“Simon Peter said, ‘I’m going fishing.’ ‘We’ll come, too’ they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.” John 21:3 (NLT)
I’m a guy that has to wear glasses so I can see with clarity. I do pretty good with things that are far away, but that stuff that is right under my nose? Well let’s just say it’s a blur to me. Like when I put my foot in my mouth. If I only could see that coming, I’d shut up a lot more frequently. I think that may have been Simon Peter’s problem as well. When things were or seemed to be in a far-off-in-the-distance situation to deal with, Peter was right on board with it. During the Last Supper, Jesus would tell Peter that Satan wanted to sift him like wheat and his response was “Lord, with you I am ready to go to both to prison and to death”, then he should have said, “Just not right away Jesus.”
We’ve been going through Pastor Tony Evans’ Bible study titled “It’s Not Too Late” at church. It’s been pretty slam dunk thus far. The last part we got into dealt with “Peter-The Apostate Who God Used.” We were taken back to a scene that is all too familiar, Peter’s denial of Jesus. “You are one of this man’s disciples, aren’t you?” Answering the question Peter say’s “I am not”, then he found a place among the circle of people that had gathered around a charcoal fire to keep himself warm. “You, too, are one of His disciples, aren’t you?” “NO!! I am not.” “Dude, who you foolin’? Your Galilean accent gives you away, you have to be one of His followers.” “I told you #@% #@ % #@%#%@# I DON’T KNOW THE MAN!!!” Alrighty Then…
Another scene we visited has one of Peter’s infamous sayings happening when all the may-lay has past. Three plus years of ministry seem to have come to an end and a good portion of the disciples find themselves along the shore of the Sea of Tiberias. “I’m going fishing”, says Peter and the others follow straight away. After a night of catching NUTTIN’, Jesus is on the shore encouraging them to cast that net one more time. “It’s the Lord” and Peter dives into the water to find himself arriving to a fish breakfast cooking on a charcoal fire. “Uh-oh” thinks Peter, “I’ve been around this fire before.” Jesus asks Peter two times “Do you love me unconditionally?” and all the response Peter can muster up is, “Yeah, like a brother.”
It’s that third time where Jesus asks, “Do you love me like a brother?” and Peter replies, “Lord, You know everything! You know that I love You.” Now in each of those three questions asked of Peter, Jesus would give Peter a hint that he needed to go back to ministry, lead and nurture those people who would come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Fishing might have been a good way for Peter to go to after what he thought was a failure, or as Pastor Evans put it, “an implosion” that Peter had went through, but God had other plans for Peter and Jesus was gonna set him back on the path. Jesus met Peter at both his moment of implosion and level of understanding and give him one simple instruction, “Follow Me” and if you know your Bible, Peter does get to the next level.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who can say “I blew it” when it comes to ministry opportunities and thought there was no way to start over. I recently had an “implosion” and the mess left behind made me feel there was no way things could ever get cleaned up enough for me to be able to carry on. I might as well just be a Colony grad and that’s all. I also could hear the accusation, “See. You were never good enough to be used by Him.” I almost let that lie sink in as I spent Sunday mornings on my boat…fishing.
But God showed me He wasn’t done with me. A few “tent meetings” deep inland with my in-laws were enough to encourage me that He wanted me back and He began to show me where it was that I tripped up. Guess I’ll be seeing what He has in store for me now that my “fishin’ season” is over. How about you? Do you think it’s so bad that all you’ll ever be ruined? Friend, don’t fall for that nonsense. God uses messed up, jacked up people to get His work done. The Bible is full of our kind. The best thing you can do is to look for Jesus in it all and if ya gotta use glasses to see out then put them. Peter got out of the boat twice. The first time he didn’t fare too well, Jesus had to save him but that second time, Jesus restored him. If it can happen to Peter, it can happen to you. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: “When you have been taken through the accusations of Satan and beaten down, God has a way of resurrecting you and using you for His glory” — Tony Evans
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; The upright shall dwell in Your presence. Psalm 140:13