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Experience Of Empty Nets

Updated on April 22, 2011
"Should I follow Jesus?"
"Should I follow Jesus?"

To Live for the World or to Live for Jesus

While mending the fishing nets one day, James may have questioned himself, “Should I follow Jesus?” A little further down the shoreline, his brother John and his father Zebedee just anchored the boat. As John sorted the catch of the day he may have asked himself, “Which is more important—the fishing business with my father, brother, and partners or Jesus’ call to follow Him?” Along that same Galilean shore, their friend Simon may have thought to himself, “Do I want to live out of a suitcase, spending most of my time away from my wife, my family, and friends, to minister to total strangers? Should I return to my responsibilities and a life built on tradition or should I take a risk in life and join the Master whose ways go against the grain of tradition?” It was one thing to follow Jesus in their spare time, it’s another thing to devote themselves to the Master and His mission 24/7. These fishermen knew the day was coming when they would have to make a choice: to live for the world or to live for Jesus.

As Jesus’ disciples, we will also enter into a brief period of personal soul-searching. This has always been a crucial part of the Master’s plan. He is purposeful in allowing us a break from ministry to think over our call to discipleship. Whether we are at work or on vacation, these thoughts have a way of brewing quietly in our being. The seeds He sowed deep within our souls needs time to germinate, take root, and grow in conviction and courage. Jesus wants to give us ample opportunity to sort out our lives, catch the bigger picture, and make concrete our commitment to follow Him.

While the fishermen returned to their respective homes to straighten out their personal affairs and take care of business, it was impossible for them to keep Jesus out of their minds. His authority and power never ceased to amaze them. Their world was never the same since. As they went out on their fishing boats and worked hard all night long, their time-out from ministry led them to an ‘experience of empty nets’ (Lk 5:1-11). Exhausted and frustrated, they were ripe and ready for an object lesson from the Master. Jesus’ miraculous catch of fish cast a net over their decision. They beached their boat and followed him.

Some of you today are probably standing on your own secular shorelines like these fishermen, contemplating between living for the world and living for Jesus. You have been out there in your secular sea of darkness, engaged in backbreaking labor, and coming up empty. Though you may be learned, skilled or experienced in your chosen vocation, like these fishermen, your backs remain sore, your hands remain calloused, and your nets remain empty. Deep within you, your heart rebels. It seeks to control its destiny. It demands to do its will. It desires to rule itself. Yet neither the ‘winds of compromise’ nor the ‘waves of indecision’ can drown out Jesus’ call in your life to follow Him. He is meeting you where you live and work. He is challenging your faith. He is calling you to a whole new life focus: “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people” (Lk 5:10).

Copyright 2009, Gicky Soriano.  All rights reserved.

"Follow me and I will make you fish for people" (Mk 1:17).
"Follow me and I will make you fish for people" (Mk 1:17).

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    • Judah's Daughter profile image

      Judah's Daughter 

      9 years ago from Roseville, CA

      Hallelujiah! I believe and receive.

    • Gicky Soriano profile imageAUTHOR

      Gicky Soriano 

      9 years ago from California

      A dear missionary friend encouraged me one day. He said, "Gicky, where there's a gifting, there's a calling." Since that time, I never took God's spiritual gifts for granted. Was ministry away from home in my future? I couldn't know until I beached my boat and followed Him. I came away with this one lesson: "You learn as you do." The Jordan didn't part until the priests got their feet wet (Jos 3:8). I sense that you are standing at the edge of your river of decision and your heart is in the right place. May God lead you in the way that you should go.

    • Judah's Daughter profile image

      Judah's Daughter 

      9 years ago from Roseville, CA

      My heart's desire is to do nothing more than follow Him, spread His Word and His love to the ripe harvest with so few workers. One day, I pray, He will free me to do this. I am praying in faith that He will make the way. One pastor told me that HubPages is a ministry and I pray His blessing upon it.

      I am a single parent and thus my concerns. I know you were obedient to follow Him out of your homeland and are walking a walk of faith. My heart's desire is after yours!!

    • Gicky Soriano profile imageAUTHOR

      Gicky Soriano 

      9 years ago from California

      Surprisingly, there's good fishing in the Lake of HubPages. I'm discovering "schools of people" who have a genuine desire to know God and follow Him. Keep casting your net through your writing ministry. All blessing then.

    • rickyracer profile image

      Lisa 

      9 years ago

      Great hub, yes we are...to be fishers of men...caught any lately? Blessings!

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