When You Work Hard And Come Up Empty… Part 2

Jesus says in the book of Matthew “According to your faith it will be done unto you.” His disciples here in Luke 5 did four things.  They took four steps of faith.

We need to learn these steps of faith to make it through our difficult times, when we’re coming up empty in certain areas of our life.  Let’s look at them.

The first thing you need to do that Peter and Andrew and James and John did is:

  1. You need to give Jesus complete access to my life.

I give Jesus complete access to my life if I want to turn from emptiness to overflowing.  Notice it says in Luke chapter 5 verse 3 – “Jesus got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon and he asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.” Here’s the starting point.  Pretty simple.  You’ve got to get Jesus in your boat.  That’s the starting point.  If you want to move from emptiness to fullness you’ve got to get Jesus in your boat (life/living).

Notice: they worked all night and caught nothing in ten hours.  Now in ten minutes they’re catching more than they can handle.  What’s different here?  It’s the same lake.  It’s the same boat.  It’s the same nets.  It’s the same fishermen.  It’s the same partners.  It’s the same fish.

The only thing that’s different between nothing and fullness is Jesus is in the boat.  Do you think that makes a difference?  Oh, yeah!  Jesus is in the boat.

This is a game changer.  Now God is with them.  They’re not fishing by themselves anymore.  They’re not in their career by themselves anymore.  They’ve got Jesus in the job.  Their business has got the Master in control here.

Let’s apply this to the recession we’re going through now and your life.

First, what’s your boat?  Your boat is how you make a living.  That’s what it is.  It’s how you make a living.  It’s your means of support.  Simon’s business is his boat.  He’s a fisherman.  Simon’s business is his boat.  He gives his boat to Jesus.  He gives his job to Jesus.  The boat represents your life, your career, your profession, and your job.  It represents Simon Peter’s entire livelihood.  What’s your boat?  It’s how you make a life as well as how you make a living.

What does it mean to have Jesus in your boat?

It means you dedicate your life and career to God.  We’re not talking just about salvation here.  You may have Jesus in your life, but not have Jesus in your job or your home.  You’ve trusted him for salvation and you come on the weekends and you praise God.  But when you go back to work during the week you put Jesus on the shelf.  And Jesus is nowhere to be found in your job.  And he’s certainly not using it as a platform for ministry.  To give your boat to Jesus means you say, Jesus use my job as your platform.  I dedicate my career to you for your use.

When Peter did this, when he gave his job to Jesus for his use, he gets blessed too with incredible results.  But don’t miss the sequence.  Here’s what we say.  We normally think, God, make me a really great success in business and then I’ll serve you with the success.  Wrong!  It’s the exact opposite.  God, use my job or lack of it now and then the success can come.  It’s the exactly opposite.  First, Peter lets Jesus use his job for his platform.  Then Jesus blesses Peter’s job with enormous success.  That’s the order.  It’s not “Make me a success and then I’ll serve you.”  It’s the exact opposite.  “God, I’m failing in my job!  But I give it to you as a platform, and pray you can use and bless it.”

This is what Matthew 6:33 says “Seek ye first… [Not second, third, fourth or fifth.]  Seek first the kingdom of God [not success, not satisfaction, not a salary – seek first the kingdom of God] and then all these other things will be added unto you.” You’ve got to get the priorities right.  You’ve got to get Jesus in the boat.  When you do that then he takes care of your needs.

Whatever you want God to bless, you put him first in.  You want God to bless your time?  You give him the first part of every day.  You want God to bless your week?  You give him the first day of every week.  You want God to bless your money?  You give him the first ten percent of your money no matter how little it is.

So you get Jesus in your work.  So what you say is “Lord you use my business, my vocation, my career as your platform to spread the good news and then we’ll let God take care of everything else.”  So you say, “I’m really a missionary.”   What do you do?   I’m a missionary disguised as a realtor.  I’m a missionary disguised as a nanny.  I’m a missionary disguised as an accountant.  I’m a missionary disguised as a truck driver.  I’m a missionary disguised as a nurse or a CEO or a teacher or a housecleaner or whatever it is.  I’m first and foremost using my career as a platform for Jesus; this allows for his blessings to come.

Question: Have you committed your boat to Jesus?  Some of you are going through tough times right now and you’re trying to change everything else.  They didn’t need to change their nets.  They didn’t need to change their boat.  They didn’t need to change their business partners.  They didn’t need to change their location.  They didn’t need to change their marriage.  They just needed Jesus in charge of the boat.  That’s what was needed.

Some of you are trying to change everything else.  Some of you are saying, “Maybe I need to move to another city.”  Maybe you do, but not necessarily.  Maybe you just need to get Jesus in charge of your boat.  That would be a good first step wouldn’t you say?



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About Ron

Better known as Son of a Preacher, Ron started the first Christian Fellowship Church in Harlingen, Texas in 1982 and presently serves as a counselor, consultant and apostolic overseer to multiple churches and ministries.