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2021 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - The God Nod (Shut Up, Simon)

Steven Furtick - The God Nod (Shut Up, Simon)

Steven Furtick - The God Nod (Shut Up, Simon)

But we are coming to the following cities: Atlanta, Nashville, Tulsa, Fort Worth, Houston, Orlando, Sunrise, and Jacksonville. So get your tickets now. Some are already sold out but maybe you can maybe you can pray and the lord will answer. I have so much to share with you. I want you to sit down and get ready for the Word of God. Turn in your Bible to Luke, chapter 5, verses 1-11. You're like, "Whoa! This is not how we do it. You give us the Scripture, then we sit down". We're changing it around a bit. So sit down. I'm not going to give you my title yet either. If you need something to write down… Some of you are so OCD you can't hear anything I say until you have a title to write down.

So write down "Luke 5:1-11," and use that for a title for now. I went on a whole journey this week to get to this passage. I started toward the end of Peter's ministry, and in discovering the great faith he finished with in his life, it led me all the way back to the moment when God called him. This is what we're going to study today. This may be a two-week sermon, so you don't need to be nervous. If I'm not done, we'll leave, and we'll see you in seven days, and I'll finish it up. "One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret…" The Sea of Galilee is another name for it. In the Old Testament it was Chinnereth. That was the town it was around.

So, the Lake of Gennesaret, or the Sea of Galilee, the region where Jesus based his ministry. "…the people were crowding around him…" Ignoring the social distancing mandates of the county of Galilee. "…and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets". Or mending their nets. "He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, 'Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.' Simon answered, 'Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so…'"

This kind of makes me think the disciples were teenagers. Peter is rolling his eyes. "But I'm going to do it". "'…I will let down the nets.' When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink". God said, "I want to upgrade your problems. I don't want to take away your problems". Stop praying God is going to take away your problems. He said, "I want to give you HQP…high quality problems". What kind of problems do you want this year? Empty nets or sinking boats? So, stop complaining you're so busy. The proof of life is the problems. God can clear your schedule real quick. I'm saying you could die. Your schedule would be clear real quick.

"When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, 'Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!' For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners. Then Jesus…" This is where I feel the oil for today's message. "Then Jesus said to Simon, 'Don't be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.'"

I don't know about you, but that's not very comforting to me. It's actually scarier. "We're going to what? How does that work? Fish for people. That's kind of creepy, Jesus. We're going to fish for people"? It conjures up a lot of images. But it says, "So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him". Now, I don't want to make light of the passage, but it is a humorous exchange. It's one of the most familiar passages for people who come to this church, because I end up here about once or twice a year. But I'll tell you why I end up here: because it helps me with a question I'm always wrestling with all the time. I feel like I'm always wrestling with this question. It's, "God, what do you see in me"? I want you to put that question in the chat or in your phone or right there on your notebook. "God, what do you see in me"?

Before I came out to preach, my oldest son said, "I like your jacket". He liked what he saw on me. But that's a jacket. "God, what do you see in me"? That's the first thing people notice: what's on you. "Oh, you got a haircut. Oh, you lost seven pounds". They don't know, "Oh, you gained bitterness". "So, God, what do you see in me"? That's a great prayer. "God, what do you see in me? I know what my family says about me. I know what I see in me, but what do you see in me? God, what do you see in me"? I think in a good marriage both people feel a little lucky that the other one chose them. I can't give you a Bible verse for this, but I think in a good marriage, a healthy marriage, as the years go on, you feel a little bit like, "Wow! I can't believe I get to be married to you".

I certainly feel that way about Holly. I'm not just saying it for points. We don't do this whole dysfunctional marriage thing where we run a sitcom in our house and just put each other down all the time. Y'all can do that if you want. "Oh, culturally, that's normal". I don't care what's culturally normal. I want to be spiritually whole. So, yeah, we fight, and, yeah, we kind of… You know what? We don't fight as much as they did on all of the shows I watch…The King of Queens, and all of these shows where they're just fighting all the time. That's not how we view marriage. One thing I've said to Holly before is, "What did you see in me"? She won't tell y'all this, but they were lined up to date her when she came to North Greenville College. It was a Christian school. She had the whole book of Philippians memorized, and she's beautiful.

