When Jesus Asks You To Do Dumb Stuff
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Sometimes Jesus asks us to do things that seem “not so bright.” In our own minds, and by our own reasoning, it’s stupid. But if we will just go ahead and do it, Jesus can then work the miraculous through us! In order to be able to accomplish this feat, it’s all based on one question:
Do you trust Jesus? If you do, a feast is coming!
Case in point, there is a story found in John 21, where the disciples are out in their boat, fishing. They fished all night long and caught nothing! I’m sure they were a little grumpy because of that, so when Jesus woke them up, yelling from the shore, “HEY! THROW YOUR NETS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BOAT! THERE’S FISH ON THAT SIDE!” this probably didn’t make them jump up and say, “Okay!”
I mean, this is a small boat! Why would there be fish on the other side of it, that’s merely a few feet! And, they could have easily shouted back, “We’re fishermen! We know what we’re doing! Mind your own business!”
They didn’t know it was Jesus standing on the shore, right then, but they did it anyway, although it seemed dumb. After they did, the Bible says, “they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish!”
THEY COULDN’T EVEN GET THE NET IN THE BOAT! THEY HAD TO TOW IT TO THE SHORE! C’mon somebody, there’s a message here! What seemed like a very dumb thing to do, turned into a huge blessing! Why? Because they were obedient! Because they had trust! This is the key to unlocking life’s biggest blessings through Christ!
Here are some very dumb things that I’ve done in my life, which, at the time, made me look like an idiot. But all along, Jesus kept saying, “Just trust me.”
- Stand up to the religious Christians. First off, let me define “religious Christian” for you. This is someone who does not believe in the complete forgiveness of Jesus’ sacrifice at the Cross–they have conditional love and semi-grace. They might say they do believe in complete, finished forgiveness, but their lives, teaching, double-talk (saved, not saved, saved, not saved, works, it’s all free, works, it’s all free), and their emotional manipulation of “I’m not having a Bible discussion with you!” along with attempting to instill fear and condemnation in the hearts of believers, and non-believers the like, say otherwise. They hold peoples’ complete forgiveness hostage, because they don’t want to give away “licenses to sin” (we are sinning just fine without licenses). They are focused on the wrong thing: SIN. Which, when we finally know that we are completely forgiven (and nothing can change this, not even sin), only then do we not want to sin any longer, because we love Jesus so much, because He’s removed all of our eternal sin punishment, for free. But to them, until we shape up and “be like them,” we’re no good to God (or to them for that matter). They say there must be proof of our saving. Really? Ephesians 2 says otherwise–that it’s by grace (free, unearned) through faith (simply believing) alone, and that it’s a free gift, so we can’t say, “Hey! Look at what I did for God to get where I’m at!” We can’t brag, ever, on ANYTHING we do, or refuse to do. Religious Christians also say you must confess every sin even after you get saved, that’s double-talk. Make your mind up! You MUST ask for forgiveness for EVERY SINGLE SIN? C’mon. What about your own sins that you forget to ask for forgiveness for? The ones you belittle, cover up, overlook, and let float away into the rear-view mirror of your life? Do those just go away? No. That demonic method is madness, and incorrect. It keeps you focused on sin, and not on Jesus. There is a NEW COVENANT, based on a ONE-TIME sacrifice of Jesus’ blood (Hebrews 8:13, 10:10). Your asking didn’t get you saved anyway, your faith in Jesus’ blood sacrifice did! If that weren’t the case, then we could just sin away, and then ask for forgiveness once a week–or whenever. What kind of relationship is that? A terrible one. The truth is once you believe in His perfect blood, you are adopted into the family of God as God’s own Child–just like Jesus! (See Ephesians 1). The Bible verse they keep taking out of context in 1 John 1:9, about confessing every sin, they need to realize John was speaking to non-believers who thought they had NEVER sinned. He was trying to get them to realize they need Jesus’ forgiveness! So when you first stand up to the religious Christians, rather it be a church leader, legalistic friend or family member, it won’t be easy–BUT BE CONFIDENT! You are no surprise to God! And your identity is not in proving or disproving, but the Cross! Remember to first THINK of them with love! Try to understand that they find their identity in what they do and don’t do for God, so this will not go over well at first–they won’t like this at all. Be brave. Understand that you’ve really got nothing to prove, but instead, something to share. Which is the free gift that Jesus gave you! Don’t be afraid of them. They will try to get you to become fearful, or to feel condemned by this grace you are speaking of (they too, will be in desperate need of this same grace one day soon). Keep in the forefront of your mind that you’ve got NOTHING to fear because God’s love for you is perfect in Christ, that there is no fear in His love, and that His love casts out all fear! (See 1 John 4). Further, you don’t ever need to feel condemned because you have placed your faith in Jesus! (See Romans 8). When God first began to nudge me to do this, to actually stand up to them, respectfully, I didn’t want to. I mean, “Who am I?!” is what I thought! This seemed like a very dumb idea! God taught me that I’m on the exact same level as them, because of my faith in Christ. So, I did it anyway, and by doing this I’ve been able to break free from religious bondage, fear, manipulation, and I’ve actually began to enjoy my complete freedom in Jesus’ FINISHED WORK at the Cross! You can do the same!
