[guestpost]Today’s guest post is by my friend, Suzanne Eller. Suzie is a Proverbs 31 Ministries writer, ECPA bestselling author and blogger. She’s been featured on Focus on the Family, Aspiring Women, Harvest Show, 100 Huntley Street, KLOVE, Daystar and numerous other programs. Suzie is a regular contributor to KLRC radio’s Words that Make a Positive Difference. She is an author of eight books including her most recent, Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads. I had the privilege of writing the forward for Suzie’s new book, and can tell you I was captivated by her heart and words from the first few pages. When she’s not writing, you can find Suzie playing with her six grandbabies, all under the age of five. To learn more about Suzie, check out her website or connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.[/guestpost]
I had my Bible in my hand. My purse nearby. A car would soon take me to the airport.
It was time to go, except I knew the Lord wanted me to share one more thing.
People were still sitting in their seats and talking. The Holy Spirit had sweetly swept over the meetings and people lingered. I walked to the microphone, knowing the words I would say before I spoke them.
I had read them in the book of Luke earlier that week.
One more time.
Those were the words.
Throw out your nets one more time.
When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” —Luke 5:4-5 (NIV)
Simon was exhausted. Casting the heavy nets into the water, and lugging them back in over and over was a chore. When the nets came back empty every time, it was disappointing.
But he did it.
He took the clean nets and pushed out into the deep and he let them down. Fish scrambled into the nets so quickly that it nearly capsized his boat.
I love that story, but as I stood in front of those women I understood what “one more time” might mean to them.
Pray one more time over that hurting marriage or relationship.
Believe one more time for that prodigal child.
Take one more step even though it seems to lead to nowhere.
Plant one more seed in that dream that seems futile.
My flesh rebelled against asking women – women of faith who had been casting their nets over and over again – to try one more time when so far, they had little to show for it.
But God said it. . . and He knew them far better than I did.
I whispered “yes” where “no” wanted to take root.
I asked them for a few moments and I told them the story of Simon Peter. I shared how weary he was and how all that he wanted to do was to climb into his comfortable bed and forget about the night behind him.
I told them Jesus understood that Simon was tired. That the nets were heavy. That it was discouraging.
I told them that Jesus saw under the water line.
He saw what Simon Peter couldn’t, and it wasn’t just fish.
It was the deep.
Let’s go back to that verse in Luke 5:4-5:
When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.
Jesus could have performed the same miracle in the shallow. He could have asked them to lay their nets on the shore and invite the fish to swim into the nets.
Instead the invitation was to push into the deep.
In the deep it’s a partnership. We put our hands on the rugged boat and push out.
We take a step out and God takes a step in as He meets us.
For Simon, the miracle wasn’t the catch of fish but that he became a “catcher of men.”
That’s the transformation that takes place inside of us as we push into the deep.
One more time.
We are asked to push out into the deep one more time in our calling or ministries.
We may want to throw our hands up and give up. But let’s throw our hands up in surrender instead. If our ministry is about Him, it’s not about how much we “catch” or how long it takes, but “one more time” is watching God work in the thousands — or the one.
We are asked to push out into the deep in personal issues that seem like they’ll never change.
It’s scary when the past or an addiction or temptation or feelings bullies us.
It’s in the deep that we realize that he’s not going to let us sink. “One more time” means that He’ll pull us up, over and over again until we no longer feel that the deep is over our head.
And this is the miracle. We turn around and start pulling others up with His help, because we get it. We know how hard it is, but we also know what it is to be free.
We are asked to push out into the deep one more time in our faith.
There’s not one believer that hasn’t experienced a time when it felt like God was a million miles away, or when they had doubts or hard questions.
You may think you are the only one, but we’ve all been there.
It’s in the deep that we discover that he’s not angry at our doubts or questions. He’s not mad at us because we are in a low season of our faith.
“One more time” is a reminder that He knows exactly who He is. We’ve somehow been led to believe that faith is never wavering, never doubting, or never hitting a low season, when instead the fact that you reach for God in the midst of that describes faith beautifully.
Our doubts or anger or questions are welcomed as He reveals his Character in that low season. He walks with us until we reach the other side.
One more time
That’s our invitation.
Will you say yes?
[callout]GIVEAWAY: Today I’m giving away ONE COPY of Suzie Eller’s new book, Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads. To be entered to win, leave a comment below telling us how this book might help you dive deeper into your spiritual walk with Jesus. A winner will be posted here by Friday![/callout]
Every day we get a new chance to start again and try one more time. God calls me to continuously trust Him and to step out in faith toward him. This book will be one more tool to encourage me in my journey.
