Every Thought Captive

Because the Lord Says So

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, and He saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting 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. And when He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at Your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They 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. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and 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.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.

Luke 5:1-11

Just four little words, but they introduce us to the force that created and controls the universe. Of course, it's not that these words possess in themselves such creative powers. After all, for untold millennia harried parents all over the world have bent low to hiss, "Because I say so!" into the ears of recalcitrant offspring. But though "because I say so!" may be universally the words of choice to impress upon headstrong children the solemn truth that what the parent says goes or else, and though they are spoken with grim sincerity and physical punishment may follow if they are unheeded, the words alone cannot really control for long even a small child, much to the chagrin of parents everywhere.

However, these words did—and they do—control the entire universe when God uttered them. When He, in the beginning, spoke into nothingness, somethingness happened. At His Word, space, time, and matter came into being. When God spoke His will, all creation obeyed instantly—without talking back! For example, He said, "Let there be light," and there was light, and if the light had asked "Why?" God would have answered, "Because I said so." 

Because the Lord says so, living creatures fill the land, the seas, and the air. Because the Lord says so, Monarch butterflies flutter across entire continents; roses are red, and violets are blue; kudzu covers Dixie like the dew; ants and buzzards clean up the debris of death and decay; civilizations develop and perish; kingdoms rise, flourish, and fall; dynasties come and go.

God’s Word is the rule for all Christians for all of their lives. God’s Word is the universal password into the blessings of God. We can possess no faith, repentance, spiritual growth, joy, satisfaction, love, hope, or peace if the Word of God does not shape our lives. Indeed, we can know nothing of the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit unless we are yielded to the simple yet profound truth: "Because the Lord says so."

Once, early in a morning, a large crowd pressed in on Jesus because the people wanted "to hear the word of God." They apparently were seekers, hoping to find salvation, and in God’s good providence, they had come to the right place at the right time. Enthralled with our Lord’s teaching, they crept close, pressing Him to the water’s edge. He noticed two fishing boats pulled up on the sand, one of which He knew was Peter’s. The fishermen, having fished all night, had gone ashore to wash their nets. Jesus stepped into Peter’s boat, sat down, and taught the people from the boat. He assured His audience that the way of salvation is open to all who come, that “whoever comes to Him He will never drive away” (John 6:37b).

Perhaps this applies to you. Perhaps you are a professing Christian but are not sure that you have ever really “come” to Jesus. Perhaps you are seeking more of Him but are waiting for the right time or circumstances. Or maybe you have tried really hard but failed. Whatever the reason for your delay, don’t wait. There is no reason to wait. Let down your net once more; ask God to fill it with the riches of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ask Him to open your heart to His Word. Breathe a prayer right now, believing that you will be accepted and blessed, because the Lord says so. He says, “Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28-30). In fact, waiting is sinful, an affront to the God of grace who lovingly bids you to come. Quit trying to save yourself. Submit to Him, beseech Him to be your Lord and Master. He will not disappoint you.

About the Author

Photograph of Paul Settle

Paul Settle

Rev. Paul G. Settle

Paul, a native of St. Albans, WV, attended WV University, and graduated from Bob Jones University and Columbia Theological Seminary. Ordained to the gospel ministry in 1959, he has served churches in West Virginia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, and South Carolina. He served also as the first Coordinator of the Committee for Christian Education and Publications of the PCA, and as the Director of Ministries at the Ridge Haven Conference Center, near Brevard, NC.

He was the only full-time executive employed by the Steering Committee for a Continuing Presbyterian Church, whose efforts culminated in the establishment of the Presbyterian Church in America. He has served on many denominational committees, contributed articles to a number of periodicals and authored several books, including The Memory Work Notebook, Changeless Truth in a Changing World -- Meditations on the Westminster Confession of Faith, and To God Be the Glory, a popular history of the PCA, celebrating the denomination's 25th. Anniversary. Paul served as Moderator of the PCA General Assembly in 1980. North Texas Presbytery granted him honorable retirement in February, 2007.

Board memberships have included Westminster Theological Seminary, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, The Presbyterian Journal, The Presbyterian Guardian, WORLD Magazine, and Women To the World.

He was married to Georgia for 54 years. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2002 and was taken home by the Lord in September, 2010. Georgia was the first Consultant for the Women In the Church of the PCA, wrote two WIC study guides, Seasons of Change, Seasons of Grace, and Women of the Bible, and was a founding member of the Board of Directors of Women To the World, a mission organization that ministers to women the world over.

He has two children and three grandchildren.

His hobbies include photography, reading, music and hiking.