Joyce Meyer - Priorities And Pursuits
Romans 14:17, this is gonna be our foundation scripture for the weekend: "After all the Kingdom of God is not a matter of getting". We could just stop right there. After all the Kingdom of God is not a matter of getting the food and the drink that one likes," and I think, really, when he says, "Food and drink," there, we really need to expand that and just say, you know, "The Kingdom of God is not about us getting everything we want when we want it". That's not what it's about. You know, the disciples, in Jesus's day, they thought that he had come to set up an earthly kingdom and that he was going to put all their enemies in their place, and he was gonna do away with evil, and he was gonna set up this throne somewhere, and they were all gonna get to rule alongside him.
And he tried to tell 'em that he came to set up a different kind of kingdom. He said, "The Kingdom of God is in you". It's not necessarily about what goes on around us, but it's inside of us. And a kingdom is a domain or a realm that a king resides over. And the truth is, is he is the king of our hearts. Jesus is the king of our hearts, and he's really a lot more concerned about our inner life than he is our outer life, now, that doesn't mean he's not concerned about our circumstances. It doesn't mean that he's not concerned about the things that hurt us or the things that we want or the things that we need. He wants to hear about all of those things, but he's more concerned about what goes in us, what's going on in us, about our inner life than he is our outer life. Because, to be honest, and you may not believe me when I say this, but if your inner life and my inner life is right and it's strong in God, what goes on around us is not all that really important to us. I mean, it's not that we don't want good things to happen, but you would be amazed what you can go through with a smile on your face.
I said, "You would be amazed what you can go through with a smile on your face," and while you're hurting, have a deep desire to help other people. If things are right on the inside. The Kingdom of God is not getting everything that we want. "But it is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost". Now, I think that it's very easy, that being a fairly short scripture," to just gloss right over that and never really get the meaning of it. But you see, he's saying, "The kingdom is not about all this. It's about knowing who you are in Christ, knowing that you're right with him".
My gosh, how valuable is that? How valuable is it to not have to be mad at yourself all the time or to be afraid that God's mad at you or to feel that you have to compare yourself with other people? And that peace, oh, my goodness gracious sakes alive, peace, peace, oh. You know, I've just come to the point years ago where I just finally realized life's not even worth livin' if you can't have peace. I mean, if you gotta be tormented every day, and worried, and fearful, and frustrated about somethin' all the time, then what is the point in anything? Because no matter what you have or own, you're never gonna enjoy it if you don't know how to have peace. And there is a peace that passes understanding, and then it's joy in the Holy Ghost. And it really comes in that order. First you have to stop trying to get. You learn who you are in Christ. That leads you to peace, peace with God, peace with yourself, and then peace with your fellow man, peace with your circumstances. And then here comes the joy and enjoyment of everyday life. Joy includes enjoyment.
So that's what we're talkin' about this weekend. Tomorrow morning, it's gonna be righteousness. Tomorrow night, peace. Saturday morning, joy and learning how to enjoy life. And tonight, we're gonna talk about the results of wrong pursuits. When we live to get and we're pursuing wrong things, how it just always turns out badly, and our life is like a dry desert, a parched, dry desert where nothing can really satisfy us. So, just a few examples. Do we seek what God can do for us, or do we seek him for who he is? I made the mistake of seeking him for what he could do for me for the first good number of years that I was in a more serious relationship with God. I think we all do that. We usually come to God with a lot of problems, and we want him to fix them. We have not been able to fix 'em, so now we want him to fix them. And I might even add that God will work with us on that basis for a good long period of time.
But then there has to come a change. There has to come a transition. And it's really called, "The beginning of spiritual maturity". It's really called, "Beginning to grow up in God and not just be a baby Christian all the time, but actually become a son or a daughter of the Most High God". I recall, when God began to teach me, "You need to seek my face, and not my hand. If you see my face, my hand'll always be open. But if you seek my hand, you're gonna miss the most important thing that there is". Just imagine if my husband traveled, and every time that he came home, I ran to the airport. And let's just say he usually brought me somethin', and so I didn't even pay attention to him, didn't look at him, just, "What'd you bring me? What do you got"? Diggin' in his pockets, "What do you got? What do you got for me"? Well, it wouldn't be long, and he wouldn't be wantin' to give me anything anymore, amen? But if I'm just interested in him, "So glad you're home. I love you". And then he gives me a gift, then he's doing it for the right reason and I've got the right motive toward him.
