[Simon Peter] fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken… Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” Luke 5:1-11
As Jesus calls his disciples to follow him, we see their fear. Jesus has been teaching the crowds, and uses Simon Peter’s boat to give him some space from the many people. Then he tells Peter to let down his net; Peter protests but obeys, and hauls in such a large number of fish that his nets start to break. Immediately Peter is shot through with fear, realizing the depth of his sinfulness.
When we come into God’s presence, his Holy Spirit burns as a refining fire, revealing to us where we have let God, others, or ourselves down. As with Peter witnessing the acts of Jesus, we who have his presence dwelling within us can ask him anytime to reveal what sins we might need to confess. Having received his forgiveness, we can follow him in joy.
Like Peter, we might respond to God’s prompting in our lives with skepticism. “Lord,” we might say, “I do so love my friend, and try to share your love with her, but the time never seems right.” But one day you sense the Lord’s prodding to send her a text. So you do, and she rings back, recounting a crisis through a veil of tears. Timidly you ask if you can pray for her, and she says yes. Afterwards you say to God, “Wow, Lord. I really don’t know what’s going on in the lives of my friends like you do. Thank you that you care even more than I. Let me not stop praying for them.”
How might the Lord be asking you to set down your nets?
Prayer: Father God, so often my faith seems weak and I am quick to discount your working in my life. Enlarge my vision and strengthen my faith.