LAUNCH OUT – PART 2: PASTOR (DR) MENSA OTABIL – SPECIAL SUNDAY SERVICE, 5TH MARCH, 2023.
SPECIAL SUNDAY SERVICE WITH PASTOR (DR) MENSA OTABIL (GENERAL OVERSEER, INTERNATIONAL CENTRAL GOSPEL CHURCH (ICGC) CHRIST TEMPLE, ACCRA GHANA)
TOPIC: LAUNCH OUT – PART 2 (LET DOWN YOUR NETS)
DATE: 5TH MARCH 2023
BIBLE TEXT: LUKE 5: 3-4 (NKJV)
Let us rise up together as we make our “DECLARATION OF GATHERING” in this “YEAR OF GATHERING”.
Are you ready? Say with me:
I Proclaim Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. The Lord is the Shepherd of my Soul, my Shelter by Day, my Light by Night.
In His Name, we Plough our fields, by His Spirit we gather the Harvest, in His Light we seek and find.
In this Year of Gathering, the Lord of the Harvest has commanded: Launch Out into the Deep. At His Words, we cast our Nets, we gather in Souls and Substance for God’s Kingdom.
The Lord is our Reward; in this Season I received God’s Portion set aside for me: Full Measure, Pressed down, Shaking together and running over.
Nothing is Lost and Nothing is wasted in Jesus Name – Amen!
This is Part 2 of the Series: “LAUNCH OUT” and our Sub Title is: “LET DOWN YOUR NETS”.
We’ve taken a look at the encounter between the Lord Jesus Christ and Peter on the Shores of Lake Gennesaret, and we saw the Lord Jesus Christ telling Peter to Launch Out.
And as we said in the Part 1 of the Series, Jesus told Peter to Launch Out twice: first, to move away from the Land and secondly, to Launch Out into the Deep.
Launching Out in any endeavour, especially when we want to do big or great things for the Lord, would Place demands on us.
It’s not easy to do New and bold things. It’s not even easy to obey God, because anytime we determine to obey God we are launching out. And in most cases, we are launching out into the Deep from the Place we are comfortable into the New Place where God wants us to be.
And I trust that in this Series, God will use it to inspire you, to encourage you to step out boldly to do the things that He wants you to do – Amen.
You will not be intimidated by Past Failures or everything happening around you – Amen.
You are going to be motivated and inspired by the Word of the Lord to Launch Out and do great things for Him – Amen.
Luke 5:3-4 (NKJV):
3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.
4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
I am always impressed when I read the Bible to the depth of God’s Word and how He speaks to us in various levels.
And this instruction that Jesus gave to Peter is an instruction that speaks to us today.
And I want you to Note three (3) Important Elements in this Passage that will help us to Position it in a way that affects us, that Ministers to us and that speaks to us:
There are Three (3) Important Elements I want you to Pay attention to:
- The first is “THE DEEP”:
That is where Jesus told Peter to Launch Out to – “Launch Out to the Deep.”
The Deep is the Place where the fish are.
So when He said, “Launch Out to the Deep” He was talking about the Place where the fish are.
For everything we are doing, it is important that we Launch Out into the right Place. It’s Possible to be bold and confident, and Launch Out doing something; but do it in a wrong Place.
Obviously, Peter and his Crew have been working All Night and had not been Successful.
Hardwork is not really a guarantee to Success – It is an Ingredient, but not a Guaranteed.
Jesus said, “Launch Out into the Deep” – The ‘Deep’ is a Place where God has already Prepared a Harvest for you to gather.
There is a Place Prepared for you; there is a Place God wants you to get to; there is a Place where God’s Provision is waiting to encounter you.
Sometimes you can be in Scarcity so much that you forget that God has a Prepared a Place of Abundance for you.
That Place is what I call “The Deep.”
And that is what Jesus Christ told Peter “Launch Out into the Deep.”
Many times when we read the Bible, we read the words, we don’t see the Actions.
So we read the Gospel and it says, “Jesus said this” But we don’t know whether when He said it, He was frowning or smiling. How was His hand moving?
We don’t normally see that. All we hear is the word! And it doesn’t always help us to Picture Properly what is happening.
So it is Possible (and I’m just saying) that when Jesus said “Launch Out into the Deep”; His hands were not kept by His side
Is it Possible? Yes, it is Possible, because if I was talking and telling somebody “Launch Out into the Deep” my hands would not be by my side. Especially if I am in a boat in the sea, I will not say it like an Army Commander.
Most likely if I said “Launch Out into the Deep”; I will indicate where the Deep is.
