Proverbs 1:5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.
I was talking with my friend Trent, and he was expressing his concern about being asked to do something ministerial that was not within his spiritual giftings. He said, “I’m the wrong fisherman for what they are asking me to do, but if they can’t get anyone, I reckon I will do it until they find the right fisherman.” Knowing our place in the kingdom of God is a blessing to the heart, and peace to the mind. Knowing that God has our life’s plan in His hand, and has put within us certain giftings for particular work in His realm is reassuring. Jer. 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Being the wrong fisherman for the work at hand can be arduous to get the things that need to be accomplished done right. Having someone who cannot sing lead the congregation in the singing of praise can be hard for people to sing along without noticing the off notes and pitch. Yes, there are times when God’s anointing takes over and it does not matter that the person leading is two beats behind and three notes too high, but that is God’s grace loving on everyone while rescuing the time of praise and worship. It is not an endorsement that the terrible singer should keep the position. God’s giftings are for specific purposes. 1Chron. 15:22 Kenaniah the head Levite was in charge of the singing; that was his responsibility because he was skillful at it.
I remember a brother in the Lord had been asked to lead a bible college for a couple of trimesters until a leader could be found. He accepted the position, but he was not able to fulfill what God had put in his heart under the restrictions of college leadership requirements. I could tell he was not at peace with the assignment that came to him from a committee. He looked like he was smothering in a too-tight shirt collar that was buttoned to the neck. He decided to ask God for guidance and soon his answer came, allowing him to resign from the position. Prov. 1:5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance. His joy of the Lord returned in full when he was doing what God had put in his heart. As for the college position, he was the wrong fisherman for that kind of fishing in those kinds of waters.
People who know their God and know their place in His work are blessed because some people have difficulty finding their purpose and end up thinking God does not want to use them. This is so far from the truth. There are multiple areas of life when just passing a blessing forward can become a miracle in a person’s life. Although most ministerial callings are exercised and developed within a church organization, not all ministry is found in a church. Most of the miracles recorded in the New Testament were done in the marketplace where common society lived their lives. People sometimes mix up the calling of God with being available in serving God. Everyone can be used by God, whether in full-time ministry or not. 2Tim. 2:20 In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use.
I do not mind being a cheaper vessel used for everyday use, because the fruit can be so rewarding. I was working out at the gym and noticed a young man who had not been coming as regularly. He explained that he had started Chemotherapy and didn’t have the strength to work out, but decided to workout out anyway. Right there at the gym, we prayed to our Heavenly Father for healing and favour during this difficult time. I was the right fisherman for that moment. James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. I did not need to get permission to do what God has already asked us to do, and that is to pray for each other.
Somehow, we have made being a hand extended or a fisherman for the task on God’s behalf a difficult thing. All we have to be is available, and God will move us into the right place and time. I know that we cannot die on every cross because there are so many needs to be met, but we can encourage and support those who are working tough, demanding, and burdensome ministries in God’s realm. We may not feel the same compassion and have the same drive as some people, however, we can uphold them to our God so that He gives them the ability to complete their purpose. Matt. 9:38 Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest. When we pray for others to succeed, we too are blessed in what they do.
For many of the offices in ministry, I am the wrong fisherman. If I find myself in that situation, then I need to ask God to lead me back to the waters where I do my best fishing for His kingdom. When I am fishing in the right waters, I can count on my Lord to equip me for the work. After all, the battle does belong to our Heavenly Father, and we serve our God to fulfill His vision for the world. May God bless us all and help us catch the souls He wants to bring into His realm of righteousness. Amen!