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. I still have more to say about this story. So, let’s go back to it.
Here’s a quick recap. Simon worked hard all night fishing and he had nothing to show for it. All his human effort yielded a return of ZERO. In the morning, while he was cleaning his nets, getting ready to go home, Jesus walked up to him and asked him for help. Simon gave Jesus his time, talent and treasure. Jesus received it and performed ministry. Afterwards, Jesus offered Simon an opportunity to reap a harvest on the seed that was sown. Jesus told Simon to launch out into the deep water and let down his “nets” for a catch. Simon’s head told him not to do it. He knew the time for fishing had come and gone. But his heart told him to obey the preacher. So he did it. Simon said, “Just because you said so, I am going to do it.”
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!
In yesterday’s message I contrasted the sweatless victory Adam enjoyed in Genesis chapters 1 and 2, with the curse of hard work (earning everything by the sweat of his brow) we find in chapter 3. Today’s message will flow in that same vein. I’m calling this message, “Sweatless Victory!”
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. Working for provision and working for purpose are NOT the same thing.
a) While Adam was in the Garden of Eden he did not work to earn a living. His living was provided by God’s grace. Everything he would ever need to succeed in this world was prepared for Adam before God breathed life into his nostrils.
b) Adam worked, but not for provision. Adam worked as a manifestation of his divine purpose.
c) Like Adam, everything we need to succeed in this world was planned and prepared by God before we were born. Your provision has already been prepared. The resources you need to maximize your purpose and potential have already been stored up. As you walk with God and allow Him to walk with you, He will lead you in a life of faith. Your faith is the key that unlocks to the door to what God has already provided.
d) God does not want you working for provision. God wants you working for purpose!
e) You are supposed to work for purpose and believe God for provision, because your provision is already stored up.
f) Favor can do more (where your provision is concerning) in a minute, than labor can do in a lifetime.
2. The sweat associated with human effort is part of the curse.
a) Working hard by the ‘sweat of your brow’ is part of the curse Jesus died to redeem us from (Genesis 3:19).
b) You can work hard and put in countless hours of human effort to earn a living, but even the best natural/human efforts sometimes produce nothing. Simon toiled all night long, putting in human effort and lots of sweat, and by morning time he had NOTHING to show for it. I am sure we can all identify with tireless efforts that wound up being fruitless.
3. God did not call us to be lazy, but He also did not call us to rely on human effort.
a) You will be hard pressed to find anyone in the Bible whom God used mightily who was also lazy. God does not use lazy people. God wants us to be willing to work hard. But the important caveat is that He does not want us working hard WHILE WE ARE TRUSTING in our own human effort to produce the results. He wants us to work hard, focused on our purpose, trusting Him for the results the entire way.
b) When you work hard with your total trust and confidence in God, your work is not effortless, but it can be sweatless. Even though you are working hard, your testimony is one of “sweatless victory”.
c) Simon’s net-breaking boat-sinking load of fish did not come without effort. He still had to launch the boat and let down his net. But the results were clearly sweatless. God made the fish jump into his net. This is a picture of the type of success (or sweatless victory) we can experience when we are being led of God and we do what He leads us to do.
I still have 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. Thank You for teaching me to pursue success Your way. As I walk with You and You with me, You bless the work of my hands, to the point where I experience success without stress, struggle or strain. You want me to work, but You want me to work Your way, by Your grace, doing the things I was born to do. This way my life is not filled with sweat and no-fruit. Since I am led of Your Spirit and I seek to do only the things I am led to do, my life and my work is not effortless, but it shall be sweatless. I don’t have to toil hard without results. I sow my time, talent and treasure into Your Kingdom plans and purposes and You cause me to reap a harvest on every seed sown. I work for purpose. I believe for provision. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.