Surfin’ Safari! (Angel in the Kitchen)

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Preparing a “fish”:

Remember that old hit song by the Beach Boys? “Let’s go surfin’ now, everybody’s learning how, come on and safari with me!”

Excellente! Now hold that thought. 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.

How Does He prepare a “fish”? Step 1: Wash it (“Something Fishy”);  Step 2: Cut off the head! (Part 1: “Cleaning Fish”  and Part 2: “A Fish Out of Water”);  Step 3: Get rid of the tail!

Step 3: Get Rid of the Tail!  (Part 2: “Surfin’ Safari!”)

A fish’s tail performs two very important tasks: it propels and steers, allowing our finny friends to swim wherever they wish. We, too, have something that enables us to go wherever we want, whenever we want, to do whatever we want. It’s called the free will. It’s a nice little trait God created in us, because He wanted us to have the freedom to make our own choices. Only one problem: when we start calling the shots, when we do things our way, we generally make a royal mess of it! That’s why God hopes we’ll get rid of the “tail” by making a conscious effort to surrender our will and choose to do His will; to do the things He wants, not the things you want; to swim with Godnot away from Him!

Swimming with God is just like going on a Surfin’ Safari! Seriously! First, there’s always a leader in these ventures, and yup, you guessed it, that would be Jesus Christ.

Second, what’s a safari without a map? Not to worry, we got one of those, too; and it outlines all the best spots for our adventure and shows us exactly how to get there. Our map is the Word of God: “Your Word is a
lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”
(
Psalm 119:105 NASB) Precisely what a good map should be! In fact, the Bible teaches us how to navigate the often treacherous waters of life; to steer away from the shallows and avoid running aground.

But even with the best map in hand, it’s still comforting to have a savvy, resourceful guide along with us. So, thirdly, we’ve contracted with the world’s greatest safari guide — the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised us that “the Comforter, who is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things….” (John 14:26 King James 2000) and
“will guide you into all truth.”
(John 16:13 NLT)

Why not start swimming with Christ today? Pull out God’s navigational charts and start listening to the Holy Guide. “Come on and safari with me!”

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Get Rid of the Tail! (Angel in the Kitchen)

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Preparing a “fish”:

“Nah, I’m not a fish, I’m a mammal. Tom and Wilma asked me here just ‘cuz I’m cute!”

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.

Step 1: Wash it (“Something Fishy”)

Step 2: Cut off the head! (Part 1: “Cleaning Fish”)

Step 2: Cut off the head! (Part 2: “A Fish Out of Water”)

Step 3: Get rid of the tail!

The tail of a fish is boney, scaly, hard to chew and not very flavorful. When preparing a fish it pays to get rid of it. Christ wants to do the same when He’s preparing His “fish” for life on the road ahead.

In nature the tail of a fish performs two very important tasks: it propels and steers. It allows our finny friends to swim wherever they wish and whenever they wish. We, too, have something that enables us to go where we want when we want. It’s called the human will. The human will motivates and empowers us. It gives direction and determination. The phrases “He (or she) has a lot of will power” and “Where there’s a will there’s a way” spring to mind. And when someone is stubborn we often describe the person as “strong-willed.”

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: God created each of us to have a will of our own — the ability to choose for ourselves, to swim in our own personal style. When He first created us, He looked down and declared, That’s good!  And although He hopes we’ll use this God-given freedom to make the right decisions in life — for instance, to swim beside Him, not away from Him; in His great ocean, not in a mud puddle — we don’t often choose the best course for ourselves. That’s Bad!  In fact, without God’s daily guidance in every area of life, we always manage to screw things up. That’s when things can get pretty ugly!  But that’s okay. God understands that we’re only human. Again, He created us that way. He could have made us to be like little windup robots, but He didn’t want that. He wanted us to have free will.

Hey little fishy, you’re swimming the wrong way!

So how do we reconcile our free will (our desires, our plans, our inclinations, our dispositions, and our always poor choices) with God’s better plan and direction for our lives? Simple, make a conscious decision every day to “get rid of the tail”; to surrender your will and choose to do His will; to do the things He wants, not the things you want; to swim with God, with the current and not against it. In the end (haha, remember the fish’s tail), it all comes down to the choices we make because, after all, we have a free will. We can swim our way or swim with God, following Him wherever He leads.

“Jesus said … ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.'” (Matthew 16:24 NLT) Listen to Chris Tomlin’s cool song “I Will Follow” and choose to have the attitude expressed by it.

Join us on Thursday for Part 2 of “Get Rid of the Tail,” and we’ll explain how following Christ is like a “Surfin’ Safari”!

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