Saturday, 18 July 2015

NOT BY LABOUR BUT FAVOUR

TEXT: LUKE 5: 1-7
“So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. 4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.”
One day of God's favour supersedes many years of labour. No man can make it without the help and favour of the Lord Almighty. The scripture says Paul plants Apollo waters but it is God that gives the increase (1Cor 3:6). You may work and labour hard and have nothing to show for it. Your intellectual skills, your human effort and knowledge can take you nowhere without the favour of God!
Labouring with human knowledge and effort can be frustrating if the favour of God is absent. This is why many people toil around the shore of life engaging in different unproductive businesses, careers, and projects. Once one project is not productive as they planned, they switched to another one and another and continue in that pattern of failure until they get frustrated, weak, weary and depressed.
From our text, we can see the result of frustration in the statement of Simon to Jesus "But Simon answered and said to him” master, we have TOILED ALL NIGHT AND CAUGHT NOTHING... " (v5). Simon was a skilled fisherman; he had been in the business of fishing years before that very day of toiling without anything to show for it. In utmost disappointment he gave up and was washing his net to go back home empty handed.
However, the favour of God located him when Jesus chose to go into his (Simon) boat. Jesus turned Simon's disappointment into a net breaking miracle- FAVOUR!
When the favour of God located Simon who was preparing to go back home defeated, he was able to catch net breaking fish that he could not carry alone, but beckoned to the people around to come and help him. Favour moved Simon from level of failure to supernatural success without struggling and toiling for it.
The lesson of this story is that your human effort, skills and expertise may not generate the "net breaking success" you are expecting. It is the favour of God that can cause you to be successful without much labour or toiling.
Jesus said to Simon “launch out into the deep and let down your net FOR A CATCH." (v4). Simon was directed towards where his success lies without having to do trial and error with his net. Another lesson from this story is that ONLY GOD CAN DIRECT YOU TOWARDS YOUR SUCCESS AND ACHIEVEMENT. Hence, you need to be a beneficiary of God's favour for Him to help you. Do you realise that Simon was not the only fisherman around on that day of his divine favour and change in destiny? Yes, there were other fishermen around when Jesus chose to favour Simon. Therefore, you need to ask for the anointing of favour that erases the yoke of unproductive labour. For someone to be a partaker of God's favour, he or she must be obedient. Simon did not argue with Jesus that he was a skilled fisherman. He did not damn Jesus by saying “what do you know about fishing?" Instead he decided to obey in humility he said “nevertheless at your word I will let down the net." (v5b).
If you want to make headway in life, you need to be obedient to the leading and direction of your maker. God is our maker; therefore he has the instructions of our lives in His hand. To be successful we must adhere to these instructions.
I pray that the favour of God will locate us and terminate every yoke of hard and unfruitful labour in our lives in Jesus name. Amen.
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