Do I seek God's will, or do I seek my own will? Do I have my own plan and I'm trying to make God bless it? Do you ever give God any advice on how he could do things? "Well, you know, God, you could do this". Yeah, every once in a while, I still do that. That is so dumb, just really silly. It's not like God doesn't know what to do. And boy, this is a big one. Do we seek money and more money and more money and how much is ever enough? And what does it really take to satisfy? And how big does the house really need to be for us to be comfortable in it? And you know? Some of ya are livin' in more space now than you could use in the next 50 years, and all you do is complain about havin' to clean it all the time. And, you know, the flesh is just greedy. And if we think we're gonna get our satisfaction and joy out of things, we are sadly mistaken.
Let's look at Hebrews chapter 9, verse 8. I took a little bit of a creative license with this, not makin' somethin' out of it it's not by adding to the word or taking away, but, you know, there's scripture that you can get a lot of different views on if you look at 'em properly. Now, this is talkin' about the Old Testament tabernacle, the outer court, the inner court, and the most holy place. Which really, we're made like that. You know, we're a tri-part being. We've got this body, and we've got the soul, and we've got the spirit. So there's actually three parts to us too. So, looking at it from that angle, let me just read you this scripture: "By this the Holy Spirit points out that the way into the true holy of holies," or you might say, "The way to really live in the spirit," which is what we should all want, "Is not yet thrown open as long as the former or the outer portion of the tabernacle remains a recognized institution and is still standing". Anybody with me on that without me explaining it?
So, here's what I wanna take from that for this lesson tonight. And I know there's other lessons you can draw from that, but as long as I'm still payin' too much attention to this, what I want, what I think, what I feel. "Does everybody like me? What do people think of me? What are people sayin' about me? Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me". Then as long as I'm like that, I can't really live in the spirit. I can't really live in that place of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, because I'm gonna be so concerned about everything that's going on around me and what's happening to me and what people are doing to me, you know, I'm beginning to learn, I feel like God's beginning to teach me, "Instead of being so concerned about what people are doing to you when they mistreat you, you need to be more concerned about what they're doing to themselves when they mistreat you".
You know, you're God's child, and he loves you, and he's gonna protect you. And we really need to feel sorry for people who judge and criticize the children of God, because I don't believe that God will put up with it for very long. He wants us to pray for them so they can be forgiven and come to their senses. But God is our vindicator, and we don't have to waste our time and energy trying to get them back or hate them or be mad at them. It's just not even worth it to do that. Now, we're gonna take a few minutes to look at several scriptures in Ecclesiastes about Solomon, and I think you'll see something interesting. Ecclesiastes, beginning in chapter 1, verse 16. All right, now you have to watch in here. And Solomon, of course, was supposed to be the wisest man on earth, but somehow I think he got off base a little. "I entered into counsel with my own mind," well, that was his first mistake. Right there. "Saying, behold, 'I have acquired great human wisdom'".
Now, he's not sayin', "godly wisdom". "I have acquired great human wisdom, yes, more than all who have been over Jerusalem before me: and my mind has had great experience of moral wisdom and scientific knowledge. And I gave my mind to know practical wisdom and to discern the character of madness and folly in which men seem to find satisfaction: I perceived that this also is a searching after the wind and a feeding on it. For in much human wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow". Now, stick with me. "I said in my mind, 'come now, I will prove you with mirth and test you with pleasure: you can have a good time enjoy every pleasure.' and this also was vanity (emptiness and futility)"!
Here's a guy who had everything. He had access to everything that any of us could ever think that we would ever want. He had access to it and could have it at the snap of a finger. And he tried it all. That's the message of Ecclesiastes: "I tried it all, and none of it worked. It was all emptiness and futility and useless, and like chasin' after the wind". And if you go all the way through Ecclesiastes, very end of the book, he says, after tryin' everything, he said, "And this is the whole will of God: that we know him, that we follow him, that we obey him, that we love him". You see, it's all about him, him, him, him. And when it is all about him, him, him, him, then he takes care of me, me, me, me. Are you with me? I said, "When it's about him, him, him, him, then he takes care of me, me, me, me and you, you, you, you". "I said in my mind, 'come now, and i..'".
