Every new year, we make resolutions, one of the most common being to ditch that thing that didn’t work out so well in the past and move on—especially if it’s something we’ve been trying to succeed at for a very long time but “crash and burn” is all we know.
This is the same situation Peter, Jesus’ disciple, found himself in after net fishing all night in his boat and catching nothing. He was not only disappointed, he was worried. Fishing was not just a hobby—it was his livelihood, his bread and butter, the provision for his family. Just not that night. But as he dragged his net to shore, exhausted and frustrated, Jesus meets him and says:
“’Now go out where it is deeper and let down your nets and you will catch many fish.’”
Still, Peter wasn’t so sure. “’Master,’” he says, “’we worked hard all night and didn’t catch a thing.’” But then he adds, “’but at Your word, we’ll try again.’” The story ends with Peter’s nets so full they began to tear (Luke 5:4-6).
So what does that mean for us? This quick exchange between the Lord and Peter contain four extremely essential keys to the successful fulfillment of our dreams and destinies.
KEY #1: “Now Go” = Obedience.
Notice that Jesus says to Peter, “’Now go out…’” The key here is to obey the Lord and to do it immediately. If Peter hadn’t obeyed the Lord at that moment, he would have had no provision or success. Here’s the bottom line: When God says “now,” it’s best to move. We’ll never achieve provision or success if we are not willing to obey—and to obey “now”—not later. Moreover, considering that God often saves the “now’s” until we don’t expect them, expect to be surprised by a “suddenly”. Peter didn’t see God’s directive coming but he was prepared to obey. Here’s another fact: the more we obey when we don’t see anything happening, the more prepared we’ll be to obey the moment God says, “Go!”
KEY #2: “Deeper” Means “Bigger”.
Sometimes the Lord may tell us to go “deeper”. While “going deeper” can have many applications, in the sense of fulfilling a vision or destiny, it often means to seek larger territory, more impactful opportunity—to go big! At the same time, however, going deeper, seeking bigger things, might be a bit scarier and will require more faith. However, the risk of “going deeper” did pay off for Peter. And as a victory principle in the kingdom of God, it’s huge.
KEY #3: “To Let Down” Means “to Work”.
The Lord tells Peter, “’Let down your nets’”. Note that God didn’t just drop the fish from the sky, but rather Peter had to work; he had to actually fish. The take-away here is that God loves to co-labor with us; He doesn’t want to have to do “it” alone (whatever “it” is) nor does He want us to have to do it alone. He wants to work with us—but that means we will have to work.
KEY #4: The Timing Is the Thing.
Then there’s the timing. Apparently, in Peter’s day, nighttime was the accepted time to fish, but Jesus instructed him to fish at a time that others might’ve questioned or even ridiculed. Yet often God will instruct us to do something in the off-season or during a time that just seems wrong. However, it really helps to remember that He’s in touch with all of the logistics of a situation and we are not. As the story goes, Peter’s nets became so full that they began to break. If Peter had argued that the timing didn’t make sense, then he’d have failed.
So—even if you’ve been through a long season of “try and fail, try and fail,” it may be that that season is about to end. After all, fishermen are supposed to be successful at fishing and you are supposed to be successful at whatever you’re called to do—or God wouldn’t have called you to do it. But you hardly need me to tell you that. So get ready to “let down your net” again. Don’t be afraid. 2019 is the year to achieve much bigger things than you “can even think or imagine”.
Get ready to go deeper.