Do you realize that everywhere you go is your mission field? Joshua 1:3 says, "Every place which your feet tread, I have given to you just as I spoke to Moses." That means that anywhere we go, every person we come in contact with or situation we encounter, we are meant to prosper as long as we are being obedient to God.
Luke 5 tells the story of Jesus preaching to a large crowd by the Sea of Galilee. The crowd had grown to the point it was hard for them to hear Christ. Jesus looks around and on the shore he spots two boats, one belonging to Simon Peter. Jesus asks Simon if he could use his boat, a little off from shore, as a stage so that the crowd could hear and see him better.
Now, Simon was a fisherman by trade; that was how he earned a living. What Jesus was really asking of Simon was to allow him to use his job, his place of business, as a platform to reach people. God will use your talents, hobbies, passions or whatever he has blessed you with as a platform to minister to people if you allow him.
Simon had just returned from an unsuccessful night of fishing and was washing his nets and putting them away in preparation to go home for the day. He agreed to Jesus' request and allowed him to use his vessel. After Christ had finished preaching, he returned to Simon and told him to launch back out into the deep and put down his nets again. I don't know about you, but when I have put in a full day's work, I am tired and ready to go home. The last thing I want to hear is the boss tell me he has another project for me.
Simon had a similar response. "Master, we have worked hard all day and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." What Simon had not yet realized is that his willingness to allow Christ to use his boat to minister had opened an opportunity for God to bless him. Remember Simon's profession was fishing and he had just come to shore having caught nothing. That means he didn't earn any money that day.
I have to wonder what was going through Simon's mind as he was washing those empty fishing nets. "The bills are due and I didn't earn any money today. Payroll needs met and I didn't earn any money today. It's back-to-school season and the kids need clothes and I didn't earn any money today." He must have been feeling very frustrated. He didn't yet know that his willingness to sow into Christ opened the door for God to bless his business, but it required an action.
What empty nets have you washed and put away? What hope or dream have you dared not to revisit because the first time you tried you came up empty? Maybe it's a relationship or a wayward loved one, a job, or continuing your education. You have worked and worked at at it and you just keep coming up short, but God has told you to try again. Just like Simon, you are left with the choice either to obey what God is telling you to do or you to say. "No Lord, I'm tired."
Nothing about Simon's situation on the surface seemed to have changed. From his point of view, it was the same ship, the same nets, the same water. Why would he believe that this try would render a different outcome? Simon's blessing lay underneath the water's surface, in the deep, where he could not see.
This is a walk-by-faith-not-by-sight moment. He trusted Jesus enough to do what he asked of him even when it didn't make sense. Simon's willingness opened the door for the blessing, but it was his obedience that brought it into manifestation.
Maria Reynolds, a Wayne County resident, is founder of Curator Ministries and an ordained minister with Expression Church in Huntington.