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Enjoying Jesus When Plans don’t work out. Often our plans don’t work out. If we could move into Jesus’ plan, we would find so much more to enjoy. 

Life Is Filled With Disappointments. I have yet to win the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes. I even played one time, many years ago. I figured it would be the same miracle of winning as it would be winning without playing.

What about you? What was a disappointment in 2020??? 

Luke 5:4-7 (NLT) When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” 5 “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if You say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” 6 And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! 7 A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. 

We Need To Accept the Authority of Jesus 

Everything Is Fine, As Long As. Jesus stays where we expect. When Jesus gets TOO close to home. We struggle. We forget that we have a strong desire to BE our own God. When Jesus steps into His rightful place as LORD and more troubling As OUR Lord, We want to say…

Jesus, You Do The Preaching. I’ll Do The Fishing. I got this. In Peter’s case. I’ll just try again tomorrow. We’ll call today a wrap and tomorrow will be better. I do this every day. I try to catch the fish, I clean the fish, I clean and fix the nets, I set it up for tomorrow then I go and sell the fish. Some days, the fish just aren’t biting. That’s real Jesus.

But Jesus, tells you how to do your thing. 

Deuteronomy 23:14 (NLT)  The camp must be holy, for the LORD your God moves around in your camp to protect you and to defeat your enemies. He must not see any shameful thing among you, or He will turn away from you.

You Can WALK With God, He CAN’T Walk With You. Try not to panic. God is a Holy God. He loves you. He will save you. He will come to get you. But, The whole point of saving someone implies removing them from that which poses them danger. Right? Because of God’s holiness, He will not- even cannot – walk in sin with you. He can save you from it, but He won’t walk with you in it.

You have to learn to walk with Him. All of us do. All of us are prone to stray. All of us are wandering this very day. Any moment we are not pursuing Jesus, we are drifting from our Father. He saves, but He doesn’t tolerate. He forgives, but He does not dismiss. He restores, but He is not permissive. He hates SIN. He LOVES YOU.

Jesus has authority over your business. You are His Business. So…

We Need To Admit Our Failure

A Bad Day Fishing. Peter was a fisherman who couldn’t catch Fish. Crazy. Surely he had made a living up to this point, but somehow when Jesus entered his life he could no longer catch fish. He probably loved fishing. He may have even felt born to fish. But, Peter had a larger purpose than simply catching fish for his own livelihood or enjoyment.

What if Jesus had more for you than your livelihood or personal enjoyment?

Luke 5:8 (NLT) When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” 

When Peter saw what Jesus could do with His Boat, Nets, and Crew. Peter had to be thinking. I have never met anyone like this. He is so much different than me. He is so much stronger than me. He is so much happier, smarter, comfortable, more fun, etc than me. Now I have a true comparison of my ability and worth. And, I don’t measure up. I’m not worthy. Before a person can enter what Jesus IS and who Jesus IS, they have to own what they ARE and ARE NOT.

So, Own it. We spend our lives hiding it. Neglecting it. Whining about it. Blaming it. None of that has worked. You are still struggling, suffering, and wounded. Instead, Own it. You failed. You sinned. You messed up. And keep doing it. Such a realization is not defeating. It is freeing. Feeling better sometimes starts with feeling worse?

2 Corinthians 7:10 (NLT) For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

If failure teaches you that Jesus is your answer… It wasn’t a failure. It was a lesson. Failure is NOT how we fail. Quitting is how we fail. Let what’s wrong with you bring you the one who makes everything RIGHT. Because Jesus did NOT LEAVE Peter, did He? He invited Peter on His journey. He invited Peter and Co. into His Joy.

We Need To Enjoy The Things Jesus Enjoys

Luke 5:10 (NLT) His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!”

Jesus Loved to Fish. Have you ever considered that Jesus is inviting you into the things He loves? Christianity, as Jesus taught and as the Bible instructs, is a blast. Christianity as a religion kinda stinks. Men make religions. God makes relationships Jesus loved living among us. Jesus loved His relationship with the Father. And, Jesus Loved Connecting with People. And that is what fishing is. It is making a moment for people to encounter God.

Gone Fishing…

End of the day, there was a pile of boats and nets on the shore of the sea of Galilee. Are you ready to have some fun with Jesus? Jesus is out there loving to connect with people. But, we are his hands and feet. So Connect. Love what Jesus Loves. When your plans don’t work out, it is likely because, Jesus has a BETTER Plan than you.

Talk About It… 

  • Have 3 people in your group read Luke 5:1-11 from different translations. Highlight any words or phrases that you find interesting. Discuss your selections with the group. 
  • Have 3 people share their own paraphrase of the scripture. Share what you learn from the passage. 
  • What are some disappointments that have come in the last year of your life? Pray as a group to let those disappointments go.
  • How has Jesus meddled in your life? How did you react to Jesus’ intervention?
  • How do we often expect God to walk with us? How can we choose to walk with Him?
  • What are some things Jesus enjoys? Could you also enjoy those things? Could some of those things be an “acquired taste”? Meaning you might have to learn to enjoy them? Which ones?
  • What could you do before the next small group gathering to walk with God? Or, Enjoy the things Jesus enjoys? Would you share next week what you actually did because of this discussion?