Perhaps your spiritual fishing net hasn’t been used in awhile. Perhaps it’s cluttered with meaningless stuff and nonsense that’s making it hard to draw people toward the Lord. Perhaps it’s so full of the holes of unforgiveness or other negative emotions that people are falling through—uncaught and free to spend their lives in darkness. Is your net ready to use in fishing for men?
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Ocean fishing for salmon is hard enough when dealing with rapid and varied changes in weather. Fishermen must also face the challenge of what lies under the water. Wave action and tide movement push unwanted kelp, smaller seaweed, and other debris into the fishing nets. The weight of such debris causes extra drag on the nets, which makes the nets visible to the fish, which causes them to avoid the nets, which means less fish caught. Cleaning nets with a pressure washer is a necessary, time-consuming chore for every fisherman.
When I share this information during my talks about Alaska and my son’s salmon fishing business, I’m always reminded of the spiritual application that can be drawn about nets. “And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ They immediately left their nets and followed Him.” (Matthew 4:18-20)
Peter and Andrew knew the importance of keeping their nets clean and in good repair. Their livelihood required such work. And as they communed with Jesus thereafter, they learned how to keep their spiritual nets clean—to the extent they helped spread Christianity throughout the world.
Following Christ demands that we, too, must use our nets to draw others to Him. Using His example, we should be using the net of love—not only loving the easy-to-love but the unloving and unlovely. One of Jesus’ strongest examples of love took place as He hung on the cross, dying, and said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
True love from God includes unselfish action. “Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) By ourselves, we cannot love others as God loves. Our net of love requires daily cleaning with the power washer of His Word and Spirit. When our spiritual nets are not clean, others—like fish—too easily turn away.
Net cleaning requires time and effort. Who of us wants to drag along all the debris of our past sins or our present bad habits? The effects of unconfessed sin or unmet needs can cause a huge weight on our soul—such as resentment, anger, and hopelessness.
Lord, thank You for Your healing love and righteousness—the power washers we need for cleaning. We want to be fishers of men, drawing others to Your saving grace as Your love shines through us. In Jesus’ name, amen.