By David Faust
I once had a frightening dream in which I was driving a car through a crowded street. In my dream it was late at night, but the car’s lights wouldn’t work. I was barreling along at high speed through the darkness, trying to maintain control, but I couldn’t see where I was going.
That nightmare came to mind recently when I was driving along I-44 in northeastern Oklahoma on my way to speak at Ozark Christian College. I noticed a sign next to the highway that stated, “Do not drive into smoke.”
I wondered, Are brush fires common in Oklahoma? Why would anyone deliberately drive into a smoky cloud so dense he couldn’t see through it? Such things do happen though. Near my home in Cincinnati last winter, a sudden snow squall caused a whiteout on an interstate highway, and a massive collision occurred. Nearly 90 cars and trucks crashed in the thick cloud of snow.
We need to see where we are going. That’s just common sense. But in a spiritual sense many are content to travel blindfolded. They move through life with zero visibility—without any clarity about where they are headed.
What is the purpose of your life? If you haven’t wrestled with that question, you’re driving in smoke. As you grow older, are you becoming more spiritually mature? Will you be at peace with God on the day you die? If you haven’t settled that vital issue once and for all, you may as well be driving your car 70 miles per hour into a thick blanket of fog.
Simon Peter was the kind of guy who would plunge headlong into the smoke. Even when he couldn’t see where he was going, he moved forward at a high rate of speed. Each time, though, he crashed headlong into the Lord.
“You’re going to the cross, Jesus? No way!”
“You’re walking on water? If it’s really you, let me join you for a stroll on the waves.”
“You want to wash my feet? No, I should wash yours.”
“Others may deny you, but not me. No, I’ll die before I would ever turn away from you.”
“You want me to take my boat into the deep water and let down my nets? Surely you must be kidding, Lord. We’ve already worked hard all night and caught nothing.” After all, Jesus was a carpenter, but Peter was an experienced fisherman. If there ever might be one area where Peter could trust his own judgment, surely it was in fishing, the area of his expertise.
But the strong voice of Jesus penetrated Peter’s foggy thoughts. The impetuous fisherman pondered the situation and obediently replied, “But because you say so, I will let down the nets” (Luke 5:5).
The results were astonishing. Peter and his friends caught so many fish that their nets began to break and their boats began to sink from the weight. Any lingering arrogance in the hearts of the fishermen began to sink too. Jesus entered their familiar world and accomplished more than they could ever achieve through their own expertise. Peter fell humbly at Jesus’ knees and exclaimed, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man” (v. 8).
Even when the way seems foggy and our next steps look unclear, when the Lord speaks plainly, there’s only one proper response: “Because you say so, I will obey.”
1. Has the Lord ever called you to step forward in faith when the way ahead seemed unclear?
2. Do you trust Jesus enough to obey him just because he “says so”?
David Faust is president of Cincinnati Christian University, Cincinnati, Ohio, and past Executive Editor of The Lookout.
The Lookout’s Bible Reading Plan for June 23, 2013
Use this guide to read through the Bible in 12 months. Follow David Faust’s comments on the highlighted text in every issue of The Lookout.
2 Kings 4, 5
2 Kings 6, 7
2 Kings 8, 9
2 Kings 10, 11
2 Kings 12, 13
2 Kings 14, 15