Fishers of Men
In Mark 1:17, we read,
"Then Jesus said to them, "Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men."
Have you noticed that often times we try to "make ourselves" into fishers of men...?
We try to WILL ourselves to be what we think we should be. We "try" to sin less and we strive to be better and yet many times we fail.
I remember as a young girl growing up in a Pastor’s home, that during service when my Dad was preaching with so much power and the Holy Spirit would convict me of my sins I would weep and even go to the altar and be determined to change my ways. I would be determined not to make the same mistakes again and to change my life around. Only to find myself doing the same sins the next week and again the next...
Until my Dad challenged me one day. He said,
"Lucinda; don't try to stop sinning simply read the Bible and get to know God and He will change your heart."
Well sure enough when I came to a place in my life where I was tired of constantly failing, I started reading the Bible.
I can't say I loved it...but I was desperate! I knew that Satan would do anything to get me distracted and doing something else so I dug my heels in deep and kept reading until I found that the verses started jumping from the pages right into my heart!
The scripture challenged me, touched my heart, brought me to tears, surprised me, and even provoked me to anger and so I started a dialogue with God challenging Him on things I didn't believe or didn't understand.
It wasn't long and I found myself completely in awe and completely broken and completely amazed by a wonderful, intriguing and amazing loving Father and God.
It was in this journey that I realized that all the will power and discipline in the world was not enough to set me free from bondages or habits and sin in my life...and yet as I sought God and as I spent time in His word and presence these things no longer had any power over me. I found that my heart was changing. He was MAKING all things new. He was MAKING me a fisher of men.
Jesus is the one who "makes us" into fishers of men...if we would simply follow Him just like He promised in Mark 1:17
But how do we practically follow Jesus?
First, we need to be born again
When we enter into a personal relationship with Jesus by asking Him into our hearts His Holy Spirit comes to live within us
So, our spirits become born again as Jesus explained to Nicodemus in John 3:3
"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
Now this is the miracle: Jesus has already placed in us EVERYTHING pertaining to life and godliness the moment we invite Him into our lives...we have His seeds of greatness within us because God Himself comes to take up residence within us!
Think about that...God lives in you! That's amazing? The powerful God who created the universe. The God who split the Red Sea and delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians. How can we fail if God lives in us?
We simply have to believe this fact daily and walk out WHO WE ARE as born again individuals by faith.
Failure is not an option.
BUT many of us believe the lie that we are not good enough, not holy enough, not spiritual enough and these lies perpetuate daily, monthly and yearly in our christian walks rendering us weak and ineffective Christians
We don't really believe that God in ALL His power and deity lives in us! This is the bottom line.
But we ARE all those things, that Jesus said we are! The righteousness of Christ! A new creation, all things HAVE passed away! We simply need to learn how to live out the life He has placed within us. So, the first thing is to believe that we are born again and already ALL He wants us to be...we don’t have to become who we already are, we just have to believe it and walk it out practically through faith.
Secondly, we need to daily intentionally surrender our wills to Jesus and allow Him to "make us" fishers of men.
It is Jesus that delivers us from temptation. It is Jesus who changes our desires for what's wrong and puts in us desires for what's right
When we abide in Him and abide in His word and His word in us our desires will change from what's wrong to what's right.
Ps 119:9, "How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word"
When we do the do’s, we are not going to want to do the don'ts anymore! Because the do's are enabling us to live the life of the supernatural daily. Why on earth would we want to live by the natural laws when we can live by the supernatural laws and in the supernatural kingdom?
Our wills cannot change us.... the power does not lie within your own personality! No, it lies within a surrendered will to Jesus.
The worldly way talks about self-will, the power within you but as Christians we know that a surrendered will is what brings the victory.
It's starts by saying I can't do it in my strength Lord, but I can do ALL things through Christ Jesus who lives within me. Simply put;
“Have faith in God!” Mark 11:22
Where does your faith lie?
Religious people have faith in their own prayers and works but we need to have faith in God
Secular people have faith in their work ethic and their education and their achievements but we need to have faith in God
Rich people have faith in their money but we need to have faith in God who is able to use favour, blessings, gifts and miracles to allow us to live in His abundance.
Poor people have faith in socialism and government benefits, but no government will ever fulfil your needs not to mention your desires. There will always be lack in socialism. Have faith in God and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Born again, surrendered Christians have faith in God alone.
Thirdly, we follow Jesus by practically following the life style Jesus showed us to live
In John 5:19, Jesus said that He does nothing of Himself but what He sees His Father do, He does
Jesus humbled Himself and followed the Father
In the same way, we humble ourselves and follow Jesus
We therefore read the Bible and do what Jesus did by faith, not of ourselves or in or own power, but by faith in God
- Jesus was baptized in water so we are baptized in water
- Jesus was baptized in the Holy Spirit when the dove descended and came upon Him, so we by faith need to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit
- Jesus drew away from the busyness and prayed, so we draw aside and pray
- Jesus preached the gospel in all the cities and whenever He went, so we preach the gospel
- Jesus heard what is Father said and He did it so He knew His father’s voice so we too need to learn our Fathers voice and hear His voice daily and follow
- Jesus saw opportunities to do good, heard from the Father in His inner man to do the works God has prepared for Him and obeyed, so we daily walk and do the works God has prepared for is
When we allow Father God to " make us" fishers of men He does
Now some of us exclude ourselves from parts of Jesus lifestyle and will say well I'm not a preacher so I won't preach...it's not my personality, I am a little shy.
I was one of those! I did not want to be pushing my Christian views on other people. I was happy to serve in church but didn't want to evangelize on the streets for example or in the market place.
Well that was before I realized that my personality had nothing to do with my obedience to the commandments of Jesus
I had to surrender my personality and my view points and adhere to Jesus commandment in Matthew 28:19,
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations."
I remember the first time I did street evangelism. I sheepishly went up to people, gave them a gospel tract and said God has a purpose for your life...I cringed while I said that, and then Holy Spirit whispered softly to my spirit,
"Lucinda; unless you believe what you are saying and say it by faith what you are doing is powerless."
Immediate, I changed my posture and with faith I declared to the next few people: Jesus has a plan and purpose for your life and handed them tracts full of confidence that what I said was true. After all, has Jesus not worked out His plan in my life? Had I not felt His love and power? Within 5 mins of sharing the love of Jesus by faith, two young boys about 16 years of age, responded and said they wanted to receive Jesus into their hearts. I was done!! This preaching and sharing of my faith worked and it had nothing to do with my personality type. As I had confidence in the gospel message and surrendered my will, and followed the example of Jesus His power followed the message just as he said it would in Mark 16
That day I realized that the gospel is truly the power of God unto salvation to those who believe.
You see I had to change my belief system and obey the commandment of Jesus to GO, regardless of my feelings. I had to adhere my lifestyle to everything that Jesus had lived and said. And I did this all through faith in God, knowing He was MAKING ME into a fisher of man, and all I need to do is FOLLOW Him.
(Pastor Lucinda Davidoff)