“When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus all that they had done. He took them along and withdrew privately to a town called Bethsaida.” Luke 9:10
The apostles were sent out by Jesus with “power and authority” to “proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” (Luke 9:1-2) When they returned, Jesus immediately had them pause and give Him a report of what had happened. This pause, or detour, was essential. Jesus wanted to make sure they learned from what had happened, appreciated what God had done through them, and had time to come off the adrenaline rush of being part of a Divine plan and recharge.
Everyone needs time to reflect, recharge, debrief, and evaluate. After a time of ministry or sharing the gospel with someone, this is especially critical. God wants you to make the most of every opportunity and learn from each one. It is so easy to cruise by each moment of life and miss the message intended for you. If you don’t stop or pause to think about what you’re doing or going through, you’re so likely to run right past God’s best for your life.
Life continues on. There’s always something else to do, somewhere else to go, and someone else to meet. Don’t be in a rush to get on to the next opportunity on your schedule. God wants you to learn and grow from each project, place, and encounter. In fact, how you respond to and what you learn from each moment will determine how effective and how responsive you’ll be to God the next time.
“Fishers of men” need to think through and learn from each witnessing encounter. Each time you share the Gospel, you have an opportunity to become more sensitive and more effective in your communication skills than the last time. Spending time alone with God, evaluating past experiences, will significantly impact your effectiveness as a “fisher of men.”
So what are you waiting for? Take some time right now and let God teach you some things from your last witnessing encounter. You can expect future fishing expeditions to be more intentional than accidental and more strategic than random.