“For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken…” Luke 5:9
In describing a furnace that was not working the repair man made the statement, “The blower is still working, but the fire has gone out”! To be honest that statement would be appropriate in describing the spiritual life in many individuals and churches, especially when compared to Christians and churches of days gone by. The great old Methodist preacher John Wesley and his brother Charles are cases in point. After their conversion and receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit they were greatly used by the Lord in England and later in America along with George Whitfield to usher in one of the great spiritual awakenings, or revivals in history.
To quote Wesley Duewell from his book, Revival Fire, “To Wesley’s surprise, he began to experience the Holy Spirit powerfully convicting people of their sins while he preached. Well-dressed, mature people suddenly cried out as if in the agonies of death. Both men and women, outside and inside the church buildings, would tremble and sink to the ground. When Wesley stopped and prayed for them, they soon found peace and rejoiced in Christ…..Wesley did not encourage these emotional reactions…..He himself always spoke in a calm, unemotional voice, but he also recognized that God’s power was at work, convicting and transforming person after person.
We would do well in this generation to learn from Simon Peter in Luke chapter 5. He and his companions were failures! They had previously committed to following Jesus, but had become discouraged and returned to their fishing business. Even though they had already fished all night, he said, “I will do as you say and let down the nets”. Even when we have failed a test of faith, our God gives makeup exams! Let us submit to obeying His Word and trust Him to do the work by the power of His Spirit that we cannot accomplish by our own efforts. Andrew Murray put it well, “Let us make God’s omnipotence the measure of our expectations”. If we do, we too will be amazed at the things God can do!