Pilgrim's Path Daily

Thursday, May 04, 2006

'SOUL FOOD' - an audio-book by G.D. Watson - Ch. 18 of 32

Chapter 18 - "INTO THE DEEP"
-- G.D. Watson lived in England, in the early part of the 1900's --

In the 5th chapter of Luke, from the 1st to the 7th verses, we have an account of Jesus teaching on lake Gennesaret, and afterwards of the disciples launching out and letting down their nets for a draught of fishes, which is full of suggestive thoughts.

1- Before they launched out they were to hear the Word of God (vs 1). This is the first preliminary to all of life or service. The first thing we need to hear is God's Living Word. Before we can repent, or believe, or move out on life's duty, we need to receive in our innermost being the Living Word of God. As the earth is dead until until shined upon by the sun, so there is no capability of life or service in us until we hear the Living Word. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word." It is the Living Word touching our faculties, piercing our conscience, melting our hearts, moving our will, vitalizing our motives, which prepares us for obedience. In proportion as God's Word enters into us, in that proportion are we qualified for our mission.

2- "Launch". When He had left speaking, He said to Peter, "Launch out". So it is when we have heard His Living Word Spoken to us, by the Living Spirit, we are then prepared for the Command to launch out. This word implies the act of the will, which has been vitalized by the hearing of the Living Word. Previous to hearing the Word, the will is sluggish and rebellious; it has no motives or energy along lines of righteousness; but the imparted Word opens up motives, imparts strength, and arouses in the will the principal of choice and determination, which constitutes the taproot of moral character. There must be a fixed choice against all evil, or for all good. It is this fixed choice of the will which makes the central element of character. (see Isa 26:3) God watches the determination of the heart. This word "launch" implies throwing ourselves in utter dependence upon the Lord --- a co-operation with the Spirit, a giving up of our will to His Guidance.

In seeking pardon, or sanctification, or healing, or entering some special service, in various ways there come times in our lives where, after hearing the truth, we are to boldly, with all our will-power, "launch out".

3- "From the shore". To launch out implies launching from the shore. Going from the shore was to leave the multitude, the sights and sounds of terra firma; to leave home, and friends, and all that was on the land. How much this implies to us who will hear all the Living Word, and launch from the shore! It implies launching out from nature, with its laws, sciences, philosophies, from its materialism. It implies launching from the natural mind, with its carnal reasoning, opinions, taste, its prudence and whims, and fashions. It implies launching from all our past --- past failures and successes, all our past sins, and all our past righteousness as well. The cutting of the shore line that ties us to anything behind; the letting of all things go, that, like a receding shore to a sailor, it may fade from our vision. (It means saying "goodbye".)

4- "Into the deep". How deep He does not say. The depth into which we launch will depend upon how perfectly we have given up the shore and the greatness of our need, and the apprehension of our possibilities. The fish were to be found in the deep, not in the shallow water. So with us; our needs are to be met in the deep things of God.

We are to launch into the deep of God's Word, which the Spirit can open up to us in such crystal, fathomless meaning that the same words we have accepted in times past will have an ocean of meaning to them, which renders their first meaning to us very shallow. Into the deep of atonement, until Christ's precious Blood is so illuminated by the Spirit that it becomes an Omnipotent balm, and food and deep medicine for the soul and body. Into the deep of the Father's Will, until we apprehend it in its infinite minuteness and goodness, and its far-sweeping provision and care for us. Into the deep of the Holy Spirit, until He becomes a bright, dazzling, sweet, fathomless summer sea, in which we bathe and bask and breathe, and lose ourselves and our sorrows in the calmness and peace of His everlasting presence. Into the deep of God's providences, where we find the most marvelous answers to prayer, the most tender and careful guidance, the most thoughtful anticipation of our needs, the most accurate and supernatural shaping of events. Into the deep of purposes and coming Kingdom, until the Lord's coming and His millennial Reign are opened up to us; and beyond these the bright entrancing ages on ages unfold themselves, until the mental eye is dazed with light, and the heart flutters with inexpressible anticipations of its joy with Jesus and the glory to be revealed. Into all these things Jesus bids us launch. He made us, and He made the deep, and to its fathomless depths He has fitted our longings and capabilities.

5- "Down your nets". Their nets were the instruments for making their living. To us it signifies letting down our gifts, talents, occupations, into the will of God. Whatever we can utilize of money or business, or voice or pen, or thoughts or labor, or personal magnetism, yielding it utterly to the sway of the Spirit, sinking it all in the sea of His Will beyond our vision, trusting all results with Him.

6- "All night, and nothing". At that same place they had toiled all night and taken nothing. What failures they had experienced! How weary and discouraged they were! But God loves to take the most forlorn failures and turn them into successes. God loves to work in such a way as to outwit all the wise. By His gentle Omnipotence, He takes disappointment, failure, trouble, desolation, and all sorts of losses, and out of them coins the gold victory of success. Faber sings:

"God's glory is a wondrous thing,
...Most strange in all its ways,
And of all things on earth least like
...What men agree to praise.
For He can endless glory weave,
...From what men reckon shame;
In His own world He is content
...To play a losing game."

7- "At Thy Word..." The pivot on which Peter's faith swung was the Word "nevertheless". Notwithstanding our failure all night, "at Thy Word we will let down the net". This was simple faith embodied in obedience. Obedience is the body in which the soul of faith lives and moves. We are to believe and obey at His Word, notwithstanding the awful failures of the past; right on the spot of defeat, over the same waters, with the same net, in the same boat, without any visible signs of success, we are to drop ourselves into His Will. Simply obey, and leave it with Him, whether we take any fish or not. The more perfectly we see our failure, the more perfectly we can enter into the meaning of this "nevertheless, at Thy Word..."

8- "Their net brake". "The lame have taken the prey". The draught of fishes was more than they asked or thought; it was larger than the measure of their nets, or the size of their boat, or the thinking of their minds.

This same Jesus stands on our sea of life, waiting for us to yield in utter obedience, and willing to do in us and for us "exceeding abundantly above our asking or thinking", on lines of experience and usefulness.


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