“Master,” Simon answered, “we have worked hard all night long and have not caught a thing. But if you tell me to, I will let the nets down.” Luke 5:5 (CEV)

He was an expert in his field. He knew the lake, he knew the seasons, he knew the patterns of the fish and the moon. He was a fisherman. Some of us fish for hobby and some are successful at it. Peter was a professional fisherman. His very livelihood depended on his ability to catch fish.

Because so much depended on his ability to catch fish, having an entire night without a single catch must have been very demoralizing for Peter and his crew. They had bills to pay. They had a family to feed. They had a reputation to uphold. A night without fish for Peter was like a business owner without a single customer entering the business on a given day.

I’ve never fished with nets before but I can imagine that cleaning them was no fun. Cleaning nets after a whole night of catching nothing must have been even more unpleasant. All that work for nothing! It’s no wonder that Peter was a bit hesitant to drop those nets back into the water. It wasn’t the right time or place for a catch. They’d just spent all night fishing and caught nothing. They were tired, perhaps hungry and that male ‘conquering spirit’ had been wounded by the lack of success.

On top of all that, Jesus was a carpenter by trade. What do carpenters know about fishing? Most people in Peter’s position would probably be thinking, “I wouldn’t waltz into his carpenter shop and tell him how to adjust that table or form that yoke for the Oxen. Who does he think he is?”

Peter didn’t do that though. He followed the request of this carpenter turned teacher turned fishing expert. He went against all he knew professionally to follow Jesus’ command. The result amazed him and his crew. So many fish were caught that day that there was concern that the fish would break the nets. And, as mentioned earlier, fish meant cash!

When you follow Jesus you have to be willing to step outside of common knowledge and your comfort zone. Jesus works best through us when we work outside the box. Everything he asked Peter to do was against common knowledge, but Peter was blessed mightily for his faith.

What steps might Jesus be asking you to do in your home, workplace or church? Are you basing your actions on human understanding or divine leadership? The outcome depends on your decision. Act outside the box and see what Jesus can do for you.

PRAYER: Lord, so much of my thought processes revolve around what I know and not what you can do through me. Give me the courage to think outside the box so you can do amazing things through me. Amen.

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