We give credit to human wisdom when we should give credit to the divine guidance of God being exhibited through childlike people who were “foolish” enough to trust God’s wisdom and His supernatural equipment – Oswald Sanders
I had the privilege of teaching at a women’s retreat this past weekend, where we immersed ourselves in the study of Luke 5:1-11. Our theme was “Deeper” and we looked closely at the passage that marks Peter second call to discipleship. Peter and the other disciples are astonished by a large catch of fish that leads to their repentance and worship. They leave their miraculous “catch” behind to fully follow Christ.
As I prepared and went deeper into the passage myself, I noticed that Jesus jumps in Peter’s boat to challenge his “fisherman” mindset. Fishing was Peter’s world! He logically knew (from being out there all night) that the fish weren’t there, yet Jesus issues the command to launch into the deep. What about in your ministry and life? When Jesus commands you to “launch out into the deep” do you attempt to reason according to your own human wisdom, or do you trust the Word of God?
Would Peter trust his own “fisherman’s know-how
and experience” or would he trust Christ?
The danger of choosing human wisdom is that it stands in stark opposition to the life of faith.
Scripture is clear to teach that the wisdom of God cannot even compare to human wisdom,
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).”
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:19-20:
“For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
Will we be those women who limit our leadership by relying on what we know, what our experiences have been, and trust in those things which we can see, or will we allow Christ to lead us to a deeper place, where the “catch” is far greater than anything we could think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
Christ shakes up the world that Peter best understands. He is so astonished by the miracle of fish that he falls to Jesus’ feet in repentance.
“When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord (Luke 5:8) !”
Peter gained a deeper revelation of who Jesus was that day. It is likely that he repented from his unbelief and trusting in his own fisherman abilities and strengths. Christ had something far better for Peter, and He has something far better for us when we believe in Him.
Human wisdom produces human results, trusting in Christ brings about the supernatural leadership.
It is easy to place our trust in the next best ministry idea or rely on what we have become comfortable with over the years. Peter did. He thought he knew all there was to know about fishing, the best time of day to fish and the best location, but what he knew was keeping him from launching into the deep.
We can make the same mistake. Ministry can often become stale because we no longer pray and seek God for what He is desiring us to do because we fear the unknown. If we are not careful, we can easily fall into a routine that becomes a “formula” for ministry. Women’s events automatically appear on our calendars year after year, and we become comfortable in our past accomplishments and experience.
Imagine if you were open to letting God out of the box to do a new thing that was completely out of your comfort zone? Allow Christ to astonish you like He astonished Peter!
Practically, how you can you avoid the danger of human wisdom?
- Pray. Ask God to forgive you for your unbelief and trusting in your own wisdom.
- Worship Him. Acknowledge His infinite wisdom!
- Identify your comfort zone. In what area of your life or ministry have you told God that He can’t work?
- Identify your fears. What are you afraid of?
- Take small steps of faith. Escape your comfort zone, and overcome your fears.
- Go deeper. Diligently seek Him. Study His character and find His promises that you can stand on and trust in!
- Remember. Jesus is in the boat with you. He has intimate knowledge of the deep. He will be faithful to lead and guide you through His Word.
Yes, my friends, the deep is a scary place — because what awaits us is unknown. It is a place where Jesus challenges us beyond our own experiences and abilities. He puts us in places where we must entirely depend on Him, yet out in the deep is where the fish are!
Remember, human wisdom will always prevent a roadblock to experiencing deeper places of faith with Christ.