Luke 5:5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” (NKJV)
How much heartache and burden do we needlessly endure because of our tendency to trust God as a last resort?
We are such pitiful creatures. Even though God has proved Himself trustworthy without fail, we still want to “toil” in our own power. What a great burden of futility we could avoid if only our first response was to immediately turn to God in all things.
Who among us does not have a painful circumstance that God has sovereignly appointed (2Samuel 16.10-11) to test how quickly, how easily, and how consistently we will turn to Him when faced with yet another round of battle?
Perhaps for you it is a wayward child or unfaithful spouse; or maybe someone is unjustly attacking your reputation. For many today, it is an ex-spouse and the battles over money and children. For others, it may be a private sin or internal struggle. But for all of us, it is that easily identifiable, recurring, relentless circumstance that threatens to steal our peace, rob our joy and discourage us about life.
Whatever form it takes, it will tempt us to respond from our flesh (Mark 14.38). Our emotions and self interests are a cruel taskmaster. It is the rare person who immediately responds by surrendering the entire situation to God, again and again, as many times as it takes.
Most of us “toil” over adversity our way, until
we are left with no hope but to turn to God.
And that’s not necessarily always bad. I believe God frequently allows us to labor and struggle in our own futile effort for several reasons:
- We are left with no other hope but Him
- It will be very clear that we have no ability within ourselves to control life
- God will receive the maximum glory because we are left with no doubt as to the WHO finally took care of things
- It develops in us a stronger, proven, more observable faith in God
As we mature spiritually however, our life should be increasingly marked with a quicker and more habitual response to forego our futile efforts and surrender our burdens to God immediately, seeking His response and leading.
Turn to God first, then let Him decide
what effort He would have you undertake.
When we speak of casting our burdens on the Lord, that doesn’t imply we don’t have any responsibility or effort on our part. We do, but most of the time we get it backwards. We try every last thing we can think of, and follow every knee-jerk impulse spawned by our emotions. Then, when that doesn’t work, we finally turn to God and ask Him to care for us.
Luke 5:6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. (NKJV)
Plan ahead. Before the trial comes again, determine NOW that your first response will be to turn to God and ask “Lord, what would you have me to do?” And if He says “cast your net”, then you know that your effort will not be in vain.
Develop the habit and discipline of denying your emotions and natural tendency to direct your own life. Learn to instinctively turn immediately to God in every circumstance. The only way to develop this spiritual discipline is through practice (Psalms 9.10), so start today.
Our God, if only we would not waste time, and just turn to You immediately. Give us the wisdom to know Your Will and the courage to follow it. Give us the common sense to trust You, instead of ourselves. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Contemplation: Is God the last resort for you after you own abilities fail? Is He anything but the FIRST choice in every circumstance?
Application: God is infinitely more capable of caring for us and handling our burdens than we are. He’s just waiting for us to figure it out.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?