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Synopsis of Lets Swap Sides in the Middle of the Sea
We’re about to slice a piece of the Bread of Life, the Word of God. And today’s slice comes from: John 21:3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. 4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. 6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. And so, the title of today’s message is: Lets Swap Sides in the Middle of the Sea
The church, that’s us, cannot expect a fresh encounter with the supernatural until we seriously evaluate which side of the boat we have been fishing from. I am convinced that the message we just read from John 21st. chapter is foundational to the paradigm shift that God is calling us to today.
To change the direction of a ship it requires a rudder which gives direction, but only when in motion, not in port. Bro. Dick where is my ship, and my life’s rudder? The Great Comforter, the Holy Spirit, which Christ Himself referred to as “the one who comes along beside us” guide us into our destinies.
FIRST, lets discuss the SEASON SHIFT. You know you are fishing from the wrong side of the boat when you are more committed to yesterday’s lure than to today’s catch. Yesterday’s success can quickly become today’s disappointment. The children of Israel learned this lesson the hard way. In Exodus 16:20, God gave them manna to eat in the wilderness and instructed them not to keep any for the next day. When they disobeyed and tried to eat what they had gathered the day before they discovered that yesterday’s manna had worms. My friends, perception and application of truth changes from one season of life to another. For example, for nine months the womb is the safest place for a baby to form and grow. But, if the infant stays beyond it’s time and does not make a transition out of the womb, the situation becomes critical. If the baby cannot make the shift it dies.
Proverbs 22:28 reads: Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set. Sure, but, we must be careful not to fashion the present move of God in the exact image of past revivals. As with the infant, yesterday’s incubation can easily become today’s death trap.
SECOND, lets examine SOUL SHIFT. You know you are fishing from the wrong side of the boat when hope is replaced by disappointment and despair. I have found that comfortable people seldom change. It is too painful. They change only when the pain of the present condition is greater than the pain it takes to make the change. During this nation’s apparent duress I came to understand that the fulfillment of my dreams is tied to my willingness to hope in the middle of the apparent coming despair. Regardless of our situation, we have to shift.
THIRD, we’ll study LIFESTYLE SHIFT. You know you are fishing from the wrong side of the boat when you are so driven to succeed that you have not time for rest. Like these fishermen, many of us today are mentally and physically weary from the toil of life. Because of an unhealthy drive to perform, and to succeed, we have neglected proper stewardship of our bodies. Condition of our health can be a detriment to the ministry God called us to.
FOURTH we might want to observe PERFORMANCE SHIFT: Peter was a skilled fisherman with a knack for fishing. He did not need anybody to teach him how to fish. But, on this particular night his attempt at fishing produced nothing more than disappointment. Regardless of his ability. If you follow the writings of Peter in the New Testament it becomes obvious that the disciple had a dramatic shift in his life. Yes, a Performance Shift. In God’s planned revival many of us will discover the limitations of our performance mentality. To put it simply, there is going to be a catastrophic collapse of self-reliance in the near future. Earthly things we rely on will fail us. At the same time a revival will emerge. Certainly we know how to “have church”, but too often we have forgotten how to “have God.” Count on it… the Lord is going to deal with the way we do ministry today.
FIFTH we need to examine our VIEW SHIFT: You know you are fishing from the wrong side of the Boat when there is maximum effort and minimal results. Despite our misguided attempts Jesus, however, wants to make us better fishers of men. In the preparation of the soon coming move of God, we cannot continue to fish from the wrong side of life. We must put our efforts into things that produce Kingdom results. Not…. personal results, or church results, or denominational results. But, things that produce Kingdom results!
And now the SIXTH, lets view VISION SHIFT. “Where there is no vision, the people perish..” We know we are fishing from the wrong side of the boat when we are unable to recognize Jesus from our vantage point. Peter was so consumed with despair that he had forgotten the earlier miracles he had witnessed. A few months earlier Peter was walking in the footsteps of Christ, performing miracles and casting our evil spirits. Regrettably, he had given in to disappointment and had drifted far away from the One who called him to his destiny. Have you ever done that, I know that I have.
Believers can develop additional kinds of impaired vision, including:
• Myopic vision, which produces a narrow-minded intolerance to the purpose of Christ in our lives
• Tunnel vision, prevalent among believers, being an inability to perceive the view of God’s kingdom right here, right now, on earth.
• Farsightedness, or Nearsightedness, either hindering a person’s depth perception and caused them to miss the mark of their own calling.
• Total blindness, extreme case, can be characteristic of whole congregations or denominations.
Since we have learned in the first part of this message how to not fish from the wrong side of the boat, let us look at how to fish from the right side of the boat.
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