I’m not good at fishing but some of my favorite childhood memories involve trying to catch fish. Growing up, my dad would take my brothers and I on excursions where we would camp and fish. These “manly man fishing trips”, as they were called, involved a lot of laughter and running around in the woods but I don’t recall all that many fish actually being caught. Maybe that’s because my dad hardly ever got to drop his line in the water because he was too busy untangling our rods from the tangled mess we had inevitably gotten them into because we hadn’t listened to him.
I had a mickey mouse fishing pole and I vividly recall my dad doing everything for me. He would set it all up: hook, bait, weights, and even cast it out, telling me to sit still (so as to not scare the fish away) and keep my eyes on the bobber. That was it. I just needed to not be hyperactive and when I saw the bobber bounce just slowly reel it in. When ever a fish was caught he would even take care of getting the hook out of it’s throat and do the dirty work of cleaning it. All I had to do was reel it in. He took care of everything else.
The cool thing is that I have discovered when you follow Jesus’ instructions and go fishing for men it works the exact same way. God takes care of everything! He is the one who nailed our sins to the cross making it possible for us to have a relationship with Him. He is the one who works in hearts, drawing people to Christ and giving them the option to respond to Him, He is the one who sets up situations where we can invite people to church and share the gospel with them, and He is the one who knows whether someone is genuinely saved or not. All we have to do is to be faithful to cast out the net and reel it in.
As we preach the gospel and bring people with us to hear the gospel we must not trust in ourselves. For all practical purposes, we are like me as a little boy, sitting there on the dock with my mickey mouse fishing pole. But just like I have a great dad, we have an amazing Heavenly Father who sets everything up for us and, even though we often get things tangled up and make it more complicated than it needs to be, He loves us and allows us to play a part in the ultimate fish story!
Matthew 13:47–50 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a fishing net that was thrown into the water and caught fish of every kind. When the net was full, they dragged it up onto the shore, sat down, and sorted the good fish into crates, but threw the bad ones away. That is the way it will be at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the righteous, throwing the wicked into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
By the way, there is an opportunity for you to go on a fishing trip tomorrow night! Skull Church is the first wednesday of every month and for the month of May that is tomorrow night. After music by the skull church band and our guest artist we are going to be casting the net and dragging it in. Is there someone you could invite to come with you (if you live in this neck of the woods) or to come over to your house to watch the webcast with you? It all starts at 7pm MST and streams in HD at www.skullchurch.com.