Even though I grew up in the Natural State, I was never much of a fisherman. In fact, I can count the number of times I have been fishing on one hand, and I would not even need a hand to count the number of times I enjoyed fishing. Even with my lack of experience, I still know a few things, though. Like, I know you do not pick out the fish you are going to catch before you go fishing. (Now, I am sure there are a couple professional anglers reading this who would argue this statement, but I think it applies to most people.)
When Jesus called the first four disciples in the book of Mark, he called them to follow him and he would "make them fishers of men." (Mark 1:17) Too many times, we forget the implications of being fishermen. We understand that God has called us all to share our faith, to fulfill the Great Commission of Matthew 28:16-20, but we are waiting for God to shine the light of heaven on a person before we act. We pray, "God show me the person," but we sit on our hands while we wait. We act as if we are at Red Lobster picking out the lobster, or person, that God has for us, but that is not the analogy that God uses. Instead, we must be doing the work of fishing, and we trust that God will bring the catch.
The apostle Paul gives us a great example of being a fisherman in Acts 16. Paul, Silas, and Timothy have just begun the second missionary journey. In several curious statements, we learn that the Holy Spirit was keeping Paul and his team from sharing the gospel in several locations in Asia. Paul continues trying to preach the gospel in different locations, but God keeps shutting the door. Finally, Paul receives a vision from a Macedonian man, and they immediately change their course to Europe.
It is intriguing that even though the Holy Spirit was shutting doors for Paul, Paul did not stay stagnant. He and his team continued to be active in their work. God had called Paul to share the gospel, so Paul shared the gospel. Regardless of his success, he was still going to travel and share the gospel. He did not wait around. He was not passive, but he was active. Once God showed him where to turn next, he simply changed his course.
Instead of waiting around for God to shine the spotlight on someone you should be sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with, begin to be intentional with everyone God has already placed in your life. Strike up conversations with friends. Get to know strangers. Make new friends. I still pray to God asking him to show me people he has placed in my life for a purpose, but I pray while being active pursuing others. As you initiate conversations with others, God will begin to do the work, furthering conversations. God will begin to do the work of reeling in the catch.
I might not have spent time on the water fishing, but I have spent time on the water riding jet skis. When you are driving jet skis, you cannot turn without using the accelerator. You have to be moving in order to turn the vehicle. The same principle applies here. When Paul was moving, living out his call, it was easy to change directions. He did not have to change how he was living his life, just where. When God does make it clear who he has placed in your life to share the good news of Jesus, it should not require much change of how you are living, just where you expend more energy.
Don't wait, initiate.
BLAKE KUTTER GRADUATED FROM FARMINGTON HIGH SCHOOL IN 2011. HE HAS WORKED AS A STUDENT PASTOR IN ARKANSAS AND FLORIDA AND NOW SERVES AT FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF CONYERS, GA. OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR. firstname.lastname@example.org.Religion on 10/31/2018
Print Headline: Has God Placed Someone In Your Path? Don't Wait, Initiate