Fishing In The Wrong Boat


In one of the classes I teach, I have people introduce themselves and tell me a hobby they have outside of work. It provides opportunities for connection early in the class as well as information I can tie back to throughout the day. Yesterday, while training this class, a guy answered that he liked to play music. I followed up with, “What kind?” He responded with, “Worship. I’ve felt called to lead worship since I was young, but I’ve been too scared to step out and do it.” He admitted in front of our group what so many of us Christians are afraid to say.

God’s call on our life can be scary. I think it’s supposed to be. If it were anything less than scary, we’d do it without hesitation. The problem with that is we would think it was done in our own ability. We need to understand that we are simply vessels to be used by Him. It is He who performs the work, we simply provide the channel. Our inability to do whatever He called us to is His greatest opportunity to do something amazing.

God sees in us what we cannot see. Peter was just another uneducated fisherman when Jesus called Him. He didn’t posses the ability to start the Church. He didn’t have the business acumen to take twelve men, start a worldwide movement and grow it. He didn’t have the boldness to stand in front of thousands to preach. He knew what fear was and it got the better of him from time to time. He denied Jesus and his calling in the same night.

The fear of his calling to be the rock that the church would be built on caused him to go back to fishing when he should have been preaching after the resurrection. He went back to what he knew instead of stepping out in faith to be the rock he was called to be. Jesus didn’t leave him in that boat though. He went to the waters edge in John 21, but they didn’t recognize Him. He called out to them, “Have you caught any fish?” They replied, “No.” Jesus called out, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you’ll catch some.” As soon as they did, the net teemed with fish. Peter recognized the man as Jesus and swam to shore.

Jesus reaffirmed to Peter that day what his role was. He didn’t worry about his failures or inabilities. He worried about his love for Him. Jesus knew that if he truly loved Him, he would obey his calling. He didn’t leave Peter in the boat catching the wrong kind of fish. He reiterated that he was to be a fisher of men from now on. I think that call goes out to you in whatever boat you’re sitting in today. Maybe you’re reading this in the place where you can accomplish things in your own strength. It’s the boat of what is familiar and easy to you. But God has more for you. Have you really caught anything where you are?

I encourage you today to recognize the fear that is paralyzing you and keeping you from your calling. If God called you to do something, it’s His strength and ability that will accomplish it, not yours. Release the fear that sent you back into the boat of the familiar and do what God has called you to do. Faith is about trusting God to do what He said He would do. It’s not about you doing things and giving Him credit. Don’t let fear hold you back another minute. If you love Him, feed His sheep.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Fishing In The Wrong Boat

  1. Alonso Pedroza

    One of the biggest things I’ve learn about myself and others is that the fear of the unknown keeps us stuck. Even if the place we’re stuck at is making us feel upset, angry, depressed or even worthless. We stay stuck there because that’s what we know. Stepping out of it would mean to go to a place we don’t know. That is scary, even though we are not happy where we are at, we much rather be unhappy but know this place. Rather than stepping out of it and seeing if the unknown has better things in store for us. Stepping out of my comfort is where I have gotten the biggest growth in my life.
    When I feel stuck and afraid of steeping outside my comfort I ask myself, “what can you lose by getting outside your comfort? You know you don’t like this place your stuck in so why not take a leap to see what the unknown has I store for you?”

    • Alonso Pedroza

      “I have nothing to lose, but so much to gain”

      • You’re right that most of us choose discontentment in the familiar than trust in the unknown. A life of faith is stepping out believing in the unseen and trusting that we won’t fall. We are called to live by faith and not sight.

  2. Alonso Pedroza

    Thank you Chris for all your replys and wisdom. It fuels my growth and I learn something new every time. The more I know, the more I seek Him, the closer I feel Him.

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