Here is an excerpt from a sermon that my pastor, Brother Johnny Wade, gave. He has said that his sermons are “public domain.”
I grew up in a man’s home who was fisherman. I doubt if there were very many times that my dad would have told you, “I went fishing and caught no fishes.”
When my dad passed away, Joe Miller came to me and said about my dad, “I see Brother Tom on the River of Life, sitting in this lawn chair and fishing. I’d like to sit with him.”
I’ve told a lot of people, “He ain’t gonna sit in a lawn chair and fish with my dad.” I never saw my dad take a lawn chair on a fishing trip in my life.
I have seen him roll up his pant legs in good clothes out in the water so he could fish out into the bank instead of from the bank.
We went fishing one day out to this lake north of Cherryvale. Dad fished here…then he moved down a little bit and fished there…then he moved down a little bit and fished there. He went all the way around that lake, fishing.
Finally he said, “Let’s go up to that other lake.” We went to the next lake.
We fished there. He went all the way around the lake again. He didn’t catch any fish, but you don’t go home until you catch fish.
He said, “Knipmeyers have a pond. Let’s go over there.” Knipmeyers’ pond was about ten miles away, but we went. He caught fishes.
Then we went home.
There came a time when Jesus was crucified. It was a dark time. The disciples didn’t know what they were going to do. Everything was in a turmoil, an uproar.
Peter said, “I go fishing. I’m going to get back to something where I know where I’m at.”
Then Jesus came to them, asking, “Do you have any meat?”
Peter said, “We’ve toiled all night, and we have no meat.”
He said, “Cast the net on the right side.”
They cast their net on the right side, and their net was full of fishes.
John said, “It’s the Lord.”
Peter jumped out of the boat. He wanted to get back to where the Master was talking to him again. He wanted to hear that voice again.
That’s where we live. Sometimes we get in a dark place. We’re trying to do what we know to do, and it doesn’t seem to be working. But just listen because God will not forsake you. There’s going to come a voice that will say, “Do this or do that. Or draw closer.” And when you do that thing, and you cast your net on the right side, all of a sudden, your life is full again.
God knows where the fishes are. He knows what will satisfy the desires of your heart. He’ll tell you if you’ll listen to His voice. Cast your net on the right side.
The devil will say, “You’ve fished all night. You fished all night. You’ve fished all night.”
They cast their nets on the right side. You know why? Because they had gone fishing.
My dad and I did a lot together. We’d walk through the mud. By the time we went fishing, we had been preparing for an hour or two. There are people who when they go fishing, they go out to the garage, they get a little lure, and they go fishing. Not my dad. But when he went fishing, he brought home fish.
John the Baptist said, “Bring forth meat for repentance.” He said, “You prepare to be baptized. Repent.” We need to prepare.
I’m listening for the voice of Jesus, and when I hear it, it doesn’t make a difference what I’ve done up to that point. I’m going to do what He tells me to do.
When He says, “Cast out your nets,” it doesn’t matter if I’ve done it a hundred times. I’ll do it one more time.
You know what I’m going to get? A net full of fishes. I’m out here because I know there’s fishes.
I know there’s a God in heaven Who will hear and answer prayer and fill the desires of my heart. That’s why I’m fishing. That’s why when it gets dark and looks like nothing is going right, and everything is going wrong, I will do what I know to do…and there’s God!
You take your Bible and read your Bible, and you haven’t felt the Lord for awhile, and you’re not getting much out of it…but you get it anyway.
Because that’s what you know to do.
Let’s go fishing! We’re not getting anything sitting here on the bank.
You get down on your knees, and you’re not getting much, but you go fishing. Because you KNOW there’s fish there. I’ve gone fishing before, and I’ve gotten God before, and I know that.
You go to church, and you raise your hand. What are you doing? I’m going fishing! Why are you doing that? Because I’ve caught fish. Because when I’ve obeyed God before, I’ve gotten ahold of God. So why would I quit what I know will bring the Lord?
Someone asks you to do something, you do it…because I’m going fishing.