GO FISH!

"After these things, Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way. "Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, 'I am going fishing.' They said to him, 'We will also come with you.' They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing. "But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. So Jesus said to them, 'Children, you do not have any fish, do you?' They answered Him, 'No.' and He said to them, 'Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you will find a catch.' So they cast, and then, they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. Therefore, that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, 'It is the Lord.' So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, 'Bring some of the fish which you have now caught.' Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn." John 21:1-11 It's time to cast our net on the other side. I believe this year is the year to cast our net to the other side. It’s a year of divine order. In these passages of scripture we can see how Jesus brought his divine order to the believers in a time of transition and change. In my study time this week this story kept echoing in my spirit. Here are some of the thoughts that were illuminated as I studied these passages. The disciples were fishing on the sea of Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) at night. This was a common time to fish; this was the "normal". This is a picture of doing things the normal way and in the normal routine. "But when the day was now breaking", this represents a time of transition. The darkness giving way to light. It demonstrates the believers who are working faithfully in the night season when no one else can see their service. Just when you think no one is noticing your labor of love in the ministry; know that there is one that is always looking. "Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus". Jesus is present during their time of transition yet they did not know it. The key here is that Jesus released an instruction, "Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat," during this time. So during your time of transition be attentive to the instructions given. Don't be focused on what didn't happen in the past season or what might happen in the future, be perceptive to the Voice of Truth in your present. He is aware of your situation nothing takes him by surprise. He said that he would never leave us or forsake us. The disciples were keenly aware of their current condition. When Jesus asked them about their situation “do you have any fish?" they replied "no". They were not afraid to accept the fact that even though they were professional fishermen, their attempts to catch fish failed. This is a great illustration for believers today. It's not our professionalism; it's the presence of Jesus and our obedience to his instructions that brings in the fish. The disciples were willing and obedient. Isaiah 1:19 states that if we are willing and obedient we will eat the good of the land. Your willingness and obedience is dependent upon your hunger. If you only have an appetite you may be willing, but if you are truly hungry you will go to the next step which is obedience. Those that hunger and thirst shall be filled. The disciples had worked all night for nothing. They had to be tired, disappointed, and frustrated, but most importantly they were hungry. The instruction was to "Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat,” The right hand side is significant. The right side is known as the starboard side (another message in itself). Throughout the scriptures the right hand is related to blessing, authority, power, protection, and provision. Jesus was still showing the disciples the path of life which is found in HIS presence. It is written in Psalm 16:11, "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." In Psalm 20:6, "Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand." It is here in the time of change that we must remember he is the Lord that changes not, and that he is no respecter of persons, what he made happen for the believer's then is still available to us today. "So they cast, and then, they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish." A little side note I would like to point out to you here. This catch of fish was no doubt a great miracle, but at the same time it can be a dangerous situation for some. The atmosphere of miracles does not mean you are in right standing with the Lord. We must choose to go after the Miracle maker vs. the miracle itself. The children of God in the wilderness had a 40 year revival of supernatural food, clothing, healing, and wealth yet they did not inherit the promise land. "Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea." Why was Peter stripped for work? One reason is that it was "normal" practice for fishermen to remove their garments because they were too cumbersome to fish in. However, there is a truth here that we can glean from. The last time Peter saw the Lord he denied him 3 times. Let me put it this way, Peter was in sin. In Matthew 10:33 Jesus says, "But whoever denies me before men I, too, will deny him before my Father in heaven." Peter who at one time walked on water now had to swim in that very same water. Peter repeats a pattern. Jesus had just fed the multitudes, multiplication of the fish, the disciples were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee, and it was the night season (4th watch). Once Peter knew that it was the Lord he jumped out of the boat after him. "Lord, if it is you bid me come". Once Peter began to sink he immediately cried out to the Lord for help "Lord Save Me". The Lord stretched out his hand and caught him. Matthew 14:25-31 "That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, 'It is the Lord." Sometimes in our time of crisis it’s hard for us to hear the voice of the Lord. This is why community is so important. Peter heard the same instruction as the other disciples but he was not able to discern that it was the Lord's voice. It took another believer and follower of the Lord to tell Peter "it is the Lord". Do not feel condemned when you are going through a tough time and it’s hard to hear the voice of the Lord with the clarity you once did. The key is to continue to pursue him. Peter continued his pursuit and ended up having a breakfast on the beach and being revived/restored into his calling of feeding the Lord's sheep. What qualified him for this? Loving Jesus. What qualified Peter back then qualifies you today. The debt of your sins has already been paid, there is nothing you need to do but pursue Jesus with your whole heart, mind, body, and spirit. As you do you may hear his voice say, "Do you love me? ...Feed my sheep." "He put his outer garment on,” Why would anyone put clothes on to go for a swim? At first this looks like an unusual thing to do, but let me tell it is probably the most common thing done when a believer falls into sin. Instead of immediately jumping into the sea and going after Jesus he stopped to clothe himself. The presence of the Lord revealed Peter's nakedness and he tried to cover his sin with his own measures. Sound familiar? In the garden Adam and Eve sewed together fig leaves in an attempt to cover their sin. Their nakedness only being revealed by the presence of the Lord. Every time we as believers fall or have a failure, we have a tendency to become like Peter, Adam, and Eve. We disqualify ourselves from a deeper intimacy with the Lord because we put on our garments of self-righteousness and then pursue after him. Imagine trying to swim in a lake fully clothed in a robe or dress. It would be hard to move, you would feel heavy, tire easily, and eventually quit before ever reaching your destination. This is what happens when we try to go deeper in his presence with our self- righteousness. Instead of trying to clothe ourselves all we have to do is go straight to the Lord just as we are. For we have and advocate. 1 John 2:1 states,” My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. "When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread...” This is a picture of what is waiting for those that pursue Jesus. We are called to be fishers of men. What happens after the fish are caught? There is a fire that is burning (sanctification and power) and there is bread (the word) waiting for those that have come out of the world (sea) and into the promise land. (Jesus stood on the beach). "The net was not torn...” Despite the number of fish the net was not torn. Why? I believe it’s because the net that brought the fish in was the net of discipleship. We in the body try many tactics to bring people to Jesus. We have our programs, instead of his presence, and we have to entertain the saints instead of equipping them. We are trying to catch a multitude of fish using a rod and reel when we should be using a net. What net is that? The net of discipleship. Jesus called them His disciples long before he died on the cross. We want to wait until some future point in time where the seeker may get saved and then disciple vs. catching them with the net of discipleship and bring them to Jesus. This is why most of our church nets have broken, they were not cast out to bring the fish to Jesus, they were cast out to build up the importance and social prestige of the fishermen. We love to let all the fishermen in the area know who is the most successful in the fishing business. Any net that has not been mended with the threads of discipleship will break and the miracle catch of souls will return to their previous condition.

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Remnant Fire Ministries

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