Through out the years I have had many people tell me of their love of fishing. I, myself, however have never had the patience to cast a line into the water and wait for a fish to bite on to it. If I can’t cast the line into the water and catch a fish within 30 seconds and then go home I can’t see the fun in it.
Our fast paced and ‘microwave’ society appears to have the same mentality to life in general that I have to fishing. Desire for instant gratification is the norm. Whether it be business, career, or even spiritual matters, most society looks for the quick fix. ‘Lose weight fast with no effort’, ‘Get rich quick’ and similar mindsets have even worked their way into church growth seminars.
In the 5th chapter of Luke we read the account of Simon Peter and the other fishermen who had spent the entire night fishing without catching a thing. The important thing to realize with these men is that their entire living depended on their catching fish. Theirs was the day before guaranteed salaries, sick pay and profit sharing bonuses. After a disappointingly long night of hard toil they were still open to do what Jesus asked of them. The first request was easy enough, set out from shore and allow Him to speak to the crowd from their boat. (Luke 5:3). The second request “. . . launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a drought.” (Luke 5:4) was more difficult to do. It required faith. They had not slept since the day before and had worked all night. No doubt they stayed awake and listened to the anointed preaching of the Rabbi. They were tired. But they believed the Lord. Though weary and discouraged, their act of faith was rewarded with a great catch.
Sometimes situations seem impossible. In the gospel of Matthew we read about such a situation. Jesus, when faced with the issue of feeding the great multitudes said to the disciples “They need not depart, give ye them to eat.” (Matthew 14:16) The disciples knew that their possession of five loaves and two fish would not feed their own group, let alone the multitude that stood before them. However, with the same trust in Him that they had in the fishing boat, they offered what little was at their disposal, allowing the Creator of the universe to multiply it. Though the situation seemed impossible, their act of faith resulted in the feeding of close to twenty thousand people.
In the book of Acts we read where Jesus commands His followers to ” . . . wait for the promise of the Father . . .” (Acts 1:4) As the scene moves on to chapter two we see those who obeyed the Lord’s command to wait, were now filled with the very presence of the One who gave the command! These people had the disappointment of losing their Lord twice, once at the crucifixion and then at His ascension. Yet, by faith they obeyed His command to wait. The result was their receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
In the book of Mark Jesus tells us “. . .to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every living creature.” (Mark 16:15) Oftentimes witnessing can seem to be an impossible task. Knocking doors and handing out tracts may seem difficult after a long discouraging night (or day) at work. What we have to offer seems so little in the face of the great multitudes. Our fast paced lives of modern conveniences, electronic devices ,and personal gain make it seem impossible to wait for anything.
Yet, we have the Savior’s command TO GO. Do we, as Apostolic believers sit and hope that the multitudes will see our signs, our ads, or even our lifestyles and come running to our churches? I don’t think so. As Apostolics we have an obligation to our Savior to obey. “And why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say? (Luke 6:46) He has commanded us TO GO. Like the offering of the loaves and fish, we give what little we may have and allow the Lord to multiply it. We cast our nets with the faith of the fishermen and allow the Lord to fill them. Do you want full nets?
It starts with one door.
Dr. Simon is in charge of Street Evangelism at the Church on the Rock in Gadsden, AL.
His outreach team knocks 200-300 doors a month.