So he did all that. "I said of laughter, 'it's mad,' and of pleasure, 'what does it accomplish?'" now, I know I'm stretchin' it by tryin' to read this many verses at one time, but just stick with me. "I searched in my mind how to cheer my body with wine, at the same time keeping my mind and holding its course". So, I guess he was sayin', "I tried to figure out how to get drunk and not get stupid". I mean, that's kinda what it looks to me like he's sayin' here. Now, that would be the Joyce Meyer translation. Well, that's what he said, "I've tried to figure out how to cheer my body with wine, but at the same time hold my mind steady on its course, how to lay hold of folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven".
Okay, now, this is what I'm really interested in. "I made great works: I built myself houses, I planted vineyards. I made for myself gardens and orchards and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made for," who? "Myself pools of water from which to water the forest and to make the trees bud. I bought menservant and maidservant, I had servants born in my house. I had great possessions of herds and flocks, more than anybody who had ever gone before me. And I also gathered for myself silver and gold from the treasury of kings and of the provinces. And I got for myself singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men... Concubines very many". I mean, he had all the women that anybody could want. "And so I became great and I increased more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. And my wisdom remained with me," it was human wisdom, not godly wisdom, "And stood by me".
Two more verses left. "And whatever my eyes desired I kept not from them: I withheld not my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in my labor, for all this was my portion and reward for my toil". Here you go. "Then I looked on all that my hands had done and the labor I had spent in doing it, and behold, all was vanity," useless, "Striving after the wind and feeding on it, and there was no profit in it under the sun". Sounds to me like a guy who had wrong pursuits. And I don't know if he was on his deathbed yet or not, but let's just say that it is now time to lay the body down. You know what? Now, listen to me. If you don't wanna have regrets later, then you must do something about it now. And I'll be honest with ya. If you don't remember one other thing that I said tonight, remember that. If you don't wanna have regrets later, then now is the time to take action. Not tomorrow, not next year, not when you feel like it, not when it's convenient. Now is the time to take action.
You know my story of how my father sexually abused me for many years. At least, I guess most of you do. Probably some of you don't. Horrible situation, my mom didn't deal with it 'cause she was afraid of him, and ruined my brother's life. He died about nine years ago, or seven years ago, I forget, in an abandoned building out in California, and his life was ruined. And thank God for his grace and mercy and for givin' me the kinda determination that he did. I was able to press through that, and thankfully, we were able to lead my dad to the Lord when he was 83 years old, which is sad to have to wait that long, and he was better after that. But you know what? When my dad died, nobody came but me and my kids. Had no friends. Nobody cared anything about him.
And I know he had breathing problems, and he was pretty crippled up, and he had to spend a lot of time sittin' in a chair. And I cannot even imagine how much that man sat there and regretted what he did to me, and regretted what he did to my brother, and regretted what he did to my mother, all the times he would come home drunk and beat her up, and all the way he treated people, and how he hated people, and how he never developed any friendships. He had no money. Dave and I were havin' to take care of him toward the end. And that just, that really struck me, that everybody really does have equal opportunity. I know a lot of people think that they don't, that, you know, they're born on the wrong side of the tracks or they don't have a silver spoon in their mouth.
Let me tell ya somethin'. I don't know that anybody's got a silver spoon in their mouth. Even people that are born with money, they have a whole different set of problems. So, let me tell you somethin'. I believe that anybody that will do what God asks you to do, you can have the life that God wants you to have. Either the promises of God are for all of us, or they're for none of us. Because, "God is no respecter of persons". And God will give all of us what he knows that we can handle. And he doesn't give us all what we want, but he does give us all what's right for us. And I will not come to the end of my life and look back and have nothing but regrets. And so that means I have to invest now in the things that are right that I'm gonna be happy with later on. Somebody give God a big praise. Wow, so much left to say in so little time.
Now, listen, listen to how you pray sometimes and you learn a lot about yourself. I was so selfish in the way I prayed. Oh, my gosh, it was terrible, just terrible. Everything was about me and what I wanted and how Dave needed to change and my kids needed to change and, you know, everybody needed to change but me. I was the only one that didn't need to change, of course. I felt like God began to challenge me to study the prayers that Jesus prayed and the prayers that Paul prayed. And, man, did I get an education.
