Launch Out Into the Deep
Preacher: Felix Ngunjiri
(Reading: Luke 5:4-6)
One day, Jesus was preaching by the Lake of Gennesaret, the Sea of Galilee and when the congregation pressed upon Him to hear the message of God. He got into one of the boats, [the one] that belonged to Simon (Peter) and requested Simon to draw away a little from the shore so that He would comfortably preach the good news of the Kingdom of God without being crushed by the surging crowd. Then He sat down and continued to teach the crowd of people from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon (Peter), “Launch out into the deep water and let down your nets into the water for a great catch of fish. Simon answered, ‘Master, we have worked hard all night and have not caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets” (Luke 5:4-6).
Note that as a group of fishermen, Peter said that ‘we have caught nothing the whole night’ but as an individual, Simon Peter told Jesus, ‘I will let down the nets.’ And he decided to obey His word and launched deeper into the waters. Crowds do not catch anything because they fight each other over who would receive the spoils and the glory. In the end, it is an individual who goes away with the catch. It takes one bold individual to make a decision, obey individually and receive the blessing individually. When they agreed with Simon to move into the deeper waters, they managed to catch such a large number of fish that their nets were almost breaking. Jesus had visited Peter at his place of work and entered into Peter’s ship and started teaching the people out of the ship. When Jesus visits you at your place of work, He will start ministering to your colleagues. After he is through ministering to their needs, He will then minister to you for hosting Him all that long. Jesus knew that they had caught nothing and he told them to move out of the shallow waters and get into the deeper waters. They had been fishing at the shallow waters overnight. They wanted to continue fishing from the comfort of the shallow waters where it was safe. Those of us who fish at the shallow waters know that they can catch nothing because that is where every fisherman is. That is where the crowds are, where there are no risks of being swept by the waters. They do not want to risk going into the deeper waters. Simon encouraged his fellow fishermen to obey God’s word, cast off their fears and to enter into the deep waters, leaving the crowd at the shore.
Do Not Overstay at That Comfort Zone
You have overstayed at the comfort zone long enough. You have stagnated for a long time. It is time you launched out. “Come out of them and be separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17) [NIV]. Leave your friends and your peers who are dragging you away from your purpose and away from your destiny. Common sense would help one to realize that overstaying at the shallow waters only makes the water murkier. It makes little common sense to overstay at the shallow waters as the place is congested with the milling crowd which might be hosting all manner of people without ruling out idlers and pick pockets. Shallow waters are comfort zones. There are no risks of drowning. At the shallow waters, you are neither on mainland nor at the sea. It can be likened to being at the middle of the road where you are neither at the left nor at the right. But you will get nothing by overstaying at the middle of the road, or travelling at the middle of the road. The only things found at the middle of the road are dead dogs and worn out tyres. It is a high time you decided which side of the road you want to travel along or else you will be crushed therein by those travelling to the right or to the left.
Overstaying at the shallow waters can also be likened to sitting on the fence playing safe and falling over to whichever side wins. Fence sitters are known to be notorious in cheering both teams and eating at both camps. Shallow waters are places of self satisfaction; where there are no worries, no risks but are actually places of stagnation. To overstay at shallow waters would be reducing yourself to being neither here nor there, neither good nor bad, a place of mediocrity, the favourite place for those who call themselves average people. One funny definition by an economist of an average person is that if an average person has one foot on a hot stove and the other foot in a deep freezer, then on the average, we can say he is comfortable. Average people live average lives, get average grades in high school, get average jobs, have average families and plunge into an average end. But God did not create average people. God created great people who would do wonders because “people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32)[KJV]. God created hardworking people who do not overstay at the place of lukewarmness but move on to the deeper waters which are clean and fresh. Lukewarmness is a spirit of indecisiveness which the Lord detests, saying, “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea (the present day church) write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Rev 3:14-16 [ESV2011]).
Move on to the deeper waters which are clean and fresh, away from stagnaters, idlers, the average people who are overcrowding at the comfort zone. Farthermore there is little competition out there. And that is where they get hold of the big catch of fish. When Jesus began His ministry of preaching the Kingdom of heaven down here on earth, He had to recruit people to be His disciples so that He would teach them to become fishers of men.
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.” (Matt 4:17-20 [KJV])
Jesus Christ came down from heaven to win people unto Himself so that He would present them to the Father in heaven as His church. Coming from a fishing community, Jesus had to use the skills of fishing so as to fish not just a big catch of fish but a big catch of disciples for Jesus. Jesus Christ spent three years teaching His disciples the principles of the kingdom of heaven so that He would launch them or commission them for the ministry of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom and show them the goodness of the Lord so that they wins those souls for Him. “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Rom 2:4 [KJV])
Jesus Christ taught His disciples the Kingdom Lordship principle by telling them by use of parables that a true king must have property or a domain over which they exercise rulership or dominion. Therefore, all true kings are personally legal owners of property, territory, or their domain. Another word for owner is “lord”. All true kings are automatically lords. Kings own all that is in their domain. Kings rule or command whatever is in their property or domain. Kings have absolute authority and control over their property. The king’s wealth is measured by the wealth of his property. Kings can give their property to anyone they wish. The Lord of heaven and earth is one: the Father and the Son who are indistinguishable.
“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31 [KJV])
In the Old Testament, God the Father is referred to as Lord.
If we check from the first two books of the Old Testament for example, God is referred as Lord 196 times in Genesis and 346 times in Exodus.
“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens” (Gen 2:4 [KJV])
The Son of God in the New Testament is referred to as Lord
The Son of God in the New Testament is referred to as Lord in very many verses of the New Testament with some verses referring Him as Lord of lords and King of kings. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36 [KJV])
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev 1:1, 8 [KJV])
“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;” (Rev 19:7-17 [KJV])
The earth is the Lord’s
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to Him. For He laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on ocean depths.” (Psalm 24:1-2)
“For the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth.” (Psalm 47:2)
“For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
“And every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:11)
Before Jesus Christ went back to the Father in heaven, He commissioned them to be His witness to the whole world.
“And, being assembled together with them, Jesus Christ commanded His disciples that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:4-8 [KJV])
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matt 24:14 [KJV])
Jesu Christ Himself is calling upon everyone to become fishers of men, drawing men unto salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ. “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt 4:19 [KJV])
He is requiring us to go out into the field and bring a harvest of saved souls into the kingdom of heaven for indeed “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;” (Matt 9:37 [KJV])
But the decision to either stay at the shallow waters and catch nothing or move on to the deeper waters so as to get hold of a great catch of believers is yours. It is your choice.
Again I plead with you to decide today to preach the gospel, preach Christ to all the nations so as to win souls for Christ. Preach the gospel like Paul without expecting earthly benefit but to be rwarded by God in the way and time He thinks best. “For if I preach the gospel, I have no reason to boast, because an obligation is placed on me. And woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willingly, I have a reward, but if unwillingly, I am entrusted with a stewardship.” (1Cor 9:16-17 [HCSB])
“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Rev 22:12)
We can lay your treasure in heaven by obeying the Lord’s command to preach the gospel to every creature. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15).