It’s getting exciting here…
First let’s take our reading from the book of Luke.
One day Jesus was standing by the Sea of Galilee. The people crowded around him as they listened to God’s word. Jesus saw two boats on the shore. The fishermen had stepped out of them and were washing their nets. So Jesus got into the boat that belonged to Simon and asked him to push off a little from the shore.
Then Jesus sat down and taught the crowd from the boat. When he finished speaking, he told Simon, “Take the boat into deep water, and lower your nets to catch some fish.” Simon answered, “Teacher, we worked hard all night and caught nothing. But if you say so, I’ll lower the nets.”
After the men had done this, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to tear. So they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. Their partners came and filled both boats until the boats nearly sank. When Simon Peter saw this, he knelt in front of Jesus and said, “Leave me, Lord! I’m a sinful person!”
Simon and everyone who was with him was amazed to see the large number of fish they had caught. James and John, who were Zebedee’s sons and Simon’s partners, were also amazed. Jesus told Simon, “Don’t be afraid. From now on you will catch people instead of fish.”
Simon and his partners brought the boats to shore, left everything, and followed Jesus.
– Luke 5:1-11 (God’s Word Translation)
Entire books have been written on these verses of scripture. The story itself is familiar.
However we’re going to take a different track today so we can see 3 not-so-obvious things hiding in plain sight here.
Not-So-Obvious Thing #1:
The boats were empty. The fishermen had left the boats. The Lord was able to enter one of them and convert it to an emergency pulpit because it was empty.
If the fishermen were still inside, and if they had caught a lot of fishes, there wouldn’t have been enough room for the Lord Jesus in that boat. Please keep this at the back of your mind.
Not-So-Obvious Thing #2:
The Lord needed Peter to do 2 things. Both involved movement. In some discourses the first movement is almost always overlooked but it holds the key to what followed.
First he had to push the boat a little bit away from the shore. Later he had to take the boat into deep water (where the fishes were waiting in hiding). If Peter had ignored the first instruction, he probably would not have received the next.
And this event would not have found its way into scripture. Please bear that in mind also.
Not-So-Obvious Thing #3:
When the final instruction came for Peter to launch out into deep water and lower his net for the catch, he couldn’t help but wonder out loud. This ran counter to all he knew as an experienced and expert fisherman steeped in the worldly wisdom of his day.
Admirably, he was able to push his worldly expertise (which had brought him nothing so far) aside in order to follow the voice of the Master.
The rest, as they say, is history.
- The boats were empty so the Lord could enter into one of them and use it.
- Two instructions issued; two instructions followed (in spite of one not making sense)
- Then comes the reward – supernatural filling of the boats almost to the sinking point.
Here’s where we’re going –
To participate in the anointing just released for 2016, you first have to be emptied of 2 things:
– Be emptied of the worldly wisdom you have used to operate your life so far.
Anytime we think we know how to do things on our own without the Lord’s help,
the sinful nature takes over and it inevitably results in disaster.
At some point even Apostle Paul had to cry out like this:
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind.
This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is:
In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. – Romans 7:21-25 (NLT)
– Be emptied of the hidden sins in our lives
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
– Gal. 5: 16-21 (NLT)
Sometimes I receive thousands of emails weekly. As I write this, my main inbox is overflowing with 299,483 unopened emails. This number is growing by the day. In the past year I opened and read about 200 emails a day.
What I have discovered is that most believers are missing the mark badly in this important area.
Sure they have invited Jesus into their lives but they give Him no room at all to operate. Instead they are still firmly in the driver’s seat of their lives, only occasionally giving ground reluctantly to the Spirit of God when they hit a brick wall.
You see, the Lord had to take complete charge of the boat first, use it for His supreme purpose BEFORE releasing untold abundance.
Let’s take a close look… through the eyes of the boat.
As far as the boat is concerned,
– It was first emptied
– To make room for the Lord
– Then it was separated from the crowd
– Used as an emergency pulpit
– Afterwards taken into deep water
– Filled with unprecedented catch of fishes
This is the HIDDEN PATH.
You and I are like boats or vessels the LORD wants to take full charge of … for His supreme purpose.
He should be in control.
However we will not be able to hand over control to Him without training ourselves to engage in purposeful fasting and prayer, coupled with a steady diet of the Word of God.
It is easier to sing: “I surrender all … unto Jesus precious saviour…”
But in reality?
Most of us have surrendered less than 1 percent to Him.
And therein lies the problem.
Without emptying ourselves through fasting-prayers coupled with a relentless study of the Word of God…
… the filling, abundance and anointing part will not happen.
It does not matter how many prophecies you receive from anointed ministers of God.
Nothing much will happen.
(If anything happens at all, it will not last).
The disciples of old understood this very well, beginning from this unusual event that took place at the point they were called into ministry.
They never forgot it.
It was a path they followed diligently all through their astonishing ministry in the first century.
They emptied themselves, thrashed their worldly wisdom, and followed the voice of the Master slavishly.
When they were told to wait for the Holy Ghost, they all waited (translation: they continued in fasting and prayer).
After Pentecost, they launched out, taking the gospel everywhere.
The Holy Ghost was firmly in the driver’s seat… they were merely the (visible) human vessels being used … just like the boat at the sea shore that we read about.
Let’s be clear:
The way we run our lives can become so deeply ingrained in us that it would take a major spiritual surgery to change our ways. Tradition is partly responsible for this. Thankfully the Spirit of the Lord is here to help us.
Without this emptying process in our lives, lasting breakthroughs will be difficult to achieve.
The hosts of darkness know this.
They know our areas of weakness. That’s where they would usually launch their attacks from. But once we “empty” ourselves as explained above, we would essentially destroy their points of entry into our lives.
That means most of the attacks you are seeing today will simply disappear.
The HIDDEN PATH is now coming into sharper focus.
It is to …
– Be emptied
– Surrender the vessel of your life for the Master’s use (wholly)
– Hand over control to Him
– Be alert to His instructions (whether small or big)
– Receive the infilling, anointing plus the abundance that comes with it