“One more time.” I heard those very words this morning as I struggled in prayer with a challenging task. Yes, I agreed to go forward. Then, I read your post. And I’m looking forward to reading your new book, “Come with Me.” Blessings!
What a beautiful blog post, Suzie! I have been excited about this book since I heard about it! Having a Christian based business that is all about encouraging and uplifting women, I am ALWAYS looking to draw deeper in my relationship with Christ. To be what He wants me to be for these women, say what He wants me to say, and do what He wants me to do. I cannot wait to read this book! Thank you again!
This post was undoubtedly for my husband and me today, Suzie and Michele. God has clearly told us to go back into the deep water one more time, and frankly, we don’t want to. We struggle with disbelief, weariness, and inadequacy due to the lies that the enemy is relentlessly spewing at us. But I know the catch could be beyond belief if we just believe and obey. The “one more time” is to go back into a full-time ministry where we have to raise all of our own financial support. We’re not young. People don’t get excited about 60 year olds asking for money. And our years of ministry leadership experience and giftedness should be able to get us a decent paycheck for the rest of the years that the Lord allows us to be on this planet. But instead, He’s called us to go out one more time into the deep and trust Him with what HE can do – for us, in us, and through us. It’s been terrifying, and believe me, we’ve given Him all of the excuses. “We’ve done this before, and it’s not easy.” “We’re tired.” “Who will listen?” But we need to stand on who He is, what He can do, and obey. I can’t wait to see what He has in store for us as we begin leading, teaching, and mentoring others in an exciting ministry that needs us. Thanks so much for the encouragement! God bless!
Oops, forgot to mention that I would LOVE to read Suzie’s book to get more encouragement as we push this boat back out! It sounds like it’s the message we need for these waters!
Come With Me. Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads just sounds so awesome. I can see His hand reaching for mine with a patient smile on His face. I can hear Him saying,”I have a beautiful life planned for you and I will never let you travel alone. Trust Me. I will equip you and provide all you need. You see,I am afraid to step out of the box In which I have placed myself and I am sure it has kept me from enjoying ALL the beauty God wants to share with me and in return,I can overflow this beauty to others.
This book sounds like it would encourage greater intimacy with my Savior and Lord. I’m all for that!
God always pull me out of my anxiety disorder or fears that I have but sometimes I ask why again when it comes back didn’t we already win. But I know that’s how he strengthens me… he will know when it is enough or ready.
I read my bible & devotionals & do bible studies. Definitely need to go deeper in my communion with Him though. Sounds like this book will be a great help in that area. Thank you!
Congrats, Jeannie! You were randomly selected to win the FREE copy of Suzanne Eller’s new book, Come With Me. Happy for you! Shoot me your U.S. mailing address and we’ll get it out to you as soon as possible. ~MC
God has been working on my character and it has NOT been pretty. It’s always encouraging to find that other people are going through the same/similar troubles. Would love to read this book!
Come With Me – think about it, if Jesus were to hang out with you, chat, and say to you COME WITH ME which of us would not jump at the chance?
Isn’t it time to do just that ?
Wow, you have made this scripture come to life for me in a way that reaches deep. I would love to read your new book Suzie!
One More Time… He calls us, He pursues us, He loves us, He pours out His grace upon us. With all that, pressing in one more time should be simple… yet, it’s not always as simple as it seems. My struggles with my wayward adult children has been quite a journey. I know there has been growing in the journey. There have been many days of tears and heartache. I continue to cling tightly to the Lord as they continue to live lifestyles that are not what He has for them. Working through those challenges and lifting them up in prayer continually, I need to press in One More Time every day, trusting my Heavenly Father and my Lord and Savior and the power of the Holy Spirit to do the rest.
This might help me because I have really hit a point of discouragement right now. I have been praying and doing the right thing for many many years. I really need to say One More Time.
I just came through a very long, discouraging, 25 day hospital stay. I am now home recovering. In the long days and nights, most spent in isolation, God seemed so far away. But He never left me. He came to my hospital room and He sent amazing nurses who were His hands and feet. This book would feed my soul right now.
This so beautifully describes and encourages my heart ……wow
Praying for precious grandchildren. Making their ways in this journey.
I like to be in control so it’s always been a real struggle to let go and let God. But I’m slowly learning…
I just left my corporate job Friday to build my art practice. The message of one more time for me is asking God one more time to catch me. And believing in obedience he will fill my nets. Have I been in the deep?-yep! I had been drowning in the deep the past three years in my corporate job. I pray to be used by God through my art work. If anyone would like to pray for me at this juncture – that would be a blessing!
This article helped me here, so I’m sure the book will. Plus, I feel the book would be very encouraging if used in our ladies’ Bible study. Thank you.