As I was driving into work today, (Wednesday, July 1, 2020), I heard God clearly say, “Launch into the deep”. He gave me 3 topics: Fisher’s of Men, Cast Your Cares, and Trust Me. He told me to write a 3-part series on these three topics. Here is part 1 – Fishers of Men.
Many of us are familiar with the term – Fishers of Men. It comes in Matthew 4 (KJV): 18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20 And they straightway left their nets and followed him.
Most of us get the correlation of the brothers being fishermen and Jesus making them fishers of men. But I needed to go a little deeper. I needed to see who a fisherman truly is. I found a very basic job description: they use equipment such as nets, rods, and traps to catch fish to be consumed by humans or for usage as animal feed or bait. But here is where I got a deeper understanding. What skills do fisherman need – analytical, critical thinking, listening, machine operation, navigation, physical stamina, and physical strength. Okay God break this down.
Fisherman use analytical skills to determine if their catch is viable. Did they catch a good quality of fish? Sometimes, we go out here and surround ourselves with people that mean us no good. We develop this circle of friends but what we really have is a circle of Backstabbers as the O’Jays called them. These people that will smile at you while holding a knife in their hands and promising you that they are there to help you in anyway that they can. And, just as soon as you turn your back, you feel the prick of the blade. Take the time and analyze your circle. That which means you no good and isn’t of good quality, toss back into the sea.
Critical Thinking. Fisherman need to know when to go out in the sea and where to go. Some of us are going out and trying to cast out demons when we have no power. That thing is stronger than you, but you think because you are saved, you can do it. Now understand, you can do all things through Christ that strengthens you. But wisdom is spoken all through the book of Proverbs. Gain some!!! Know that if you gave your life to Christ yesterday, then you can’t go back in the drug house today and save souls. You will need time to build up not only your faith but your power. You are a soul living within a fleshly body. Don’t be so naïve as to think you have all the power as soon as you accept Christ. Don’t go where God hasn’t sent you. To everything there is a season. Wait until its your season to do just what He says, not adding to or deleting from it.
Listening. I love this one. Most of us think we listen quite well. Listen is defined as to give one’s attention to a sound; to expect or wait for a sound, such as a signal, to accept advice or obey instruction, to agree or assent. Getting it? The Art of Listening Prayer by Seth Barnes is a wonderful book. Read it!!! Its full of tidbits on how to wait and listen for the voice of God. Some of us ignore the act of meditation as we think it’s that thing hippies do. Nope!! Joshua 1:8 (NIV): Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Meditation is not the devil’s tool. It is written that we should meditate on the word day and night. Try this. Sit in silence for 5 minutes a day for the next 7 days and write down what you hear God say. Take no action unless He tells you. Don’t speak, don’t ask for anything. Just sit and wait for God to speak. Here’s the thing: God is always speaking. But, do you have a mind to hear?
Machine Operation. Working as the admin on a construction site as taught me much. One of the most important is that the best skilled laborers are always learning their craft. They are always opened to the new and not stuck in the past. Churches hear me and hear me well. If you want your church to survive, get out of the old. The younger generation wants more. They are hungry for more. Feed them. John 21:17: The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep”. Stop giving the same stale message that you delivered in 1985. Their minds, hearts, and souls are thirsty for more. You can’t use quick phrases and satisfy this hunger. You will have to dig deeper and get real. Speak the truth and not your version of it. Operating in the spirit takes your ability to be real with yourself first then others.
Navigation. Do you know where you are going? If not, stand still for a minute. This one works with listening very well. Pastor Glen Jenkins once spoke of how he was in the store buying clothes and God led him through the entire store. And each place had a deal on something he needed. I am reminded of the story of the Nativity where the Magi are following the star of Bethlehem. They trusted the star to lead them to where they needed to be. When they met King Herod, they called the star, his star (Matthew 2). Whose star are you following? Who is navigating your path through life? In what direction are you walking?
Physical Stamina is the ability to maintain prolonged physical or mental effort. Physical stamina has another name – endurance. Can you run this race and endure to the end? Things in the world today look bad. Heck, they are bad. BUT, if you serve God with your heart, mind, and soul then you know ALL things work together for the good (Romans 8:28). Stop thinking this pandemic is the worst that could be. Don’t believe me, read Revelations. There are 7 plagues listed in the book indicated by the 7 bowls. You don’t want to be here then so heed God’s call now and get it together. Endure this now, knowing that we now have a chance to get ourselves together before He comes back.
Physical strength measures one’s use of force onto an object. How much of yourself are you actually giving? God endows each of us with a gift or gifts. Are you using yours for the upbuilding of the kingdom? Many of us have natural abilities. My sister-in-law, Lord bless her, can organize with the best of them. I thought I was good until I saw this sister in action. It comes naturally to her. Neko doesn’t have to stop and think of how, she just does. This is a gift. Organizing, carpentry, administrative, builders, cleaners, and etc. These are gifts that people have and overlook. What are you good at naturally? Use it.
This blog has probably been my longest to date. Once God started, there was no stopping. Launch yourself into the deep. You cannot be a fisher of men without the above stated 7 skills. Take these skills one by one and dive into yourself. Take a look and see where you are strong and where you are weak. And then, when you have your weaknesses, find some good iron and get sharp.
Be A Blessing and Not Just Blessed