So everybody wanted to talk to Holly. And she had this little exclusivity clause, because she was dating Jesus for a year, which (a little sidenote) only made her more attractive, because men love a chase. So, now I have to wait through this year with Jesus, and it just made it that much more appealing and alluring. (I promise you this all goes together. Some of you, it's your first time here. You're like, "He needs medication". No, I promise you, this is all part of my message.) There's a little part of me that says… But you know what? She has said the same thing to me before. She's like, "Why did you choose me to marry"? I don't know if you can relate to this. I just knew. She's like, "I wasn't a great girlfriend". She was still learning how to relate in that way and dating Jesus and all this stuff. She goes, "It must have been something you saw in me". I'm like, "I mean, it's easy to see if you want to know the truth of how I feel about your appearance," but it was really deeper than that.

Of course, I couldn't see all the support she would bring and the love she would bring at this moment. I don't share this for an ooey-gooey thing, but we're coming up on 20 years of marriage this June. I don't know where we're going to celebrate, but it's going to be expensive, and we're going there a long time. We are leaving our kids and turning off our phones and praying for the best when we go. So, I'm drawn to this passage because I realize that at this moment in time, Peter has no idea what he's getting into by saying "Yes" to a simple instruction from Jesus. Much like you didn't know when you said "Yes" to go to lunch with me at Golden Corral that I would pop the question and say, "Will you start a church with me"? Even when I said, "Will you start a church with me?" you did not know we would be attacked like we were attacked in 2013, but you also didn't know we would be in Singapore and Sidney and all over the world, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, and Ballantyne and Roanoke and Melbourne, Florida. "God, what do you see in me"?

If you haven't studied the Bible a whole lot, you may be confused, because I've been talking about Peter, but when I read the Scripture, we're reading about Simon. It says in verse 3, "He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon…" Jesus does this cool thing. He changes the name of his chief apostle. But that hasn't happened yet. At this point in the story, he's still Simon. He's called Simon. The name (from Simeon) means he heard. Yet in all of the passage, it's very interesting, because Jesus and Simon, who would later be known as Peter, are communicating without saying a whole lot of words. They each only say a sentence, but their lives are completely altered. This lets me know we're studying the interaction between two men, because men typically… I don't mean to be stereotypical, but typically, men can communicate without saying anything…prefer to communicate without saying anything.

Buck used to come over and lift weights with me. It would be an hour and a half. We would have lifted a cumulative 2,000 pounds and not said a word to one another. What an awesome gift we have as men. Would you agree? Women have other gifts. When women greet each other… I noticed the other day women use vowel sounds. They're like, "Heeeyyy, how are yooooou"? It's friendly. It's warm. Men… I love this about us. We can nod at you and know all we need to know about you from how you nod back or if you don't. If you don't nod back, you might want to fight. Men, am I right? And all nods are not created equal. There are different kinds of nods. Much like in Spanish there's formal and informal… There's a formal nod. That's this. There's an informal nod when you nod up.

When I started noticing this was in COVID when they made it illegal for us to touch each other for a year. You don't want to walk through life not communicating with people, and waving is kind of goofy. "Hey"! So, it's a thing, like, "I don't want to touch you, because that's uncomfortable". Then they put a mask on us, and people are saying, "You know, you can still smile with your eyes". I still haven't learned how to smile with my eyes. My eyes do not naturally smile. I can murder you with my eyes. I know how to do that. So, what I started noticing during COVID was I had to regain the power of the nod, just to let people know… A man can walk by you and nod, and so much can be loaded in that nod. This is kind of "What's up"? or it can mean, "You want some"? It can mean a lot of things if you nod up. But just this can mean, "I see you, my brother. I see you. It is not easy to be a man in this day and age, but you carry it well, my brother. Carry on, soldier. Carry on, my wayward son". All that from a nod.

What got me about the text and the reason I went back to it… We focus so much on the speaking part in this passage. Every time I've ever preached it… "Because you say so, I will let down the net" or "Peter said to Jesus" or "Jesus said to Peter". All that is great, and if anybody knows how to talk, it's Simon Peter. He's always talking in the Bible. "Never, Lord. This will never happen to you. If all deny you, I won't deny you. I'll stand with you until the death, Lord". Peter is always talking. But in this passage, let me point out a few things God is communicating in the nonverbals. In verse 1 it says, "Jesus was standing by the Sea of Galilee…" The Lake of Gennesaret, Chinnereth. The literal name means harp, like the instrument, because it was shaped kind of like that. That's what the literal name Chinnereth means.