Oh, my gosh. Do you know there's never one time that I can find, maybe somebody else knows better, but I can't find one place where Paul every prayed for things. I can't find one time where he ever prayed for anybody's problems to go away. He did pray that they could endure them with joy. Instead of just tellin' him what we want all the time, let's learn how to really pray. I mean, Paul prayed that they would know how much God loves them. You know why that's important? Because when you know how much God loves you, it takes you through anything and everything that's out there that comes against you. It gives you boldness. It gives you courage. It gives you strength. He prayed for himself that he would be found and known only in Christ and have no self-righteousness, but only the righteousness that God gave him, and that he would be deeply and intimately acquainted with God.
He said, "My determined purpose is to know him and the power of his resurrection". He prayed for people to make good choices and walk in, I mean, it's all, I wish I had time to just go through all of Paul's prayers, but I don't have time to do that. But they're really amazing. I mean, I wrote 'em all down, and I keep these. It's great to compare sometimes to, "Well, how am I prayin'"? Now, just 'cause I really wanna make sure that you're clear on this. I am not in any way saying not to ask God for what you want, let me show you what I'm talkin' about here.
Let's go to Matthew 7, verse 7. Is anybody feelin' maybe a little shift in your heart tonight? Like, "Yeah, maybe I need to get out in that boat and go a little deeper". Matthew 7, verse 7: "'keep on asking and it will be given you: keep on seeking and you will find: keep on knocking reverently and the door will be opened. For everyone who keeps on asking receives: and he who keeps on seeking finds: and to him who keeps on knocking, the door will be opened. Which man of there is you, if his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone?'" God's sayin', "I'll give you good things". "If he asks for a fish, he's not gonna hand him a serpent. Well, if you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father who's in heaven perfect as he is give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking"!
So, he's sayin', "God wants you to have good things". Get it: God wants you to have good things. Please don't ever be afraid to ask God to give you good things and to bless you. But I don't think he's goin' to a different subject now. He says, "So then". "So then" means that we're still talking about the same thing. "Ask, and keep on asking: keep on seeking: knock and keep on knocking". God wants to give you good things. "So then," rule number one, "Whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do to and for them". Okay, we'll take a break while you think that over. How dare we God to treat us so excellently if we're treating other people poorly?
If fruit doesn't equal root, then we become top heavy and we blow over in the first storm. If you think about a gigantic fruit tree out in an orchard, heavily laden with fruit, huge branches, although you can't see them, there are roots, they say, that go down. However wide those branches are, there are roots that go down that deep into the ground. So, it's gotta be deep and wide, not wide and no deep. Because when that's the case, then we're just all carnal, we're all stuff, we're all just things and we can't handle the difficulties in life. We can't handle the storms of life. We can't handle people who come against us because we're accustomed to getting everything we want, the way we want it, when we want it. And when we don't, we act like Opi did on that little video during our conference news where he wasn't getting to do what he wanted and he just laid down on the floor and had an absolute screaming fit.
Do any of you, as Christians, ever have fits? One lady, I think not. I think there's a few more. Amen. I think so. You know my husband, calm, wonderful Dave, he had a little minor fit the other day. He asked me to take the clippers and shave the back of his neck, and I do that all the time, so I did. And then I saw these couple of wild hairs and I went in pursuit of those hairs. Now, I'm gonna tell the result of pursuing the wrong thing right here. So, the first time I was real careful, and I got one of 'em but I didn't get the other one. I thought, "Oh, I must need to get closer". So see, you already know what happened. I took a chunk out of Dave's hair about that wide. Well, he got upset. I said, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry"! It was a little funny, but I said, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry"! And then he said, "If I did that to you, you would have a fit"! And so see, that's big for Dave, because he's normally pretty calm. I had to apologize five times just to get him to say it was okay.
So, you know, just so you know, Dave, you can rattle him if you press long enough. But seriously, what are you gonna want? What am I gonna want when it's time for me to go? Now think with me seriously about this. When it's time for me to go, what am I gonna want? I'm gonna wanna know that I'm right with God. Come on, now. More than anything, I'm gonna wanna have peace with God. I wanna know that I'm right. I don't want to have any fear of facing God. When it comes to that point, I wanna be ready to go and not have any fear. And I'm gonna want people around me that I know love me. That's the only things that are really gonna matter. So if we spend too much time in this life, and of course we have to spend some time on succeeding, and we need to spend some time on making money, and you know, we do need to spend some time on those things.
