Where is Jesus, How to Find Him, & What He Gives Us to Do
How this Teaching Came About at this Time.
I am surprised to be writing this as this time, when I still have one more university assignment due kesho (tomorrow). But God speaks to us at His times for His reasons if we are ready to listen and have kept a discipline of time to learn from Him.
What He has given me was triggered by an email from one of you (a Kenyan) (with Holy Spirit timing, but likely not known by the writer) and the fruit of a prophecy given to me last March by a prophetic team 1,100 km. from my US home. She said she saw a library of books, representing study and knowledge in my life, but she saw few bibles and said I needed more study of scripture. At the time I did very little bible reading, when not preparing to teach, because I know most of the bible in my head and think of scripture constantly. In my morning time devoted to the Lord, I had and still do read from two or more Christian books and spend time in prayer.
So I decided to read through Isaiah and recently the gospel of John. Right after a touching email from Kenya, from someone who said God led him to call me pastor, despite my not liking titles, I read the last chapter of John (21) and I began to weep, especially when Jesus said to Peter in 21:15-17, “Tend my lambs…Shepherd my sheep…& Tend my sheep.” The brother had written to me, “Peter and I always talk about you as a Shepherd.” & he wrote more about my love. Somehow that touched me and even more so when I read, “Shepherd my sheep” in John 21. I do not feel that I am very pastoral. I’m often a down-right klutz when it comes to understanding the feelings of others. But I remember that Peter said in 1 Pet. 5:1-2 “I exhort the elders….shepherd the flock” & in Acts 20:28, Paul said to the overseers, “Take heed therefore to…shepherd the assembly of the Lord…” Well, I’m sure I am an elder among you, since I have been sold out to Jesus with adult-like thinking for 41 years. I understand the challenges of being a husband with more than one experience and for you ladies, many of you are not as old as my oldest daughter would be, although she made it to heaven about 13 months ago. So I’m certainly an elder and my old friend in Tanzania, says, “You are a global pastor.” He’s more pastorally gifted than I, but at this time I am more global. After being touched by John 21, I began to read it again and again & meditate about the symbols and words.
My Teaching for You
Where & How to find Jesus & What He tells you to do
John 21. Peter saw & heard Jesus when he was working, sweating, and making no progress in his work! He wasn’t even dressed sufficiently to fulfill his calling as a fisher of men! But he didn’t know it was Jesus he saw! So he listened to the stranger’s advice to make a profit in his business. Even when a miracle happened from the stranger’s advice, someone else had to tell him it was Jesus! I feel like Peter. The major life-shifts into the next level with the Lord, for me, have come through others who pointed the way or are much more gifted in revelation than I. Even, the last two days God is speaking to me through a highly prophetic, miracle-working man, by web-stream, a confirmation of what my wife shared by revelation about my calling to great wisdom.
When Peter decided to jump in the sea, he first put on more clothes! Why did he do that? The sea represents the people of the world. The uncaught fish are pre-disciples. You will get to the presence of Jesus before others if you immerse yourself in the world with approaching Jesus as your goal. But to be a fisher of men you must be respectable in the world. As Paul said, “I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means, save some.” 1 Cor. 9:22. So Peter put on his outer clothes before jumping into the water. This point matches my teaching from the Song of Solomon. When the maiden cannot find her beloved, she knows where He can be found. “My beloved has gone down to his garden, To the beds of balsam, To pasture his flock in the gardens, And gather lilies.” Song 6:2. The garden is the world. The beds of balsam (spices) represent the different ethnic groups, and cultures, even the cultures of the rich or poor, young or old. This is where you will find your Beloved, Jesus! Peter got to Jesus before the others because he jumped into the world first! But they all got there by passing though the sea (the world) and all found Him when they were working a dirty job with difficulty. They were all welcomed and loved by Jesus!
But the one who dove in head first got the most attention and the greatest calling at that point!
Normally you will find a greater manifestation and personal revelation or direction from Jesus in the Harvest! If you want to get a clear word from Jesus go into His garden of the world (the harvest) even through business. You will find Him and His direction in the harvest! You will also find great troubles and great provisions and deliverances.
Bienvenu, in Burundi, is a good example. His burden was to make true disciples not spectators. He knew by revelation that if he worked with me, the association of churches that he was part of as a pastor would force him to resign, which would take away his pastoral income, which happened. Even now he leads two weekly harvest “simple churches” of homeless former addicts, criminals and handicapped people, as well as joining network leaders of hundreds of networks (who look up to him and each other) of thousands of simple churches, and has overcome many, many difficult trials. I nearly died 4 times in less than 3 years after deciding to travel to the Africa harvest field. Then I had my US business stolen, and was jailed 4 times for things that even the government said should not have happened, like being jailed for a black man who had my license number, not to mention being disfellowshipped by my favorite local ministry. But I found my home, my wonderful wife, and best friends, my most loving family, and most fruitful ministry in the place that same local ministry requested me not to return to two years before I met my wife! Likewise, Bienvenu is not at all sorry for the steps he took to find Jesus in the harvest field. Even now he and I are good examples of those who are out in the world in business (the sea) dressed respectively like Peter, sitting down with Jesus, while he prepares the fish (pre-disciples) and being called to tend the lambs (little ones) & shepherd and tend the sheep.
There is food in the harvest! Jesus said, “My food is to do my Father’s will.” Wasn’t that when he was talking to an immoral Samaritan woman? Peter, with others, caught 153 large fish on his way to sit with Jesus. Jesus was already cooking a fish (pre-disciple) to feed Peter. Our food, as leaders, is to do our Father’s will. His will is, “Go into all the world, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…” That really means to immerse them into Christ, which includes water baptism in the name of Jesus (that’s what the apostles did) as a symbol of immersion into Christ.
Even after telling Peter how he would die as an aged man, Jesus said, “Follow me!”
Where will you find Jesus?
A note about leaders:
The most productive leaders are zealous and assertive. You might say, not always too humble and sometime angry. Peter was zealous, bold, a man’s man, the first to walk on water, and the first to sink. He was the only person in scripture called “Satan!” by God Himself. Paul quarreled with Mark, initiated stoning, and jailing Christians, and I think he was angry when he rebuked Peter. My observation is that the apostolic types have trouble working together. Jacob was a deceiver, but he was zealous to get all he could get. He even fought with God and prevailed, according to the name God gave him. Despite his flaws God chose him to be the father of the nation that we are joined to by being grafted in by faith.
Don’t despise an immature zealous person. You are not all that mature, either, compared to Jesus. Don’t give up or hold back on a leader who does things you don’t like. As Paul said, “Who are you to judge another the servant of another man? To his own master he stands or falls and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” Rom 14:4. We must give freedom and encouragement to men like Peter, and rebuke at times, but only for hypocrisy, not for acting with good motives. That advice could save my skin, because it has been prophesied to me, “Peter, Peter, Peter.” I tend to make great advances and big mistakes like Peter. And so will some of the best leaders that God connects you with in the harvest field.
You can lead like Peter, or like Paul, or even better tell Peter, “It is Jesus!” like John. We need every type. Get wet in the sea of humanity! Jesus will give you the catch and cook the fish!