In the twenty-first chapter of St. John, one of Jesus’ disciples whose name was Simon Peter, decided to go fishing. His fellow disciples said, “We will go with thee.” After toiling all night long, they caught nothing. Jesus called to them from the shore the next morning, “Have you any meat yet?” They answered, “No!” Jesus responded, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship.”
They toiled all night and it profited nothing; but when Jesus showed up the next morning, everything changed. Psalm 30:5b ...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
There are many who are toiling today through a dark season. Doing the same old thing, the same old way – day in and day out. Nothing seems to be working. Jesus’ disciples were plagued by the same fate. Jesus told them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat. When they did, they pulled in 153 fish. It was supernatural that the net did not break from the heavy load. What happened? They received a fresh word from God. Obedience to the fresh word resulted in a large fresh catch.
Is that you doing the same thing and expecting different results? If so, ask the LORD for a revelation. The moment it comes, act upon it. When Jesus gave his followers a fresh word, they immediately acted upon it. They received illumination that not only changed the way they fished, it changed their lives.
Listen for the instructions of Jesus in every endeavor so that you don’t spend your time casting effort to the wind. All of the elements they needed were in place. The water was there. The fish were in the water. They had nets. They had a boat. What they didn’t have was a divine word causing a paradigm shift. When God gives you a fresh word, know that the elements are already in place and be prepared to have your life changed also. The word to them wasn’t just about fish. It was about their commission. It was about catching souls for the Kingdom.
My question to you is: Have ye any fish yet?” If not, do as Jesus instructed, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship.” The right side will always result in enormous blessings for the kingdom of God.
JOHN 21:6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
JOHN 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work."
JOHN 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
(Scriptures from KJV)
A prophetic word began to flow from Bishop Ken Sims (my husband) after a counseling session I had with a sister-in-the-Lord in March. I placed a microphone to his mouth to capture and share it with her, but I'm also impressed to share it with you. It came just two months after his two-week hospitalization. He was still very weak and was not expected to live:
"God said to stand
still and see the salvation of the Lord. Stand
still! This is not your fight. Stand
still and see the salvation of the Lord; and when you're stand
ing still, there's no need for your knees to buckle or knock together. Stop listening to what the enemy is saying and start taking the Word of God at face value. What the enemy says is nothing but a threat. You shouldn't even be at the point of wondering how is God going to work this out, or where are the finances coming from? This is His battle. This is not your battle, and you're not going to be able to figure this one out. He wants you to stand
still and see his salvation and that means total dependence on him; that means not trying to figure him out in your finite mind - how is all of this going to transpire and who is going to get what advantage over what situation. God rewards faithfulness and God is a just God.
What you need to do and continue to do is pray and watch the salvation of the Lord. Just stand and watch God do what he does best and what he does best is just being God.
Goliath and David are symbolical for you right now. You have to really, really just take a step back and see the whole threat that David was dealing with. See what it is all about and then you can adjust that in the spiritual. Step away from it and let God fight your battle.
This is not a situation where one day you are believing and one day you are not. It is important to keep your feet fixed. Keep yourself anchored in the promises of God and don't be like the person that you discuss and don't be vindictive. Watch your attitude. The best thing you can do right now is to pray for your enemies because they don't know what the nature of the threat is that they are bringing forth against you. They could get into a lot of trouble. Just let God take care of them and keep your focus on the Lord. Keep your eyes on Him in the whole scenario so that in the end, it will pan out the right way - the way it is supposed to go. You focus on becoming whole and dealing with your own life and just be very careful that your anger doesn't come through in a way that you're saying wrong things that could withdraw the hand of God's judgment away from your enemies. So guard your anger. Pray for them and you are going to see God work a miracle.
To every person that is involved in your whole situation: you don't need to be numbering troops. God is well able. Don't look at what you have and what you don't have. Don't let your knees buckle and don't shake in your boots.
We have the chief lawyer. The Lord anticipates what the enemy is going to do before he even does it. God is not going to allow you to fight by yourself - that's why he has placed Giants in the faith all around you. We have WON! We don't have anything to fear. Your enemy is restless and fearful. He doesn't know what your next move is. You hold the trump card."
STAND! Jesus is our trump card.
What did Franklin Roosevelt mean by the proverbial statement, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself?"
First of all, what is fear? Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.
Now, let's remember that there are some things that demand our respect. To walk into a 600-pound tiger's cage is not exercising respect for that animal's strength or his size -- let alone his sharp teeth.
If a woman is fearful of snakes, that's a legitimate fear. If the snake does not strike her and yet she feels his fangs biting into her neck, that's imaginary fear -- categorized as such because it has not happened yet. The way she can prevent it from becoming reality is to remain a safe distance from the threat.
Satan is legendary for manipulating his host with fear.
Webster defines fear as:
1) a feeling of anxiety and agitation caused by the presence or nearness of danger.
2) timidity, dread, terror, fright, apprehension, panic
3) a feeling of uneasiness or concern like it is going to rain.