That is appropriate, because Jesus is standing by the sea, which will be the scene of the greatest demonstrations of his power in Scripture. It wasn't just a body of water. It was, for him, a classroom of faith. He had an advantage over me in preaching. First, he's Jesus. Second, he had nature as a backdrop to illustrate and to validate his words. When I teach you about a storm, you have a padded chair in an air-conditioned room, climate controlled to (we keep it cold here) 59 degrees. (We do that to keep y'all awake.) I think the fact Jesus was standing by the Sea of Galilee that's shaped like a harp is an indication that this body of water would be an instrument in the hands of the master teacher to give the lessons his disciples would need after he had left them in the body to carry on with the task of spreading the gospel. It's much more effective to teach about how to change a flat tire if you have one right now. It's much more effective to teach about how to survive a storm if you're going through one right now.

So, when Jesus taught his disciples about faith, it was not a doctrinal seminar. It was not "Fear is false evidence appearing real," or whatever the acronym is. Have you heard these things before? It wasn't cute. It was a matter of life and death. So, when they learned the lesson of faith, it was against the backdrop of their greatest fear. He was standing by the lake. Peter didn't know what would happen on that lake. Peter didn't know one day he'd be walking on that water coming to Jesus. He certainly didn't know when he stepped out of the boat to walk on the water that five seconds later he'd be gasping for breath. "Save me, Lord"! But Jesus knew that at that moment. It is called the foreknowledge of God or, if you like, predestination. It means Jesus saw Peter walking on the water before he ever even got into Peter's boat. It means Jesus knew he would help Peter up before Peter ever started to sink. It means Jesus knew what would happen to you in your childhood before he called you into this season of your own parenting. It means Jesus knew you would be at church today, because somebody dragged you, so he could get you this word that he needs you to hear. He knew! God knows. We say that almost like a cussword.

"God knows". "Oh, God knows when the kids are going to be back in school full time. God knows when the alpha/beta/gamma/delta variants are all going to pass through and we can all go back. God knows who's going to be in the White House". God knows what's going to happen on the sea. One time, he sent the disciples ahead of him into a storm and stayed back and prayed. I said, he sent them into a storm. I said, he sent them into a storm! "Oh, well, maybe he didn't know it was going to… Maybe he didn't check the weather before he sent them out". His word is the weather forecast. Ask Elijah. Elijah said, "It's not going to rain until I say so from the word of God that comes from my mouth".

If Elijah, the prophet, had that kind of power over nature, what kind of power does Jesus have over the situations of your life? He's God. He's sovereign. He's the Bread of Life. He's the solid rock, and he's the living water. Oh yeah. The solid rock. We sing about, "On Christ the solid rock I stand". Absolutely. He's a firm foundation. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. God doesn't change like the shadows change. God doesn't change like your best friend changes. God doesn't change like your hair color changes. God doesn't change like cultural climates change, but the same God who could be called the solid rock is also the living water. He was standing by the sea because he wanted to teach you that real faith not only has to be solid; it has to be fluid. Why did he teach on a body of water? Well, first, because the storm will help you learn the lesson, but secondly, the same way that sea operates is the same way faith operates, which is why I think he liked fishermen to be his disciples.

See, a fisherman has to know that the fish that were here an hour ago might not be here an hour from now. The fish that weren't here an hour ago might be here now. To follow Jesus is to flow with Jesus. What better place for him to call a disciple than standing by the lake? See, Jesus hasn't even said anything yet, and he's already preaching. He's already preaching just by where he's standing. He's standing by the lake, and he's like, "Hey, everybody, look. Before I open my mouth… Do you see this? Do you see how it's calm right now? It might not be calm tomorrow. Life is like that, but you can trust me. You need an anchor for your soul".

Remember, men can communicate with nonverbals. So, Jesus is standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, Chinnereth, the harp. He's going to play this lake like an instrument. He's going to conduct the wind and the waves like a symphony to bring these disciples to greater faith. Jesus is conducting even the conflict of my life. Jesus says, "Waves, that's enough". They got this lesson. In fact, he might speak it to you right now if you listen. "Peace, be still". Waves die down at his command because he has all authority. Even the wind and the waves obey him. Even the wind and the waves obey the one who was standing by the lake. They were crowded around listening to the word of God. Then verse 2 says… So, he stood in verse 1, but watch this. Verse 2: "He saw…" "He saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen…"

