The other day we went fishing with our little five-year-old nephew, Noah. He was so excited to go fishing in our pond. He had gone fishing already with his daddy at the river but this time it was different. He had seen our pond on many a visit, had thrown rocks into it, had checked out the polliwogs and little minnows along its shore but now he was actually going to fish in it. My husband Nate and his dad had put sunfish in our pond this spring. They got together three fishing poles and some worms and talked eagerly about their fishing savvy all the way down to the pond. Noah just couldn’t wait to get there, bouncing and lively the whole way. Yours truly, opted for no pole of my own since I figured Noah might need help with his.
At first, Noah really enjoyed himself. He had learned how to cast the line from his daddy so he proudly threw the line out all by himself, pressing the button on the reel with his thumb. It flew out into the pond with smooth-sailing success. “Good goin’, Noah!” We all congratulated him on his great throw. He had a hard time waiting and watching for the bobber to wiggle. Shortly after he would throw his line out, he would start reeling it back. After a few more throws and lost worms my husband kindly said to him, “Noah, you have to let your line sit there for a while until the fish see the wiggling worm and they go after it. When your bobber wiggles or goes under that’s when you give it a good yank and start reeling.”
Noah finally caught a little baby fish. It was too small to keep, a full 2 inches in size. We had to throw it back in. He was not happy about that. After a few more throws Noah began to grow weary. He didn’t wait for the bobber to go under; he just kept reeling in his line. He started looking around for something else to do that could occupy his time. “Hey Aunt Linda, look at this rock! It’s a beauty!” he yelled as he walked farther up the bank to pick it up. He finally handed me his fishing pole saying, “I don’t wanna fish no more, I’m gonna throw these rocks instead!”
Isn’t that the way it is sometimes in our Christian witnessing? I thought about that fishing episode later that night in terms of “fishing for men.” The secret to being a fishing expert is the waiting part. I noticed that neither my husband nor his dad had any trouble waiting on their bobbers. They understood the anticipation of that first nibble; ready to yank and reel when the time was right. They knew if they used their knowledge of fishing, they would catch fish.
In the New Testament, Gospel of John, 16th chapter, verse 8 Jesus says, “And when He (the Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” (NKJV) He was speaking to his disciples and explaining to them the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit helps us witness for Christ. He knows when a soul is ready to be harvested supernaturally.
Sometimes we have more zeal for our opinions, causes and doctrines than we do for the Holy Spirits’ leading. We usually find ourselves wanting to witness before He can do the work of convicting. If Jesus stated that the Holy Spirit is the One who convicts then it makes sense to let Him convict before we try to witness for Christ, doesn’t it? Have you ever wondered why some people just don’t want to listen to your testimony?
I have found the secret to harvesting a soul for God’s kingdom comes when we wait on the Holy Spirits’ timing. Doors open for us to talk to someone about salvation when He is ready for us to reel them in. Just like in fishing for fish there needs to be a waiting and watching attitude in fishing for souls as well. We need to be patient. The Holy Spirit is here to lead and guide us every day.
May we all be about our Fathers' business and reel in a catch whenever the Holy Spirit says to us, “It’s time to go fishing!”