Is that not so?
Can you imagine when Jesus said “Launch Out into the Deep?” He also Pointed to where the Deep is. Because there is a lot of ‘Deep’ in the sea; but there is a Particular Deep in the Sea that you must Launch Out to.
So here, we see Jesus is not just talking about a big Deep, but I believe He is also talking about a Specific Place; a Specific Spot where you have to get to in order to find the Supply that He has for you.
The Deep is the Place where God Prepared your Abundance.
No matter what you are struggling with there is a “Deep Place’ God wants you to get to, and in that Place there is fish.
So that’s the first Element I want you to Note about these Verses; there is a Place Prepared for you – It is called “The Deep”.
- The second Element I want you to Note about in this whole Story is “THE BOAT”.
The Boat is what is going to take Peter and His Crew to the Deep where the fish are.
So it is Possible to know where the fish is but you need to have the Vehicle that transports you to that Place.
It is Possible to know that God has a Blessing for you with your name on it. And He would do great things for you. But do you have what it takes to get to the Place that God wants us to be?
But many times in Life, you know we can have a deep sense of our Destiny.
We know God wants us to do great things; we know we are going to do great things; we know our Life is going to amount to so much but we don’t know how to get there!
How am I going to be that Person? How am I going to achieve that? And that’s where the boat comes in.
The Boat is the mechanism that is Prepared to take you to that Place.
That’s the second Element I want you to Note – There is a Place you must be; there is a System that must take you there.
- And the third Element I want you to pay attention to is “THE NET’.
The Net is what catches and holds the fish.
Without the Net, the boat would have been in the Deep and still not catch anything.
A Boat does not catch fish, it only takes you to where the fish are.
In the Place where the fish are, Jesus told Peter, “let down your Nets”.
And we are going to look at that very shortly.
So the Net is the tool for gathering in what the Lord has Provided. It is like your basket; it is the Container that gathers and holds what you have caught.
I want you to watch these Three (3) Things:
- The Deep – The Place where you have to be;
- The Boat – The thing that takes you there;
- And the Net – The thing that helps you take what is in the deep.
Now, can you imagine:
I. If you have the Boat, and you are in the Deep, but you have no Net;
II. Or you have a Net but you have no Boat to get you to the deep;
III. Or you know where the Deep is, but you don’t know how to get there.
IV. Or you have a Boat but you don’t know where the Deep is.
So all these Three (3) must work for you:
- You must know where the Deep is;
- You must have the mechanism (the Boat) to take you there;
- And you must have the Net to take advantage of the Place that God has given to you.
For each one of us to achieve and to do the things that God wants us to do, these Three (3) Elements must come together. And that is what we see in this Story.
All three (3) Elements are working together but they are all working together because of Jesus.
I mean, if Jesus was not Part of this equation, Peter still has a Boat. He still has a Net. He still knows the Sea, but the three (3) are not to his advantage. And the only thing that makes all the three (3) work to your advantage is Jesus Christ.
When the Lord comes into the Picture, He makes everything meaningful in our lives. He makes the Pieces work together for us.
So the Question is: When Jesus is telling Peter “Launch Out into the Deep, let down your Nets for a catch” where was Jesus?
Jesus was in the boat with Peter. He went fishing together with Peter on the Boat. He entered the boat, He sat in the Boat. He Preached in the Boat and He never got off the Boat.
So Jesus is not Standing at the Shore giving Instructions; He is in the Boat with Peter. He is in the Vessel with Peter. And when He comes into your Boat, then the Boat, the Deep and the Net would work together to your advantage.
But if He is not in the Boat, you may have a Net, have a Boat, know the Deep: but for all these to be connected, Jesus has to bring the Pieces together.
… He brings the Pieces together. He aligns with the Pieces of our lives.
You know, many times we look at our lives and we have everything it takes to be Successful. You are tall (if you are a man); you are handsome as a man – That is a very big advantage in the world.
Because tall and being handsome gives you a lot of Leverage. Once in a while not being tall and handsome also does well. But tall and handsome is very good.
You have a Good Education, you come from a Good Family, you are located in a Good Business, you have a Good wife, everything seems to work to your advantage; but the Pieces are not together.
Or you may be slim and beautiful – Slim and beautiful is nice to the women. But there are few that are exception to this rule. But normally everybody is looking for slim and beautiful. Even the ‘Not Slim” and beautiful women are looking to be slim and beautiful.
You have a Good Education, you are married, working in the right Place – Everything seems to be okay but the okay is not okay because somebody needs to come into your Life, into your Boat, into your situation and put the Boat, the Deep and the Net together to form a Purpose.
