A few months ago, I was at the store deciding which brand of something to get when a woman asked me about my knowledge of the product. Over the course of the next several minutes, we talked about our lives, and she revealed a personal struggle to me. I was in a hurry that day, so I excused myself from the conversation and made my way to the checkout.
Later, though, it hit me like a ton of bricks: I had missed a divine appointment. I knew in my heart that God had presented an opportunity to be a light to that woman, and I had failed miserably.
In Chris’s sermon on Sunday, he spoke about our calling to evangelize the lost. In Mark 1:17, Jesus called Andrew and Simon to become “fishers of men.” Chris challenged me to just “get fishing!” instead of sitting on the sidelines. His point was that to become good at fishing, you have to get out and fish, not just read or talk about fishing. I love in that verse that Jesus says he will “make you become fishers of men.” It wasn’t instant; it was something that would take time and practice.
My problem with the woman in the store is that I didn’t set out with my fishing gear on that morning. Although I do not enjoy fishing personally, I know plenty of people who do. When they go on a fishing expedition, the preparation is lengthy and involves the right bait, the right fishing line weight, the right location, etc. When fishing for men, God has offered me all the tools I need to get started. I have His word as the ultimate how-to manual, and I have His Spirit within me to guide and empower me.
What about failure? If successful fishing simply involved getting the right gear, then a lot more people would fish. Instead, fishing takes practice and patience, two traits I can directly apply to fishing for men. The only way I will become better at evangelism is by practicing and learning from my failures. Right now, I don’t feel “good at” evangelism, but I now see that is because of a lack of practice, not because God hasn’t called me to it.
I wrote down three names when Chris asked us to, and I plan on starting my “fishing” practice there. What about you? Is your tackle box packed and ready to go every morning? Who in your life is God calling you to be a light to?