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Spear Fishing
Photo: Michael Wood
“Then He said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).

I was swimming peacefully around my pond when my fish world was interrupted by a loud bang and tumultuous waves.  Right next to me, too close for comfort, a fishing boat. Gone was my peaceful day—the fishermen had come. They carried spears with them and laughed among themselves, a righteous look on their faces. One of the men lunged the first spear into the water, barely missing me. The second spear followed, cutting along my left side. Thrown with barely enough effort, the third spear had the same effect on my right side. With a yawn, the fishermen decided they’d done enough for the day and began to walk away, leaving my once calm pond trembling with waves and stained with my blood.

When Jesus gave the great commission, making his disciples fishers of men, fishing was different than it is today. Fishermen would wake up early, row their boats to the middle of the ocean, and cast their nets into the water. They could not force the fish, instead they waited patiently, sometimes all day and into the night, for fish to swim into their nets. Some days would go by without them catching anything, so they lived by faith that God would lead the fish to them.

Preferred Witnessing Method

Nowadays, we’ve taken to spear fishing as our preferred witnessing method. It’s easier, faster, and requires very little follow-through. Shoving Jesus down someone’s throat, or into their side, seems easier than waiting all day for someone to ask if we’re a Christian. So what’s the problem with taking the spear into our own hands? We’ve taken God out of the witnessing equation. Instead of believing that God will act in their lives and lead them to us, we go after them on our own. It is not our effort that brings people to have a relationship with Christ, it is Christ himself. It is not how many hours a day we pray and read the Bible, it is God’s love.  When we take the spear into our own hands, often all we do is injure them spiritually, leaving them worse than they were before we interfered.

Put down the spear and cast your net into the water. Don’t hide the fact that you’re a Christian, be proud of it, but put your pride in Christ, not your own accomplishments.  Act differently, without putting on a righteous attitude, and God will lead the fish to you. After you’ve caught them, take the fish immediately to God. Let Him take care of the changing, for it must be done with a love that we humans are not capable of. Take it from someone who's been on the other side of the pond, with God's help, we will willingly swim into your nets.

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By Raquel Levy. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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