Holy Anticipation: The Parable of Letting Down the Nets

Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Blog, Inspirational/ Devotional | 15 comments

Holy Anticipation: The Parable of Letting Down the Nets

I am at a crossroad.  I don’t know which way to turn.  There are too many questions that need answers…too many decisions to make…too much heaviness…too few resources…it’s just too much!

My husband, Gary, and I seem to be living in a state of uncertainty.  It’s as if every conversation that we have leads to the same conclusion.  And the conclusion is “We don’t really know what to do.”  The circumstances in our lives have changed so drastically (and unexpectedly) in the last six months that we find ourselves unsure of what to do.  We have rarely, maybe never, been in this much confusion.

We sit down and attempt to logically address where we should go, what we should do, when we should do it, and why such and such a decision is best.  We weigh the risks vs. the benefits.  We think it through.  We are praying it through, but at this moment…nothing.

I keep coming back to an old piece of paper that Gary found while going through a box of stuff that we were going to throw out.  It’s Gary’s handwritten notes of a sermon that he heard.  Neither of us remembers who preached the sermon nor when it was preached, but evidently Gary heard it.  The sermon was based on Luke 5:4-11, the parable of letting down the nets.  Jesus had been speaking to a crowd from a boat that he was standing in.  When he finished speaking, he called over to a fisherman named Simon and told him to take his boat out into deep water and let down his nets.  Simon said that he had been out all night long and had caught nothing.

I don’t know whether it was great faith or complete desperation that caused Simon to make his next statement, but it changed his life.  He said, “Nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”  So he went out into deep water, let down his nets, and caught so many fish that the net started breaking!  He had to get another fisherman to bring his boat over and help him.  Not only did the catch fill Simon Peter’s boat, it filled the other boat too.  As a result of this catch, Simon Peter, James, and John left their fishing business and became the first of Jesus‘ disciples.

The sermon notes Gary found made these points: (1) Jesus moved Simon Peter from the safety of the seen to the risks of the unseen, (2) Jesus led Simon Peter “out into the deep water” where the bottom could not be touched before He commanded, “Let down your nets,” (3) Jesus moves us from the safety of the seen to the risks of the unseen, (4) Jesus uses the familiar to do the incredible, (5) Jesus conceals His surprises until we follow His leading, (6) Jesus reveals His objective to those who release their security, and (7) Nothing spectacular occurs in shallow water.

In our situation, sermon point number one has occurred: we have definitely been moved from the safety of the seen to the risks of the unseen.  Point number two is occurring: we have been led out into the deep water where the bottom cannot be touched, and now we must be obedient to let down our nets.  To a fisherman, letting down the nets meant doing his part to put himself in a place to be successful. We are certainly trying to do that.

Sermon point number three is past tense.  We have been moved from the safety of the seen to the risks of the unseen.  Figuratively, we are standing at sermon point number four.  I believe this is the crossroad.  How will Jesus use the familiar to do the incredible?  We keep praying that God will open doors of opportunity that He wants us to walk through, and that He will shut the doors that would cause us to walk in a direction that is not His plan for our lives.  Once we KNOW that we are walking through the open doors of opportunity, then I believe that He will start revealing His surprises(sermon point number five).  I know that He will reveal His objective to us (point number 6) because our security has been released.  It wasn’t our choice, but nevertheless, it was released.

God wasn’t surprised when our security was released.  We were…but He was not.  In The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson writes, “Sometimes we act as though God is surprised by the things that surprise us, but by definition, the Omniscient One cannot be surprised.  God is always a step ahead, even when we feel like He’s a step behind.  He’s always got a holy surprise up His sovereign sleeve.”  He goes on to write, “We can live in holy anticipation because God is ordering our steps.”

That’s what I need to know.  That’s what Gary needs to know.  Maybe that’s what you need to know.  If we truly attempt to follow His commands, live His way, and seek His kingdom, Jesus said “all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).  What “things” do you need to be added to you?  What are you living in holy anticipation for?  Physical provision?  Direction?  Healing?  Restoration?  Me too!  Do you sometimes feel as if you are drowning?  Me too!  But here’s the thing…No one ever need drown in shallow water.  So if you feel as if you are drowning, then you must not be in shallow water.  You must be out in the deep water.  As far as holy anticipation goes, that’s the best place to be because nothing spectacular occurs in shallow water.

15 Comments

  1. Loved this, Kim. It was exactly what I needed today. Thank you for fiollowing the leading of The Lord in posting this. I was much encouraged!

  2. Beautifully written….Keep fishing Kim and Gary! The “Holy Surprise” is coming!

  3. Great message Kim, thanks for sharing it. I’m loving all the devotions you’re preparing for us! Praying for your next steps. Love, Dorrine

  4. Thank you., this is “daily bread” powerful!

  5. Great blog, Kim. Sometimes it’s hard to give Jesus the helm to our ship, but then again; as long as He’s in the ship, everything will be according to His plan.
    .

