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Gone Fishing



I said: "Let me walk in the field";
God said: 'Nay, walk in the town";
I said: "There are no flowers there";
He said: "No flowers, but a crown."

I said: "But the sky is black,
There is nothing but noise and din";
But He wept as He sent me back,
"There is more," He said, "there is sin

I said: "But the air is thick,
And fogs are veiling the sun";
He answered: "Yet souls are sick,
And souls in the dark undone."

I said: "I shall miss the light,
And friends will miss me, they say";
He answered me, "Choose tonight,
If I am to miss you, or they."

I pleaded for time to be given;
He said: "Is it hard to decide?
It will not seem hard in Heaven
To have, followed the steps of your Guide."

I cast one look at the fields,
Then set my face to the town;
He said: "My child, do you yield?
Will you leave the flowers for the crown?"

Then into His hand went mine,
And into my heart came He;
And I walk in a light Divine,
The path I had feared to see.
--George MacDonald

I was so convicted by this poem when I read it.  I ALWAYS seek out my own comfort and make excuses that "God couldn't possibly be asking me to do that!".

When my husband graduated seminary, there were several churches he could have applied to, but I always balked at them because I didn't want to move or I didn't feel that I was "cut out" to be a Pastor's wife in a "city" church, let alone live in the "city".  My husband ended up Pastoring in a small country church which was my dream, but the experience ended up being a nightmare.  It's not the building or the surroundings that matter, but the hearts inside...

I always marvel at missionaries.  How selfless they are to give up friends, family and creature comforts to go out into the mission fields.

Or those with the gift of evangelism who will share the Gospel even when it might be an uncomfortable situation.

Recently our Pastor preached from a portion of Scripture from the Book of Jonah.

So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the LORD. 
Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three days' walk. Then Jonah began to go through the city one day's walk; and he cried out and said, "Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown." Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them.…
Jonah 3:3-5

Whenever I have read this passage of Scripture, I've always gotten a sense that Jonah, although obeying God, was doing so reluctantly; hoping for a different outcome... "Yet forty days and Ninevah will be overthrown"...

  Like a little brother who had to give the toy back to his little sister and walks up with shoulders and arms drooping and head down and with an attitude says, "Here!..., and then throws the toy at her."

After all, Jonah's anger afterwards would indicate that he was hoping Ninevah would be overthrown.

But our Pastor brought up an interesting point.  He said that the word "overthrown" in Hebrew means "transform".  Our Pastor went on to say that the Lord had worked in the hearts of the people of Nineveh prior to Jonah arriving there so that when Jonah preached, a transformation would take place in them from wickedness to believing God.  

Our Pastor then stated that in the same way, God goes before us and does the work in a person's heart before we share the Gospel.   It's not up to us to transform a life, but to bring the transformation to light, through sharing the Gospel, which God had already been working inside of them.

If the Lord has been nudging you to share the Gospel with a person or a group of people or in a specific area, that "urge to push" that I like to call it, should encourage you that the Lord has gone ahead of you to do the work, to fertilize the ground which is now ready to receive the seed of God's message of salvation.  Even if you don't see results, that doesn't mean that the Lord has not worked or is not working.

Our Pastor gave a closing analogy that my husband and I sure could relate to - fishing!  He said that when you go fishing, it's not like your catching fish cast after cast, but you continuously cast and move around the lake or pond until you find fish that are biting.  The more you cast, the more chance you have to catch a fish.  

I can add to the Pastor's analogy, another method of fishing is trolling.  Basically, you have your fishing lure out in the water while you canoe around the lake or pond.  This way you cover a lot of area and the lure goes deeper from the movement of the boat.  I caught my first trout that way!  lol.

The point our Pastor was making is that we should look upon sharing the Gospel the way Jesus did, as "fishers of men".  The more we share and the wider area we cover, the more chances we will have of "getting a bite".  For the Lord has already prepared the way for His Word to be received.  We need only to obey.

