Casting Your Net

Oh, those glory days of high school. While my classmates were charting a course for life, and the big fish, I was in the catch and release system. I would catch the information for the tests, and then release it back into the atmosphere as if never known at all. I never realized how much English class would help with writing; in fact, I didn’t know nouns from verbs, or proverbs. Writing a book, columns, or blogs, were not on my radar, but you see, that just shows the greatness of God. He can take a willing person and supply all the needs to tackle any project He plans. Where I am weak, God is strong!

God equips each of us with certain gifts, talents, and skills, and not all of us have the same. When God calls us to do something for His Kingdom, He always provides the resources, and right people, to take the slack out of the line. He takes up the slack for what we lack.

Do you remember when Jesus met the first four disciples? He was walking along the Sea of Galilee watching the fishermen in their boats. They were not some Saturday afternoon, sleeping on the shore fishermen, allowing time and opportunity to pass them by, they were professionals, feeding their families and making their living. They did not have fancy smancy equipment, like trolling motors, fish radar, or depth finders, but instead relied on experience, and knowledge of the waters to make their way. They had a deep understanding of fishing, spending long hours casting their nets for large amounts of fish.

Jesus spoke to the men in a language they understood, he reached into their way of life and hooked their hearts. Jesus called them out of their boats and then said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) They responded immediately without hesitation. They gave up the known for the unknown. But they understood there was something different about Jesus, and the Gospel nets they would cast would bring men to the Lord. While not learned or scholarly, Jesus knew they were willing to serve God, and He would equip them for His Kingdom.

At a writer’s conference a few years ago, I had an opportunity to speak with some professional writers with multiple publications. Most of those waiting to speak with the authors wanted to promote their writing or show them a recent manuscript for evaluation. For me, I only had one question, and it was the reason for attending the conference in the first place. When it came my turn, I sat down in front of the author and she sort of expected me to hand her some of my recent work. She seemed perplexed; already knowing about my book with Guideposts and my column with the newspaper, so my question took her by surprise.

“Do I have a right to consider myself a writer if I use an editor?”

She said, “When Guideposts asked you to write a book for them, that was your sign from God to write.” She reminded me, “No one I know gets asked to write a book.” She smiled and softly said, “Moses needed a good side kick, and Aaron helped him out. Every good writer needs a good editor.”

Second Corinthians 12:9-11 says, “Each time he said, my grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”

Are you fishing from the bank? Perhaps, you are not spending much time alone with God, and yet, want greater blessings in your spiritual life. The big catch is in the deep water, in close proximity to God. We may even need to cast our net to the other side of the boat to experience the deeper relationship we desire.

Habakkuk 2:3 from The Message tells us, “And then God answered: Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so it can be read on the run. This vision message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming-it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.”

I encourage you to take another look at what God is doing in your life. Is he redirecting you to new deeper waters? Are you being bold and following his lead? Are you allowing others to come alongside with their gifts and talents to assist you in God’s work?

You see we all have our days of celebration, but we also have days of loneliness and affliction. Our yesterdays may be filled with glory, and for some, a portion of shame. Our days when tied together form a testimony, a giant billboard that writes in bold letters who our God is. When we willingly allow God to loop our testimonial net through His hands, we too will be fishers of men.

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