We have all seen those remarkable television presentations where we are taken under water to see marine life with all its beauty and meticulous order. Whole shoals of fish move as one man with no obvious leadership. The incredible variety of individual fish, the different shapes and sizes with every color we can imagine and more fills us with wonder! Among the corals are certain fish that grab your attention. Fabulous beauties hanging there to be admired like beauty queens. Out in the open sea the shoals, with thousands of identical fish gliding through the water in total unison, cause us to wonder how they can function in such unity.
I'm looking at our city. I can imagine groups of people like shoals of fish. Almost without knowing they are being swept through life held together by the influence of the kingdom of darkness with faulty mindsets, worldly pressures and seducing spirits, taking them headlong into hell and we feel powerless to intervene.
When fishermen throw out their nets, the shoal is shocked and panics, chaos breaks loose, fish swim in all directions, breaking into smaller units while a haul is pulled into the boat. The experienced fisherman can look at these huge shoals with their thousands of fish and know where and how to lower the net for the maximum catch. Fishing is hard work and goes on regardless of the weather. Flocks of attentive gulls gather about the boats grabbing any fish they can rob as the nets are hauled in.
In San Antonio, there is a great catch waiting to be hauled into the boats. Just think, the majority of those who live here do not have a life-giving relationship with Christ. San Antonio wake up! It's time to push out the boat! In scripture The Boat symbolizes the church. The boats go out to fish and ideally the fishermen, you and I, know where the fish are located and how to catch them, but the majority of church goers have never caught a fish in their lives! Unfortunately, that skill is not something the church has mastered but it is not too late to learn. Fishing is an art.
Fishermen learn the ways of the fish, they know where they are and the best way to approach them. So often fishing is a family business, father teaches his son. In the fishing business, everyone knows they need good relationships, they need to be able to rely upon each other especially when there is danger. A story in the Bible tells when they had to call for help from their partners in another boat because the catch was so large! Imagine that story as an evangelistic situation in church!
Fishing Time must also be Praying Time. I guess the story is universal; it was certainly true of the small Scottish fishing villages, when the fishing boats left harbor the wives and families at home were watching the weather and praying for the safety of their loved ones. We desperately need to cover all the activities of evangelism with our prayers. Your prayer opens the way for the word to penetrate hearts and prayer protects as the Holy Spirit does His supernatural work drawing people to Christ. We must pray for Christ's gift of the evangelist to be recognized in the church and the Church must be effective in training believers in this ministry. The evil one is like the gulls swirling about the fishing boats; he is always looking to see who he can carry off. We must pray for new converts and learn how to establish them in the faith.
“The Lord is going to make a supernatural intervention into our city that brings shock waves through the Kingdom of darkness. The shoal is being broken up and the net is being cast and many will be hauled into the boats. It is fishing time! The nets will be cast. Already God is hearing the plea of His people and he is sending out His Holy Spirit to pierce men's hearts so that they cannot bear the pain of conviction. They will break with the crowd and no longer go with the flow. They will have to fight against the stream, but their fight will strengthen them for the warfare ahead. Those who come out of My next outpouring will be marked by a new zeal and a supernatural understanding of the urgency of the hour that compels them to love not their lives unto the death. This will not happen by accident it will be in response to urgent prayer and a display of My majestic life in love, compassion, integrity and holiness. My servants will be My mentors, filled with the spirit they will minister the Holy Spirit to those who turn into the way.”
There are lessons we can learn from the shoal. Just as it moves as one without obvious leadership so should the church. Jesus prayed for this. This is not the day for beauty queens or prima donna ministries, the Lord is manifesting His one body, His bride. Let us all pray for oneness in the body and do all in our power to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Jesus said, "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me."John 17:20-21Our oneness will be the convincing, convicting evidence that Jesus has been sent from the Father.
San Antonio, as we come together we form an unbreakable net that will be powerfully effective; people are waiting to be invited to come to Jesus. Its fishing time! Let's go fishing, use a pole or cast a net, but let's catch fish!