How to Become a Fisher of Men
GWEA Monthly Message, January 2020
REVEREND GORDON WILLIAMS
“Happy New Year!” People ask me, “What plans have you for this year?” I tell them the “vision” Jesus gave me when He called me into ministry many years ago. He said to me, “I want you to come and work for me. I want you to be a fisher of men. And if you come and work for me, I will supply all of your needs according to my riches in glory” (Phil. 4:19).
My vision has not changed, and it won’t until every person, man, woman and child know Jesus as their Saviour and Lord, and are serving Him. I know that there are people who would want to change God’s Plans (Jer. 29:11) for their lives, but that is only because they are not fully doing what He wants them to do (Lk. 14:18). They just want to be safely saved without the continuous responsibility of fishing for people as Jesus has commissioned all of us to do (Mk. 1:16-20; Matt. 4:18-22; Lk. 5:2-11).
Similarly, many people try to convince us that it is not necessary for everyone to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the “signs following” (Mk. 16:1-18). They don’t feel that they should have to witness to other people (Acts 1:8); they don’t want to receive the “15 Gifts of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:8-10), the “fishing equipment” needed to meet their own and other people’s needs; they don’t want to pray for the sick except when they themselves are sick; and they complain about the “slowness of God” when they are the ones who are not faithful to do what He wants.
Peter reminds us when he said, “The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you on your account, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Pet. 3:9).
Although Jesus was a carpenter, He had the patience of a seasoned fisherman. One of the real virtues of fishermen is patience. That’s why He called Peter, his brother Andrew, James and John (Matt. 4:18-19) to be his first disciples. Being fishermen, they had the tolerance that was required to sit for hours just waiting for the fish to bite. They would fish all night long, and when they caught nothing, they persevered. As experienced as they were, they didn’t know that they had cast their net on the wrong side of the boat. Jesus said, “Cast your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some” (Jn. 21:1-8). They did as He had said, and they caught more fish than they could haul into the boat!
The same thing is true about “fishing for people”. Jesus knows where all the “people fish” are. Yet all the man-made church programs and paradigms that are developed for witnessing and leading people to Jesus, can never measure up to how Jesus wants us to fish. Jesus told us what the most successful plan for fishing for men, women and children was! It was on the Day of Pentecost where 120 people were filled (baptized) with the Holy Spirit, all speaking in tongues; they went into the streets of Jerusalem speaking in those languages. This act alone resulted in the greatest number of fish ever caught - 3,000 and 5,000 “people fish” (Acts 2:41; 4:4), all who had received Salvation and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Now that’s successful fishing!
Jesus commissions us to be fishers of men, women and children just as He commissioned Peter and the other disciples. The program has not changed. But what’s changed is that people don’t want to do things God’s way. Jesus said, “God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34) which means there is no favoritism from one person to the next, His Plan for Salvation is still the same for all. We have been given the honour of being His “ambassadors” with full authority to “go and preach the gospel” with the “signs following” (Mk. 16:17-21) to prove it. That continues to be our program for this year, and will be for years to come. We invite you to join us as we go fishing with Jesus and you’ll have some whopper people fish stories to share as a testimony with others. Let this year, 2020 be a year of exciting ministry of the “Signs, Wonders & Miracles”.
If you have not received the Gift of the Holy Spirit, I invite you come to one of our house meetings or contact me for prayer and guidance. You will discover that you can have an exciting Christian life and receive the Holy Spirit with His wonderful and exciting gifts! Happy New Year!
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