An Awesome Revelation – Are You Pressing In?

Sometimes big messages come in small things. And sometimes seemingly insignificant words and descriptions that seem nothing more than little pieces of a story can contain powerful revelation and thought-provoking, not to mention convicting, ideas. Such is the case with a scripture in the Bible I have skipped over countless times in my usual scurrying ahead to get to the “meat” of a matter. Yes, admittedly, I am someone who prefers typically to cut to the chase. How much I miss! Like this.

How many times have you heard the story in the Bible about Jesus telling a bunch of fishermen to launch out into the deep of the water after they have caught absolutely nothing? Perhaps lots like I have. Or perhaps never. Long story short? Their obedience despite the absurdity of going fishing when they’ve had such a poor experience catching fish results in ending up with more fish than they can possibly handle.

Jesus ends up calling them to follow Him, telling them He will teach them how to catch people for the Kingdom of God. How many times have I studied this, or heard it preached? Countless times. And I’ve always missed this. I’ve missed the very first scripture in the story. I suppose I figured it was meaningless. I supposed wrong. Very wrong. For there is powerful, and convicting, revelation in this one single scripture – the one that precedes the telling of the story so known by many.

On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God (Luke 5:1 ESV).” 

What have I always done with this scripture? Passed right over it, to be perfectly frank. After all, isn’t the story only about the fishermen, who ultimately will become fishers of men? No. There is more to it than this. 

Look what the crowd was doing before Jesus spoke to the fishermen. The crowd was “PRESSING IN ON HIM TO HEAR THE WORD OF GOD.” Think about it. The crowd was pressing in. That’s quite a description, isn’t it? They are actively seeking Him. Not only that, but they are actively seeking to hear God’s Word. 

I could weep over this scripture, for my heart’s cry is for the world to know the Lord, to receive the Lord, to be saved and to enter not just into the promise of eternity, but into a deeply intimate, personal, beautiful, life-giving, life-altering, relationship with the Lord while on earth – and to carry this Gospel forward to build up God’s Kingdom. So why would I weep? Because it is so entirely rare that I meet people who are passionately, if at all, “pressing in on Him to hear the Word of God.” 

Shouldn’t there be an urgency to studying, and hearing, the Word of God? Shouldn’t there be a commitment, a dedication, a desperation to dig deep into God’s Word, to devote oneself to hearing the voice of the Lord through His Word. Shouldn’t there, too, be a seeking of His voice directly speaking to an individual about the details of that specific individual’s life in accordance with God’s Word? How can we profess to love the Lord and not give ourselves over to learning of Him, to learning to live by His Word?

How can we tell our friends, our neighbors, our family, or anyone at all that we believe in Jesus Christ but are too busy, or too bored, or too intimidated to care to spend time pressing in on Him? Oh, how I cry in my heart over this! How can we call it love when we say we believe in Him but want to have nothing to do with Him, and when we won’t sacrifice part of every day to sit at His feet and study His Word? How can this even be considered a sacrifice, after what Jesus sacrificed for us on the cross? Oh, how my heart cries over this! 

Have I ever been too busy, too bored, too intimidated, too overwhelmed, too scared, too convicted, too distracted, too this or that when it comes to studying and applying to my life God’s Word? Absolutely! But I simply love the Lord too much, and am too hungry and thirsty for His love and His presence and His Fatherhood, for His peace and joy and hope and trust and Truth, for His instructions, for fellowship with Him, to love and praise and worship Him, to fill myself with Him and His Word and then to pour out His love and His Word into the world, to let any of that deter me from doing just what I have discovered for the first time in this story. To press in on the Lord! To press in on Him to hear His Word! To press in on Him to spend time with Him! 

How amazing, how unfathomable, it is that He would even want to spend even a moment with a human like I, given all my mistakes along the way, given my humanness and vast load of imperfections. But He does! He even wants to spend forever with me – and with you! How then I dare not press in on Him when He affords me this opportunity? Is it enough to call on Him, to pray to Him, to hear about Him at a church once a week? Is that what love does? How can this possibly be enough? What kind of relationship would that be? I would merely be a greedy, selfish child running to daddy to get what I want when I need it and rush off to enjoy my life before I hit Him up the next time for some necessity or personal desire. 

Is it not time that you press in on Him? Is it not time for you to dive deep into His Word? Is it not time that you throw away your excuses and come into the presence of the Lord God almighty? Is it not time that you become not only a hearer of His Word, but a doer of it?

There will be a time, most assuredly, when it will be too late. I do not want to regret what I could have had. Because I know at last what I can have, and I encourage you to do the same. Have what He offers. Partake. Rejoice in His presence. Feast on His Word. Learn to live His ways. 

Come to the Lord! Press into Him! Hear Him! And rejoice that we have a Lord, Creator of us all, who invites us into His company. He desires that we press into Him, does He not? So, will you? Will you make this not only a commitment for this day, but a way of life? 

He is knocking at the door of your heart, is He not? What will your answer be? Will you turn Him away once more? Will you invite Him in for a few moments before you race off to take care of the next item on your to-do list? Or will you invite Him in to stay? And will you press in to Him, to enjoy intimate relationship with Him, including hearing, and ultimately doing, His Word? 

On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.3Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.7They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”a 11And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.” 
– Luke 5:1-11 NASB underlining added for effect

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25 NASB

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.c 49But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:46-49 ESV
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