I want to go deep with God, I want to cast my net into the deep waters.
“When he (Jesus) had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Luke 5:4
I have come to the conclusion that most of us miss part 'A' of the above sentence, “put out into the deep water”. Most often we focus on “let down the nets” but Jesus had 2 commands in that sentence. “Put out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch.” What does He mean?
This is how it all started…
“There are many who call themselves by Messiah’s name, but most dwell only in the shallow waters. They stay by the shore. They stay near that which is familiar and comfortable. They never fully leave their old ways, the old life. So they only know the shallow waters of God. Others who are called by His name never fully launch out. They never enter the deep. They believe but only with a shallow faith. They read the Scriptures but only get into the shallow out of the Word, the surface, the letter. They pray but only in the shallow of prayer. They never allow themselves to enter into the deep of prayer. They never allow themselves the time. And they know of God’s love, but they never get into the deep of God’s love. As a result they never know the deep blessings that God has for them. But if you want the blessings of God, you must leave the shallow and launch out away from shore, away from distractions, away from the old and familiar, and into the deep…into the deep waters of faith, the deep waters of His presence, the deep of His Word, the deep of worship, the deep of His joy, the deep of His voice, the deep of His Spirit, the deep of His heart. That’s where your blessings are waiting and will be found.’
‘And miracles?’ I asked.
‘Miracles so big that your net will break... in the deep waters of God.’”
Taken from - The Book of Mysteries, Jonathan Cahn.
It affected me hugely when I read this. I sent this message to a couple of people and I got varied responses back, which is natural, as we will all read the above paragraph and see something different.
“We all want to live where our feet touch something solid.” This is so true, I watched as Mocha our 6 month puppy got into water for the first time. When she went too deep and could not touch, her eyes got huge, and visible panic was on her face when she could not touch something solid.
“Are we going into deep water? We need to make that decision.” The decision to head out into the deep, to take the risk, get uncomfortable, is ours, totally up to us.
“We are too afraid of not seeing land, we hug the coastline.” For me I often rely on sight and when I cannot see what is in front of me, or underneath me I tend to cling to the shallows.
“I am tired of treading water too afraid to trust the deep for long periods; I prefer to be in the comfortable.” This one was my reaction. I really do feel like I am treading water and God brought to mind a video of our dog Buddy trying to retrieve. Buddy was ingrained to retrieve; it was his joy, his addiction. He would launch out with such power and if he could not find something to retrieve he would simply keep swimming, even if he got tired, he would continue until he found something to retrieve. I think I occasionally head out to the deep but when I do not see anything at a glance, I come back in. I get tired treading water and give up discouraged, thinking I probably misread that situation but now I understand that I probably missed the blessing that was waiting there. Like Buddy who persevered and waited until he found his treasure, I gave up too early.
The message hit me hard as I wonder how many blessings I have given up on, passed over and not gotten because I was too afraid to go out to the deep water.
You know you cannot stay in the shallow and touch the deep at the same time. It is impossible, you must leave the shallows to go out to the deep. It is the same for living life with God and the command - "put out to the deep" is for us - just as it was for the disciples. God is telling you where you can find freedom, where you can find meaning, where you can find HIM. He wants us to leave the shallows and follow Him.
"The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing." Genesis 12:1
You have to leave the old, the familiar, you must leave to be able to enter the new. You cannot do both at the same time. But how many of us try. We put one foot in but we cling to the shore (the past, the familiar) with the other foot. We hold onto the past, why? Just in case it doesn't work out; because I might not like it; I'm scared and need to hold onto something; maybe there are people on the shore we do not wish to leave. God is there calling your name, saying, "Jump in! the water is fine! Leave the shore, I have so much more to show you!"
Will you? Then when you get there how do you stay in the deep water?
Peter had it for a little while when he walked on the water – they were out in the deep, like in the middle of the lake deep. But then he looked around at the water, the wind, the waves and got scared and sank. Perhaps we too look around too much at what is around us instead of looking directly at God and holding His gaze. When Peter looked at Jesus he could walk on water, when his eyes shifted, he sank. But remember, Peter got out of the boat and tried, the rest of the disciples sat in the boat and did nothing but watch. Peter wanted to go deep with Jesus and was willing to try.
I think I am too afraid to sink so I stay close to the boat or even to the shore. But as I ponder Jesus command – “put out into the deep water,” I wonder if that is the wisest choice.
God is way bigger than I can imagine, God is way more generous than I have received, God has vast stores of wisdom, love, blessings and they are waiting there, just beyond the shallows, right there away from the shore; so many blessings that they will break our nets. Am I brave enough to venture out into the deep unknown, swim when I cannot touch or see bottom or even the shore?
What would “deep water” look like?
It might look like Noah who obeyed when it seemed a silly thing to do to build a boat.
It might look like Daniel who refused to bow down to the King and continued to worship God daily when it was against the law.
It might look like sitting at Jesus feet and crying, letting our tears fall and wash over His feet.
It could look like Abigail who went behind her foolish husbands back and met the King with gifts, food and wisdom to save herself and her workers.
In my case it could look like obeying what God has asked me to do no matter what challenges, whether it makes sense to me or others, no matter if I cannot see it happening, no matter what I feel like doing instead, no matter how tired I am or how fed up I get. I hang in there and do it anyways.
What does “put out to the deep water,” look like in your life? Do not be content with the shallows of God – put out to the deep water because it is there that your blessings and your miracles await. Go after them!