In this way, Jesus is like Holly. He had options. I don't think sometimes we take that into account. God could have given somebody else those kids to raise. Two boats. (That would be a good rapper name. We have Lil Yachty, and we could have "Two Boats".) "He saw two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets". I don't want to use that yet, but I want to point it out to you. They were washing their nets. It was over for the night. The reason I'm going to move past that is because I need to show you verse 3. "He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon…" Peter is going to preach on the day of Pentecost, but he's still Simon at this moment. Peter is going to give his life for the gospel of Jesus Christ. History tells us he died as a martyr. He's going to write two epistles, 1 and 2 Peter. Appropriately titled, don't you think? Not 1 and 2 Simon…1 and 2 Peter. That's the potential of who he can be. Cephas in the Hebrew. Petros in the Greek. Rock. Little rock, not big rock. That's Jesus. "On this rock I will build my church".

Big rock. Little rock: Peter. Peter is the pebble skipping across the Sea of Galilee to create a ripple effect of the gospel that would carry to us today. But he's not even Peter the pebble yet. He's still Simon. I have to make a confession to y'all. I'm still Steven. I know I need to be Pastor for at least about 25 more minutes. And I'm not a hypocrite. I don't go home and kick the dog. I've already told you I don't have a dog. I'm not getting one. (She said, "Yet". False prophet on the front row. Security!) Y'all, he got in and then asked him to put out a little from shore. Isn't that the opposite order? Look at verse 3. You need to see this. He got into Peter's boat and then asked him if he could use it. I'm thinking protocol is the other way around. Do you see what I'm saying? Go get into a car after church, and then ask the person if it's all right if you drive it, and see how it works out. My mind says it must already be his.

When Graham came in to see me today and said, "Oh, I like your jacket," I said, "I like your slides". I said, "But those look like mine". He said, "No, I got them from Elijah". I said, "Turn it over". It was mine. He said, "That's crazy. When I asked Elijah if I could borrow it, he said, 'Get your own drip,' but he actually got it out of your closet". Here's the point I'm trying to say: your boat is borrowed. Any drip you have, any intelligence you have…in fact, every breath you have… That's why we praise him: because the breath is borrowed. If you've ever been in the hospital, you get a new appreciation. The breath is borrowed. So now let everything that has breath give it back. "It's your boat, God". I'm going to give you 21 seconds to give it back. Some people didn't see 2021, but look at you, you survivor! You survivor! "It was shaky, but I made it! It was wavy, but I made it! It was windy, but he picked me up"!

If you can't shout, at least nod. Just nod like this. Nod up. Nod down. Nod all around. Shake it back and forth. "No, Devil, you can't have it". Shake your head like this. "You can't have my kids! You can't have my house! You can't have my peace! You can't have my brain, Devil! It's God's boat". Nod if I'm talking to you. You don't even have to let anybody know what you're nodding about. Just nod at your neighbor. Say, "Yeah, he did it. He got in my boat, and I'm still Simon". I think the challenge is… How can you believe you have the potential to be Peter when you act so much like Simon? The inner Simon. Let me show you another Scripture. Just say, "I'm still Simon". You're either Simon or you're lying. One connotation of Simon is it's like a reed. It means he hears. It's so funny, because Simon's name means he listens, but he's in trouble only when he's talking. "We fished all night and caught nothing". Shut up, Simon.

Maybe that's what I'll call the message: "Shut up, Simon". Sometimes I need my Simon on the inside, the one who's always saying, "Oh, you're so stupid, and you're so weak. Look at you. You're so dumb, and everything is so horrible…" "Let's just play the quiet game. All right, Simon. Let's find a game on your iPad. You shut up, because Peter has a purpose to accomplish". I need to flow right now with God and follow Jesus in this season of my life, and I can't be this little child anymore who's always listening to my screaming, emotional 5-year-old in the back seat, telling me to pull over. "We can't do it, because it's too hard. Nobody appreciates me". Be quiet, Simon. Is that better? Be quiet, Simon. Shut up, Simon. Let Peter preach. There's a Peter in me too. Pebble, rock, firm. It's small, but it's solid. Then there's Simon.

The Scripture I want to show you is Luke 22. I was looking at it, because I wanted to break it down where you could really get it. Not just go, "Oh, that's nice," but really get it. When Jesus was eating Passover with his disciples before he went to Jerusalem… Remember, Jerusalem is where he died. The Sea of Galilee, Chinnereth, harp…that's where he lived. That's where he ministered. That's where he based, but Jerusalem is where he was always headed. Where his ministry started is not where it finished, and where your life starts is not where it finishes either, Simon. In order to get to his purpose, he had to go through a kind of death. For Peter to rise, Simon kind of had to die, yet here's what's interesting. Jesus is speaking to this disciple, one of the three church fathers. He's the reason the church is here today, really, because of what he did for the Gentiles, those of us who are not Jews by ethnicity, but we're in Christ. Spiritually, we're grafted in. That's what started me studying.

