Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
Peter and the others had not caught anything after fishing all night. They’d come up empty and had nothing at all to show for all of their effort. Then Jesus comes along like, “Why don’t you go out and do some fishing?” And though they’d tried that and failed, they still went out at Jesus’ request. They took a chance even if they didn’t think anything good would happen. If we never try, we’ll never succeed. If we don’t even launch out and drop the net, we’ll never catch anything.
Sometimes it seems like too often we play armchair quarterback with our lives. We analyze things and reach our own conclusions about what might happen. We assume failure, so we don’t even try. We don’t think something can work, so we don’t do anything. We can’t foresee success, so we don’t even go. Or maybe we go forward with doubt, so we only go partway, dropping only one net instead of all of them. What Jesus would require of Peter and the other disciples would be a willingness to launch out, to leave behind the safety and rest of the shore, to let go of doubts and simply trust Him, to do exactly what He said to do.
If it is truly God’s voice calling us out and asking us to do something, that changes the situation. Then we don’t go alone. Then we don’t have to trust ourselves and our efforts for the results. Then at the end, we are just left in amazement at what God can do. So let’s not be afraid and unwilling to at least launch out when it is Jesus who bids us to do so. Let’s not have a defeatist attitude before we’ve even begun. We can’t just stay by the shore, but we have to launch out by faith.
This was only the beginning for Peter and the others with him that day. They launched out a boat and let down a net now, and next would come something more challenging, but they would be ready to face that because their faith would grow. It was a risk to drop everything and follow Jesus, but it was also the best thing they could have ever done. And perhaps they might not have been willing to do so if they had not first launched out their boat and had the greatest catch of their lives. We can’t stay where we are if we want to experience the fullness of what God will do in our lives. So let us be willing to move to get to the next thing God would have for us.