Saturday, January 29, 2011

They Were Fishermen


Everyone is unique. There is no one else exactly like you. You were created by special design and God only made one you. No one else has the potential to be a better you than you do.

Not only are you created a unique individual but you are also endowed by your Creator with certain talents, certain gifts, specific likes and dislikes as well as being naturally graced with God given abilities which make you very good at some things while not naturally good at others.

Peter, Andrew, James, and John were fishermen. Why were they fishermen? I imagine they liked it and no doubt what it took to be a success was in their DNA. Now Matthew, he may have fished at some point in his life but Peter was a fisherman. And believe me, there is a difference.

There is something you were created to be. No doubt there are several things you can do … but there is something you are made for!

Without regard as to who you are and what you were created to be or do, you have been equipped and called by God to do what you do and be what He designed you to be, for God’s Kingdom purposes. From King David to Zacchaeus people are designed by God to do what they do best and do it for God’s best interest. God created you according to His plan and need.

There is some place where you can put your talents and natural abilities to work for God. Everyone has a fair share of volunteer ministry to give without regard as to what we may do to earn our living.

Individuals are made for opportunities. Just like Queen Esther, you too have been prepared and positioned for such a time as this. God has not been wasting your life but rather He has been working in you and on you, even without you knowing, so that He can work through you and for you.

The only requirement on your part is to recognize the opportunities when He presents them as opportunities which you are already prepared for … and then of course we must say yes to those opportunities.

All of your life God has been preparing and positioning you for the next opportunity. Every great testimony in the Bible was the result of someone saying yes to the opportunity presented to them by God.

· Noah said yes

· Abraham said yes

· Rebecca said yes

· Joseph said yes

· Moses said yes

· Rahab said yes

· David said yes

· The Widow of Zarephath said yes

· Elisha said yes

· Mary said yes

· The Young Rich Ruler said no!

· Zacchaeus said yes

· Cornelius said yes

· Even Jesus said yes to the greatest opportunity of His life …

· Everyday people from all walks of life say yes to their opportunities to play a part in the plan of God.

The common denominator in the lives of all of these people is not the fact that they all said yes, but the fact that they all said yes to the voice of God. They recognized the voice of God and therefore did not misidentify the opportunity.

You see, God does all the hard work … we need only follow. We are first prepared; Then we are positioned; And finally we are invited to participate.

Mark 1

16 And as Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.

17 Then Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men."

18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

· Note that Jesus found them, they did not find Him

John 15:16 You have not chosen me but I have chosen you …

· Simon and Andrew were busy working – so was most every disciple whom Jesus chose. (Don’t sit around waiting on God to chose you)

If you want to get something done, find a busy person to do it

· There was an urgency to this call – Follow me!

It wasn’t, “Hey I have this opportunity, why don’t you think about it, pray about it, perhaps talk to your friends and get back with me next Thursday.”

· I will make you to become fishers of men …

I’m going to take what you are naturally gifted at, what you love to do and are good at, and I’m going to put you to work in the Kingdom of God (Jesus didn’t say this to every disciple He called – but to these fishermen)

· Immediately … they responded

They said yes! They rightly identified their invitation to participate in God’s will and purpose for their lives.

They immediately changed the focus of their lives to what God had planned for them. Each of the disciples embraced new priorities of life.

You know, it wasn’t always easy for these followers of Jesus. After all, some of them, like Peter, were just fishermen – not extremely educated or highly intelligent.

Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they were amazed; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

One claim to fame that Peter and John had was that they had spent time with Jesus, the Living Word of God, and they knew the answers of life because they knew the Voice of Life.

After Jesus was crucified, the disciples felt as though their calling and the special opportunity they had been given by God was over. They were called to follow Jesus and now Jesus had told them that they could not follow Him where He was going and Jesus was gone. As a result:

John 21

2 Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together.

3 Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We are going with you also." They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.

What’s Peter saying? Basically – It’s over … didn’t turn out like I thought it would but … I’m going back to what I know, what I was doing before I got mixed up in this thing … back to what I know and enjoy … I’m going fishing.

With this he also influenced everyone around him … why … because God had made him to be a person of influence and what he did, others around him tended to follow.

You notice that they fished all night and caught nothing. Reckon why their hard work and good intentioned endeavors produced nothing but a waste of time and energy? Oh, one might imagine that they were just a bit rusty at fishing and were no longer familiar with those waters … but really it was because God was not finished with them yet. He wanted to give them one more opportunity to make following Him the priority of their life.

Of course Jesus could have blessed them – and He did in His time and for His glory, but even though they may have enjoyed themselves and worked hard and were at heart fishermen, nonetheless, God could not have afforded for them to have been too successful – if they were, perhaps they could have been tempted to keep on fishing instead of realizing that the calling and gifting of God are without repentance.

It’s no different with us today. Without respect to what you do or how good you are at doing it … you are only being prepared for your greatest use by God.

Learn to recognize the Voice of God by spending time in the study of His Word and fellowship of His Spirit. Keep your spiritual eyes and ears open to the opportunities He offers.

No doubt God is preparing you and positioning you for your next opportunity to serve His plan. And, don’t get weary in serving Christ. It may not be what you first thought it would be but believe me when I tell you that God is not finished yet and the best is yet to come. Keep doing what you were created to do – only Jesus will satisfy your soul!

You might say, Pastor – I work at one of the plants; I’m a homemaker; an attorney; a truck driver; school teacher; prison guard; or work in the medical field – how can I give my life to the service of God?

I tell you, it doesn’t matter where you work but rather who you are working for. As long as you are doing what God wants you to do, where God wants you to do it, you are right where you should be. Opportunity will find you and if you need to adjust or refocus your priority, believe me – you won’t have to go looking for it – it will find you.

Just don’t allow disappointment or discontentment, neither failure nor success, make you miss what you were created to do. Perhaps what you need is to refocus on why you do what you do and who you are doing it for. The right focus and the right priority will un-cloud the opportunities right in front of you. Just imagine, you might be missing the greatest opportunity God will ever present you right there where you are, where God has planted you, prepared you and positioned you already.

After all, what are you and what were you really made to do? Do it for Jesus right where you are!