It is amazing how God teaches us that due to Peter’s obedience, not only was he blessed, but all of the fishermen that followed and those that were his partners were blessed as well. If one is blessed by God, others are blessed also. If one is blessed by the message, all are blessed because God gave it. When we say “Nevertheless,” and do what God commands and wills; and if we go where the fish are and where the blessings are, then God will do His part to return the blessing.
It is our obedience that makes the difference. He said, ”Go out, thrust out, cast out where they are. Go out into the deep. But return! When you return, I’ll bless you.”
Most of us are not willing to go out into the deep. It’s too stormy and risky out there. Someone may slam the door in my face; a dog may bite me. I’ve been going out soul-winning for over thirty years, and a dog has never bitten me, but I was bitten several times when I was a milkman. When I served the devil and myself, I got bitten several times. But I’ve yet to be killed or bitten while out witnessing for Christ. Why? I am going out into the deep where God wants me. It is not easy to go out every week and knock on doors and invite people to come; but one of these days, if we would all get passionate about it; we would all go out in the deep, and God would return the blessing we are all looking for.
These men returned with their nets full, but they got a whole lot more than that. They came back with a promise fulfilled. “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalms 126:6.
They went out. We’ve got to go out in order for people to come in. You must launch out and go where they are in order to return with fruit and rejoicing. Most churches have several visitors in the morning service. Why, because someone went out into the deep in spite of the heat, cold, or other bad circumstances. Those we invite may not come, and if they do, it may only be one time and they’ll not come back again; but stick with it and keep going. If you will go out, you will catch men. The problem with Christians is that we are not “launching out into the deep.” When Peter launched out, Jesus gave him and the others so much that they could not handle it all.
- How do we apply this great biblical truth?
First, Jesus has to do it. Jesus told Peter what to do, and Peter did it. Jesus gave him the opportunity to return with a lot of fish. When Peter obeyed, God gave the blessing.
Secondly, people will follow if we will go out where they are with the purpose of bringing them in. Do not wait for others to go out; you launch out into the deep.
Thirdly, it is God that gives the increase. When we say, “Nevertheless” in spite of the heat or cold and do what God has commanded, He gives the increase.
- How can I succeed in catching men?
First, we need humility. What did Peter say? “We worked all night.” It was not disagreement, just informative—“We did that all night, Nevertheless, whatever you say, and we will do.” They did, and they were blessed; so be humble before God.
Second, be filled with the Spirit. Be calm and trust in the Lord. Realize there is always something that can hold us back, but we will never catch anything if we do not go out.
Third, don’t stop until you reach your goal. Ask God to give you someone in soul winning. Ask God to help get someone in church. Say, “Lord, I won’t stop until you give me someone.” If more of us did that, we would begin to see fruit that remains.
- Three great truths:
First, Jesus made the request. Let me use the boat.
Second, the requirement was complete compliance. He was looking for the “nevertheless.” Jesus is more interested in our obedience than in our efforts or our trying in our doing our best. He wants us to do what He requires.
Third, there is the reward. It’s not all about the fish; it’s about our faith.
Three important lessons:
- God uses ordinary people to bring about some great circumstances.
- He commands us to use what we have.
- He commands us to stay focused on catching men.
This is the reason for New Testament, Bible-believing, Bible-preaching, soul-winning churches. We have the command of God to reach people for Christ. Let’s stay focused and pray for a great multitude of souls to be brought in.
Launch out into the deep!
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Bro. Nikoley emigrated from Germany to the United States with his family at age 13. He served full time in the Nevada Air National Guard for six years. At age 32, He was saved, and in 1977, he graduated from Bible College. He pastored for over 31 years, 27 of them at Pomerado Road Baptist Church in Poway, California. Bro. Nikoley has served at Golden State Baptist College in the Bible Department and also as the Student Employment Director since 2007. He and his wife Mary have two children and have been married for 58 years.