Gone fishin'

5:52 AM

     What was it that made the apostles different from the disciples? They were the exact same men on the outside. The most obvious candidate for change would have to be Peter. We meet him at the very beginning of Jesus’ story when Jesus sees him out on a boat doing his every day work, fishing. What happened between the time a stinking fisherman hears a voice and follows it to the day when he took his place as spokesman and leader of a whole new order? What would happen if Jesus walked into your office, your university, your home and said “Drop it all, I’ve got something way better for you to do”? Would you do it? Would you walk out of your life in the middle of a batch of cupcakes or that big deal or even in the middle of your education?

     Tonight I went to a worship meeting in town. There was nothing wrong with it per se, it had all the usual elements; worship, prayer, a message. The message is what captured me. Although I have limited German, I could understand enough to comprehend that it was a five point sermon on the Holy Spirit and how to let “it” into our lives. The man that spoke was really a very good man, I believe, and someone who does, in fact, have the Holy Spirit in his life. However, I almost laughed aloud at a five point sermon on how to achieve this great Christian anomaly. I remember, back in college, while searching for something beginning with “how to” on google, I saw in the predermination that one of the top “how to” searches was how to kiss. Glancing over my shoulder furtively to see if my roommate was still asleep, I decided this was just too good an opportunity to pass up. Well, after a series of Youtubes, I woke her up with my guffawing as a chubby little man with very big lips attempted to demonstrate into the camera the exact angles and positions best for a great kiss. It was all just so ridiculous! Because, as we all know, you can’t “fake the magic”. Its about who this person is to you not how well studied you are ala youtube .

     So, as I sat there tonight, listening to my five points, all I could think about was how silly this all was and how hard we make this! We study Christianity, we know all the doctrines, we have our ten minutes of quiet time a day (sounds a bit like a prison sentence doesn’t it?) and we throw a couple bucks into the tithe bucket every Sunday or so. Think back to Peter. A more uneducated person I cannot think of. Yet his stalwart faith outshines any extraordinarily educated preacher I have ever seen. He was a man of action, a man of works. He was one of the few men chosen to be with Jesus when Elijah and Moses came down for a chat. He was the one who actually believed that if Jesus could walk on water than heck why not me? Peter is definitely my hero because he just threw himself out there, generally without thinking, but also without any pretense. He was a real man of faith. And on the day of Pentecost, when all of the Christians were sitting praying, and the Holy Spirit decided to come for a visit, Peter was the one with the boldness to proclaim that the day of the Lord had come. And it was in that moment, when he stood up and spoke with tongues of fire all around, that he became the man that he was supposed to be, the man that Jesus saw the first day he met him. Yes, being with Jesus changed the man from a fisherman to a disciple, but it was the Holy Spirit that changed him from a disciple to “the rock on which he built his church. We’ve thrown the Spirit out of our churches and our lives. If we’re lucky, we become disciples of Jesus, but I believe wholeheartedly, that without His Spirit, you will never be the person God wants you to become. So, however that batch of cupcakes is going or that last account to be filed in the office, or that final paper to write, would you be willing to drop it all to follow the man who would like to take you out of your stinky fishing boat and make you a great leader, a standout among the crowd, “a fisher of men?” You have but one life. A friend of mine recently said it would be so much easier if God always called people only to their own country. It struck me that God rarely deals with the easy but always with the extraordinary. The single most defining moment in any person’s life is the moment they are confronted with the Holy Spirit. I don’t have five points for you but I’ve got one. Seek Him. Look everywhere until you’ve found Him. And then watch your life be changed forever. Just try it. I dare ya


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