It's not wrong to want a nice house. It's not wrong to want a nice car. It's not wrong to want to provide for your kids. But there's a difference in having a desire for those things and pursuing them. The word "Seek," S-E-E-K, is an extremely strong word. And interestingly enough, I looked up the word seek, and every place that it's used in the Old Testament, it refers to seeking God. Every single place it's used in the Old Testament, it refers to either seeking God or sometimes God was seeking people for something. The word means to crave, to pursue, to make sacrifices to get, to go after with all of your strength and all of your heart. So you know, we can tell a lot about ourselves, and yes, I'm gonna ask you to go home and do a little homework and just have a little meeting with yourself. Just a little, short, tiny meeting with yourself. A little inventory. A little soul searching. This is good for all of us.
And just ask yourself, "What am I pursuing? What am I seeking"? What is the most important thing what do you spend most of you time on? What do you talk about the most? What are you putting most of your energies into? And you know, I think that we would find that probably a good portion of it is just wrong. It's not what God tells us to seek. There's only actually a handful of things that I can find in the Bible that it says to seek. We're to seek righteousness. We're to seek God. We're to seek the kingdom. I think there's four or five other things. Seek to walk in love. But there's really not a big, long list, and nowhere ever, ever are we told to seek things. And you might say, "Well, the most important thing to me is that my child gets saved". Well, you know, yes, praise God, we want that. But even that, we're not told to seek. Desire that, but that's not what we seek. You're a little quiet. I'm telling you, I wanted more than anything for this ministry to grow.
Well you know, when you want something that bad, there's some wrong motives involved. And I think anybody who starts out, and I think a lot of people who start out in ministry even, they're broken-hearted, insecure people. Not everybody, but it's amazing how God uses messes. He uses people that are messed up, and your mess can become your message if you'll let it. But we start out, and you know, I had insecurities, so I was getting a lot of my worth and value out of what I was doing. Well, when you're getting your worth and value out of what you're doing, you don't want to do a little of anything. You wanna do a lot of everything because the bigger something is, the better you feel about yourself. And like it or not, in our society, the bigger something is, the more people admire you. I wish it wasn't that way, but it is.
The first thing everybody wants to know is how many people were there. How big is your church? How many people does it seat? And you know, there's different articles that come out, "Well, you know, this is one of the five fastest growing churches in the world. Now this one's one of the ten fastest growing churches in the world". I bet you God's got things hidden that are so big it would just blow our minds, and they're just like, we don't even know about it. Amen? And yes, we want to grow. I don't want you to misunderstand me tonight. I'm not saying that it's wrong to have a desire for those things. But the Bible teaches us, "If we will delight ourselves in the Lord," Psalm 37:4. "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires and the secret petitions of your heart". Delight yourself in the Lord. Let him be first in your life. Or Matthew 6:33, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all of these other things will be given you besides". That's a much better way to do it. Seek the Lord, and let God give you the stuff. Amen? Say, "Seek the Lord. And let God give me the stuff".
Now, I believe, even though you're sitting there looking extremely innocent, I believe that you need this message tonight. But you know, there's a part of us that's afraid if we give up going after what we want, there's a part of us that's a little bit afraid we won't get it. Little tiny bit. I see you guys up there, little tiny bit. But you're gonna see that all the Bible really tells us to do is ask, then leave it alone and tend to God's business. We don't have to camp on top of it, we don't have to harp on it, we don't have to repeat the same phrase 25 times every day. We just need to ask God, tell him what we want, ask and keep on asking. The Bible says, "Knock and keep on knocking, seek and keep on seeking". Not wrong to want something at all. It's never wrong to want something. You can ask God for anything you want, but that's not what we should seek and pursue.
What I want and what I seek are two different things. Do you understand? Now, I worked hard at this ministry, but now I know that my worth and identity is not tied up in it. Yes, it would be hard for me if something happened and I lost it. Naturally, it would be hard, but I know that I would survive because even if I wasn't Joyce Meyer I would still be Joyce Meyer. Amen? And we have to understand those things, otherwise what we're doing always becomes, it becomes fearful to us that we might lose it. And my goodness, if we lose our position and if we lose our status, and if we lose our favorite friends, and if we lose our, you know, position in the community, and if we're no longer in leadership at the church, and whatever it is, you know, that we feel gives us status, we just think that we're not gonna be worth anything if we lose that. And I'm gonna tell you a little secret. God loves you so much that if those things mean too much to you, he will be happy to rip them out of your life and strip you bear. And it will seem like a very violent thing, and you will not know what in the world God is doing, but when it's all over, you'll be free, free, free, free, free. Come on, give God a praise.
