What does it take to be a successful fisherman? It requires more than having the right skills and equipment. A successful fisherman has to have a passion for the pursuit of fish. That is what Jesus had in mind when he began recruiting people to assist him in his ministry. He picked several fishermen because they had a passion to fish. And he told them, if they would follow him we would transform them into fishers of men.
But you may be asking, why go fishing? To bring in something of great value. The risk is worth the benefit it brings. The same is true in God’s kingdom. As we bring individuals into the kingdom of God we fulfill the assignment that the Lord Jesus has given us and we bring great benefit and joy to others. Did you know that 50% of the people you encounter do not know Christ? Yes, there are many who need to hear God’s message of healing, deliverance and liberation. Yet Satan has tricked Christians into thinking that they should keep quite about what God has done in their lives that others will not want to hear about what Christ can do for them. But that is the very thing that the world needs to hear.
Everybody is struggling with something; everybody has a need that only God can fill. It could be physical, emotional, spiritual or financial. And the gospel, the good news, can fill those needs. The gospel of Christ is not just a set of beliefs. It is power, God’s power that has been release on the earth to everyone who believes. Now when we go fishing you know the fish do not just jump out of the water into the boat. We need a hook, a line and some bait or maybe a net. The power of God is our bait, it is our net. So it would be foolish for us to go out seeking to lead others to commit their lives to Christ without having the power of God. Back when I was a college student I attended a revival meeting at a Baptist church. One night the preacher had all the people attending commit themselves to share the gospel of Christ with at lease one person the next day. So the next morning I went to school and waited in my first class for who ever would show up and then try to share the gospel with them. A female student arrived and so I began talking to her about her need to receive Christ as her savior. But that conversation did not go well because she raised questions about what it means to be saved and how does one quality for it. My attempt was a failure because I was operating without knowledge and without power. If I was going to lead others to Christ I would need to know how to convey the message of Christ and how to utilize its power. Fortunately, in the years that followed I received teaching and training that would enable me to become a fisher of men.
What then is that power that draws people to Christ? Jesus told us in John 6:44, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” While Jesus was ministering on the earth, the Father was actively working to draw individuals to him. Later in the book of Acts Peter explains what took place concerning, “…Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him,” Acts 10:38. What was it the made the difference? It was the anointing of God. The anointing is the presence and power of God through the Holy Spirit for lifting of burdens and breaking of yokes of bondage. And those of us who know Christ are partakers of his anointing. Why did God give us the anointing? So we could draw individuals to Christ.
Now, when we read the book of Acts we see the anointing of God in action. In Acts chapter 2 we find 120 believers waiting together after the ascension of Jesus. And then something supernatural happens. The believers are filled with the Spirit of God and speaking in foreign tongues. Peter preaches to the curious crowd and 3000 believers are added to the church that day. Then some days later in Acts 3 Peter and John are walking into the temple and encounter a crippled man asking for money. But then, something supernatural happens! “But Peter said, ‘Silver and gold have I none, but what I have, that I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk’,” Acts 3:6. And the cripple man is healed! Peter preaches to those present and as a result the number of believers grows to 5000. And then jumping over to Acts 16, we find Paul and Silas sent on a missionary journey by the Holy Spirit preaching the gospel in Europe in the city of Philippi. Because Paul cast an evil spirit out of a servant girl both Paul and Silas get thrown into jail. Oh poor Paul and Silas, they had such high hopes but now they have encountered a setback. But at midnight the two of them are singing hymns and praises of God? Do you think something supernatural is about to happen! Yes, an earthquake takes place and all the prisoner’s chains fall off and all the prison doors fly open. But even more astonishing is that none of the prisoners tired to flea. The jailer was frighten by this event and thought all the prisoners had escaped. Paul prevents the jailer for killing himself and immediate the jailer recognizes his need for Christ.
These are examples of the power of God’s anointing through the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of believers. And that power is available for you and me today when we give the Holy Spirit full control over our lives.
Back in 1999 I moved to the Central American country of Belize and settled in place called Corozal Town. I became a part of non-denominational church there and began looking for opportunities to share Christ. It turned out that the first person to respond to my efforts was a man who ran a shop that sold t-shirts. When we first met he took me to see his farm on the outskirts of town. Some weeks later I noticed that both the Mormons and the Jehovah Witnesses were talking to this man so I decided I would focus my attention on him too. For several evenings I join the man at his shop we sat and discussed the Bible. On one occasion the Mormon missionaries came by and I had a long discussion with them. During that discussion, I did not notice this but I was told that a couple of Jehovah Witnesses also came by the t-shirt shop, but when they saw me speaking the word of God to the Mormon missionaries, the Jehovah Witnesses quickly left. Within a few days the owner of the t-shirt shop accepted Jesus has his savor. Then during the months that followed I spent my evenings at the shop discussing the Bible with the owner and as local people came by the shop, the owner would introduce them to me and I would share the gospel with them and lead many to Christ. That is an example of the anointing of God at work.
We will see the Holy Spirit working though us, when we give ourselves totally over to him, as a living sacrifice, then he will fill us with himself. Then as we daily yield ourselves to him, practice saying no to the impulses of the flesh, obey his guidance and keep looking for opportunities to do good and to be a blessing to others, then the fruit of the Spirit of God will be produced in our lives. It will draw people to us. And we will discover that the Holy Spirit has placed his supernatural ability on top of your natural ability:
- To provide practical help others,
- To show mercy
- To bring deliverance to oppressed
- To give hope and encouragement
- To provide physical or financial support
- To speak and teach the word of God
- And to bring about miraculous results
Remember, Jesus told us in John 14:
Most assuredly I tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these will he do; because I am going to my Father. John 14:12
That is why Jesus told his disciples not to leave Jerusalem but the wait till they receive power from the Holy Spirit. It is through that power that we are to be witnesses. What is a witness? A witness is someone who gives proof, confirmation or verification. Thus, we are to go out each day and give proof, confirmation or verification to the message of Christ. Then those who do not know Christ are going to ask you and me to explain the gospel them and how they can have it to.
But some may say that they do not feel or see Christ power in their lives. If you and I want to see God’s power working through our lives then we first need to renew our minds by meditating on the word of God. Paul teaches us in Romans 12, “Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” Romans 12:2. The world says that God does not heal, it says he does not deliverer, it says he does not cancel debts or provide jobs, houses or cars, it says he does not restore what was lost or fix what was broken or provide the desires of our hearts. That is what the world says. But we are not supposed to conform to the world’s way of thinking and doing. There is a differently reality. It is called the kingdom of God and it is inside of us. And as we meditate on the word of God and ponder its meaning then the principles of God’s kingdom begins to take hold on the inside of us and they begin to transform what is going on around us. A change takes place in our perspective. We walk and talk differently:
- We recognize that we have no reason to be ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God unto salvation
- We recognize that he has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of love, power and a disciplined mind
- We recognize that Christ has overcome the world and that he always leads is in triumph
- We recognize that no weapon formed against us will prosper
- We recognize that Jesus has given us authority to tread on snakes and scorpions and all the power of the enemy
- We recognize that we can stand against all the schemes of the devil by using the full armor of God
- We recognize that we are not sufficient in ourselves; our sufficiency is from the God
In addition to meditating on the word of God we also need to learn to live by faith and walk in love. As we practice these things God’s power is released in our lives. This is the power to transform us into fishers of men.
Copyright © 2010-2011 by Alan Pasho, www.disciplepedia.org. All rights reserved.
Scriptures taken from the Word English Bible (WEB)