Go Away from Me, Lord ~ blog
I love the story where Jesus first meets Peter. It is a story filled with tension and humor. Pete and the gang had been out fishing all night and caught nothing … zero, zilch, nada, rolled a donut. No hits…no runs…all errors. If you are fishing for fun that is one thing but if you are fishing for a living you are exhausted and have nothing to show for it.
As one who has done a fair amount of fishing, that really sucks. You come home and the family asks how many you caught, and you say, “None!” And the wife is thinking you spent the whole day out there goofing off and now we have no fish to eat? Have a backup plan and swing by the fresh fish department at the grocery store or drive through McDonald’s and grab some fish sandwiches.
So, Simon has his head down putting away the nets when Jesus gets into his boat and asks him to push it out a little from shore. After teaching the people on the beach Jesus says to Peter…
“Put out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch.”
Now, here is the tension. Pete and the gang had been out there all night, using their skills and years of experience, and some carpenter’s son is going to give them a fishing lesson??? But Peter yields and does what Jesus says and instantly they have so many fish the nets are in danger of breaking. They yell to their partners who bring out another boat and pull in the nets. After emptying the nets both boats are so full they are almost sinking.
Then, something surprising happens. This tough and often brash fisherman falls on his knees and cries out
“Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”
Peter is awakening to something very important. He is in the presence of someone unlike any man he has met before, someone with power and authority. He experiences what the bible calls “AWE”. He is in awe of Jesus and I am thinking it is more going on than just what happened with the fish. It was His teachings, His actions, and most of all His presence.
Notice Peter’s words. “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” Being in front of God in the flesh can do that to you. His presence is one of power and authority and He really can do whatever He wants to do. He sees past the outer façade and into our heart and our soul. We can feel naked before Him because he knows the absolute truth of everything we have ever thought, said, or done. Yes, even all our sexual sin.
There are times we can feel like that as well…right? We can be at the end of a long and frustrating day and when we find some time where we are alone and could be worshipping, praying, or communing with the Lord to feed our spiritual hunger instead we think…
Go away from me Lord…I want some more porn.
We have trained ourselves to take the first step away from stress, pain, and boredom to be another shot of alcohol, another joint, or more porn. We want to pleasure ourselves as a distraction and ignore the one thing that we really need. And that has become the go-to solution because now it can happen in a matter of seconds and we can make it last for hours.
Yet, Jesus, instead of going away and leaving this sinful man named Peter … Jesus says hop in because you are coming with me. Let’s go fish for men.
Don’t allow the reality that you are a sinful man or woman EVER cause you to think that Jesus does not want you with Him or that He is EVER done with you. Our cry should NEVER be “Go away from me, Lord; for I am a sinful person.” Sure, you can say it…but He won’t do it. The better thing to say is …
“Come Closer to me, Lord, because I am a sinful person
and without You, I have no hope!”
That is why we are told in Hebrews to come BOLDLY before the throne of Grace and we shall receive help … in our time of need.
Not when we are all gussied up and going to church but when we have just fallen again and need to be in His presence. His arms are open. Your sins are forgiven. Time to follow Him and allow Him to lead you by His Spirit today.
We all need to realize that what Jesus wants for every one of us is a life of experiencing the benefits of purity…a life of righteousness. There is a growing sense of self-worth instead of self-condemnation. There is a clarity of vision when we are focused on the one thing of being filled with and walking in the Spirit instead of more self-loathing. Being double-minded is so much more difficult than being single-minded.
Jesus is the Lord and He is the answer to the feelings you have of needing intimacy. Not the false intimacy that porn brings but the lasting and real intimacy from the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe who waits for you on His throne of Grace so that He can give you…
Help in your time of need!