Fish cannot be cleaned until they are caught

Why is it that we think that evangelism is so hard? Isn’t it really just telling our story? How hard could that really be? It’s our story and it actually happened to us. The reason evangelism is so hard is because we get too wrapped up in people’s stuff that they bring with them. Evangelism is not easy, it’s not a dry cut thing, it’s messy, and it’s difficult because we don’t want to get involved in their lives. Maybe it’s because we just don’t remember what it feels like to be lost.

So how do we reach these people that live such messy lives that we feel are not fit to be Christians because they don’t have things together? Well first off need to quit judging and we need to just talk to them right where they are and STOP trying to make them change there ways before they even accept Jesus. We just talk to them and really listen to them. We learn to see them as God does and realize that the cleaning part is not ours to do.

I was listening to a Joyce Meyer broadcast the other day and she was talking about having gone into a store with a friend and how they had struck up a conversation with the cashier about God. The cashier was talking about how she cusses once in a while but that it was okay because she knew God understood because He cussed once in a while too. Immediately Joyce started to tell the cashier that God does not cuss; she was trying to clean a fish that hadn’t even been caught yet. It was at that time that her friend came in and said but He really loves people people who do.

Photo by @Chruch4U2
Photo by @Chruch4U2
We are called to be fishers of men but more often than not we would much rather do God’s job and try to clean the fish rather than catch them. It’s not our job to clean the fish it is simply our job to share our story, to love them, to care for them, and not to judge them because we wouldn’t want to be judged. Knowing that we do not have to worry about cleaning the fish really makes telling our story so much easier because there is no pressure. In our own power we will not get people to accept Jesus, no matter how hard we try. It is the Holy Spirit working within them and through us that brings people to Christ; we just have an awesome God who wants to involve us in the process.

We can look to Jesus for examples of how to bring people to a understanding of God’s love for them. Take for instance the woman at the well. Jesus knew exactly who she was and what she had done, but instead of sending her away or trying to get her to change her ways He loved her. He showed her that He cared. It wasn’t until after she had asked Him what she needed to do in order to get the living water that Jesus told her to go and sin no more. So what did she do? She ran off into the town and told her story and the Bible says that many came to believe because of her story. It was because of the story from a woman who was looked down upon in society, who had done many things that were not acceptable that others came to Christ. Her story had power and so does yours.

So what does it really look like to evangelize and to share God’s Word? Well how about we just start with our story. God has given each of us a story to tell. Often times we tend to call this our testimony but when we think of our testimony we tend to think of one concrete thing that led us to Christ. In reality there are way more things that Christ has given us to share of His grace, and love, and power. God doesn’t just bring us in to leave us to fend for ourselves. God has cared for us and has shown us over and over again how He does and all of these things are tools to help us show God’s love to others.

When we are with others we need to remember that God was working in our lives before we accepted Him and we need to start listening on different levels. We need to learn to start paying full attention to what the other person is saying by truly listening to how they feel and to what it is that they’re actually saying. At the same time we need to be seeking out God while we’re listening to them and learn to hear what He’s saying and feeling about them, because God knows more about this person than they even know about themselves and He wants them to know something, He wants them to know that He is really there for them and sometimes He will even give us special messages or words for the person we are talking to that will help them know that He is who He is.

Lastly we need to realize that bringing people to accept Jesus is not about us, it is an act of worship that God allows us to partake in. Because it is an act of worship we must also realize that no matter what the outcome with the individual is that we can and should praise God for using us to help bring that person closer to Him. Worship is about the Father, not us, so when we approach evangelism as worship it completely takes the focus off of us and what we are doing and places it directly where it needs to be, on God. The thing that I am beginning to realize though is that worship is not easy; it’s not just something that we can do half-heartedly. It requires opening up completely to God and showing Him how much of an honor it is to be His child, how much He deserves our praise, and this takes time and practice.

Everything we do must come out of the overflow from what the Father has done for us. It must come from a realization that we are utterly lost without Him and destined for death. For me this is difficult; I am a doer. I see something that needs to be done and I do, but God doesn’t want me to do things, He wants me to be a conduit through which He can show His love. He cannot do this when my heart is in the wrong place. I need to learn to worship Him in all that I do. I need to learn to give worship a higher place in my life because it is what gives God the most power and glory. For Joshua worship became first and foremost in all that He did. When Joshua was to lead Israel across the Jordan river he told them they must make themselves holy because God was going to do something amazing tomorrow (Josh. 3:5). While marching Joshua across the Jordan River that God had stopped immediately as their feet touched the water (Josh. 3:15-16) Joshua instructed the priests to gather up twelve boulders from the middle of the river to build a memorial on shore to commemorate the place where God had cut off the waters for them to pass through (Josh. 4:4-9).

Joshua knew how important worshiping God was that he went through great lengths to let God know how much He honored him. Worship is our direct connection to God and it is through which that God reveals more of who He is to us. Our story is a part of our worship and as such it is to be used to worship God, it is to be used to bring glory and honor to His name to a hurting people who do not know who God is. Our story is our tool to help others see what Jesus has done for us. There is no greater tool for us because we know that our story is real and we should be passionate about it. We don’t have to share it perfectly, we just need to share the part of it that God is leading us to share in any given moment and when people come to know Him through it we must praise Him, and when we only bring people a little closer we must praise Him, and even if we don’t see any change at all we must praise Him. To God be all glory and honor and praise forever and ever.

Have a blessed day!

If this was helpful or encouraging to you please feel free to share it with others. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to make a comment. We all have a purpose and can be used to help others draw closer to God. God bless you in your journey to knowing Him deeper than before and accepting yourself with all of the qualities that God desires for you to have.

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