Monday, September 22, 2014

The Top Seven Countdown: # 6 The Nevertheless Obedience

As one of the most-read posts of the past year, this, too, was a surprise to me.  NEVERTHELESS.  It's a word I need to remember when obedience is confusing and difficult.  
_______

Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. (Luke 5:4, 5 KJV)

We are using the King James Version today so that we can look at Simon's response and the wonderful word NEVERTHELESS. It means "in spite of" and connects Simon's statements in a wonderful way. 

In response to Jesus's command to put out into the deep water and cast his nets, Simon made his doubt about the utility of that effort crystal clear. "I've already fished all night, Jesus. We didn't catch a single fish! I don't see the point."  Maybe what Simon meant was, "I'm the best fisherman on this sea, and if I can't catch fish, they can't be caught. I know more than you about fishing!" What is so interesting is that, although Simon clearly saw it as a low-yield effort, he was willing to obey Jesus. This is where nevertheless comes onto the scene. In spite of his doubt, fatigue, and desire to get finished with the morning's work and back home for a few hours of sleep, Simon would do what Jesus said. He didn't have to understand or agree. He just obeyed. 

I'm left wondering why. Why did Simon agree to put out into the sea when he thought it was pointless. Probably Simon had heard of Jesus and the miracles He could do. Maybe he was curious and wondered. Maybe he didn't want to miss anything special, just in case. Maybe he was offering Jesus a challenge. "Let's see what You can do in these waters."  Nevertheless. In spite of. Simon agreed to do what Jesus said. 

You may be a little like Simon (and me). Maybe you, too, have a litany of reasons why the instructions of that Still Small Voice are a bad idea or would be a wasted effort. Grudging obedience is still obedience, and can be an important first step toward seeing the miraculous intervention of God. Peter's uncertainty was not a problem because of one word. Nevertheless. Nevertheless, Peter would obey. 

The next time you are inclined to doubt that Still Small Voice, tack your doubt to nevertheless. Doubt if you must, but obey anyway. What blessings await! 

The fish were in the deep water, but Simon would not have caught them if not for NEVERTHELESS. What can God do with your "nevertheless obedience"? 



Today, pray that we and our loved ones would have  a willingness to obey that transcends our doubts. Pray for a "nevertheless obedience".