Your Son, Jesus, as my Lord. Your Spirit lives in me. I now learn Your ways. My Spirit WAS changed instantly. My soul — which is comprised of my mind, emotions and will — is BEING changed daily. I am learning to think, feel and make decisions like You. As I do, I no longer rely on self or human effort. You are my source. I am learning to transition from earning everything by the sweat of my brow, to receiving SWEATLESS VICTORY in every area of my life. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.