FREE FROM RESTRICTIONS
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen 1:28
The devil is crafty indeed, and he has some pretty nasty tricks up his sleeve. One of them is to bog us down with “over busy-ness”. Sometimes too many choices are just too much, and if you have a tendency to want to ‘take on the world’ sometimes, we think that this means doing everything ourselves, and it just plain wears us out! Check out this article I wrote in Aug. 09.
RIGHT SIDE OR LEFT SIDE? CHOOSE AUTHORITY!
Pro-life, pro-choice, union, non-union, more tax dollars, less tax dollars. The more choices we have the less appealing the choices seem to become. It is as if we have this uncontrollable urge to generalize and label.
I have seen it with my children, as toddlers they go about stacking blocks from biggest to smallest, lightest to darkest, and if there is more than one color, all the blues end up together and the reds with the reds and the whites with the whites. Nothing tends to blend, unless we are talking about play-dough which always turns out blah-color.
Jesus consistently had to battle with his disciples on their propensity to label and generalize. Asking them, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? ” Matt. 17:17 Parable after parable Jesus had to attempt to redefine his disciples ways of thinking.
“No one cuts up a fine silk scarf to patch old work clothes; you want fabrics that match. And you don’t put your wine in cracked bottles.” MATTHEW 9:16-17 (Message)
In other words, if you want to gain great kind of success and in order to be on point, with anything new in this world, you must first begin by implementing new ways of thinking.
So what do we do in a world filled with generalizers and label-centric individuals? Simple, we choose the correct side. Surprisingly it is not ultra-conservatism, nor ultra-liberalism.
Jesus spoke about the correct side, in John 21.The disciples friend Jesus, was dead and gone, and all of the disciples were saddened. They were at a loss and did not know how to handle themselves. They were searching for a new label, a new generalization. (Who are we now? Without Jesus, in person?)
After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, … Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”
They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?”
They answered Him, “No.”
And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” (John 21:1-8 NKJV)
I find it very telling that the disciples immediately went back to their old ways when Jesus was gone. Simon Peter (the rock) himself, says “I am going fishing”. Simon was going back to work. Simon wasn’t going fishing ‘to relax’, Simon was going back to his old way of living.
They were out all night, and did not catch a single fish. Some Bible versions say that Stephen was naked and stripped when he saw Jesus on the shore. He must have been working very hard.
For years when I read this scripture, I thought there must have been something miraculous about the right-side of the boat. I imagined hundreds of fish in a lake avoiding the fisherman’s net, like a terrible game of monkey-in-the-middle. When they threw the net on the left, the fish went right. When they threw it on the right the fish went left.
This year when rereading this account, I read it with a new revelation. While I was meditating on this particular scripture I began to wonder, what if the translation into english didn’t mean ‘right-side’? What if the Greek word wasn’t ‘right’ as in left or right, but what if it was meant to translate into “correct”?
“Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.”
Upon studying the original Greek, I found out something very interesting. When we read the english translation it appears that the fish had all congregated on the right-side of the boat. The Greek word however for ‘right’ in this sentence is actually dexios you might recognize this word as being dexterous, or dexterity. The Oxford dictionary defines it as being ‘handy’, or demonstrating skill. The Greek word, according to The Strong’s Concordance, is defined in two ways; 1. The right hand or 2. A place of authority.
So imagine being Simon Peter and there is a man on the shore, it is Jesus, but you don’t know it yet. He is on the shore and you are on the boat, you have been out all night long working to the bone trying to catch fish. They aren’t biting on anything. As a matter of fact your ‘net’ comes up empty every time. Now when you were with Jesus, you saw blind eyes open, lame walk, thousands being feed and miracle after miracle. But here you are doing what you have always done, and you can’t catch a single fish! It just doesn’t seem fair!
But then, that stranger yells from the shore “Hey you! Take authority over those fish! Cast your nets in the water again, but THIS TIME USE what you have learned from your teacher!” Now your thinking, “Really? Can I command as Jesus did? What was it that Jesus was always teaching us about authority? He gave it to us! (Luke 9:1)”
Upon remembering this, and hearing the those words from the shore, in faith and with authority you cast your nets in confidence of your prosperity in the Lord, and up come so many fish your net nearly breaks! You, as Simon Peter, end up jumping off the boat and swimming to shore because there is only ONE man who would be able to teach and understand AUTHORITY and it was Jesus!
Right side or left side? Neither! Choose the correct position! The correct position in a situation, is the position that lines up with the freedom and out-of-the-box type of faithful thinking that only the Word of God, can present! It is not labeled or generalized, it is the position that takes authority over the enemy, and it is the position that stands for truth, justice, prosperity, sovereignty, nobility, and faithfulness!
Take authority over your situation today, and begin to watch your circumstances line up!
A prayer for today,
Father God, be with Your children as they dig deep into the Word to find out what it has to say about authority. Encourage them, that we are born free in You and that there are no labels in You. Help them to see “Who the Son sets free is free indeed.” Let them drop all the things that are weighing them down, all the commitments that they have, that are not inline with what You would have them to do. Encourage them Father, to return to You in prayer asking, “My desires and wants are nothing Lord, I just want what You have in store for me. What shall I do next?” Then I pray that You would answer them Father. We love you Lord, and are tired of trying to cast our nets in hopes of catching a random fish. We need to take authority of our lives and be on point and on purpose and we know with You guiding us we can do it! Fill us up with the courage to say “no”, when needed, and “yes” when required. We love You. In Your Sons name, AMEN!”
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