He went to the sea to fish and labored all night in vain and caught nothing. Little did he know that what he was laboring to get was right beside him: His eyes were blinded to reality. He had missed it because of his wrong focus aided by a rash decision. He had allowed outward attraction and the opinion of others around him, rather than divine leading, to be his guide. The six with him could not help him locate the place of his blessing: confirming that breakthroughs do not come by human wisdom, but by divine direction. Many people struggle through life and live in want because they have failed to locate their place in life. A lot of people that work hard often wonder why their efforts do not produce their expected result. But it is important for them to know that hard work alone cannot produce a significant success. The work you do must be carried out in the right place pre-ordained by God before it can produce success. This is a fact that you must never forget. When you are in the right place, you will not have to wear out yourself to achieve success, because the scripture says that, “the blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22) (NKJV). If you’ve been wondering why your efforts have not given you a significant success, you’ll need to find out if you are laboring in the right place for your life.
This truth is illustrated in a story told about Peter in John 21:1-6. Peter had gone to the Sea of Galilee to fish with six other people with him. He knew what he was born to do: to fish. What he did not know was where he was to do the fishing. He got close to the place of his breakthrough but the exact spot, he did not know. Where he thought was the right place disappointed him. Although he worked hard to catch, he wasted a whole night laboring in vain. He therefore became discouraged. Peter’s story might describe your situation at this moment. You are sure of what you are born to do, and you labor with all your strength and wisdom in this area, yet there is nothing to show for it. Worse still, you are not even sure whether your present vocation is the right calling for your life. You have now become discouraged, and wondering what might be wrong with you. You have blamed others for your failure, including the Devil. But there is only one person that you are leaving out in this blaming game, who is surely responsible for this situation; that person is you. You’ll see what I mean in a moment. But where did Peter miss it?
In verse 3 of John 21, we are told that after Peter had gathered his friends, he announced to them what he wanted to do: to go fishing at the Sea of Galilee. After this announcement, the Bible says: “They went forth, and entered into a ship IMMEDIATELY, and that night they caught nothing.” Peter was the leader of the team. He had led the team to the Sea without taking time to think. The word IMMEDIATELY suggests a rash decision. The moment he thought of what to do, he rushed to do it without waiting to get instructions concerning where he should fish. Peter had walked with the Lord and was supposedly conversant with God’s word in Proverbs 3:5-7a which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and LEAN NOT on your own understanding; in all your ways (i.e. in everything you do), acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes.” Peter leaned unto his own understanding, and did not give the Lord any room to direct his path before he made a move. His idea was a good one, but he should have waited enough to ask the Lord to show him where. Isn’t that the way we take our decisions many times? We get an idea of what we want to do, and we pursue it without giving it a thought, neither do we pray for further direction from God. We run because others are running. We enter into businesses and vocations because others are into it and succeeding. We migrate from one place to another supposing that there is where the gold mine is. People enter into a lifetime commitment like marriage to someone they barely know without taking time to ask God to reveal whether this is His choice for them. We rely on the deceptive outward appearance of our subject or idea, and the inside of it we do not know. We are led by the crowd and our senses rather than following God’s plan for our lives. It is evident that Peter thought that the spot he went fishing was where the fishes would be: but he was wrong. Many have made the wrong move to the wrong side of the sea of life, and are now stranded there.
Have You Any Meat?
This is a thought-provoking question. Jesus asked the disciples, “Children, have you any meat?”
The focus was not necessarily on the others, but on Peter. He is the One who had designed him to
be a fisherman. He gave him all the resources necessary to become a successful fisherman. Since
man is shortsighted, God expected Peter to come to Him for direction through the ways that he goes. Peter was so overtaken with his idea that he did not see the need to ask God again for His leading. He forgot that all that glitters is not gold. Jesus patiently watched them laboring, and He knew all along that their labor would be in vain because they were fishing on the wrong spot. He allowed them to exhaust all their wisdom and strength so that they might learn the lesson from God’s truth that it’s “not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6). So, at the point of their discouragement Jesus showed up and asked them if they had any meat (fish). What was He doing? He wanted them to admit their failure. He wanted them to realize that skill, talent, or human wisdom that is not directed by God will end up in failure and shame. This is a great lesson that you too should learn.
Notice that when the Lord showed up to them, they did not immediately know that it was Jesus talking to them. The good part is that they obeyed the instruction he gave to them. It is obvious that in their discouragement, they hungered for help from anywhere. Thank God that the person they obeyed turned out to be Jesus. Now, you too should objectively examine your circumstances and face the reality. Don’t you think you need God’s intervention in your situation now? This article you are now reading might be the handwriting of God addressed to you to let you know where you have missed it. Remember that the disciples did not know at first that it was Jesus speaking to them. They only knew after they had obeyed His instruction and experienced the bumper harvest. The Lord is asking you the same question today: “have you got any meat to account for since you have been laboring?” Do you also have the meat of joy and peace? If you answer no like the disciples, then its time for you to cast your net on the right side of life. Right is right and left is wrong: breakthroughs are not found on the wrong side of life. You may say, “I don’t know the Lord, how can He direct me?” Why not? Go ahead at once and invite Him into your life as your Lord and savior. He is longing to receive you, forgive your sin, and show you the way to success in life.
When they admitted they had no meat to show for their labor, the Lord told the disciples to cast their net on the right side of their ship. When they did, the scripture says that they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. It is amazing that they could be so blinded to fish only on the left side of the ship. I wonder why they did not try the right side all along. Aren’t you tired of fishing on the left side of the ship of your life without result? Why don’t you make up your mind today to cast your net to the right side? By the way, do you know where your right side is? Only Jesus can help you locate your right place in life. Ask Him in prayer, and He will surely reveal to you where your success lies, because He holds the plan of your life in His hand. Pray this prayer with me: Lord Jesus, I am helpless without you. My wisdom and strength have failed me. Please, save me from my failure and struggle in life, and show me where my success lies, Amen.