Thank you for joining me for the next four weeks for this new Bible study titled “But If You Say So.” You are so welcome to join us! All you need is your journal, your Bible, and a pen. I hope you’ll grab a friend and tell her about it, too.
Push out into deeper waters.
Sounds like a simple request. . . except when it makes no sense.
In today’s reading, Simon is exhausted. His hands are worn from washing nets weighted with stones. He’s fished all night and caught NOTHING.
When Jesus asks him to push out into deeper waters, he could have said no.
Not going to do it.
Are you crazy?
For the man standing in front of Simon was a teacher. . . not a fisherman.
Simon knew what to expect. He was the expert here. He had years of growing up at his father’s side. He knew where to find the fish, and he also knew that sometimes the fish just weren’t there. He had just washed his nets, a huge task. He had fished all night and his body was tired.
Have you ever had someone tell you what to do, and you knew more than they did about that subject?
That’s exactly where Simon was in that moment.
But note Simon’s response. He said, “But if you say so. . .”
And that response changed his life forever.
Over the next four weeks, we’re going to explore what happens when we say, “But if you say so” to Jesus.
We’ll talk about what it looks like when we sense God asking us to do something that makes no sense in the natural. We’ll discover that Jesus had something special to show Simon, and that it’s for us as well:
When Jesus says, “follow me,” it’s not about the destination, but the journey.
Are you ready to push out in deeper waters together?
Q: In Luke 5:4, Jesus asked Simon to push out in deeper waters. List three reasons that this didn’t make sense.
Q: What emotions might Simon have been wrestling with?
Q: When you sense God asking you to do something that doesn’t make sense in the natural, what are your feelings?
Q: Jesus was asking Simon to trust in what he could not see. Describe a time you trusted in what you could not see, and how you responded.
Today, ask Him to help you listen for those moments when He’s asking you to push out deeper, even if it doesn’t make sense.
Lord, thank you for each woman joining in this study. You know her name. You know her heart for You. May this be more than just a study. May it be a time of growth, discovery, and transformation. In the name of Jesus, amen.
I am in a continual process of learning that it doesn’t help me emotionally or physically to have that “panic” moment before l have been shown that there is nothing to panic about. Life in Christ is knowing He will be there inspite of this life and the uncomfortable days within our journey. Just knowing this does not make it easy at times to respond as l should. I do not function well in the “limbo” areas of life.
Most of us do not function well in the “limbo” areas of life, but my prayer is that you live fully right where you are today, even in that waiting place. It’s just as important as the destination. God is with you here, just as He will be with you there. I love your honesty and your heart for all that God has for you. He can do so much with a heart and hands open, even in the hard places.
Ok, I am right here with you guys on this “living fully in the waiting place”. My husband will lose his job January 1st, as his company is merging. I am 55 years old and don’t think I can move to another place so that he can find a job. I am horrible at waiting, all I do is stew about the situation, even though I try to trust that God is leading. I want to be able to let go and “live fully in the waiting place”, and thank you Suzi for that because you gave words to what I need!
For 17 months I have been in a state of limbo, unable to move past my husband’s second infidelity and the abuse I received from repeatedly asking for answers to my questions about his affairs and then not getting those answers. My response to the whole situation has not been godly and has been one of extreme hurt, confusion, and indecisiveness. I am emotionally exhausted, but am learning through a new found faith that God has been with me through this whole ordeal and will continue to be with me as I seek clarity in deciding what to do about my future. I have felt and continue to feel that God is leading me into those deeper waters and asking me to trust Him and give Him time to work on me and on my husband before I decide the fate of our 36 year marriage . My mom texted me yesterday, telling me that she had had a dream that I was walking with Jesus and He was holding my hand. I feel like He is doing that very thing and I am trying very hard to give up control and just let Him take me where He needs me to be.
Karen, I pray that you are seeking godly (licensed counselor) counsel as you make these oh-so-difficult decisions. My heart hurts with you over the pain you have suffered, but I also celebrate with you as I hear a woman who desires God to walk with her, no matter where that might lead.
I, too, have been in limbo in my marriage of 30+ years. My husband has dealt with the death of both parents with whom he had broken relationships; then he had a heart attack and depression set in. He moved out of our home and we have been separated for 2 years. He has not made any moves to divorce and I have tried to trust God to heal my husband, heal my pain from the separation and heal our marriage. I have sensed that God is telling me to keep trusting him in the deep waters and to show my husband compassion and unconditional love. It has been hard for me and I have doubted God many times, but I always come back to knowing the He has never left me and He is doing something new in me. This journey hasn’t been easy, nor has it made sense to me, but I’m learning to let Him control each day.
Oh, Kim, how hard is that? I’m sorry for your pain, but in awe of your strength and compassion. You are surely a woman of faith and courage.
Lord, thank you for Kim, and for her hope in You. Pour out Your presence in such a tangible way that joy shines from her like a Light. Move in and do what only You can do in the heart of a husband who is stuck in depression. Bring Light to him. Lead him to help, and healing. May he be amazed at the joy he sees in his wife, and drawn to You. It’s not Kim’s job to fix him, for we are not big enough to fix another human being, but we can trust You when it’s bigger than us, and today I stand with Kim as she trusts when it doesn’t make sense. Lead her. Guide her. Pour out Your presence over her. Fill her up. In the name of Jesus.
