When I was a teenager, a missionary to Uganda, Webster “Web” Carroll, came to our church to speak. I was fascinated by his stories from the mission field. Many years later, when he was retiring, he came back to our church to share a final message. He asked us to open our Bibles to John 21:1-6…
Later Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. This is how it happened. Several of the disciples were there--Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples. Simon Peter said, "I'm going fishing." "We'll come, too," they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night. At dawn the disciples saw Jesus standing on the beach, but they couldn't see who he was. He called out, "Friends, have you caught any fish?" "No," they replied. Then he said, "Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you'll get plenty of fish!" So they did, and they couldn't draw in the net because there were so many fish in it.
Jesus asks, "Do you have any fish?" Sooner or later somebody has to speak and say, "No, Sir, we don't." Sooner or later we face Jesus Christ, whether we recognize Him or not. "What do you have to show for the last 8 hours you've spent in the water?" He covers us with His compassion. Just like He did that early morning—to talk to the fish that were there in the water that night.
The difference between spiritual victory and spiritual defeat is the Presence of the Lord Jesus. He explained this with another Ugandan word, 'basi'... it means, 'peace, it will be alright, it will be okay.' It is used by mothers nursing their babies, it means 'peace, healing' as they hold their babies, they pat them saying, “basi, basi”..."that's alright, that's alright." Then he closed with John 3:16 and he said,
I have experienced this ‘basi’…peace…the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ as my El Shaddai. The thought expressed in the name Shaddai describes power, but it is the power, not of violence, but of all-bountifulness. Shaddai primarily means “breasted,” being formed directly from the Hebrew word, “shad,” that is “the breast.” Shaddai means “the pourer” or “the shedder-forth,” that is of blessings, temporal and spiritual. Having been a nursing mother of my two children, I readily identify with this name…my baby is crying—restless. Nothing can quiet it. Yes; the breast can. My baby is pining, starving. Its life is going out. It cannot take nourishment: it will die. No; the breast can give it fresh life, and nourish it…calming, peaceful, nourished…satisfied…He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him…He Himself is our Peace…
Look Up—meditate on John 21:1-6 pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.
Look In—as you meditate on John 21:1-6 pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."
Look Out—as you meditate on John 21:1-6 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.
* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