Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. Luke 5:4-5
“Launch out into the deep…” I’m sure many a sermon has been preached on those five words in chapter five, and deservedly so. Those five words address a faith many are inspired by but few experience. Launching out so far that God is the only possible rescue and the only possible explanation for success. Reading from our desks or easy chairs gives us a false sense of detachment when we think about faith of this magnitude. The mere thought of that kind of blind obedience brings with it exhilaration, excitement, fear, anticipation, anxiety, doubt and of course rational thought. That’s why it is the kind of faith that only 300 men in Gideon’s 32,000 man army possessed.
“Nevertheless at thy word…” Simon Peter along with James and John had just cleaned their nets. Being up all night they surely had not sat in one place. They had moved back and forth across the water, looking for any sign of fish. They were tired and ready to go home. Maybe tomorrow would be better. (It certainly couldn’t get worse.) There was no earthly reason to go back out and drop those nets again.
But something caused Simon Peter to do it. Maybe it was the literal thought that it couldn’t get any worse. Maybe it was to demonstrate that he knew what he was talking about. Maybe it was just to appease this man and get him off the boat. Whatever the reason, I doubt it had much to do with strong, unwavering faith. That came later. Notice that Jesus told him to let down his nets; plural, and Simon agreed to let down the net; singular.
No, the faith and belief that sustained Simon the rest of his life began with obedience.
God is God. He will test our faith, reward our faith, and grow our faith to a degree we can’t imagine. Want He wants from us is not huge, undying faith – that will come. The Almighty God of the Universe, our Lord and Creator wanted one thing from the Israelites and He wants one thing from you and me – obedience. What minuscule amount of faith it takes to obey is sufficient.
Think of all the rational objections you can. Reason how what you feel led to do makes no sense and you don’t even believe half this stuff. Tell yourself how crazy this will look to everyone around you. And then remember the four words of obedience that changed Peter’s life and eternity – Nevertheless at thy word.