Previously: We’ve been using the analogy of fish and fishing to describe our relationship with Christ: first, we swim into His net, just as we are (a bit fishy); afterwards, Christ begins to clean us like a fisherman cleans his prize catch.
Preparing a “fish”:
Step 1: Wash it (“Something Fishy”)
Step 2: Cut off the head! (Part 1: “Cleaning Fish”)
(Step 2, Part 2: “A Fish Out of Water”)
Cut off the head? For a fish, literally; for us, figuratively. For us, the head represents our thoughts and our perspective. As far as our perspective of life, we need to start seeing our lives, other people and all things, as God sees them. We must adopt a Judeo-Christian worldview; stop thinking the way the secular world thinks and start thinking the way God desires us. For instance, this world teaches that we need to look a certain way, dress a certain way, act a certain way, have a certain amount of money and move in certain social circles; and some people think that to truly have value, we need to be a certain color, or a certain gender, or belong to a certain fraternity, club, denomination, church … we could go on and on. But what does God think?
On the value of each of us, God wants you to be able to declare: “Thank You (God) for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous — how well I know it! (Psalm 139:14 NLT) But exactly how will we know it? On acceptance, God declares: “Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.” (Romans 15:7 NLT)
Again, how can we know such awesome things? We won’t unless we dive into the Word of God. And dive is the perfect word for us “fishes,” because the Holy Scriptures are frequently compared to water. Water cleanses, refreshes, and sustains us, just like God’s Word — if we let it! Which takes us back to the head: are we allowing God to cleanse our thoughts by “washing with water through the word” (Ephesians 5:26 NIV)? The Bible teaches that after we come to Christ we must renew (reprogram, refresh, and replenish) our minds daily!
This is a never-ending process. Medical doctors state that, in order to be healthy, we need to drink a sufficient amount of water each day. Similarly, to keep our sanity in this crazy, competitive, often chaotic great big world of ours, we need to daily flush out our “stinking thinking” (doubt, fear, hatred, selfishness, and all the other negative thoughts that normally and naturally swim in our heads) with positive, faith-filled thoughts. Easy, right? No way! We’re constantly bombarded with negative thoughts, from the things we read, hear, and see. Flushing out the bad stuff takes a steady flow of the good stuff, the water of the Word. Read it and ruminate on it, remember it and remind yourself of it.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8 NLT)
Here’s another way of putting it: “Don’t become like the people of this world. [pessimistic, cruel, critical, spiteful, etc.] Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants — what is good, pleasing, and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 God’s Word Translation)
Swim in the Word of God. Frolic and bathe in it! Lest you become like a fish out of water!