I can’t think of one more word that will help you understand where I am going from that title so this devotion will be the explanation of how belongings belong. I’ve never had the occasion to think of my belongings in quite the same way as after my husband went to heaven and left all of our belongings to me. One of my great privileges for the twenty-seven years of our marriage was having a husband who took care of most of our belongings. I had belongings with all the benefits and none of the burdens. All that dramatically changed in an instant. The same belongings that had brought me comfort the day before, became a burden. A year ago I could not cope with buying dog food, getting my dog to the veterinarian, getting my car serviced and having repairmen in my house alone! I called my parents, who came for a week to catch up with everything that was crashing down on me. In the year that has passed. I have done a better job of caring for my belongings, but it seems a never-ending task.
This week God had a message for me about belongings as I read the calling of the disciples in Luke 5:1-11. I tried to imagine the scene that took place. Jesus came to the Sea of Galilee right to the place that Peter, Andrew, James and John launched their fishing boats. After a long night of fishing, fishermen cleaned their nets. It was a necessary but grueling task. It had to be done whether the fishing adventure had been successful or not. That is what you find the future world-changers doing in this story. They are taking the necessary care of their belongings the best they knew how. Jesus would change their entire focus on their belongings.
There were most likely other boats at that place, but Jesus chose the boat that belonged to Peter and asked to use it to talk to the people. Peter’s boat with the holy passenger was pushed out into the water a bit so that the crowd could see and hear what He had to say. When Peter consented for Jesus to use his boat in this way, he was unknowingly learning more about his belongings and how they were meant to belong. While others were busy taking care of belongings—fishing nets, Jesus was sanctifying Peter’s belonging—his fishing boat. Peter never dreamed what belonged to him could be used in this way. Only Jesus can show us how to use our belongings for His glory and His purposes.
Peter’s relationship to his belongings changed that day, too. Before Jesus sat in his boat, he saw his boat and fishing nets as his safety and security. After Jesus sanctified his boat, he saw how his belongings belonged to the earthly world and could keep him tethered, if he was not willing to let them go.
When Jesus finished speaking, He gave a personal invitation to Peter. He asked Peter to dirty the just-cleaned fishing nets. All of Peter’s experience and training told him that was a stupid thing to do. Fishing is better at night, not the morning; and it was very unlikely that they could catch even one fish as they had been unsuccessful that night. Peter surrendered his belongings even more in a way that made no sense to him because it was Jesus who asked this of him, and that was the only reason.
When the catch of fish yielded so great a load that his boat and the other boat were about to sink, Peter stopped thinking of his belongings at all. Imagine a businessman having his most successful day of business. Rather than figuring how to get Jesus to become his fishing partner, the man thinks nothing of his belongings and only of Jesus. After realizing how holy Jesus is, Peter can’t stand to be in His presence. Jesus told Peter about his new mission—catching men. Not only Peter, but Andrew, James and John left their belongings and followed Jesus.
How do your belongings belong? Does Jesus have something He’s trying to show you about your belongings?