Introduction: There are situations and people reactions that can influence leaders to turn away from their life calling. How can we pull out of a downward spiral?
Context: Three powerful years of training, miracles, hope and vision had collapsed with the abrupt end of Christ’s life. Peter had denied Christ 3X. The Disciples had fled in fear. They had seen the resurrected Christ, now what?
Peter’s Downward Spiral:
1. We slide into old - comfortable patterns.
“I am going fishing” (John 21:3)
Why did Peter say he was going fishing?
a. It was unclear what to do next in ministry
b. Wanted to be useful rather than idle:
- Peter wanted to do something. They had to eat.
- Fishing came natural.
c. I quit. I am going back to my old career of fisherman. It is comfortable and I know I can do it.
2. We pull others with us.
- Others “Follow the Leader”; 7 of 11 Disciples go
“We’ll go with you.”
3. We work really hard and long hours
- They spent the whole night trying to catch fish.
4. Our results are meager or empty
- They caught nothing.
Have you “slid” with your commitment with Christ? __Y __N
How to get our Life Back on Track – Pull Out of a Downward Spiral:
1. Hear from God: (John 21:4)
- It takes focus and often quietness to hear from Christ.
- Notice that it is Christ who initiates the interaction
- We may not realize that it is God who is speaking to us through a friend, the Bible, a song, a situation, etc.
2. Admit Failure – the Backdoor to Success
- Honest questions need to be asked of our effectiveness in life and in ministry
- What was the goal? How well was it achieved?
Q) Why is it so hard to admit failure? _________________
3. Challenge and Immediate Obedience brings Results:
- Sometimes Christ’s requests or the impressions of the Holy Spirit make no rational sense
“If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
- Peter was impulsive, always getting out of the boat to be with Jesus. (Also Mat. 14:25-33)
Q) What “boat” do you need to get out of? ______________
4. Celebration – Restored Relationship: (John 21:8-14)
- The astonishing catch of fish remind Peter of his calling
- “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”
- “So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him.” (Luke 5:1-11)
- The Lord will remind us of our commitment to Him
5. Refocus on Relationship - Mission to a New Level: (John 21:15-25)
It is not about performance only. It is about loving God in relationship and influencing or serving others.