In elementary school, I had a physical education teacher who would continually tell us to “listen up.” We were a rowdy bunch and we needed to be quiet and listen to his instructions. If we didn’t listen, we wouldn’t know how to play the game. Learning to listen to teachers is good training for our spiritual walk because listening unfolds God’s plan. Not listening in P.E.class has minor consequences, but not listening to the Lord has more serious consequences.
Listen AND Obey
In Luke 5, Peter had been fishing all night and caught nothing. Jesus came and told him to let down his nets in the deep. Now Peter was a professional fisherman, and this advice would go against all he knew about fishing. But Peter obeyed and had an astonishing catch. It was after this catch of a lifetime that Jesus called Peter into ministry.
Now, three years later, our story must feel like déjà vu to Peter. John 21: 3 Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.” “We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night. 4 At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. 5 He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?” “No,” they replied. 6 Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it. 
Peter had free will on each occasion and yet listened and obeyed when it was not the right time to fish. Each time Peter listened to Jesus and obeyed he was successful. Now Jesus was going to recommission Peter for future ministry.
In the scriptures the word “listen” means to listen and obey, not just to hear what was said. This is important as we delve into scripture. We can go our own way and make our life a desert or listen to the Lord and be fruitful in His Kingdom. Listening unfolds God’s plan. How has listening or not listening to the Lord affected your life? How has the Lord given you a second chance to listen and obey? What does this tell us about our Savior?
To hear more about Peter and his catch, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/encountering-jesus-with-peter
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.