It’s not so much about what you have achieved by yourself, it’s how much you have allowed Jesus space into your Life.
Remember, the Boat was Peter’s tool of Business. And he allowed Jesus to Partner with him.
You know many times we are Christians, Jesus is in our Heart but not in our Boat.
We don’t allow Him Space to tell us what to do – We just want to do things by ourselves.
We say “Lord Jesus, stay in our Heart but don’t tell us how to run our Business.”
Because sometimes when you tell People, “you know you are a Christian, run your Business this way.” They say, “Pastor, Business is not Church oooo; if we do it Church way it won’t work, if we do it the Bible way it won’t work. This is Business, it is not Church.”
But Peter did not say, “Lord Jesus this is Business, this is not Bible”; he allowed Jesus room in his Boat.
If you are going to make room for Him in your Enterprise, in your Career, in your Profession and not see Him as an Outsider, as an Intruder in what you are doing; then He can make the Deep, the Boat and the Net work together for you.
That’s what the Christian Life is – We allow Jesus to come into our lives, into what we do, into our Business as well.
So He went fishing together with Peter.
I want you to Pay attention to what He says – “Let down your Nets for a catch.”
It is a very interesting observation here, you don’t get it easily in the English Translation, but in the Greek; you get it a bit better.
Because Greek verbs are Plural or Singular. And when you read this in the Greek when Jesus said, “Launch Out into the Deep” the verb He uses is Singular – That means He was talking to one Person.
When He said, “let down your Nets” the English had the ‘Nets’ as Plural. It is not just many Nets, but the verb is Plural.
And what does that mean: Singular and Plural?
It means when He said, “Launch Out” – He said one man can Launch Out. But when He “let down your Nets” He said a Group of People would have to let down their Nets.
In other words, it is easy for one man to Launch Out, doing something. But it takes a Team to ensure that what is done becomes Successful.
You as an Individual can Launch Out, but you can’t do everything all by yourself – When it comes to deploying your Nets so that you can have a catch, you are going to need help!
And if you are a Person who cannot tolerate anybody or work with anybody, then you are a Good Launcher, but not a Good Catcher.
If you are going to be a a Good Launcher and a Good Catcher, then you must know when to do things by yourself, and learn how to get others team up with you.
“Let down your Nets for a catch” – What does it mean to ‘let down?’
- First, it means to Loosen the Nets.
What does that mean? – Disentangle the Nets.
If any of you know about Nets, when you let out Nets together, pretty soon it gets entangled.
And so when Jesus says “let down your Nets” the first implication is, loosen the Nets up. If it is entangled – All mixed up, it is not going to catch anything.
The first thing you have to do to bring down the fish, you have to loosen the Nets.
“Let down your Nets” – loosen it up.
- Secondly, it means lower it.
If the Net is in a boat it is higher than the fish, and it is not going to catch any fish.
If it is going to catch fish, it has to go to the fish level. And the fish level is not boat level – Boat level is human level; Fish level is a down.
And for the Net to get to the fish, it has to be weighed down – You use lead to weigh the Net so that when it hits the water it doesn’t matter how long it stays on top of the water; it goes deep.
It is when it is weighed down that it encounters the fish.
And there are important Lessons we can learn from that:
I. Sometimes God is going to put weights on you, to take you to levels you don’t want to get to. But it is weight that keeps you down; makes you feel your Life is going down and down and down!
II. It is that which engages you in your Destiny so you can find the right thing God wants you to have.
Not every weight is bad weight; not everything that takes you down is bad. Sometimes God has to take you down in order for you to find what you are looking for.
*If you are one of those people who always want to be up, you want to be above everybody: you want to be above the Boss, above your Supervisor, you want to be whatever. And especially in this part of the world; we accumulate up Titles, never get down to work, never get down to engage.
So the fish are at one level, you are at another level. You have the Net but it is not at e fish level.
- You can’t sit in your office and do all the Research – That’s Boat!
- Go to the Market and engage the People and find out what is happening – That’s the Net going down to the Deep!
The same with the Pastor, the same with everybody – The President and the the Politicians. If you just stay up there thinking you know everything and you don’t go down with the Nets to find out what the fish are going through;
You have a nice Net, but it doesn’t catch anything. Because the Net has to be humble to be weighed down to go to the level of the fish.
God has a Prepared a Place for you. But if you are staying high above and Mighty, you’ll never get there.
Your Destiny really is not up there, but down.
Whatever you are looking for is not up, it’s down! And we have to learn to go down.
