Picture the scene in Luke chapter 5.
Jesus is starting his ministry, while surveying the crowds, he sees a boat and asks its owner, Simon Peter if he can borrow it. Peter says, sure, Jesus gets in the boat, pushes out a little bit and sits down like a normal Jewish teacher would in that day and age. And he begins to teach the people from the shoreline.
Now think of something you’ve probably never considered before if you’re like most Christians; Proverbs 22:7 says the borrower is subject to the lender. You’ve probably heard that before and probably know that's true because you have a mortgage or a car note or something you borrowed from the bank and you realize I am subject to them because I borrowed from them.
But in this story, we see something different happening.
Did you Know That This Same Kingdom Principle Applies to God?
The idea of the borrower being subject to the lender is not just for you and me. God created the universe and the world and he operates and he upholds it by the word of his power. There's these principles and universal kingdom laws that hold everything together.
God is subject to them because he created them and they reveal something about his character. The Son of God is subject to the lender in this story. I know that might sound foreign to you, but it’s right here in the text: Christ walks up to Peter and asks him if he can borrow his boat and Peter lets him.
When Jesus is done preaching from the shoreline, he turns to Peter and says, “now I want you to row out into the deep, cast your net off the side, and you're going to have a great catch.”
Jesus is the Borrower, Peter is the Lender
Now Jesus is getting ready to repay. “You let me borrow your boat. I'm about to repay you. Go out into the deep, throw your net over, and you're going to have a great catch.”
What happens next is really important for us to understand because this is a picture of us; we rely on our logic and our analytical abilities as we look at situations. We're not always seeing with the eyes of the Spirit and we're not always seeing the way God wants us to see. And that's what Simon Peter is doing here.
He is a fisherman and knew that lake like the back of his hand. In fact, he just came back from fishing all night and didn't catch a thing but replies, “if you insist, I'll go out and I'll follow your commands.” He rightly allows his obedience to override his logic.
A lot of us will lose it right here.
We don’t obey because our logic takes over. Something doesn’t sound like what you think you should do, so you end up missing out on a blessing God wants to do in your life.
They get a catch so big it starts to break the net. Peter has to call his business partner over with a second boat. Both boats are so weighed down by this extravagant catch they start sinking. It's more than they need, more than they could think of or ask for.
If you've got a poverty mindset, scratch it right now because Jesus provides above and beyond.
When God blesses people, it's up to Him how he wants to bless them, how much he wants to give them. And there is no cap on the super abundance that God can pour out on any of his followers.
Peter and his partner are businessmen. These fish represent finances, they represent resources. They represent money. And Jesus gives them above and beyond more than they need it.
We Have a Hard Time Accepting and Receiving Gifts
I've talked about this on other episodes of the podcast that it's part of our DNA, the way we're wired. We're naturally givers and it goes against our nature to just receive. But as we come into the kingdom, we have to learn how to receive from our Father.
In this instance we have a picture of Jesus giving an extravagant gift to Peter, and Peter's first response is, “I am not worthy. I am a sinner”. We see shame kick in as he thinks about all the things he's done wrong. He's not celebrating or throwing a party at this big catch and financial windfall he got.
He takes the posture of humility, but he also has a little shame mixed in there. And he starts to reject God. He doesn’t know how to deal with this much blessing coming into his life right now.
“I'm not worthy to receive this.”
Do Not Fear
How does Jesus reply? He says fear not and he goes on to give Peter a new identity.
In that moment when Peter is acting out of shame, rejection, guilt, and condemnation, Jesus comes in and just wipes that away and says, do not fear. He breaks fear off his life.
Could you imagine the words of Jesus physically in front of you saying, “do not fear?”
That's the power of the words of Jesus when he speaks. He breaks off the fear.
He breaks off the shame. He breaks off the rejection.
And he does this when gives Peter a new identity. Up until this point, Peter was a sinner. Peter identified as just a blue collar working guy who throws the nets off the boat and then brings them in and sells his fish for an honest price. Just an ordinary guy calling himself a sinner.
Jesus breaks all that stuff off, and he gives him a new identity:
From now on, you will be a fisher of men.
Perhaps the most powerful verse in this entire story is verse 11, where it says after they pulled their boats ashore, they left everything and followed Jesus. I don't think Peter had a lot, but what he did have, he left behind and he followed Jesus.
Some questions to ponder
What do you have in your life right now that you can lend to God? He wants your life. He wants your time, your talent and your treasure.
Is there something you can give to him?
Is there something you've been holding back that he's asking for?
And the key is this: when you give it, he will repay you!
Peter's first response was humanistic and it was full of excuses. “It won't work. I've already done this. I just came in from work.”
Where are you making excuses in your life?
Where have you lost faith and saying, “you know, I just don't think God's going to do it that way. I lost faith for this; I no longer believe for that.”
Perhaps you don’t believe in the impossible anymore because you're relying on your logic and your human analytical skills. Again, Peter overrides his logic with obedience.
Where in your life can you lay down your logic?
Can you lay down your human reasoning and let obedience lead you to where the Lord is calling you?
Are you limiting God right now in your thinking and what you're believing for?
Have you become a person who just wants “enough”? Saying things like “I don't need that much, Jesus. If you would just meet this little need that I have where in reality your father owns the cattle on a thousand hills.”
That’s a Scarcity Mindset
We have a picture of a father that's good, that's wealthy and full of limitless resources. And what I think a lot of us do with this is we take the blessings and we make them all just spiritual.
“Oh, God's going to bless me, I'll be rich in patience; I'll be rich in love.”
Of course, he wants to do all those things in your life. We have the fruit of the Spirit. But in this instance, it's a physical manifestation blessing; for Peter it's fish, which equals money.
It's OK for you to receive a blessing from your father or for him to intervene supernaturally and give you the resources that you need.
Stop limiting God and start expecting your need to be met above and beyond. He wants to bless you extravagantly.
Material prosperity is not off the table. That's not why we follow Jesus. But trust me, he can meet every need that you have above and beyond!
Notice how Simon Peter rejects God in this passage; he says “I'm not worthy.” Shame takes over and he can't receive. He hasn't learned how to receive. He's never been taught to receive. And Jesus has to do some work with him right on the spot to get him to see himself differently. He does this through breaking off fear. He does this through giving him a new identity.
Allow me to encourage you to take the posture of someone who knows how to receive good gifts from their Father. You can have everything you need to have so you can be everything he calls you to be.
They left everything to follow him.
Maybe you're not being called or asked to leave everything as in all of your possessions, your business, your household income. Maybe it's not that extreme. But what are you holding on to that you haven't left behind to follow him? What's stopping you from following Jesus?
What's that one thing? Maybe there's a few things in your life that you need to give up and leave behind so you can go on and get into that promised land that God has for you.
I know if you address these questions, and really explore your heart and work through this, I believe you will get a breakthrough.
Upgrade Your Mindset to One of Abundance
Are you constantly fighting through the GAP between where you are called to be and where you find yourself today? Then it's time to upgrade your spiritual operating system and your environment.
That's why I've launched the Unfair Advantage email challenge.
Just click the link below and sign up, and commit to showing up. You'll get an email every day for 11 days straight. Some days there'll be a video that accompanies the email with a video training that I made specifically for you.
So when you're ready, click that button, get in the challenge and learn how to step into your unfair advantage.