If I were a fisherman and a wise one too, every morning before I set out to cast my net I would do well to check it first.
If I were a good fisherman with good and honest intentions and I got up early and I ate a good breakfast and prepared my boat, but did not check my net for holes whether out of laziness or lack of consideration, I would be a foolish fisherman. How could I expect to gather all the fish intended with a net full of holes? That is impossible. I might even get a decent catch and feel proud of what I caught, but I would have missed the fullness of my attempted bounty because the holes would allow the fishies to slip through.
John 21:10, 11 says:
Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught." Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.
What does that tell you about that net? Surely it was not weak, but strong. For only a strong net could hold such a large amount of fish as that.
My point is this. When the Lord calls us to minister to His people, whether it is a specific ministry, Sunday in church or the dude at the car wash, we must always check our nets. What does that mean? It means that we must daily be in tune with the Father's heart. We must daily be seeking to know what His plan is, His strategy and how He wants to go about meeting the needs of this hurting world around us. If we are not in tune with the Father's heart, no matter how big our net is if there are holes in it, we will miss the precious souls the Lord would desire us to catch. I'm not saying the Lord wouldn't catch them, because He is capable of anything. I'm saying that you or I could miss that which was intended because we were not prepared for what He desired to do.
Maybe you have experienced this before? You found yourself in a situation where you sensed God wanted to do something, but out of fear, or neglecting your relationship with the Lord, or neglecting prayer you watched an opportunity go by because your net wasn't as strong at it should be.
This is a challenging position to be in. Are we as God fearing Christian’s waiting for the Father to show us His ways? Are we so in tune with His voice and desires that in the midst of our busyness we heed the voice of the Holy Spirit and know instinctively when He is talking? Or when He presents an opportunity for us to speak do we even realize it? Or are we so dull that when we hear a voice saying "This is the way, walk ye in it," we assume it's some random thought and push it out and go in the opposite direction, thinking "Surely the Lord wouldn't be speaking to me."
How could I even pose to you these questions? Because I myself have failed to pay attention to Him and in doing this I have grieved His heart. That is my confession, but after a time of prayer and fasting for a bit He began to reveal this truth to me about myself and His people even more.
What it comes down to is a surrendering of self, will, desires, dreams, time, thoughts, feelings, plans, finances, family, hobbies, pursuits, comforts, material things, friends and anything else that you hold dear in order to let God in and be LORD over absolutely everything. He wants your heart, all of it. Not some pithy statements that we throw at Him in worship on Sunday, but don’t actually take those statements to heart when we walk out the door.
There is the gospel to be preached. There is a world in need of His love and there is a God in Heaven who will get what He wants whether you’re paying attention or not. So let me leave you with this thought. If Jesus were to ask you to go fishing for him and expected to see you bring in a load of fish, no matter how big or small your net is for the Lord, is it strong enough to hold even the smallest miracle of the one soul He wants to place in it today?
Oh, that we would truly be fishers of men…check your nets!