You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries, Inspire Me MondayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Good Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog Hop  Tuesday Talk   Faith 'N Friends Sitting Among Friends   House to Home  ,Wonderful Wednesday , Literacy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceDance with Jesus Booknificent Thursdays  Fresh Market Friday Moments of Hope Wonderful Wednesdays , Tea & Word Tuesday Heart Encouragement Thursday Hearts for Home Messy Marriage Link-up Friday at the Fire Station Link-up Tune In Thursday Faith on Fire Link-upSunday Scripture Blessings Link-up, Sunday ThoughtsWriter Wednesday, Faith Filled Friday God Sized Dreams Link-Up Sitting Among Friends Be Thee Inspired Call to Community




Comments

  1. Oh, I am so thankful that we are neighbors over at #LMMLinkup this week! I am sharing the words of my daughter-in-law as she and my son prepare to leave for their mission work in Guyana next week! What a sweet confirmation from God, for this Grandma who is praying for her family as they obey the call of God. Truly, it is all HIS doing, for His good eternal purposes!

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    1. Hi Bettie, Praising God that these words came in a timely fashion for you and your family. All Glory to God.

      Awe, I'm sure. We, of course, trust our great God to keep our children during such God-Glorifying work, but we also miss them.

      May the Lord bless your son and daughter-in-law's mission as they obey the Lord's call in Guyana, and may He bring you the peace which surpasses all understanding as you send them off.

      Blessings,

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  2. I have been praying about some neighbors who need trolling! Great post and poem. Thanks, Karen.

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    1. Hi Sue, Love it! May you bring in the catch of the day! ;-)

      Thank you!

      Blessings,

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  3. I did not know that "overthrown" means "transform" in this passage! That really puts everything in a whole, new light and perspective, doesn't it? I love how you talked about how God has already been working in and on a heart before we ever get there to plant the seed. It made me think of the Old Testament verse that talks about breaking up the fallow ground and also how Paul said he planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. It is amazing to think of the continual process of work God does in each one of our hearts throughout our Christian walk, how He sends particular people into our lives who will perform the necessary ministry that we need in different seasons, etc. Your precious posts always encourage, edify, and make me think. Sending much love and gratitude to you today, dear friend!

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    1. Hi Cheryl, I know, doesn't it?!

      Thank you so much for sharing the essence of that verse which so perfectly showcases the Lord's work in everything we do for the Kingdom and His continual work within us.

      I treasure your precious comments. They encourage me so much.

      Sending you love and blessings dear friend.

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  4. Thanks for sharing what your pastor taught you about Jonah. Gives a new perspective on the whole story. I appreciate your honesty about seeking comfort too. I think most people are that way... gravitating toward what's know and fearing what's ahead, but we who are believers, need to realize that where God leads is always known to him.

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    1. Hi Karen, You are very welcome!

      I love what you shared here! "Where God leads is always know to Him." Great encouragement!

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  5. I love George MacDonald :). What a beautiful poem, and great insights :).

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    1. Yes, indeed it was a beautiful poem.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Blessings,

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  6. I memorized Jonah as a child but I never knew the word meant "Transform". I love the point that God prepares the way and accomplished His purpose but Jonah missed it because he had a bad attitude about it. Thanks for this today!

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    1. JD lana, What a great Scripture memorization to do as a child.

      You are very welcome!

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  7. Karen, thank you for this inspiring post to be more intentional about our fishing. May I use every opportunity to share Jesus!

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    1. Hi Pam, You are very welcome!

      Amen!

      Thanks for visiting.

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  8. It's so hard to let go of what we think is best. Thank you for this encouragement!

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    1. Kelsey, Indeed it is. Thanking the Lord for His great patience with us.

      You are very welcome.

      Thanks for visiting.

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  9. I love George MacDonald's writings and that poem is so poignant! Thank you for sharing. I also had not known that the word for overthrown was also transform. May God give us courage to follow His leading knowing that He has gone before! Blessings to you! Thanks for linking up with us at the #LMMLinkup.

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  10. It amazes me how God reiterates truth to me until I get it and obey. My son started a sermon series to day on being fishers of men. I have lost people in my family and my sphere of influence. I must get my fishing gear together and hop in my canoe. Thanks for being God's messenger. Blessings.

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    1. Indeed He does!

      Love it! I will join you! :-)

      You are welcome. All Glory to God!

      Blessings,

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  11. I've never read that poem before! Thanks for sharing it and your thoughts about it at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com!
    Tina

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  12. Persistency, right? I know I can give up far too soon at times! Thank you for the hope-filled reminder, Karen! And thank you for being a valuable part of #MomentsofHope every Thursday!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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    Replies
    1. Lori, You are welcome! I enjoy the fellowship there. :-)

      Blessings,

      Delete

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