Thursday, October 20, 2011

Let's go fishing.

Have you ever had a friend call you and say "I hear they are tearing it up at Lake ________!" or "Friends are telling me the Spanish Mackerel are running offshore, you want to come?!" I am talking about fishing and last weekend this happened to me. My friend John called me and said he and his son and a couple of friends were headed to the beach to do some fishing and my son and I were invited. He then told me that the reports said that Red Drum and Spots were biting and there may even be some Spanish Mackerel if we want to go just off shore.

I mentioned this to my son and he was ready to go that minute. I told him we were leaving Friday after school and would get on the water around 6:00 Saturday morning. He was packed and ready Wednesday night. Needless to say, he was excited. We pulled out Friday afternoon and stopped by the male version of Target, Bass Pro Shop. We picked up a few "essentials" for the trip and finished our drive to the beach.

Saturday morning we woke up about 5:00 am and were on the water by 6:00. We prepped our rods the night before so we would not waste any time. We had minnows, shrimp, mullet, blood worms, fake worms of every color and size, we had fake shrimp, we had jigs, rigs and everything else we needed. We were ready for whatever was biting. We had our net close at hand and the live well just waiting on the fish. We timed it so that we were fishing as the tide was coming in and bringing with it a bounty of fish. We joked about where we were going to put all the fish, would we have enough room in the refrigerator, would we have a cooler big enough to get some back home, would we have to go and empty the live well and come back. We made it to the first stop, a creek where we felt like we would have some luck.

We started casting and we casted and we cast and we cast and we cast. Obviously this spot was not right so we moved on to a better spot and we started casting and we cast and we cast and we cast and we cast. We moved on and started casting and we cast and we cast and we cast and we cast. This went on all morning for almost six hours. We finally decided to take a brief break for lunch and a quick rest. We went back out around 3:00 and stayed out until dark, still no luck. We were not completely shut out, we caught a total of three fish that were just barely big enough to keep and those were caught by John's ten year old son. The rest of us caught fish that were either junk fish or fish that could have been used for bait they were so small!

I tell you all of this because as I was sitting on the boat for hours on end I was reminded of a passage of scripture.
I Corinthians 9: 19-23 - 19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
Paul was fishing, in a sense, and he was using several different bait or lures to try to reach the lost. I am sure there were days when he was reeling them in and filling the cooler. But there were probably other days when he was not having any success. There are examples of both in scripture. Acts 14 tells the story of both extremes.

The bottom line in all of this is that we are to be fishing for the lost. Christ commanded us to make disciples of all nations. We are also taught that it is not up to us to determine who accepts the Gospel message, that is completely up to God.
I Corinthians 3: 6, 7 - 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
One more passage that came to mind was:
Matthew 7: 13, 14 - 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Very few will come to faith in Christ. Just like our fishing trip, we tried everything and ended up with very few fish. The same is true when it comes to reaching the lost. Very few will enter through the narrow gate no matter what the bait or lure is.

The waters are full of fish, are you ready to go fishing?

1 comment:

  1. Never liked fishing, but I like your bait analogy.