Friday, September 24, 2010

Fishing for Men

I used to fish a bit when I was younger, before the slime, the smell and the effort got the best of me. I often wondered if the fish truly understood what was happening when the hook was set and the battle to draw them in began. Probably not, how sensible can one be if a little flash of silver, some wet hair, and a treble hook looked like something good to eat!

Nonetheless, I think that the experience of the fish in fishing parallels the experience of the human in the drawing of the Holy Spirit. Something moving through the ethereal realm of spirit flashes by, the soul craning its neck to look, feels the tug of the hook being set and an inexorable pull toward... something. Soul "flesh" pierced by Spirit hook, it's the way the work of salvation gets done.

What does God's lure look like, I wonder? It seems to me, the working end of the Spirit's wooing or drawing is the word of God coming to us. Words are not stuff, per se, they're ethereal, real but unreal. They can hit one like a ton of bricks, but they don't weigh a thing (even when they are weighty). There is something more to words than meets the eye, especially when those words are from God.

The prophets of old recorded their experience with the Spirit of God as the word of the Lord coming to them. They found the experience unforgettable and compelling. I think that is so for anyone who ends up ultimately standing right with God. His word comes, we find something about it unforgettable and compelling, we're drawn thereby to the Lord's side.

That lure doesn't hook every fish it's dangled before, and some fish, hooked, begin a-flapping and break free. But for those fish landed, the story's always the same--the word, conviction, faith placed in Christ, salvation. Jesus was a fisher of men, who taught others to fish for men. A pole and tackle box is not needed, only the word of God is.