Do you ever sense that your efforts are futile? Are there times when your child refers to a task as pointless? How can you know that your efforts are not in vain?

In Luke Chapter 4, Jesus was teaching from one of the disciple’s boats. Luke 4:4-5a records: When he (Jesus) was finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.

Could Jesus’ request be an exercise in futility? After all, Simon was an experienced fisherman and he had worked hard all night without any results. Are there times when your experience and hard work do not appear to be paying off?

Regardless of what Simon might have been thinking and feeling he made a very significant statement to Jesus at the end of Luke 4:5b: But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”  Simon had already surrendered his life to follow Jesus, so he was ready to choose to honor Christ by immediately obeying His request.

Consider for a moment the importance of Simon’s statement. There will be times in our lives similar to this moment in Simon’s life; times when Jesus will ask us to do things that, perhaps, we think we have already been doing. Maybe Jesus will ask your child to do something that appears silly to him or makes no sense in light of a current circumstance.

Remember, Simon was already a follower of Jesus; yielded to His authority. You see, there may be times when we have only a brief moment to respond in obedience to Jesus before the opportunity is lost. The key to immediate obedience is being yielded to Jesus prior to receiving His instructions.

Parents, please train your children to know the following:

  • Christ followers belong to Him. Therefore, He can ask anything of us He deems best.
  • Jesus’ instructions are always for our good and should be fully followed.
  • Christ will ask things of us in order to test, prove, and increase our trust and reliance on Him.
  • Jesus always blesses obedience.

Luke 4:6-7 tells us that when the disciples let down their nets, as Jesus had asked them to, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. There were so many fish that the disciples had to use a second boat to haul them all to shore.

Jesus’ instructions are never a lesson in futility, but instead, opportunities for obedience and trust. Although blessings such as Simon experienced may not be immediately realized in our lives, we can trust that obedience  to Jesus’ instructions will provide purpose and blessing.