… So that’s what it means to let down your Nets: loosen it, lower it.
And Jesus Promised that if you do that, you are going to have success. He calls it “a catch”.
That is God’s Word of Promise, “that if you do what I am saying, you are going to catch something”
A catch is to Pursue and capture something.
Jesus said to Peter: your Boat would not come empty, your Nets would not return empty: last night you were empty, but today you are going to have a catch!
I don’t know about you, but I receive that Word of Prophecy over my Life, and I say:
Today I will have a catch; this Week I will have a catch; this Month I will have a catch; this Year I will have a catch – Amen!
I will not fish for empty things. I am going to go to the Deep: my Nets would be down and I am going to catch something – Amen.
Somebody say: I am going to catch something!
I am going to Pursue it, and I am going to catch it – Amen!
Jesus is literally telling Peter: Your efforts would not be wasted – It would not be wasted in the day, in the Week, in the Month, in the Year – Amen!
In the Year 2023, you will come up with a catch; you will not be wasted – Amen.
And a catch is not just that you are going to catch something; a catch also means you are going to have it in Abundance; you are going to have it in Multitudes; you are going to have a lot of it – Amen.
That is what Jesus is telling Peter: “You are going to have it in Abundance!”
I don’t know about you, but I believe God is telling somebody: you are going to have a catch – Amen!
When we say 2023 is a Year of Gathering, it also means, in 2023 you are going to have a catch.
Somebody say: I am going to have a catch; and I am going to have it in Abundance: I am going to have a lot of it -Amen.
… But all of that happens because Jesus comes into the Boat!
And when He comes into the boat He takes the same Boat that failed last night; He takes the same Nets that went and came back empty last night; He takes the same Sea that Produced nothing, and He brings it all together in a New Dimension.
The Elements are the same – Same Boat, same Water, same Sea Gennesaret, same Nets;
The difference is a New Passenger in the Boat. His Name is Jesus: He Changes the Equation in our lives. He makes what was frustrating and a Failure to be Successful.
Let’s bow down our heads!
Today we just want to Thank the Lord Jesus Christ. You know for many of us, our lives are like Peter and his Boat:
We feel that we’ve been toiling; we’ve been working hard but nothing seems to be working. The Sea is not Producing for us; our Nets are empty; our boats are empty.
But this Morning we want to say: Lord Jesus, come into my Boat, come into my Business – Show me where the Deep is, show me where the fish are, show me what to do. Help my Nets to find the fish.
Just begin to talk to the Lord, because we want to invite Him into the Boat.
Thank You Lord Jesus!
I want to Pray for everyone who feels: I have a Boat but it is doesn’t seem to be in the right Place. I am not finding the things I am looking for;
I am casting my Net but it’s not catching fish. I am on the Sea but I don’t know the right Location of the Sea I must be in. It’s vast water!
… If that is your desire, you’ll say: Lord Jesus come into my Boat, direct me.
I just want to Pray with you: it may be your Business, your Marriage, or some other areas of your Life. And you just feel that you need to see God’s Hand of Favour and Prosperity over your Life; just stand with me as we Pray!
Father, Thank You so much! Thank You Lord.
We can go back to Your Word, back to Your Scriptures. And we can see Jesus at work.
We hear His Word, we see the Results. And He never Changes – He is the same Yesterday, Today and for ever!
So we come to You Loving Jesus – You Who instructed Peter and made his Boat full of fish; we’ve come to You today Lord:
Help us to be Positioned in the right Deep Place;
Help us Lord in this vast Sea to find the right Spot we have to be Lord;
Help us Lord for our Nets not to return empty but to return full.
For our lives, for our Businesses, for our Homes, Churches; for everything we are doing Lord, we trust You that You will cause us to excel, to increase, to abound.
That we will begin to see You Participating in our lives, Participating in our efforts.
Lord let all the Pieces come together, let all things work together for our Good.
We trust You Lord for a Season of a catch! And let this Month of March be a Season of a catch for us Lord.
Let our Nets catch fish in March: Souls for the Kingdom, Substance for Your Kingdom Lord.
And we receive your Commands in our boats this Morning, in Jesus’ Name – Amen!
Give the Lord Praise, Somebody – Hallelujah!
Whatever you are desiring – And some of you are desiring the Fruit of the womb. I Pray that God would give you your children; you would catch something this Month – Amen.
Whatever it is you are desiring to catch, you would catch it, because Christ Jesus when He comes into the Boat! He takes what was Fruitless and makes it Fruitful, in His Name – Amen.
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