I think for me I really need to trust God completely for everything in my life. My husband wants to move so we can be in a good church. (We currently listen to one in Bowling Green Ohio on the internet), yet it is not the same as being there with them. I am so afraid of moving, I have all these excuses about not enough money, no place to live, no job and other things I am afraid of. We do not have a direct word of where to go which is even scarier. I know if this is what God wants. (which I do know being in a fellowship with other believers is in his will) he will supply everything we will need but I just am not sure I am ready to just drop everything and go like Simon and the other disciples did. I always say it is different now than then, you know they really talked to him and they didn’t seem to rely so much on the money situation like I seem to do in this day and age. We have had so many times had Matthew 6:33 come to us in one way or another “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you.” but I still feel my faith isn’t where it should be for this situation. I need to be more like Simon Peter and say “nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” or “At your word Lord we will go where ever you want us to go no ?’s asked.”
I love that you are working through this with honesty. It’s okay to say, “I’m afraid.” It’s okay to weigh the cost, for we are asked to weigh the cost. But what I hear you saying is, “God is speaking to us, and we are to take the next step.” I don’t know what that next step looks like, because God is the one who will show you that. We move into a place of surrender as we open our heart to the possibilities. It may happen in six weeks or three years, but surrendering simply means that we’ll take one step into “deeper water” and follow His lead.
I have struggle the last two years because of moving in
with my mother in law. My father in law passed away in June 2012. She has poor eye sight. So my husband and I gave up our home and came here.
Often I feel I am in prison, other times, I feel it is my gift to her. I do not think I could do this except I hope to witness to her. But there are times, that I want to run away.
Father, Diana is in a hard place. Will you speak to her right where she is. May she find renewed joy. Renewed strength. Renewed purpose. If she runs, may it be into your arms. If she runs, may it be into Your hope and into Your Word where it fills up the empty places. Thank You for Diana and her honest heart. May she be a blessing to her mother-in-law in ways that surprise them both, in Jesus’ name.
I am to in a type of limbo. We move to where we are today to care for my elderly parents. They have both passed, but since my husbands health is now deteriorating due to diabetes, I want to move back to where we have our friends and family to help me. But waiting for that “window” to open is nerve-wracking…. I am not patient but I know I have to be to wait on what God wants.
Father, thank you for Veralynne. May she push out into deeper waters, trusting You to fully walk with her where she is today, as she waits for her tomorrow to come. May she find joy where she is. May she sense You powerfully. May You ease her tired heart, as she has been a caregiver for a long time, and You promise that You are our caregiver as You meet needs spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Wash over her today in a new and beautiful way, as she trusts and waits in this limbo period. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Thank you for doing this bible study. I am in a place in my life where i am beginning to get it and learning everyday who i am in Christ. God has asked me to go into deeper waters at this time in my life and to try and have a relationship with my dad. He has been an absent dad for the most of my life and my mother as well as my dad are both alcoholics and drug addicts. I did what God asked of me and went and visited my dad yesterday and i found out where he stands on his belief and i was able to plant a few seeds, which i feel good about. I am praying for God to begin to soften my dad’s heart and let his children show him love and also accept the love that our heavenly father has for him. His health isnt the best and he doesnt have any plans as of now to do anything about his health, except sit in his chair and drink his beer. I see a vision of God changing that. I have other family members that dont live their life for Christ either, all on my side of the family, but i have the support of a praying husband and a mighty warrior in Christ, which is my Mother in law, which I love dearly!!
Thank you again and God bless!!
Lord, thank you for this precious daughter. Walk with her in this healing process. Give her wisdom, discernment, strength and joy that comes direct from You through the Holy Spirit. Thank you for her faith, her joy, and the ability to love her dad in his brokenness, but not to live in brokenness with him, but rather wholeness through her Heavenly Father. I ask that this dad sense You calling him to wholeness, to healing, and to Your love. In Jesus name, amen.
My family and I recently relocated to the UK, my husbands home, and have finally started to feel settled. I work in part time ministry and have long felt called to explore ordained full time ministry. My current vicars have recognised this call and have referred me for further reflection and discernment with the leaders of our denomination. I suddenly feel like God is drawing me way out past the shallow end of the beach and is asking me to consider just what level of commitment I am willing to make. On the one hand I am absolutely inspired and can’t wait to dive in head first but on the other I wonder if I’ll be engulfed and drown. Thanks for this study and especially this passage that brings so much to the surface for deeper thought. God bless.
He walks with us on that water, Tammy. It isn’t always easy and there is a learning curve, but we aren’t alone in the process. Ministry is an extension of worship, if we allow it, watching God work in ways that we cannot do on our own, seeing Him unfold in the lives of others. So glad you are here with us!
I am taken back to a few weekends ago when I got the chance to hear Suzie speak on turning “crossroads” into turning points. I have read each of these posts and I see hurt, dissappointment, and several who feel stuck in “limbo”. It’s easy to just feel burnt out. I wanted to share a few verses that she highlighted in her message. (Hope she won’t mind)
Know this “God and His plan for you, does NOT change in the crossroads.” Suzie Eller
Look up Romans 4:3, Romans 8:26-27, and Romans 8:38.. I am looking forward to diving into deeper waters with you all over the next few weeks.
It’s Romans 5:3 — forgive my typo on your notes! : )
I’m so glad you are with us, Amber.