  6. Thanks so much for this message, Kim. The last 8 months i have felt like i was drowning. I love your statement “So if you feel as if you are drowning, then you must not be in shallow water. You must be out in the deep water. As far as holy anticipation goes, that’s the best place to be because nothing spectacular occurs in shallow water.”

  7. I understand this post so very much…keep on encouraging each other and patiently waiting in prayerful expectation. .I think sometimes we just need to pray for each other…soo many Americans are in this same place today. God bless you..God sees..He knows..He’s waiting to bless us..sometimes it just takes a little bit longer than we think it should..my mamma always says Jesus is 4 days late…BUT ALWAYS ON TIME!

  8. Excellent Kim. You’re a very good writer.

  9. Kim,

    Intercessor here. Gary and you will be in my prayers. You’re music certainly helped to save my life TIME AND AGAIN. Payback Time. Got you covered. for direction and provision.

  10. Kim and Gary,
    Sorry for the difficulty that you are facing. I can sense your ‘keeping my chin up’ attitude and probably no one else knows the real magnitude of the challenges you face…but God does. He said that He will never leave us. He is Faithful…He is True.

    We all have experienced unsettling and unnerving times in this ‘new normal’ of economic woes. Yet, these times should bring families together, church bodies together, praying and helping each other. Maybe God is entrusting you folks with this experience–and I don’t know the details–for you to be better enabled to empathize with the very pressing, real concerns that the populations of the world are having. Many have lost house and home, jobs…even friends and, sadly for some, their faith. Perhaps God has raised you up for such a time as this to help comfort the comfortless, to be able to identify with their pain, and still be able to praise God and point people to the only answer there is: Jesus Christ.

    You’ll be in my prayers, and I trust that you’re praying for all of us. God will make a way…somehow. May He help us to have ears to hear His whispers of wisdom for these turbulent times.

    Be richly blessed, strengthend and encouraged…AND provided for in the name of our soon-coming King, Jesus!

    • Thank you, Joel. Your words are encouragement! God bless you.
      Kim

  11. Hey there, my son is also a student at Master’s Media and as I was researching and familiarizing myself with some background of the other students & their families, our Hamilton goes to school with, I came across this blog. This message of Holy Anticipation is also where we are, so this entry really connected with me. I have felt so lost lately with wanting direction, knowing I want our family to be around God’s people, and yet be in the exact place God wants us to be. There is much uncertainty knowing we are very much in the end times. I applaud you for confessing something that probably many solid Christians are feeling right now, but may feel hesitant to say because we may be ridiculed for not knowing God’s direction, but yet it makes total sense that God would be getting his saints in this position of readiness for anything, and definitely for something great. Yes, I agree, we are in the deep, we have stayed on the narrow path so of course we’re not in the shallows, so this too resonated with me as true and helpful to remember.

    Thank you for being real and open in this blog. I’m going to check it every once and a while.

    Many blessings, Hamilton Neumann’s mom (Leilani)

  12. Hello Kim,

    Even though I have not been a Christian for nearly 20 years, for some random reason, I just started thinking about your song, “All for You” from your This I Know album. So I went to YouTube and played the song. It ferried such beautiful, nostalgic memories. Kind of riding the thrill of memory, I listened to the 3 other songs from that album that used to be so meaningful to me, including “Longing for Someone”(I love how much you committed yourself to the ending notes. Very histrionic and moving) and in both “True Love” and “Pain, Pain Go Away”(You have such a lilting quality of story-telling in your voice. It sounds like you were living the lyrics. That is a uniquely considerable gift.) After listening to “Pain, Pain Go Away”, I saw the YouTube listing of all of these songs that I obviously haven’t heard before. It’s almost unimaginable to think that I have missed 20 years of your music. Anyway, I randomly chose a song from the listing; it was “Not Too Far From Here”, Wow!!! You are still able to tell beautiful stories. Thank you, Kim. I’m grateful.

  13. Kim, my wife and I can relate to this so much. Back in June of 2013, God led me to leave the church I was pastoring. He wasn’t telling us what to do, stay in the area or leave. He led me to Scripture in Psalm 37:3, 4, 7, 34a. He also spoke to our hearts and said, “be still, and know that I am God.” We were in awe, since that is something that people do not typically like to do, be still. We are now able to see what God was preparing us for and is building in our life. My wife and I seen Gary at “the Roadshow” at JQH this month. We are going to be in prayer for you and your family. God be with and bless you all abundantly.

    • Billy,
      The scriptures that you listed are so encouraging. I’m reading through the Bible this year, and I had just highlighted all of the verses in the last 2 days that you suggested!!! Thanks for the note.
      Kim

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