God calls us to be fishers of men, so how do we start? I have three simple guidelines for witnessing as we trust God to use us in building His kingdom: be there, be aware, and be brave.
This guideline is simply to let yourself be around nonbelievers. Meet your neighbors. Talk to people at an event. Join a club. Chat with cashiers and waiters.
Be aware and available when you’re with others, allowing God to nudge you into a spiritual conversation. Trust Him and be alert to the continual opportunities He will give you to share your faith.
In each of the two miracles of the catch of fish, the disciples had already attempted to catch fish, but with no success. Jesus tells them where the fish are and they catch a boatload!
Just like the disciples, we might be unsuccessful when we share our faith, especially if we rely on our own abilities.
Our personality and communication skills have a place, but what is really foundational is God’s work in a person’s heart; Trust God, knowing that He will draw people to Himself. He then places you in their lives, even casually in a checkout line, on a plane flight, or at an event, so that you might tell them about Him.
When we learn to respond obediently to God’s promptings, He is able to lead us to people He has prepared to hear His Good News. He will show you where to “cast your net.”
We might be available and trusting God for opportunities, but what keeps us from opening our mouths is often fear.
At another time, the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee with Jesus as He was on His way to heal the demoniac and to bringing him to faith. A life-threatening storm crashed down on them in their tiny boat in the middle of the lake…
The disciples woke [Jesus] up and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are about to die?”
Jesus stood up and commanded the wind, “Be quiet!” and he said to the waves, “Be still!” The wind died down, and there was a great calm. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Why are you frightened? Do you still have no faith?”
But they were terribly afraid and began to say to one another, “Who is this man? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” ~ Mark 4:38b-41 (GNT)
The disciples were now more afraid of Jesus Himself than they were of the storm! They realized His mighty power and saw firsthand that Jesus is greater than anything they may fear, even death.
So, despite my fear, or anything that may stand in the way of sharing my faith, Jesus is above all things. I can’t muster up bravery, but I can look at a mighty God and trust that He is with me in my attempts, big and small, to share my faith.
- I’m assuming you’re familiar with the two miracles of the large catch of fish (Luke 5 and John 21).
- The painting of the miraculous draft of fishes by Raphael dates from 1515.