“Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets. When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.” (Luke 5:5-7)
How often do you look at the conditions of your life and assume that failure is your only route? Simon Peter, a fisherman, certainly had moments like that. He and his team and been up all night fishing, and had not caught any fish. Not one. Even so, he allowed Jesus to use his boat to preach, which was of course, the first Kingdom principle for turning failure into success. We have to allow Jesus into our own boat, metaphorically speaking.
After Jesus preached, he returned the boat to Simon and gave him a blessing. He told him where to drop his nets to catch fish. Simon answered him with a bit of discouragement: “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.” How often do we do this in our own lives? How often do you tell God about the hard work you have put into things that didn’t pay off as proof that failure is really the only outcome? Kingdom principle number two is: don’t look at your circumstances and argue with God when he tells you something that contradicts what you think is evident.
If we don’t do what Simon did next, we won’t receive the blessing God wants to give us. Simon told Jesus that failure had been the norm to date, however, he trusted Jesus and he let down the nets. The third Kingdom principle is to obey God. Simon’s failure to catch fish turned around dramatically when he obeyed Jesus’ instructions. He caught so many fish that a second boat was needed, and even then, the haul was so heavy both boats were low in the water!
The Kingdom principles to follow for success:
1. Allow Jesus into your life.
2. Don’t argue with God when he tells you something.
3. Obey God’s instructions.
Pretty simple principles. I am glad I followed them when I woke up one morning and heard God tell me to pack up and go on a roadtrip to offer hope to others who have the same type of brain injury I had. Like Simon, at first I gave God a list of reasons why it wouldn’t work. But thankfully, I started that very same day to rent the van, and order what I needed for a long trip away from home. God used me to his glory, and and he blessed my obedience many times over on that trip. I drove over 8,500 miles when just months before that, I could barely drive the 32 miles to the nursery I love and back. Jesus put the fish into Simon’s nets and he gave me the strength to drive across the nation.
F.R.O.G. Practice: Today, invite Jesus into your life. Ask God for guidance. Listen carefully to his instructions. Don’t argue, do what he tells you to do, even if it appears contradictory to the circumstances before you. When you practice the Kingdom principles on a regular basis, they get easier to do and your life becomes amazingly blessed!