Let Him Use Your Boat.
You know those chase scenes in movies where the main action hero (who is making a mess but we all know it’s to save the world) runs by a car or motorcycle and requests immediate access to their vehicle with no explanation? I’ve often thought about the poor dude who just says yes so willingly yet never sees his ride again. Was he cool with that? He had no idea if this so-called guy running by was saving the world or just stealing his new car. Jesus did something kind like that, but way better. And it did it in a way that should challenge our mindset on everything.
In Luke 5, it says that Jesus saw a large crowd coming to hear Him speak in Galilee. He looked around and saw some fishermen in boats. So… the carjacking begins.
“Jesus climbed into the boat belonging to Simon Peter and asked him, ‘Let me use your boat. Push it off a short distance away from the shore so I can speak to the crowds.’” -Luke 5:3
Now it’s important to mention that this was before Peter was a follower of Christ. In fact, right after this moment where Peter agreed to let Jesus preach the Good News to the crowds from his ride, the miracle story of the great catch of fish came. And THEN Peter was asked to follow Jesus (which we all know that he did). I mention this because Peter had no context for why Jesus might need his boat- he just said yes.
What do you call yours? Your car? Your family? Your home, your dinner, your marriage, your future, your finances, your children, your dreams, your fill in the blank. I think that in this small story we see the heart of an incredibly valuable Kingdom practice that Jesus was asking Peter to say yes to. He was asking Peter to use what he called “his” for different purposes than the simple fisherman ever intended. “Peter, let me use your boat….” Meant, “Peter- I know you’re doing a job that is important. I know it’s your boat and you likely either built it or spent your savings to buy it and start a fishing business. But now I’d like to use it. Trust Me. I need a vessel to preach. I need a vessel to tell people that they need Me. I could walk on the water and do it, but I’d like to use your boat. And once you get a taste of what I’m doing, fishing is going to seem a lot less interesting. In fact, you’re not going to care so much about this boat after you see what you can be part of.”
So, I repeat the question- what do you call yours? What if He asked you today, “Daughter/Son, let Me use your _________?” What would you say? What if He asked to use your home for a different vision than you thought; or He has a way different way of using your job or car or vacation than you would assume or plan for? I don’t like to call Jesus a hijacker (even though that’s pretty much what He did with Peter) but He knew their hearts would be willing. Is your heart ready to say, “yes Jesus- you may have FULL access to anything I call mine.”? We have had some unexpected stories along the way, and saying yes is not always easy. At all. Sometimes we let Him use the boat and a crazy storm makes us all seasick. BUT, every time we have said “yes, Jesus- you use this ______ however you want, we have always seen a God story, a miracle, a taste of His presence. Sometimes we have offered the Lord things thinking a great story of revival or crazy movement was going to happen and what followed left us feeling like, “wait that was it?” Sometimes we have said yes to what seemed like small things at the time and ridiculously cool stories of transformation have occurred. Sometimes we’ve said no and I have wondered what we’ve missed. Peter wasn’t seeking to find great purpose in life, he was just fishing, doin his job. But when he came in contact with the King of Kings, he had a choice to make. Later in the gospels we read about the rich young ruler who faced the same decision. Jesus wasn’t saying that you couldn’t be rich to enter the Kingdom, but He was teaching that in order to truly follow Him, He wants access. He wants access everything we call “ours”. He is a kind King. In fact, after Peter let Him preach on the boat, Jesus filled their boat with more fish than they’d ever caught in their careers. And yet it then wasn’t enough. Peter left to follow Jesus AFTER he reeled in the haul of his life. How glorious: to get everything you had been working for all along and realize that all you really want is more Jesus, more miracles, more stories, more life.
Here’s my challenge to you today. Write down a list of all the things you call yours. Choose a different crayon color for each thing to make it more fun. Be quiet for a few minutes and ask God to help make your heart willing to give Him access (remember these things aren’t actually yours- they are His- but He loves to partner with us). One by one, go through each item that you would be willing to let Him “use” and tell Him you’re willing. There might be a few things you struggle to let Him use freely- that’s alright. Tell Him. Actually, ask Him why you’re having a hard time letting Him have that. Again, He is kind. Start with one thing. Whether your car, your lunch hour, your marriage, your home or your plans- let Him on the boat. It will be way better than catching stinky fish all day.