You know, I wanted to walk in here and say, "This weekend, we're gonna do a deeper life conference". That's about the reaction I thought I'd get. So that's exactly why I didn't do it. But you know, that's almost concerning to me because I don't even know today if a lot of people even know what that means. You know, years ago, pastor tom, do you remember this? They used to have deeper life conferences. I mean, people would just go all over the place to go to these deeper life conferences, and they'd sit there the whole weekend, and listen to preaching all day long, day, after day, after day, about just what I'm trying to talk to you about tonight. The deeper life, about not being shallow. And let me tell you something, then we need to want more of that. If we don't want more of that, then we need to want more of that. We need that.
So you know, I've been a Christian for a pretty long time, and I've had a decent sized ministry. Not the size it was now, but decent. No real money problems, all my kids saved, husband saved, got along good in my marriage, and I wasn't really happy. I was still discontent, something that just wasn't right on the inside. Do you ever wonder what is wrong with you and what it's gonna take to make you happy? Come on, did you ever think, "Well, you know, if I just can get this, then I'll be happy," and now you've got that and you ain't any better off than you were before. I mean, be honest. Don't you ever wonder sometimes, "What is it really gonna take to get me to the point where I can just get up, and be happy, and go through the day and be content, and go to bed at night and be happy, and not always be looking for some new fix to give me a new thrill"? Amen?
Some of you are looking like a calf a new gate out there, like "Where are we going with this"? Well, you know, when I started crying, you know how we do. "God, what is wrong in my life? I don't know what's wrong in my life". And you know, truthfully we don't really want to know what's wrong in our life, but, 'cause if God tells us, we're gonna feel worse than we did before we asked. So, you know, "What's wrong with my life"? And I mean, the thing I heard in my heart was, "You're shallow". Well, what's that? So it wasn't too long after that, and I found myself in Luke chapter 5, so let's go there. Shallow Christians, wanting fruit but not caring about the roots. They wanna be used but they don't want to be prepared.
Yeah, some of those are worth writing down, folks. Verse 1, "Now it occurred that while the people pressed upon Jesus to hear the message of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret (at the Sea of Galilee and he saw two boats drawn up by the lake, but the fishermen had gone down from them and they were washing their nets. And getting into one of the boats, the one that belonged to Simon (Peter), he requested him to draw away a little from the shore. And then he sat down and continued to teach the people from the boat. When he had stopped speaking, he said to Simon (Peter), put out into the deep water". You know, deep is the opposite of shallow. Just thought I'd mention that. "Put out into the deep water, and lower your nets for a haul". Now a haul, what is a haul? That's like back the dump truck up, make it a big one, and unload it in my driveway. I'll be happy to haul it all in.
Well, you know, when God's trying to deal with you about something, you don't need a lot of explanation. And so remembering that God had told me that I was shallow, and here I am going after all this stuff that I want, and none of it's really happening. And you know, I've got some things but I'm still not happy. And so then God tells me I'm shallow, so now I'm reading this. "Come on out into the deep, and get ready for a haul. And Simon (Peter) answered". Now you have to understand this next verse or you miss the whole point of this. "Simon (Peter) answered, master, we toiled all night we are exhausted we caught nothing in our nets".
Now just stop right there and don't keep reading. You've gotta understand this. When Jesus showed up, these guys have been fishing all night and they didn't have all the electric stuff we do. When they fished, they worked. They caught nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. I wonder how many people we've got listening to me right now that you feel like you have fished all night and caught nothing. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Come on now. "Oh God, I'm doing everything that I thought you told me to do, and nothing's working, and I just don't understand. God, what do you want me to do? Oh, I know I need to rebuke more devils. I need to pray more".
They were tired. They had pulled the boats in. They had drugged these big nets out of the boat. They had 'em up on the shore. They were cleaning the nets up because they knew they had to get some sleep and then go back out again. I guess they were looking forward to going by Starbucks and getting a muffin and a cappuccino. Really, and going on home, hugging the wife and the kids, and crawling up under the feather blanket. I don't know, they probably slept on a rock or some gravel or something, I don't know. But I'm sure they were looking forward to going home. They were tired and probably hungry. And Jesus said, "Go back out". Come on now. Would you have done it? "Go back out, only go way out. Go deeper and lower your nets, and you'll catch more fish than you know what to do with".