I was studying how when Peter took the gospel to the Gentiles, he didn't want to do it, because Simon was telling him, "This is not who you should preach to. This is not in the realm of your experience. This is not in your family background. This is not for you". But God knew how to pull the Peter out of Simon. God knows how to pull the grown man out of you, the grown woman out of you, the patience out of you, the fortitude out of you, the discipline out of you. He knows how to pull the Peter out of Simon. But even after Jesus changed his name to Peter… I don't have time to show you that. Jesus said, "Who do you say I am"? He said, "You're the Christ, the Son of the living God". Jesus said, "You are Peter". "I am"? "You are". Pebble. "And upon this rock I'll build my church. You're a pebble. You're made of the same stuff as me. You're made in the image of God. You're Peter".

You don't even know what you're made of yet. When people tell you, "Oh, just do you…" That would be fine if you knew you. One day, I'm going to preach a message called "Do the New You". If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. When people say, "Do you," we use that as an excuse. "Oh, throw a temper tantrum. Do you. Just be however you are. Do you". Are you still taking advice from your fifth-grade yearbook, "Raise hell over the summer and never change"? No, I'm changing, like the sea is changing. I'm changing like the seasons are changing. God is pulling the Peter, the solid, out of the Steven. He doesn't hate Simon. He said, "You are Peter". Deeper in you, there is purpose. On the surface, there is stuff that keeps you from seeing it. "But, God, what do you see in me? Beneath the sand of Steven, beneath the sand of Simon…feelings and paths and pain and trauma…what do you see in me"? Jesus said, "You're Peter. That confession you made, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God'? You know who I am, and I'm going to show you who you are, because you don't even know yet".

This is a grown man, and he's just discovering who he is. Who told you that's all you could be? I don't let anybody tell me what I can do because I'm white or because I'm short or because I'm 41 or because I'm a man or because I'm from Moncks Corner. You don't get to tell me that. What you see on me might have nothing to do with what God sees in me. I got the nod from God. That's the third nod. I didn't tell you about that one. There's the up nod, the down nod, and the God nod. When God gives you the nod, he doesn't look around to see who agrees. Aren't you glad? He doesn't ask your ex. He doesn't ask your Y. He doesn't ask your Z. He doesn't ask any of that. He doesn't look around… "Y'all good with that? Y'all good if I bless her? Y'all good if I send her a new person? Y'all good if I forgive him? Y'all good if I use him anyway? Y'all good if I raise him up? Y'all good if I use his boat"? He didn't ask any of that. He got in! He got into the boat. He didn't even ask Peter if Peter wanted to be Peter. He just said, "That's what you are". He didn't even ask. He just got in. "You are Peter".

Watch this in Luke, chapter 22. He's about to go to the cross. He's headed to Jerusalem. Peter doesn't want him to go. "Come on, man. Let's keep going on the sea. I'll keep taking you around in this boat. We can preach and heal and do this stuff". But he had to die to pay for your sin. He had to die to pay the ultimate price for you so you could put your faith in him. He had to die so Simon could become Peter, so the Spirit could come. Peter wanted to keep Jesus from doing the very thing that would make him who he was supposed to be. Jesus is telling the disciples, "This is not going to go well. I'm going to rise in three days, but you're all going to fall away". He turns to one disciple and says, "Simon, Simon…" In Scripture, two means covenant. "Moses, Moses, take off your shoes". When he says the name twice, it's covenant. It's partnership. "I've got you". Two boats. "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon".

Aren't you glad Jesus prays for Simon, not just Peter, that he sticks with Simon, not just Peter? I bet Jesus is proud of me when I preach good. I bet he's still in love with me when I hurt, when I struggle. And I need that, because I am a pastor, but I'm still Steven. Put your name in the chat right now. "I'm still…" Say your name. Say it out loud. "I'm still…" Don't let the hard surface fool you. I know I was lifting my hands in worship, but I don't always act like that. I don't always walk around the ball field… "Give God a praise! Come on, give him praise in the dugout". I hate to tell you this, but sometimes Steven comes out in places where Pastor is supposed to be. Y'all are acting real, real "Judassy" in here today.