There is nothing that you can do about the rain. It's beyond your control. This would be a prime opportunity to rehearse the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
We can fear what hasn't happened yet or we can eliminate the image from our minds, move forward and make this our finest hour. Fear doesn't work unless we give attention to it.
In I John 4:18, the Word of God says that fear It is great mental or physical pain or anguish.
Fear paralyzes - meaning to render helpless or inoperative, to lock up, freeze, become motionless, unable to respond
This exactly what happened to Peter. Matthew 14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
The wind, the rain, and the waves brought Peter to a stand still - a place of helplessness. Every negative factor ganged up on his faith. He saw himself sinking before it happened. Again - imaginary fear. However, his fear went from unreal to fact. Notice, it wasn't until he saw the threat. He saw himself gagging already - lungs filled with water. He conceded to death.
Mark 11:22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.
23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Fear and faith cannot co-exist. It is imperative that we keep our eyes on Jesus for it is impossible to please him without faith. According to Romans 10:17 faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. It is mandatory that we starve our fears and feed our faith the word of God.
I expect that most of you, if not all, have had a challenging -- yet wonderful work week. There have been numerous oppositions: evil reports near and far. Nevertheless, we have peace and joy!! --characteristics of the Kingdom.
A pastor asked me for a response on religion so I sought the Lord. Below is my reply:
Religion is a belief system, attitudes, and practices. It's not a bad word. Everybody is religious. Unfortunately, being religious does not save you any more than going to McDonald's makes you a hamburger. If that were the case then all would be automatically saved -- no matter what their persuasion. Ephesians 2:8 & 9 tells us, "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God -- Not of works, lest any man should boast." The outward observances of rituals, minus a relationship with Jesus, are just works. The Bible says in Isaiah 64:6 that our own (works of) righteousness is as filthy rags.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Religious minds think they are saved by their good works or vain antics (i.e. pushing a bean around a sanctuary with their nose for the forgiveness of sins). We are saved by the good work that Jesus accomplished at Calvary -- period! Our good works are confirmations of our belief in the sacrifice that Jesus made.
Religion attempts to approach God other than by going through Jesus. In John 14:6 Jesus said, "I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE; NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME." He's the door.
I was very religious until I was seventeen years old -- yet on my way to hell. Morally good, but still on my way to hell because my belief system was vain and powerless.
Pure religion (Greek - ceremonious in worship) and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)
I only found seven scriptures pertaining to religion/religious and 369 to the Kingdom. The emphasis is on the kingdom.
I've studied that religion started with Cain and Abel and thought so for years. However, the Lord revealed this truth to me: Lucifer was the first being practicing religion and it got him kicked out of heaven. Hmm!
In Genesis chapter 3, Adam and Eve were practicing religion in the garden of Eden. It got them kicked out of the garden. God said, there's only one tree (in the middle of the garden) that you are forbidden to eat from. But Eve (Mother of all living) ironically became mother of all dying, because she 'SAW' the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise... vs. 6 What took place here is what I John 2:16 declares, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." Religion is us doing things our way rather than God's way. And the moral of this story is -- religion gets you kicked out of the garden of pleasure and leaves you naked and without a covering.
We see another prime example of religion at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:6-9. Man endeavored to reach God in his own way. Babel means confusion. Their language became as one babbling. Verse 8 SO THE LORD SCATTERED THEM ABROAD FROM THE FACE OF ALL THE EARTH: AND THEY CEASED BUILDING THE CITY. Religion scatters, confuses, causes discord, disunity...
Religion is from that perverted, lo-down, stinking scoundrel of a devil. (I love to slam his name.) It is Satan's counterfeit for Kingdom principles. Like pride, it originated with him. Satan loves for us to be religious. He doesn't even care if we go to church. He'll even go with us - uninvited. He's only threatened when we start learning who we are in the Kingdom and begin taking up our positions.
Where is the Kingdom? Luke 17:20, "AND WHEN HE WAS DEMANDED OF THE PHARISEES, WHEN THE KINGDOM OF GOD SHOULD COME, HE ANSWERED THEM AND SAID, THE KINGDOM OF GOD COMETH NOT WITH OBSERVATION. VS 21 NEITHER SHALL THEY SAY, LO HERE! THERE! FOR, BEHOLD THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS IN YOU." The Pharisees were looking for the Kingdom in its outward form. (2 Samuel 7:16) The revelation is this .... religious minded people see with the natural eyes (outward form).
Jesus certainly was not saying that his Kingdom was in the Pharisees. The Greek word is entos, meaning in the midst. The Kingdom of God was in the midst of the Pharisees in the persons of Jesus and in the disciples. The Kingdom is not with outward show (at this time) but in the hearts of men (male and female).
Luke 11:20, "BUT IF I, WITH THE FINGER OF GOD, CAST OUT DEMONS, NO DOUBT THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS COME UPON YOU." The Kingdom is established in us by power and authority given to us by Jesus -- the keys of the kingdom.
May God continue to shine upon each of you. Enjoy the remainder of your week!
Love and Blessings!