When I mention “dodge-ball” what images come to mind? I think most of us think of that terror, not of red rubber gym balls zinging by our heads, but rather the greatest terror a third grader could face: the picking of the teams! At least for me, it seemed easier to just head to the nurse’s office before the game started than to face the agony of being picked dead last….
When God does something in a family, a company, a school, or a generation He always does it through a person. This is His strategy – always has been and always will until the end of time. When God brings change, He simply looks for a person.
But what kind of person? What characteristics is He looking for?
Does He look at resources like education? The early disciples weren’t as a whole educated. Does He look for personal charm or charisma? Young David missed that mark. Does He look for speaking ability? Paul and Moses were notably poor public speakers. Courage? Take a peek at Gideon. Wealth? Ruth.
God doesn’t look for the stuff we typically look for. When God looks for people, He simply looks for FAT.
FAT: Faithful, Available, and Teachable.
Let’s look into Jesus’ selection strategy:
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
Simon was FAT. It made Simon the perfect pick for a great movement of God.
Faithful: Is Simon hungry for the things of God?
In our introduction to Simon we see a man of faith. We see curiosity for the things of God to the point of allowing business to be interrupted for an impromptu church service. Not only did the curiosity initiate a pause in Simon, but he was keenly aware of his deep need for God to address his sinfulness. Faithfulness is different than Bible knowledge or good habits, it is simply an eagerness and hunger to be about the things of God.
Available: Is Simon available and ready when God calls?
Sadly, this is one of 2015’s greatest hindrances. It is one thing to be hungry for God, it is another thing entirely to have margin. Like the rich young ruler, too many hear God’s call yet walk away sad because we have too much and at the same time far too little. Our lives become “entangled in the affairs of everyday life” or “worries of the world…choke.”
Not Simon. Jesus says “from now on you will fish for people.” Simon leaves everything.
Teachable: Is Simon open to change? Will Simon implement the new?
I love this interchange. The nets are cleaned, put away, and the day has been long. Simon knows the lake like the back of his hand, he knows fish, he even knows the grumpiness of his guys. Yet, because Jesus asks he does it. He is teachable!
The one God picks is ready for a new and fresh way, even when they are the resident expert on their neighborhood, spouse, finances, business plan….you get it. God looks for teachable.
So. God is picking. He is picking the best team. He is looking for those ready to be used to impact the world around them. He is looking FAT, for the Faithful, the Available, and the Teachable.
Do you long for God to use you? Will you allow Him to work in you today, as He did in Simon, so He can mightily work through you?