A few years ago I was walking on a fishing pier. Looking over the edge of the pier I stared deep into the water. To my surprise I saw the biggest crab that looked like an Alaskan king crab. It detached itself from the wooden structure and fell deep into the water! A man who was fishing nearby said, "Yeah, they're everywhere. And, that's the problem when people come out here to fish. They stay on the low, shallow end but that's a mistake. The real big fish are out here in the deep." His words struck me deeply as I thought about Jesus's instructions to Simon/Peter.
Lower Your Nets Here...
Simon/Peter was a good fisherman but after catching nothing one night, he was ready to give up. He'd fished all night long and didn't have anything to show for his efforts. That is until Jesus showed up. Jesus said, "Lower your nets here". And, Simon/Peter, wanting to obey first explained that they fished all night but then said okay. When he obeyed he caught so many fish that he had to call other fishermen over in their boats. His nets broke because they were so full of fish!
So here are a few important lessons:
1. Obey what God says EVEN IF you already tried it the SAME WAY before. When God speaks, His SUPER hits our natural. Our action in being obedient to what He says brings the blessing. Example of when a person DID NOT obey: Zechariah didn't believe the angel about John's birth so Zechariah's mouth was sealed until it was time to name John. Example of when a person DID obey: Mary, Jesus's mother when the angel said she would give birth to Jesus Christ.
2. Don't underestimate God's ability to provide MORE than enough. Simon/Peter was thinking about his boat and his catch. However, we serve a God who does EXCEEDINGLY and ABUNDANTLY all that we can ask or think. Simon/Peter's net broke and he then had to call other boats over. How long did that take? Can you imagine the fish they COULD have ended up with if he had anticipated that Jesus would provide MORE like He did before with the miracle with the loaves and the fish?
3. Be ready to receive and share with others. Simon/Peter didn't believe Jesus about catching fish. Jesus said in plural tense, "Lower the NETS". Simon/Peter said back to Jesus/God, "I will let down the NET" singular tense. Sometimes our thinking is TOO SMALL. Hence, when it comes to God we need to WIDEN our tents and STRETCH out the curtains.
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The God of MORE THAN ENOUGH
As God puts the enemy under our feet and widens our territory in this season, trust God for what you need. Believe for a miracle and don't underestimate God. It's important that we don't focus on small or singular items. For example, we might pray limited prayers based on our immediate needs. We might pray, "Lord, I need my light bill paid" or "Jesus, please help me pay my rent this month". Okay, while that's probably good for today and this month but what about next month and the month after? Further, what about your relatives' bills? Or, your neighbors? Remember, we serve a God who does GREAT things! And, He wants to do great things in our lives, for our families, friends, neighbors, communities and more!
When Jesus fed the crowds, He didn't say "Psst, James, ahh, my check was short this week. So only give to the disciples because that's all we've got" or "Cut up the fish into tiny pieces and you and John take the head and we'll draw straws for who gets the tail". No, Jesus lifted His hands up to heaven and put a demand on God to provide MORE THAN ENOUGH. So, in this season, while it's hard to see it with the visual eye, God is training us to work miracles because we're coming to a time when the ONLY way to receive will be by miracles. God is shifting the power to those who were perceived to be powerless. But how do we know this?
Keep Rebuking Them...
When I went through a great period of testing, I remember getting up early to pray to Father God. When He started speaking back to me what He said was shocking. He told me, "Keep rebuking those demons." "Keep staying in shadow and calling on me." "Keep doing things in Jesus's name and by God's authority." It felt like He was teaching me and as a young apprentice telling me the right and wrong way. It reminded me of a time at church once where the little kids were laying hands on one another.
One day after service, the kids were in the hallway playing and I wanted to scold them because I misunderstood what they were doing. One toddler would say, "Jesus" and put their hand on the forehead of the other child who would suddenly fall to the floor. Before I said anything, one of their parents who was a pastor said, "Let them practice." I caught myself and realized they weren't making fun of the pastors and deacons. They were practicing for their future ministries and really laying hands on each other!
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Don't Give Up Hope
As we grow in our faith with God, it's important to keep reading your Bible so you can stay "prayed up". Keep believing God for what you need and don't doubt. Set your goals for the future and write the vision down. That way you're not focused on what you SEE only but you can make manifest what you NEED.
Here are a few tips:
Speak and SEE in the spiritual what you need, don't dwell on what you lack.
One season when I went through a HUGE drought, I was running out of food. I prayed to God for help and the Holy Spirit said I would NEVER have to go through that experience again. He started teaching me to shop when stores had big sales. I'd see pasta on sale for .66-cents or .88-cents a box and I'd buy 10 or 20 boxes. When spaghetti sauce was $1 a can for the 28-ounce cans, I bought 20 and stored them in the cabinets. The next time I went through a drought, I had MORE THAN ENOUGH food to sustain me.
Say that it's NO PROBLEM for God and put a demand on Him.
This one took time because I had to increase my faith. If all my bills were past due I'd say, "I'm not going to worry because the Word says to be anxious for nothing. Father God, I know YOU will provide because YOU supply all my needs, so I will wait on You. Glory to Your name". I'd then wait and listen for the Holy Ghost to lead me. If a doubt came in like "He's taking too long" or "They called about the bill again" I'd say, "Lord, I KNOW You will provide and give me evidence. Angels, I send you on assignment. Please send help right away".
Rebuke doubts, look for your windows and ask Jesus where to lower your nets.
Because God is covenant, He HAS TO keep His Word. Meaning, NO word from God will ever fail. I tested it. I sowed $500 once and got it back the same day or the next day. I sowed $100 once and got it back again. Whatever the need is, ask the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost what to pray and ask for His help. Then, do exactly what He says.
I remember a writing client once only paid me $37 for a big article that required a ton of work. The Holy Spirit said, "Give 100%". I said, "Okay, Lord. I will obey." I was fuming inside because I was losing time and money but I wanted to obey God so I gave it 200%. I said, "My work is as unto You, Lord". I turned the article in and heard nothing. A few months later the same client came to me and said, "Hey we need these articles done and can give you a few hundred dollars each because your work was so great before." My mouth flung open and hit the floor! Look at God!
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Scriptures to Stand On
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Believe the Possibilities
We serve the Most High God so don't give up or see yourself as a failure. There are SO MANY who are beating themselves up because they overspent last Christmas or they didn't have enough in savings. Don't beat yourself up. Just like I had to learn how to save a little extra for those times of droughts, you will come out of this, too. And, when you do, like my mom said, write out where you made your mistakes so you can correct them and be better next time. If you have too much credit card debt now and not enough savings, ask Father God to help you pay off your bills so you can live debt-free and help others. If you were stuck in a tiny apartment and your city was on lockdown during Covid-19, ask Father God to help you move to a bigger place with more room - and maybe a view and a balcony!
The great news about OUR God is He doesn't change and He is ALWAYS here for us. Don't give up hope for what you need. This season of quarantines and lack is ending. Expect to see good news from Father God. Look for the miracles He provides. Watch for doors and windows of opportunity that He opens. He's the God of MORE THAN ENOUGH and He has so much in store for us - His Chosen Ones! To God be the glory!