“And He said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19
If you ask me, fishing is about the most boring thing to do on the planet. You bait your hook, drop it in the water and then wait for what feels like an ETERNITY just hoping a fish bites. Generally after trying in one spot, you move to another spot and repeat the process of waiting. Sometimes you get a bite on your line and get all excited only to have the fish wiggle its way off the hook. Many times you spend the entire day repeating the same process over and over only to come back with no fish. Now I ask you, does that sound like fun? I know it does to some of you but to me, it sounds like an exercise in futility and a complete bore.
However, now and then, when the timing is just right, you actually hook and reel in a fish. The joy and excitement makes you feel like you will burst!! You’ve made it!! You’ve reached the finish line of the day’s race…FISH!! You take pictures of the fish, you have others take pictures of you holding the fish and you may even kiss the fish. Whichever route you to take to celebration, the goal has been accomplished.
Jesus calls us to be “fishers of men” and when I think about that I get instantly irritated. Fishing is probably one of my least favorite things to do. It takes time and patience and I’m low on both. So what I’ve done is work my way around fishing. I shy away from those ministry opportunities which involve recruiting folks for my team because it feels like fishing. And actually I don’t really shy away…I absolutely avoid! I don’t like reaching out to people over and over to ask them to help out just to have them either ignore me completely or say sure and then cancel. Do you see the glaring parallel as much as I do? The time spent asking is the time spent dropping my line in the water. The people who never reply are the fish swimming around my bait. The people who say yes and then cancel are the fish who get hooked and then wiggle off. But every now and then, when the timing is right, someone says yes and follows through!
I have been part of a ministry team for a couple years which I love! Only, I really only love about 70% of the position I hold because there is an element of “fishing” involved and as I’ve said, I run. I’ve actually gone so far as to run from my position completely and consider stepping down all because I dislike recruiting. I have a good friend who called me on this today and got me thinking about my actions. He called out that he see’s impact potential in me that I know won’t be used to its fullest without me getting over this issue. God will simply not use me if I am unwilling to do what He has already called me to do…be a fisher of men.
Now here’s the part that is really crazy: God’s power will make me a fisher of men not my own. What?! On my own I will never be a fisherman. Not even on my best day will I be able to accomplish this task. However, Jesus didn’t say, “Go on your own and fish and see what happens”. Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Translation: Kellyann, stop running from my will and just follow me and I will do the work through you.
Just follow me. These three words are the easiest, hardest and most profound words in my life. When I asked God for a calling, He said, “Just follow me”. When I asked God to show me what He wants to do with my life He said, “Just follow me.” When I tried to run from being a fisher of men He said, “Just follow me.” Someday I’ll get this and just follow Him but for now, I need the constant reminder. I’m clearly a slow learner.
So what now? Now I go back to those that I serve under and say let me have one more shot at this serving thing. I’m not perfect but I have a heart that desires to serve and to do what God has called me to do and He has called me, and you, to fish. Then I pray, and I pray like I’ve never prayed before because I simply cannot do this on my own strength. I already know that about myself and I’ve already confessed that about myself to those around me.
Are you fishing or are you running? If you’re fishing for men like Jesus has called then awesome!! If you are running like I have been, turn around like I am now. Turn around and ask for forgiveness for the sin of trying to do this in your own strength, pray for God’s strength and then start fishing. He has declared that He will make us fishers of men and that means He will. No question about it.
If I can pray for you, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Live in God’s love, grace, peace and mercy. Go fishing!