TRUTH IS TO BE EXPERIENCED
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
When Christ teaches you something about Himself, He incorporates it into your life through experience. As the crowds gathered around, Jesus chose to board Peter’s boat and teach the people from there. All day long Peter sat in the boat listening to Jesus teach the multitudes. At the close of His discourse, Jesus allowed Peter to experience the reality of what He had just been teaching the crowd. The crowd had heard the truth, but Peter was to experience it.
Jesus put His teaching into language a fisherman could understand. He told Peter to put out his nets into deep water. Peter hesitated: “Master, we have worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything” (Luke 5:5). He was tired. He probably wasn’t expecting a dramatic encounter with God at a time like that. Yet as Peter obeyed Jesus, he pulled in such a miraculous catch of fish that his boat almost sank. Filled with amazement, Peter recognized that he had just experienced the power of God (see v. 8). He learned that with a command from Jesus, he could do anything. In this way Jesus reordered Peter’s priorities from catching fish to catching men (see v. 10). Peter’s obedience led to a dramatic new insight into the person of Jesus. This experience was an invitation for Peter to walk with Jesus in an even more intimate and powerful way.
Walking with Jesus is essential. Nowhere does the Bible teach that God gives you a life plan and then abandons you to work it out. Rather, the pattern and emphasis in Scripture is a daily walk with Him in which He gives new assignments and then works through you to accomplish them.
That’s what a spiritual gift is: a supernatural empowering to accomplish the assignment God gives you. Fishing was a natural skill Peter had developed. Fishing for men was a spiritual gift Jesus gave to him. Jesus was teaching Peter about God’s activity and was equipping him to join the work.
So while the Lord teaches in language you can understand, don’t focus on your talents, abilities, and interests to determine God’s will. Instead, seek God’s will and watch Him equip you for whatever assignment He gives. Pay attention to what He’s teaching you through experience. He’s showing you that you can join Him in His work.
God doesn’t want you to merely gain intellectual knowledge of truth. He wants you to experience His truth. There are things about Jesus you’ll learn only as you obey Him. Your obedience will then lead to greater revelation and opportunities for service.
What important truth about God or living in relationship with Him could you articulate by using a metaphor or an example from a favorite hobby or a common activity in your daily life?
When have you thought you understood something until you tried to do it? Similarly, when have you better understood God after experiencing something, even through mistakes or hard lessons?
What has Jesus been teaching you through experience lately? If the answer isn’t immediately obvious, consider great joys or frustrations and what those reveal about Jesus, yourself, and your relationship with God.
What was the most meaningful statement or Scripture you read today?
Reword the statement or Scripture into a prayer of response to God.
What does God want you to do in response to today’s study? [Henry T. Blackaby, Richard Blackaby (2014). Seven Realities for Experiencing God – Member Book. LifeWay Press. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]