Monday, May 14, 2007

It's been awhile...

Sorry friends. I haven't been the most faithful blogger over the past several months. I don't know if things will ever change, but today I wanted to share something from the Scriptures I found to be encouraging.

Luke 5:1-11 tells the story of how Jesus called Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John to follow him. He says, "Don't be afraid! From now on you'll be fishing for people!"

Fishers of Men by Adriaen van de Venne, Oil on panel, 1614 (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam)

It can be a scary thing to have the Lord call you to a life of people fishing. These guys were commercial fisherman; established, with money in boats and nets, etc. Their contacts folder was probably full and their livelihood depended on selling the fish to those contacts.

Normally, you just don't up and walk away from a business. But they did.

I was thinking about that. Why call them out of their business? Why not keep them there and have them reach their contacts?

Well, Luke records a miraculous incident just prior to Jesus' call. Jesus had them cast nets into a dead spot that had already been fished all night. When they let the nets down, so many fish were caught that it required another boat and both were on the verge of sinking. Impossible!

And that was the point. Jesus showed them that he could make the impossible possible. Why spend time at the grind when, in a matter of seconds, Jesus could just command the fish into the nets and onto the boats? All the expertise in commercial fishing could never match the ability of the Master fisherman and His voice of command.

Their work would never be the same again. Jesus was beginning to reverse the curse. Once men were cursed to work the ground, sweating to produce food, but someday they would gladly depend on the Lord for all their needs, working only out of pleasure and enjoyment.

Through Christ, God rescues us from the fall. He offers us to cry out to Him and depend on Him and not "need" to work again. If we become fishers of men, our work is eternal, receiving eternal rewards and payoffs. Simon Peter and his partners could not stay in their business, because Jesus was calling them to come and learn from Him; come and catch people; come and understand His unlimited supply and the salvation He was bringing. He needed their full attention so that they could continue the message long after He was gone.

I believe Jesus is still calling people out of their "businesses" today. He offers a switch: They stop "working" out of need - and He provides everything.

Not a bad deal. If you've ever felt the call of God on your life, hear the Lord's words again, "Don't be afraid! From now on you'll be fishing for people!"


sandytrif said...

While neither Carmen nor I have felt the Lord directing us to leave our jobs to work solely for him, I feel he has called us to work in Christian companies and not just work to earn the almighty dollar. I also feel that our jobs and those we support through our working allows those who are called to full time ministry to do the work the Lord has in store for them. I still think I am a fisher of men-just not one who leaves their job.

sandytrif said...

had to make another comment. On Wednesday night for our cell group, we heard from 2 missionaries from India. They are truly what I think you are referring to. They are fishers of men in their home land under sivere hardships. One, Onkar, felt the Lord directing him to open a church, the other Serush is a graduate of his school. They have a vision for India that puts me to shame. I stand in awe of what they want to do for their country.

ruthrap said...

whether you are a missionary in a faraway land or never leave your can be a fisherman...there are people in your town and even in your neighborhood who need to hear the are called to be the one to tell them....each and every one who knows the Truth is obligated to share it! We are not called to just attend church, tithe and sing songs....we are called to be fishers of men everyday...everywhere!

JimmyBob said...

Great comments. I agree, we're all called to be fishers of men.

It seems lately that the more popular thing to say, however, is that God wants to use you right where you're at. He can certainly do that, and does, no doubt. But, I thought this story was a good illustration of a "full-time" life calling. God does call men and women to leave jobs and go out and spread the gospel.

xt4jfriend said...

I find that sometimes I'm living two seperate lives at once. One way I'm living is in complete preparation for when I go on the mission field. I know God is calling me to various countries. On the other hand my life is all about what is right in front of me at the moment. In AZ I live for ministry in my everyday life, not thinking about what tomorrow will bring. Here in Ohio I am doing things for ministry here. I'm planning to sing a duet with my friend for offeratory, and a human video with 4 other girls for the youth group. I'm building friendships with people I may not see for a long time. I minister for the present in one aspect of my life, while at the same time I recognize that everything that happens now is God moving me yet another step forward to His ultimate travelling plans for my life ministry.