Friday, 16 March 2012

When I evangelise, when do I throw the net out?

When we witness to those people who don’t have a personal relationship with Christ, we must always remember that it really doesn’t matter how great at communication we can be, or how charismatic we can come across to our hearers. We aren’t the influence that actually leads a person to make the most important decision ever in their lives. 

It involves the gospel message in explaining about the life of Jesus or by explaining what Jesus did for you through His atoning sacrifice. Upon hearing the message the convicting power of the Holy Spirit goes to work.

Yes, He will use us to share the message of salvation, but it is by revelation from the Holy Spirit that a person realises their state before the living God, which produces repentance and a willing submission to the Lord. He opens the heart, He opens bind eyes, He brings the revelation of who He is and what he has done for us. We can talk until we are blue in the face, but it is only the Holy Spirit that saves a person through the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or by a personal revelation when God chooses to speak directly to someone. He has His ways of reaching people and I am always grateful that He would use people like me.

It is always God that that does it, and only Him. He adds to the church, by using us when we are willing to be led by Him. “So then neither is he that plants anything, neither he that waters; but God that gives the increase”. 1 Corinthians 3: 7

The point I am making here is that it is an incredible privilege to be used as a vessel for the Lord, always remembering the fact that it is Him that does the saving, not us. We need to make ourselves available to do the Lords bidding when He directs us. When we are obedient, He will send us to the right person and He will tell us the right time exactly to throw out the nets. The scripture below demonstrates this.

When he had finished speaking, he (Jesus) said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Luke 5: 5-6

This story of Peter and the catch of fish is a fantastic example of how we should be when it comes to sharing our faith. Peter was obedient when Jesus told him to go back out on the water and cast out his nets. Jesus knew the fact that he had worked hard all through the night catching nothing. It was Peter’s willingness to do what the Lord had commanded that was the answer. 

By following the command of the Lord an amazing miracle happened. The Lord got a huge shoal of fish to swim up to the boat, which is amazing on it own. He didn’t stop there; He got them to wait right underneath it.  The obedience of Peter resulted in him making a catch that was probably like no other in his life as a fisherman. We serve an amazing God. The incredible fact is that He chooses to use you and me to fish for souls. Knowing that we are far from perfect, how we often fail Him and how we can sometimes be disobedient. He still wants to use us. Praise Him.

As Christians we must be as ready follow the commands of Jesus, just as Peter was when it comes to fishing for souls. We must be tuned in, listening to the Lord, waiting for him to say, “Go there”, “Speak to that person” or “Cast out the net”. I believe and know from experience that when we do, we will catch fish in the form of souls ourselves.

Are you ready and willing? What about the occasions when you are tired from a hard days work? Have you made yourself available to the master?

We must always be ready. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”. 1 Peter 3: 15