But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15
In application, our faith and ministry efforts are like a working fishing net. Our lives are interwoven with that of others by God as we crisscross with them in life. We are held up by and in Christ who acts as a buoy of support maintaining our assurance, purpose, and direction. We then meet people who help us grow, people who confront and oppose us, and even people who hurt us. These are the people Christ has called us to catch for Him and who, in return, will unknowingly challenge us to move forward in our faith. We build our net from our growth in Christ, our Bible reading, our learning, our fellowship, and the challenges from other Christians.
This all connects and combines with the experiences of life. When our faith net is formed, we will be able to follow Him out of our obedience, and mentor in a multigenerational lifestyle, caring for the total person. Our faith net will flow through the rough waters of doubt, conflict, strife, fear, and stress, and not be impeded by them. This will move us from complacent Christian lives to purposeful Christian lives. This will move us from just playing church to really being a church. This will be a net of faith that moves and catches people for Him versus a net that is rotten by neglect or woven so tightly by bad experiences and fear that it cannot move.
In our American churches, our nets are usually woven too tightly because we are so busy; we have no time for personal growth. We only see personal needs and expectations and not the opportunities and call Jesus gives.
The fish, people so to speak, just swim around us, and we are too preoccupied in our boats of desires and busyness to see the ocean of opportunities around us. Hence, the average Christian just goes to church to pew-sit, never venturing into the life God has for him or her, never being forthright to others about his or her faith. As a result, our faith becomes stingy, callous, and sterile. The faith net just lies there—tangled—and we are unable to pick up the junk to clean it, repair it, and put it back to use. Fortunately for us, we have His Spirit to direct and empower us, but it is still up to us to allow His work to move us and not let our nets rot because of fear.
Let us not do our faith net by what is wrong, rather, set apart Christ as Lord, so to point to others of Who is Right and Fulfilling!