Before the incarnation, God’s people knew Yahweh through specific men and women; prophets and anointed leaders (Hebrews 1:1). They would communicate what God was saying and convey what he was like. However, this was not enough for God and he decreed “they will all know me” (Jeremiah 31:34), referring to all humankind.
In Jesus, God came so close to humanity so that they could know him as personally as you can get. Due to Jesus’s death and resurrection any division between God and man was removed. Now everyone has the invitation of knowing God intimately and an opportunity to a new identity in Christ because of the resurrection.This allows every Christian to confidently approach the throne of grace, to speak and to listen to God. In this new existence we know his presence and his voice (John 10:4, 16, 27). Within this divine communication anything is possible. If Yahweh’s people can hear his voice and follow his lead, they can witness and participate in the unfolding of God’s unpreventable and ordained plans.
Words for the Week
‘I’m going out to fish,’ Simon Peter told them, and they said, ‘We’ll go with you.’ So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus. He called out to them, ‘Friends, haven’t you any fish?’ ‘No,’ they answered. He said, ‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.’ When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, ‘It is the Lord,’ he wrapped his outer garment round him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred metres.
“We must allow the Word of God to confront us, to disturb our security, to undermine our complacency and to overthrow our patterns of thought and behaviour.”
John R.W. Stott
The Lord never wastes his words. However, He saw it fit in the passage above to give advice on something so trivial. It is possible that it was to remind Peter of how they first met (Luke 5:8) or to reveal who it was that was speaking to them. Maybe Jesus even cared about the disciples having a fruitful mornings work. Whatever the reason, the advice Jesus spoke was powerful.
The disciples had worked all night and laboured to catch fish with nothing to show for it. Jesus shows up and gives one piece of advice, “throw your net on the right side” and it overshadows a whole night’s worth of work. That’s Kingdom economy at its best.
On a deeper level though, I believe this is a prophetic picture of resurrection life for a believer. It seems that humanity’s old Adamic nature could be represented by the working through the night trying to yield a catch. Potentially comparable to the painful toil in the original curse (Genesis 3:17-19). Then Jesus speaks. As Psalm 29 conveys, when the Lord speaks it changes everything. His words in this instance bring a prophetic expression of what our efforts on earth can be like. With the co-operation and co-labouring of the disciples, they had more provision than they knew what to do with or even could handle. A fruitfulness transpires in resurrection life that far outweighed human striving.
“Bread is a second cause; the LORD Himself is the first source of our sustenance. He can work without the second cause as well as with it; and we must not tie Him down to one mode of operation. Let us not be too eager after the visible, but let us look to the invisible God.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Recently, I have been trying to focus on what God is saying each day because I want to see Kingdom economy in my own life. I am convinced God’s voice is where the Kingdom manifests most powerfully and not just in finances. Experiencing God’s voice and witnessing his activity is an absolute priority to me. Of late, this has been in the expressed in my work life.
Currently, my job consists of a few different aspects. All of which produce amounts of income to live off of. About a two months ago I stopped one of these streams of income. Due to a sense that God was leading me away from it and a prophetic word a lady gave me, it emboldened me to take a step away. This decision was potentially risky since it put mine and my wife’s finances under threat. I had to be obedient though because I want what God wants.
The replacement job wasn’t making quite as much money as the one I left, putting under question the wisdom of the recent decision. However, to date our income hasn’t seemed to drop overall. Additionally, there have been more random occurrences that have resulted in provision than I have seen in my life. This month I counted that there have been seven things that have happened to provide money coming into our lives. These seven occurrences were extra to the normal job earnings I would have expected in the month. Although none of these have been supernatural and they have ranged from a few pounds to quite substantial sums (at least in my world), these occasions are very real. Moreover, it has demonstrated the myriad of ways in which God could and has provided. Despite my thankfulness for every penny, I think there’s still more to witness. There’s still the power to observe manifestations of supernatural provision, maybe even in the mouth of a fish (Matthew 17:27).
The Bible seems to convey that miraculous provision and other powerful expressions of the Kingdom will happen more when his people set their face toward God. If they follow Jesus and His words it will produce nourishment and life in all its fullness (Matthew 4:4; John 6:63). Our assignment to follow Jesus is emphasised at the end of John 21. Jesus tells Peter to “follow him” (John 21:19) despite this request also being presented at the beginning of Peter’s discipleship journey (Matthew 4:19). Jesus reiterates to Peter the need to follow him. Not to worry about what others are doing (John 21:22) or to lead his own idea of an assignment but to follow Jesus’ leadership.
Personally, I think Jesus does this with us. He reiterates regularly the need to follow him and listen to his voice. He wants us to recognise what he is teaching us, what we should do and what he’s forming in us. Afterall, Jesus knows everyone personally, he knows every calling and purpose. When we hear the presently spoken voice of God it feeds our inmost being as we do not feed on bread alone. When we feed on what God is saying and are obedient, non-believers witness a growth and nourishment that advertises the work and glory of God. It will surely have only one effect, to attract people to the person of Jesus.
“You have to be near Him to hear Him.”
Own it personally…
Ask and listen to what God is saying about these different areas of life. Be obedient to anything you think he’s saying.
- Relationships – friends and family
Speak it Out – Pray and Prophesy
Read Mark 4:1-20 and meditate on God’s method of increase. His word is sown and a crop can be produced that’s 30, 60 and 100 times what was sown.
Commit to prayer all the areas of life listed above. Ask God’s words, power and favour to be manifested and recognised in amongst these areas.