Has God ever asked you to do something that makes no sense? Something that goes against your better judgment? Something that seems to contradict your knowledge, skills, experience and efforts?

He has with me.

There was the time he asked me to leave my career in law, take my transferable skills with me, and start afresh in international development – which also meant relocating. There was the time he asked me to give up the security of a salary to go self-funded for a season. And there was the time he asked me to write a book, but not to give up my (unrelated) full-time job to free up the time to do so.

Each of those decisions was difficult to make. They made no sense in human terms, but I knew that God could see things unseen to me – and that they made sense to him. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been asking me to do them.

So I counted the cost and obeyed.


There’s a story in the Bible, in which Jesus gets into a boat on the Sea of Galilee, with some fishermen who later went on to become his disciples. It’s recorded in Luke 5:4-7.

It’s early in the morning, on a beach by the Sea of Galilee. Two boats are parked up at the water’s edge, and the fishermen who own them are washing their nets. Both boats have been out on the water all night, but no fish have been caught.

As the fishermen look up, they see Jesus approaching, followed by a crowd of people. Before they know it, he has climbed into one of the boats and requested that it be taken out from the shore, so that he can speak to the people from a distance.

The boat belongs to Simon – and Simon obeys.

Then, before Simon has time to process what’s happening, Jesus finishes speaking to people, turns to Simon and gives him an instruction. “Head out into deep water,” he says, “and let down the nets for a catch”.

Without any hesitation, Simon responds. “Master”, he says, “we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

Think about that for a moment.

Simon is a professional fishermen. He knows how to catch fish. He knows when to head out into deep water and when to let down the nets. It hasn’t been for lack of knowledge, skills, experience or efforts, that he and the other fishermen have failed to catch any fish. It’s not their fault that, during that particular night, there just haven’t been any fish.

Against this backdrop, Jesus’ instruction simply makes no sense. There aren’t any fish to catch. So why on earth would they want to try again, when they have tried all night, without success?

But something in Simon listens to what Jesus is telling him to do – and his response is simple: because you say so, I will, he says – and he obeys.

What follows is astonishing.

They catch so many fish that the nets start to break and the boat starts to sink. Their expectations are shattered; the provision is miraculous in scale; and they struggle to comprehend what has just happened. What is more, Simon recognises – and proclaims – that Jesus is Lord.


When God asks us to do something that makes no sense, how many of us are willing to obey? Even if it goes against our better judgment? Even if it seems to contradict our knowledge, skills, experience and efforts?

How many of us are prepared to say: because you say so, I will?

How many of us might unintentionally end up missing out on God’s best because we are living in disobedience, unwilling to step out in faith, despite the circumstances, and act on what he has instructed us to do?  

As ever, constructive comments would be welcome below.


Please note: This is my ‘thought for the month’ reflection for July. You can find all my ‘thought for the month’ reflections here.

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh via Pexels.


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