john 21 applied to our lives
by dumi nkomo
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Peter and the crew were meant to wait for the resurrection but Peter led the crew out of focus. He was distracted and because of his influence led others astray, including the man of integrity Nathaniel, the sons of thunder, the doubting Thomas and two unnamed others. INFLUENCE can lead you astray. It deceives you and causes you to be convinced that you are right. The seven of them went out and got into the boat but “that night they caught nothing.” A gone astray vision will yield no results. It can look fruitful but that is deceptive.
People will follow because you influence them but are they really in it with you? Pause that QUESTION. Are they doing what you are doing what you're doing because you're doing it or they enjoy it? Remember that Peter is the one who dissociated himself from those who were together. Remember he had dissociated himself from Jesus by denying Him. Here he says, “I am going out to fish.” But Jesus has taken him out of that trade. He was not a fisherman. He was a fisher of men. So by right he caught NOTHING
His ministry was fruitless. It caught no one. It bore no fruit at all and was labour in vain. You may have gone out with good intentions but where have they led to and what fruit is there to talk about? Hasn’t it been a hard and fruitless labour? Yes, he may have won over some people but he has he not lost the other four disciples in the process? Has he not led a vain night’s work? Where is the fruit? What is the heart attitude?
Early the next morning Jesus stood on the shore but they did not realise that it was He. He called out, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. Then He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” They still were blind even though Jesus was doing a great work of refocus. Experience had let them down but grace had to carry them. You, an experienced veteran of many battles fails to win the war and works in vain many years in the dark night, but Jesus early in the morning says, “Change your focus and turn to the right side.” When they changed sides they caught a great catch which they couldn’t haul in because of the large number of fish.
To be successful after a long spell we have to listen to the Man on the shore even though we don’t realise who He is. Our experience will fail us and let us down. But He won’t. God allows our pride and experience to sidetrack us so that when we fail He can CORRECT US. Your experience, prayer fasting and all have failed him and crew. Only the right side of the boat can produce a catch of great magnitude that can change the song. The walk has been long and unrewarding. The guys we left behind could be laughing at us. But we need the frustration and failure to teach us that WE ARE NOT ABLE TO DO THINGS on our own. Our hearts need to be right with God.
The 7 guys thought they could do it. After all Nathaniel agreed to it. They were all deceived. But thank God for the man on the shore. He’s right there to say, “Change your focus.” The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” It didn’t take Peter to realise his folly. It was one of the other guys. “God looks at your heart. Others can’t see it but He can. He let David go on with sin and He dealt with it from there. God shows us the consequences.”
As soon as Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. Peter realised his fault and nakedness, the devil had exposed him and put him aloof and caused him to be too big headed. He even had the guts to remove his outer garments. But when he heard that it was Jesus he put on that which he had taken off (HUMILITY) and jumped into the water. God’s disciple spoke and it sunk in. “LORD humble Your servant, allow him to put on his outer garment and jump into the Blood of Jesus for cleansing and renewal.” Peter had jumped out of the Holy Ghost into the boat- a comfort zone.
But Peter jumped back into the Holy Ghost’s power. You may have said, “I am jumping in again. I am moving away from my boat into the water and I don’t care if I drown in the Holy Spirit. All I want is to get back to Jesus. I need to return to where I came from. Yes I moved in the Holy Ghost before but I’m not waiting for Him to come back or for the boat o reach land. I am diving in and getting to Jesus before the boat arrives. I am coming lord, coming now to Thee, wash me, and cleanse me by the Blood that flowed on Calvary.” The other guys remained in the rot and followed towing the fruit yet Peter was already on land. “You are too forward,” they should have said. But it was his life and relationship with Christ. It was heaven. He’d messed up. Jesus was building His Church on this ROCK and the gates of hell were not going to prove stronger and Peter knew that he had to go.
Know that it’s not about what people will say. It’s about Jesus. Peter swam 90m to get to land. 90m can talk about 90 days (3 months) God has said “Repent and fix the problems. Get there and we’ll talk. We’ll see how serious you are.” Peter left the fish the fish and the boat. You have to leave the success and all and swim to Jesus. You may not be a Kirsty Coventry but pledge to swim to the shore. It may be tiresome and energy sapping but declare, I am coming lord back to the feet of Jesus.
When the boat landed they saw a fire burning. There was a revival Jesus and Peter had started, the fire of the Holy Ghost and there were fish on it and bread. Where from? Jesus Himself! Peter brought no fish but himself. Jesus had no nets but fish and bread. Know that fish, fire and bread are with Jesus and not in the boat, so go there. The others have to see Jesus’ fire, fish and bread. Then He said, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” It was Peter who had to go aboard and dragged the net ashore. They all caught but Peter dragged the net ashore. You may have been part of the cast that caught the fish but while the rest were bringing them in, he returned to Jesus.
When the rest arrived he went in for the fish- large fish, 153 in total. You will reconcile and when it is done Jesus will say, “Bring in the fish you have just caught.” He may not have had the effort in bringing them in but surely will drag them ashore. He threw the net, made a catch, allowed others to follow while he went to Jesus, but will play a team leader’s role to draw them ashore. There were 153 large fish but the net was not torn. You , like Peter, have to initiate- fishing, swimming and dragging. Its hard work but it has to be done 90metres out.
Jesus called all out for breakfast and none dared to ask Who He was, for they all knew it was Jesus. He gave them bread and fish and it was the third time He appeared to them. What follows next is painful: 3 questions asked to Peter in public.
1. “DO YOU TRULY LOVE ME MORE THAN THOSE?” Is that true? “Yes Lord, You know I love You.” FEED MY LAMB-the young ones need food. They need to be taken care of. They need a special diet, many times a day. It’s not just any kind of food. But feed them. Teach them what will cause them to grow.”
2. “DO YOU TRULY LOVE ME? Yes Lord, You know that I love You. TAKE CARE OF MY SHEEP. I want special care given to what I have brought together. These are the sheep of My pasture. I want you to care for them, lay down your life for them. Risk for them and care/fend for them.”
3. “DO YOU LOVE ME?” Peter was hurt, so too will you. Lord, You know all things, You know that I love You. It will be a hurting experience but FEED MY SHEEP. You have to provide fresh food, relevant to the state they are in. some need higher grade and quality food. Give it to them. I know you’re hurt by all these questions but feed My sheep. I tell you, in your youth/earlier times you dressed yourself and went where you wanted. You had all the freedom and liberty. Nothing held you back. But from today when you have grown old you will stretch out/ reach out your hands and someone else will dress you (the Holy Ghost) and lead you where you do not want to go.”
He who dresses you will lead your ministry after this test. This is the death you will experience, to SELF and INDEPENDENCE. The flesh must die but the spirit will live. You will glorify God with this death. And now “FOLLOW ME.” Don’t worry about John or the rest. I have a plan for them too. Yours is to follow Me. You don’t know where we are going. I’ll take you there. You must follow Me and not the crowd. Don’t worry what I intend to do with others, just follow Me.
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