I was out to eat with this other preacher, and he's like the nicest person in the world. Not the nicest preacher…the nicest person in the world. We're far away from home, having a meal together. I'm not going to tell you who the preacher was. You can probably figure it out. The nicest person in the world. I leave the table. We're having a great conversation. Our families are there. I'm going to the bathroom. This was a few months ago. As I go around to the bathroom… It's a small space. There's a whole other thing. Men nodding is something I can teach you. Men in the bathroom is a whole other breakout session. We'll do a men's night about this. There are rules there too. It's a one-seater, so before I go in… There's a dude there talking loudly on his phone, sitting right outside the bathroom door, and it's cramped. He has no mask on. He's talking on the phone, just over there talking on the phone. It's a one-seater. This is protocol. Right?

I say, "Hey, are you waiting for the bathroom"? The man looks at me, cold-blooded, and says, "I need six feet. Get back!" while he's talking on the phone spitting on me. What I'm hearing is "Oh, you want to be six feet under? You want me to kill you? That's what you're saying"? Because I'm still Steven. I looked around real quick. I'm like, "Does anybody know me in here? I'm far away from home". Have you ever had your inner Peter kick in just in time? I mean, just in the nick of time, right as Steven is coming out, like, right as Hebrew and Greek words are coming out, right as I'm about to speak in tongues and tell him about six feet. "I'm about to put six feet…" Right at the moment, because I'm still Steven. I'm doing better than I did, because I didn't do it. I looked over. I was like, "You cannot get in a fight while you're out to dinner with Joel Osteen. You can't do that".

Joel is at the table, smiling, playing with Abbey. "Steven, keep it down. Move through it. Steven, Steven". I'm so glad I didn't do anything but just go to the bathroom. Now, I did hover at his table a little when I walked back by. He wasn't even big, y'all, and he was old. So, as soon as I get to the table… I'm so glad Peter won that day, because the person who was standing at the table talking to Pastor Joel said, "Pastor Steven"! I became Pastor real quick. "God bless you". I did my best Joel Osteen impersonation. Nobody knew Steven was still standing in that bathroom wanting to come out with an S on his chest. I'm not even that good a fighter, but I'm crazy. I'm crazy! Jesus knew Peter was going to cut off Malchus' ear, and he called him Peter anyway. Jesus knew Peter was going to cuss him out by the fire, talking about, "I don't know him [swear word]". He knew Simon was still inside, but do you know what I love about Luke 5? It is a living picture of a spiritual reality.

See, it's one thing for Jesus to stand by the sea. It's one thing for him to see the boat. But what freaked Peter out… Because Peter was cool with all that. "Oh, you see my boat? You got into my boat? You want to use my boat? You want to preach three hours? I was trying to go home and have breakfast and just nurse myself because we didn't catch anything today. Okay, fine. We'll try it. We'll give it a try". It wasn't when Jesus saw the boat that freaked Peter out. It was the fact that he knew what was under the boat. Verse 8: "When Peter saw this…" Oh, "Simon Peter". They were both in the boat. This is what I need you to know: they're both in your boat, and they're both going to stay in your boat. "Oh, no, Pastor Steven. I am crucified with Christ". Nevertheless, I live. I'm still Simon. I can be Simon one minute, Peter five minutes later, and Simon again in five minutes. Every five minutes, Simon shows up. "Can we do it now? Can we do it now? Can we be crazy now? Can we act out now? Can we be mad now? Can we be bitter now? Can we think stupid stuff now? Can we be weird now"? "Shut up, Simon". He got in the one belonging to Simon Peter.

Did I tell you about both boats? I didn't tell you they were both in one boat, Simon and Peter. That's what's going on in you as I speak. There's your flesh (Simon); there's your spirit (Peter). There's your preference (Simon); there's your purpose (Peter). There's your past… Nod if you know what I'm talking about. Nod if Simon is sitting in the same seat with you right now while you're trying to pretend to be Peter. I wanted to tell you that Simon and Peter were in the same boat so you could know that Jesus got into the one belonging to Simon. In fact, he stood by the lake, he sat in the boat (I didn't even talk about Jesus sitting; we'll do that next week), he spoke to Simon, but look at verse 7. When their boats began to sink because of the great catch, they signaled to the other boat. You will not believe what signaled means in the original language. It means they nodded. Yes, it does. It literally means they nodded with their heads. They couldn't use their hands. They were pulling that net up. They couldn't use their voice. It wouldn't carry that far.

