A Devotional by Pastor Cesar Castellanos
Today’s Bible Verse
Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”Luke 5:5
Determine to Obey God’s Word
These expert fishermen had worked all night long without any results! Then, they came across their Master. By now they had become disillusioned because they were empty-handed and wanted the Lord to give them some quick encouragement and comfort. However, the Lord told Peter to go into the deep water and cast out the nets to fish. Peter’s voice of experience told him it would be a waste of time to do that. However, he put such thoughts aside in order to accept the word of the Master, and answered Him, “I will do as You say.”
The word that came from God for Peter gave him confidence that nothing is impossible for God. What God says changes everything! Where there is scarcity, God gives abundance. It is a source of hope for those who are determined to believe in Him. The believer’s faith must be founded on the Word of God since anything he wants to obtain depends on what God says. Peter marveled because of the abundance of fishes the Lord placed in the net in just a split-second.
Faith is beyond our physical senses, it is born in the heart. If I had let my feelings guide me, maybe I would never have known the Lord Jesus as my Savior. I had to enter into the dimension of the faith in order for a deep and complete change to take place in my life. Usually, people tend to walk by sight and not by faith. They try to hold onto what they see, forgetting that behind this visible, natural world there is a spiritual realm that we don’t see that is real and eternal.
There are three main ways that people may learn: by observation and measurement, by thinking and working things out, and by faith. When you exercise faith in purely human terms, you put your trust in someone’s word. You trust that person because you see they have a greater degree of knowledge and experience than, perhaps you do. However, from the Bible’s point of view, faith is to trust in the inspired Word of God. A person of faith says, “I believe it, because God said it.” In order for us to enjoy the benefits that arise from having faith in God, there needs to be a deep longing for his Word in our innermost being. “‘…If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.’ For the mouth of the LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 1:19-20). This speaks of the struggle of the two natures that live inside each person. One nature desires God’s truth, though it still has to make an effort in order to know it. Yet, this is the desire that brings prosperity. The other nature, the carnal or rebellious one, closes itself off to the Word of God, and as the passage says, leads to an early destruction.
Faith overcomes doubt and unbelief. However, the adversary tries to get into a person’s thoughts at their weakest spiritual moments as he did with Adam and Eve. He was able to deceive them and lead them and their descendants to ruin.
Satan was foolishly bold enough to try to do the same with the Lord Jesus Christ. After He had overcome these temptations by faith and through speaking out God’s word, Jesus experienced the power of the Holy Spirit descending on him. The Apostle Paul teaches that we must use the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). The Word of God becomes that sword – but only if we confess it!
Faith has to be tested. The Apostle Peter said, “…that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:7). All of us have to go through the same process in our spiritual development. The soldier is best known for his bravery on the battlefield, not when he is safe and secure inside the walls of the barracks. In the same way, the believer can show his spiritual caliber when he is going through a test, because when he comes out of it, he will be crowned with glory, honor, and praise.
The Word confessed is the only thing that overcomes the adversary. Although we all may have the same opportunities given to us by God through His Word, the Apostle Paul tells us to, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16).
Something to Think About
Some time ago I read about an army Captain who was training a company made up of volunteers in a camp close to the ocean. While the men were all going along the beach, the Captain thought he would give them a lesson in obedience and give them the order to go into the water. All of a sudden he said, “Halt!” Every one of them stopped. Then, he commanded, “Turn to the right. Forward!” The company took some steps towards the ocean and soon reached the waves. Then they suddenly stopped. “Why did you stop?” Yelled the Captain, “I didn’t say, Halt!” “Because we are right at the water,” said the soldier leading the march. “So?” Shouted the Captain excitedly. “For soldiers marching in a company, the water is nothing, the fire is nothing. Nothing should stop you. Whether you go forward or not, it is my decision to make not yours!” The Captain was right. The soldier’s first duty is to learn to obey. (Dr. Ricardo Newton)
When several of His disciples turned away from Jesus because they did not understand the words He was telling them, He said to His Apostles, “Will you also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:67-68).
Dear God, thank You for allowing Your Word to reach me. When I received it, it was so sweet to taste and so refreshing to my soul that I determined to treasure it in my heart. All day long it is my meditation, because Your Word has been a refuge for my soul, a fortress for my spirit, a comfort for all my sorrows. Any time that I need it, it is right there to give me all the encouragement I need. Like Peter, I will walk in the sure conviction of Your Word, knowing that this is where my blessing is. Thank You, Lord Jesus, Amen.
I will do all that God commands me to do, because I am committed to following His Word.
Today’s Bible Reading
- Old Testament: Isaiah 56-58; Proverbs 29:1-14
- New Testament: Luke 24:13-27; Hebrews 12:1-13