Week 3, Friday
Friday - Deeper Water
Yesterday we talked about God taking us by the waters that restore our souls, today I want to share a time when Jesus challenged his disciples to go out into deeper waters. I have probably heard or read this Bible passage dozens of times. However, it wasn't until last week that someone pointed out this unusual command. In Galilee, fishermen used to catch fish in the shallow waters during the night. But in the passage that follows, Jesus tells Simon to do the exact opposite.
Luke 5: 1-6 (NRSV)
Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.
He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to push out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Push out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
Simon answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break.
In this story, Jesus wants to do something beyond Simon's wildest imagination - but first Simon has to follow a command. Jesus tells him to go out into the deep water before letting down his nets again.
Our discipleship journey is one of "going deeper" - where do want to grow in your faith walk right now?
What do you think God is asking you to do in order to grow in this season? If you haven't heard anything specific, take time right now to ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you.
In our own lives, shallow waters are safe places that don't require life vests and floaties. Deeper waters are mysterious and scary. It takes work and effort to stay afloat. But the deep end of the pool is where the fun happens! And the deep parts of the ocean are where the most beautiful things are found.
It is incredibly easy to spend our whole lives in the spiritual shallow end - never needing to trust God to stay afloat. But God is calling you deeper, to a place where you have to rely on him. Take time this morning to confess to God the reasons you might be afraid to go deeper in your faith. Then ask God for the courage and direction.
Give me a deeper trust,
that I may lose myself to find myself in Thee,
the ground of my rest, the spring of my being.
Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself as saviour,
master, lord, and king.
Give me deeper power in private prayer,
more sweetness in Thy Word,
more steadfast grip on its truth.
Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action,
and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee.
Where have you seen God move in your life this week? Take a moment and name this, then give thanks.
What are you being purified of in this season? Take a moment to confess and ask God to continue his work in you.
After you’ve reflected on where you’ve been this week, invite God to go with you into the week ahead.
When I head for deep water in the natural world, I have to pack my Dramamine or I will get sea sick. I still go because I really enjoy it. As I head out into deep water spiritually, I ask God to deepen my Trust. I know that every major decision involves prayer and a journey into deeper water . Getting married, having a child, the call to come to Cohoes were all journeys into deeper water. In more recent years, the decision to pass the spiritual mantle of leadership of the Church to Kaitlyn was a major journey into deeper water. In Scripture, I see no place where God leads a person to “retire”. Once called, the call continues until you are called home. So, when I passed the mantle to Kaitlyn, I had to discern the direction of my ongoing call-deep waters indeed! It has been a very exciting journey so far. While my support role at the Church continues to excite and challenge me, I am doing more with my grandchildren and ‘ near grandchildren ‘ including praying for them. Roberta and I love to travel. I hope to do more traveling post pandemic. Perhaps some of the traveling will include ministry. I had hoped to go to a small church in Alaska last year. I will listen to the Savior’s call into deeper waters. He had never failed me. I am so thankful that God has given me Roberta to walk beside me. She is such a blessing. We are together in ministry in a much different way than Terrie and I were, but there is no doubt that we minister together. She is an amazing grandmother . Thank you God for my wonderful wife.
Love these devotionals so much! I love what Pastor Nick shared too. For me, I keep seeing myself on monkey bars; trying to let go and reach ahead. I know fear holds me back on many things. Fear of the uncomfortable, unknown, new, possible rejection. I know God has called me deeper with a unique and divine purpose; but He is gentle with me. When He opens doors and says, “I know you can do this...”, that is what gives me the confidence to say Yes Lord I can and will. Today’s devo reminds me of the song oceans- “take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith would be made stronger in the presence of my savior.” Praying for all to have an ‘immersing -of- faith’ kind of day, in Jesus’s name.
Every day this week I have been pulled in my heart to listen to Oceans by Hillsong, I’ve been praying just to be able to hear whatever God is saying to be and to have courageous to go wherever he is pulling me. This week I have felt small pushes in directions I normally wouldn’t go whether it’s reaching out for a meeting or attending weekday services I don’t normally make time to attend, small things but have meant great things in my heart, where I have felt called and found comfort and feel closer to God and where I’m supposed to be. I’m going to continue to play my morning anthem and pray, Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
I have never been a good swimmer. When we were on our honeymoon I tried deep-sea diving with my husband. We started out in the pool Learning how to trust the equipment to allow us to breathe under the water. I could not even get my head under the water in the pool, let alone in the deeps of the ocean. Then about two years ago we went on a cruise to the southern Caribbean and I arranged for us to ride four wheelers under the ocean. The water was not deep, but I still couldn’t get my head under the water. I felt like a failure as I tried to swim back to the boat. My husband Jeff chose to come with me and not experience the ride. In both of these experiences my fear deprive me of the beauties of the ocean. When I read this passage, my thought was that the disciples were fishermen, and knew what they should and should not do. I can imagine them saying to themselves “but he is just a carpenter, he does not know that the procedures are different in the water. But, Jesus was God and proved even these experienced fishermen wrong. Lord, even though we are not going down into water at this time, I do want to go deeper and to trust you to show me the beauties of doing so. When Jeff went deep-sea diving he brought back pictures of the beautiful Fish and coral he had seen. Lord, I want to trust you to see the beauty that you have for me. Lord I believe, help my unbelief.
All this week, the song "Oceans" that a couple of you have already mentioned was in my mind as we thought about water. But when I read this morning's text, it was this song that immediately came to mind-- "Deeper" by Delirious?
And it gives me so much joy to think about the depths of love God calls me to!! Instead of the fear and trembling of walking on choppy water clinging desperately to God's hand, which I absolutely was feeling at the start of the week and even moreso at the start of Lent, the way he's drawing me in as this week ends is more like the joyful experience of snorkeling, seeing so much natural beauty in his creation among the coral reefs in the clear waters of the Caribbean. He is sparking my imagination as I've been praying for in this new year, and it is coming out in my teaching, my home life, and my relationships with friends. But the first and most important thing is "living just to fall more in love with (him)."
Lord I want to go deeper in Your word. To have knowledge and understanding. To know You more. I want to go so deep that I give up myself and become more like You. To go deeper in praise and prayer. To lose myself in You...my Lord and Savior.❤
This week has me thinking about the disciples as they are finding themselves more confused about what Jesus is asking them to do as we are in the yearlong New Testament study. Of course, looking back on it, we know the Glory that lies ahead of them, but they do not. It has caused me to look back on my recent trials and tribulations only to help me realize that following Jesus will help me to take the next step, and the next one after that. Honestly, it is each of you here, in new my virtual congregation, giving me the courage to take the next steps in faith. Hearing your stories of stepping out in faith tells me that Jesus is with each of us but in community we find a deeper strength and a more buoyant hope. I think I'm being purified of my own self doubt. Looking back, now, at each of my trials and tribulations over the past few years, while also looking back on those of the disciples and the women journeying with Jesus, is restoring my confidence, and FAITH, that God will use each of them to strengthen me and give me wisdom and courage to realize my wildest dreams in my wildest imagination using my proven talents.
To move forward, I need to humbly ask God to help me to prepare my heart and spirit to be watchful for his blessings to guide my next steps. And to be thankful for the disciples he has assembled around me on this journey.