So, when James and John in the other boat got the nod, they came over, and both boats were so full they began to sink. What Peter didn't know in that moment was that the fish were only there to teach him a lesson about faith. As he was drawing the nets out of the water, God was drawing the Peter out of the Simon. This is why he did it by the sea: so he could show you that the real stuff, the real you, is deep down inside of you. Not the surface stuff, not the surface story, not the behavior, not the mistake, not the things you think. That's just the thought level. That's just the waves. But if you let down the nets, there's a great catch down there. There's a rock down there. There's a strength down there. There's a hope down there. So, God sent me with a command: "Pull it out". The nets are symbolic of you. He said, "I'm going to make you fishers of men. I see something different in you than you see in you. You see yourself as a fisherman, and you're right, but you're not just a businessman; you're a business, man". (That's from "2 Jay-Z".)

Y'all stay with me, because I hear God saying something to you. He sees something in you. Look. You're like, "It's not there". Just because it wasn't there when you fished all night doesn't mean it's not there now. Do you hear me? Let me release this word. You're ready now! You're a rock now! It's right now! From now on, you will fish for purpose. I feel God drawing something out of your desires, drawing something out of your dreams, drawing something out of your hurt, drawing it out. Y'all, remember he's still Simon, so when he sees all of the fish in his boat, he doesn't celebrate. He's scared. Everybody who has been scared, stand up. I have to qualify this. He wasn't scared of a battle; he was scared of a blessing. "When Simon Peter saw this…" He didn't see himself as Peter yet. He still saw himself as Simon. You can get the nod from God that he wants to choose you but reject it inside of yourself. God is nodding.

"It's you. I'm going to use you. I'm going to get you through this. My promises are yes and amen. Before you were born, I set you apart. Do not say, 'I am only a youth.' Don't say, 'I'm just a fisherman.'" God is nodding like this, and everything in Simon is saying, "No. Not me, Lord". "When Simon Peter…" Both in the same boat, just like two voices in your head right now. In the same sentence. Simon and Peter in the same boat, in the same body, in the same moment, in the same experience. This season, this testing, can either sift all the Simon out and leave you strong like Peter or it can cause you to give up on yourself. So, Simon speaks. "Lord, I see this success". Isn't it amazing? He is scared of his success because he is aware of his brokenness. Am I talking about you? Am I talking about me? Am I talking about all of the things we try to push away that God wants to bring in our lives? "Go away from me, Lord; I'm a sinful man". Jesus is like, "You don't think I knew when I got into your boat? You don't think I knew both were in the boat…Simon and Peter, weakness and strength, faith and fear? I got in, and you're not going to tell me when to get out".

I hear God saying that. This is a prophetic word for somebody, so stay with me. The way you do with people you're not going to get to do with Jesus. When people get too close, and they're good to you, and they love you, you push them away. You disqualify it. You don't hear it. It rolls off you like water. You're not going to get to do that with Jesus. I remember a difficult season Holly and I went with. I already told y'all how wonderful we are. Well, listen to this. There was a time… It has been several years ago. I was just going through… I guess I was being sifted. You know what I'm saying? Like, "You don't have what it takes". All the Simon stuff. Simon says. "Simon says you're an idiot. Simon says touch your ear, your other ear. Simon didn't say…" Simon doesn't get to say! Who is Simon that he gets to say? What a dumb game.

Simon said, "Go away". Jesus said, "You don't get to say. I say so". "'Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I prayed for you that your faith would not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brethren.' He replied, 'Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.'" Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, when Satan is through sifting you, all that's going to be left is the Peter you really are". But that's not what I wanted to show you. I wanted to show you that just like Jesus got into Simon's boat without asking… How many of you requested to be born? How many of you requested to be 5'8-1/2 feet? How many of you requested to go through the rejection experience? No, no, no. Jesus got into the boat, and you don't get to tell him when to get out.

Imagine if Jesus had listened to "Simon says". "Get away, Lord". "All right. James, John, do y'all have room over there for me"? No, no, no. When Peter got done with all of that "Go away from me, Lord…" The fish in his boat reminded him. He sees a boat full of fish, and he's like, "Oh God! He doesn't know what's in me". He sees. Do you think he could see the fish at the bottom of the Sea of Galilee, and he can't see the sin at the bottom of you? He's Jesus! If he saw the fish that were under the boat, he saw the Simon that was in the boat, and he still got in. He still chose you. "I have prayed for you, Simon". Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid. I'm going to show you how to do this. Don't be afraid. Just like you were mending your nets, I'm going to mend you. I'm going to do with you… And I'm doing it right now".

