Hard core fishermen have endless entertaining “fish stories.” I am not really that interested in fishing but there is something very energizing about the stories they tell. They draw us in to the pursuit, the struggle, the friends, the weather and finally the “big catch”, captivating us with the tales. Moments of adrenaline and victory that marked their memory banks with every detail so they could share the drama again and again. It’s electric!
There is something so sacred when you witness someone coming to know Jesus. The moment is so deeply etched in your heart that you cannot forget the story. When was the last time you felt an electricity, a moment of captivating wonder, around Christians telling stories of sharing the mystery of Christ? I haven’t in a while. I am trying to understand where and when we forgot our own story of rescue? When did we transition into a group of “fishermen” that don’t fish? Max Lucado wrote in his book In The Eye Of The Storm that “when fishermen don’t fish, they fight.” I not only believe it, I see it. Somehow we lose sight of the transforming purpose of our life to fish for people and we end up fishing for our own comfort and pleasure.
Jesus could not say it any clearer “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” Matthew 4.19
Following Jesus has a purpose beyond our own salvation. We are to get out and fish. I am amazed at how many people fill our church gatherings as “fishers of men” who have become cranky, complaining, frustrated, lifeless, directionless disciples of Jesus. There is self-centered infighting that exists in our fellowships today where fellow followers of Jesus are failing tests they never know they are taking. Lucado nailed it. When we are not fulfilling the very purpose of our lives, “to fish,” we fight.
Paul’s words to the Colossian Church are clear and practical.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 2.4-6
What fishing story do you have? When was the last time you set out to fish? May we all experience the electricity of being “fishers of men”!