Many of us think we are doing everything right measuring our performance by past experiences. How often have we heard, "But we've always done it this way"? We can sometimes lean too closely on our experience in an area and not allow the Lord to bless us. There is nothing wrong with having a little experience because it can keep us from making the same mistakes. But when it comes to the things of God we need to allow Him to make the call and recognize His sovereignty and power.
"And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink." (See Luke 5)
There are a few things we can learn from this story that are applicable to life and ministry. Jesus first asked to use Peter's boat so that he could teach the people that desired to hear. Peter could have refused at any time because it was his boat. The option was solely his. But rather he allowed the Lord to use it for something the boat was not normally purposed for (It was a boat not a stage).
Now ask yourself, how in the world did every man there hear the words of the Lord in that setting? They were near water which tends to be noisy and there were several people there which would cause any man to have to scream for everyone to hear. There were no microphones or speakers, just the voice of the Lord. But everyone who wanted to hear did so. Even still, the Lord sat down and began to teach. So He wasn't walking back and forth or whooping to get the crowd excited. He simply taught the Word to a thirsty audience.
When He had finished the Lord turned His attention to Peter. Since Peter allowed the Lord to use what he had, Christ obligated Himself to bless Peter. Now this was in the day. Any one who knows how to fish understands that when the sun is high you won't catch as many fish as you would at dawn or even in the evening. Peter and his fellow fisherman had toiled all night and had not caught a thing. They were now doing some good housekeeping mending and washing their nets. But Jesus told Peter to launch the ship out into the deep and let down the net.
Now Peter could have been like so many of us. He could have said, "Lord I fish for a living and I know when fish bite. I tried and it didn't work the first time so why would I waste my time again?" So many of us argue the command of the Lord because it doesn't make sense to us. It's not the way we do things here so we discount its validity. Peter offered his opinion but still was obedient.
In the end the men caught a multitude of fishes not just fish. "Fishes" indicates there were several types of fish not just a large number. Now if you know about fish you know they travel in schools of like kinds. But the net which was cast forth was strong enough to hold the multitude and powerful enough to draw all kinds out of the deep. All this solely because of obedience and not personal know how. I heard someone state he believed everything in that net was of some use to Peter. I happen to agree.
You see fisherman make a living by what they catch. Some fish have to be thrown back into the water because they aren't fit to be used. But in this case I believe each fish carried its own value. There wasn't a fish in the net that was counted as useless or worthy of being thrown back into the deep.
But this was about even more than that. Though the Lord could've made Peter and the other fisherman rich, He chose to make them prosperous by calling them to something greater.