- Go public with your weaknesses. My goodness this might have been the most difficult thing to do! We all think we have a reputation to maintain, but God wants to break that down, destroy it, and give us a brand new one! A reputation that is built on Christ! The problem is, nobody wants to air out their dirty laundry to get to this point–we don’t want to look bad, weak, or wrong–this seems like a very dumb choice! BUT, the Bible says otherwise! It says “God’s power is made perfect in our weakness!” (See 2 Corinthians 12:9). And with this mindset (our weakness is actually our strength), we can now put 1 John 1:9 in the proper context, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” There it is! We confess so we can acknowledge that God is right, and we are wrong! We confess so that we can get on the proper path of repentance! Further, the Bible says that it is our “testimonies that overcome the power of the enemy” (see Revelation 12:11). YOUR TESTIMONY WILL HELP OTHERS! THE WORLD NEEDS IT! God allowed those things to happen (allowed, didn’t cause) so you can break free through Christ’s love, and then help others who are struggling with the same! None of it will be wasted unless you keep it all to yourself. The devil wants you to be ashamed of your past, but Jesus wants you to be confident in what He did to redeem you. So sure, it seemed like a dumb move when I first began to talk publicly about my addictions, my difficult upbringing, my anger problems, my greed, my marital issues, my bad parenting choices, and my codependency issues, but I trusted Jesus and I did it anyway. It hurt, bad! It was like I was being crucified on my very own cross! BUT JESUS HELPED ME THROUGH ALL OF THESE ISSUES–EVERY SINGLE ONE! And now He’s using them for good, and for my purpose, all because I spoke up and stopped caring about what people thought of me, and started caring about what God thought of me. The fact is, people aren’t looking to us Christians to see a clean, shiny person, who has never had a problem–NO! THEY WANT TO KNOW ABOUT OUR GRIT AND GRIME–AND HOW CHRIST SET US FREE! So don’t be anonymous any longer. You have no reason to be. Anonymity is based on shame and fear–SO BE BOLD! SPEAK UP! SPEAK OUT! SAY YOUR FULL NAME! It’s not a dumb move, it’s called bravery! It’s called doing ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST IN US! (See Philippians 4:13).
- Bless and pray for those who cause you pain. Again, this seems very dumb. And when I first begin to really seek out Jesus through His Word, I was actually looking for Scripture I could use to sic Him on my enemies. What I soon found out is that Jesus does not do this, He loves all of us, no matter what we do. And because He lives in me spiritually, I don’t want to cause my enemies harm either. Instead, what Jesus asks me to do, is genuinely pray for my enemies to be blessed, to think of them with love, and to ask God to help them come to know Him, personally. Why? Because once they do, then their lives will change. Of course, this goes against my flesh’s rules of tit-for-tat, so it is a conscious decision I have to make to allow Christ to live through me to be able to pull this off. Since God began to renew my mind, and teach me new life skills of breaking free from codependency, I can now stand up for myself and still love people. This is possible! The Holy Spirit will teach you how to establish healthy boundaries that others must respect for your well-being. You will get to this happy, non-enabling medium, by realizing just how valuable you are to Jesus! YOUR VALUE TO CHRIST WILL GIVE YOU WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR! Once you get this down pat and firmly established in your soul, then you’ll soon realize everyone else’s value too–even your enemies’. Jesus died to make all of us right with the Father, even while we were far from Him in unbelief (see Romans 5:8). So yeah, it seems dumb, but ask God to bless your enemies! After that, your life will become much more peaceful!
A prayer for you: God, I want to let you know today, that I love you. I know I say it a lot, but I really mean it. And the more I trust you, the deeper my love grows. Thank you for removing all fear and condemnation from my heart by teaching me my value, by showing me who I really am in Christ. And thank you for another day alive on your planet! Keep using me how you see fit! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. For those who might be on the brink of completely falling into you, pull them over the edge! Teach them who they really are in Christ’s finished work! I BIND ANY HATE, RELIGIOUS MINDSET, FEAR OR CONDEMNATION IN THEIR SOULS, RIGHT NOW! BE GONE IN JESUS’ NAME! Help them to make the moves you are asking them to make, THE MOVES THAT MAY SEEM DUMB! And give them the strength to ward off the angry, non-loving, judgmental, hyper-critical Christians, with their very own confidence, grace, and unconditional love! Show them how to keep their heads up high! ALWAYS! And how to have eye-contact with everyone–no matter what! Give them bravery as they walk out this life through Jesus! Amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days For Jesus, Volume 2. Get your copy here!