Living Beyond Your Potential

Discussion/Devotion Quote of the Day…

4:13 Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.
Philippians 4:13 (MSG)
Some people do only what lies within the capacity of poor human creatures to accomplish, and consequently waste their time. What Peter experienced is repeated once more, word for word: Praeceptor, per totam noctem laborantes nihil cepimus.—Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing. If they work on their own, without being united with the Church, not reckoning with the Church, what possible effectiveness could their apostolate have? None at all! They need to be convinced that on their own they can achieve nothing. You should help them to go on listening to the rest of that Gospel story: in verbo autem tuo laxabo rete—at your word I will let down the net. It is then that the catch will be plentiful and effective. How beautiful it is to mend our ways when we find we have, for whatever reason, done apostolate (our being light in theon our own account!  (1)

We live in a day and in a place where people regularly live beyond our means.  We have loans for our homes, for our transportation, what we once used for emergencies, our credit cards, are now maxed out – and we find ourselves facing more and more stress and anxiety, because we try to do what we want without the resources necessary to do so.

Likewise, we often try to do the same thing spiritually, that we do economically. (It should be noted as the church, and as individuals, there is no difference)  Except of course we start in absolute bankruptcy.  As long as we continue to try to survive on our own, we cannot.  Yet we try.  We are like the story reference in the quote above.  We find our nets empty, we find ourselves spinning our wheels. Day in and day out we wonder, will what I do today make any difference. Will today improve, will it get better.
There are days where I contemplate my brokenness, the brokenness of the Church, and I wonder – can it ever change?  Can we live up to our “potential”, to our calling?

Are we so tired, so burdened, so in prison to our anxiety that we forget our master is in the boat?  We hear him teach, we watch Him working in the lives of others, but do we bother Him to help us with our burdens?  Do we realize He has already told us how to let down the nets?

I do not believe the “nets” are what most evangelicals think it is.  It is not the right missional program, it is not finding the correct model for small groups, or niche marketing our congregation.  Any more that it is in finding the right “self-help” book, or the right “coach”, or the right church. As long as we look at it from what we can do, we are binding ourselves to our own self-centered tendencies, and we are relying on our own weaknesses.  We forget who is travelling in our boat, and doing that is making the choice to continue to be broken, bankrupt, oppressed.

I would suggest that the net is that which comes from the depth of being in God’s presence, in listening to Him as the people of God. It is realizing that our potential is not ours – the potential of Church, where we can go – was already designed and that which is necessary invested by the Father, by giving us Jesus, by sending us the Holy Spirit.  The more we listen to Him, the more we fellowship with Him, the more we live with Him,

Remember, Jesus knew the night was rough, He knew they had caught nothing, He knew their labor was in vain.  Similarly, He knows our lives are very rough, He knows the struggles we have, and the struggles we have with our lives seeming meaningless and vain.  He also knows the nets that you need to let down – working with Him

And the meaning and abundance of life – that is promised and assured… and is more than we can ever believe possible.. in ways we cannot ever expect.  Far beyond and far different than what you think is your potential.   For it isn’t yours, but His…

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on September 26, 2012, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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