This is the Spirit of the Lord. Simon has been talking to you all week. Let the Spirit talk for a moment. Jesus is not Siri. We don't give him little commands. Let him talk for a minute. You keep telling God what you're not, what you can't. You keep telling yourself all that. Simon was only in trouble when he was speaking. Let Peter talk for a moment. Let the God part of you talk. Let the Holy Spirit talk to you. Let Jesus tell you what to do. "Because you say so, I will let down the nets". How many opportunities have you pushed away because "I don't want to let you down"? How much love have you pushed away because "I don't want you to see me like I really am"?

A lot of us go through life with an operating belief. "If you really saw me, you wouldn't like me. If I let you close, I'll let you down. If I let you close, you'll let me down". After Peter got up off his knees, Jesus was still nodding. "I'm still going to use you. You can deny me, but when you're faithless, I'm faithful. Remember, I got in the boat. I made the first move". You're not getting rid of God that easily. You tried to run from him. How did that work out? You're in church. For some of you, it popped up in the algorithm. You were searching for online gambling tips, and I came on. It's God. You're not getting away that easily. He's right here. The sea is a lesson. The nets are a lesson. Let him wash the nets. Let him mend the nets.

Father, I'm so thankful I can't hardly stand it right now. I was so scared that I would try to communicate this but I wouldn't know how to say it, but I have felt your grace for the last hour.

Now I want to ask you to do something amazing, God. Draw it out. Draw it out of them. The change starts after the sermon ends. "When Jesus had finished speaking, he turned to Simon and said…" It's one thing for you to speak to a crowd, Lord. It's another thing for you to speak to your child by name. I'm asking, God, that you would speak to every Simon. Draw out every Peter. There's great purpose in this room. There is great purpose at the bottom of all of that shifting sand. We believe you know what's under the boat, what's in the boat, what's on the boat, and most of all who's in the boat. Lift your hands. Tell the Lord out loud, "It's your boat". "You knew, God, when you got into this boat that Simon was stupid. You knew when you got into this boat, but I'm not going to try to send you away going forward".

Right now in this moment, there is an invitation for someone who needs to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Put your hands down for a moment, and I'm going to ask you to raise your hand again in just a moment, all over the world online, right here in this room. "Simon, Simon…" Is God calling your name? Is this your day to give God your life? You did it before. You fished all night, you caught nothing, and here you are with empty nets. That's good. That's room for Jesus in the boat. I believe everybody can get something from this message, but for somebody, this message is everything. This is the moment the grace of God is coming into your life. Don't worry about fixing your nets yet. That's God's job. You just let him into your heart. It is by grace through faith we are saved. You may not get this moment back, not just like this. This is a holy moment.

With our heads bowed and our eyes closed, I'm going to pray a prayer. The prayer is not magical. It's just an invitation. The Bible says that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. So, right now, I'm going to lead you in a prayer. I want you to repeat this prayer out loud after me if you are ready to repent of your sin, place your faith in Christ, and make Jesus the Lord of your life. I want you to repeat this prayer out loud after me. This is your moment. God is stepping into your boat. God is stepping into your spirit. God is stepping into your life. Repeat after me.

Heavenly Father, I am a sinner. You are a Savior. Come into my life. I believe you died for me and rose again to give me life. I receive this new life. This is my new beginning. I am a child of God.

On three, raise your hand in the air if you prayed that prayer. One, two, three! Shoot it up right now. We celebrate you. Oh, we celebrate the grace of God on your life. We celebrate the grace of God in your boat, in your home, in your marriage. We celebrate your new beginning, in Jesus' name. Come on, give God a great praise all over the church. Praise him if you received this word today. Nod if you got it. You got the nod. You got the God nod. "You're the one I wanted. You're the one I chose, and you're not getting rid of me that easily". That dark moment I told you about with Holly… She looked at me and said, "I'm not going anywhere". I said, "I'm just not as good as you think I am. I'm not that good. I'm not as good a pastor as y'all think I am". She said, "Well, you're the one we've got, so show up". I'm telling that to you. He got in the boat belonging to Simon. I think we're going to have to pick this up next week.

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