If you want to catch fish, you must first have the desire to catch fish.
If you want to catch the souls of men, you must first have the desire to catch the souls of men. Where does this desire come from? Why does one man have this desire and another not? Why are there so few who have the desire to go fishing for the Lord and reach the lost?
Jesus stated in Luke 19:10, For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. If the Lord’s heart and desire is to seek and save the lost then it is God’s heart and desire living inside another man that gives him the desire to do the same. In Mark 4:19, He said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” If we are not being made to be fishers of men then who are we following? Could there be another who is fishing for souls too?
My family and I were recently given instructions by the Lord to sell or give away all we owned, reduce our live to suitcases, and move to another land with another people, culture, and language. When we arrived in the new land, the Lord put a particular church on our heart to attend. After attending and serving there seven months, the members of the church nominated me to be the leader of the men, not only of their church, but nearly 30 other sister churches. In many ways I neither felt adequate or capable to handle this new task as I don’t even speak their language but I know many times God is looking more at our availability than our inability. With this in mind, I accepted the challenge knowing God must have a plan.
Early the following morning after the nomination, the Lord woke me up and began to speak to me very clearly. As I laid in bed weeping in His presence, He said to me, “I’m going to teach you how to catch fish. There are two things that must be accomplished if you are going to be successful. You must capture their attention and you must capture their desires or affections. If you capture both, you’ll capture the fish.”
Looking back on my experiences of fishing, the best bait to use was live bait like a live minnow or worm on the hook, wiggling in order to capture the attention of the fish. Dead bait didn’t attract like live bait. Equally important was using something for bait the fish desired to eat, otherwise the fish would pay no interest and my fishing trip would end with an empty stringer.
The Lord continued, “The same strategy for catching fish must be used if you are going to be successful capturing the souls of men. You must first capture their attention and I have given you the ability to capture their attention with my power; through signs, wonders, and miracles. Next you must capture their desires or affections. Inside every man or woman, I have placed the desire to be loved with my love and I have given you my love. If you capture the attention and the desires of men, you’ll capture the souls of men.”
When I met the woman I was to marry, I looked forward to each opportunity we had together. Shortly before our engagement, I told the Lord, “I sure miss her when she’s not around.” The Lord then spoke back to me with these words, “That’s my love you’re looking for.”
I began to weep, not totally understanding what those words meant but knowing at the same time it wasn’t a rebuke but just a statement of fact. With this in mind, the two of us decided to have the words written on our wedding cake, “The Love God Gives to Me, I Give to You”. Our desire was to receive God’s unconditional love from each other, not the conditional, manipulative type.
God’s love, his unconditional love, is the real love all men and women truly long for. It’s the love a child longs for from his mother or father. It’s the love a spouse longs for from his or her mate. It’s the love God wants living inside each of us but in order to have that love living inside us, we have to willingly receive and embrace that love.
If God is love (I John 4:8) and He is a Spirit (John 4:24) who desires to dwell in us (John 14:23), then it is imperative that we have His Spirit, his Holy Spirit living inside of us to manifest both His power and His love. We must have the source of both dwelling on the inside of us. Without the source, the bait is “dead” and unappetizing to those around.
Only the love that can be given without charge or conditions is His real love. Only His love is the love that gives us the ability to love our neighbor as our self and have as much concern for our neighbor’s soul as our own. As children of God, His true believers, we have been given the responsibility and accountability of receiving and giving the real and in doing so, expose the counterfeit of the world.
Just as there is a real love God uses to draw the lost to Him and ultimately into His Kingdom, our adversary the devil has a counterfeit to “bait” the lost too. He daily offers man the counterfeit through the love of this world; the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (IJohn 2:16). If we have the love for this world, we will be filled with the love from this world, sensual and conditional.
The enemy of our souls is an expert and accomplished “fisherman”. He uses the things of this world, the things below, for bait to capture our attention and affections away from the things above or the things of God. Satan uses this counterfeit lure to bait us, hook us, and ultimately reel us into his kingdom.
We must decide whether we are going to fish or be fished. If we seek the things above, we will fish. If we seek the things below, we are being fished. We will either play offence for the Kingdom of God or play defense against the kingdom of darkness. Anyone who understands sports realizes in a game such as football, the team who carries the ball scores the points and ultimately wins the game.
Jesus gave the Great Commission in Mark 16:15 to those who believed in Him and commissioned them saying, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He handed the “ball” to the believer and said, “Run!”
In Luke 10:2, Jesus said, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few. God is looking for laborers in the vineyard because they are few. Proverbs 11:30 says, a man that wins souls is wise. A man only needs three things to become a great fisherman, God’s power, God’s love, and God’s heart.
Look around you. Do you see anyone with their fishing gear? Is there a wise man among us?
If you happen to be missing any or all of your fishing gear, Jesus would be more than happy to equip you. Simply ask. His Heavenly warehouse is well stocked.