I was reading a very different book than this topic when the idea of the fish came to me. The book was about creative people needing to keep moving forward in their creative life. The author said that if creatives don’t keep moving they sink and die. Immediately I saw an image of a fish and thought about the way a fish takes oxygen into his body by extracting it from the water he takes into his gills. I decided to do a little research. It was interesting to read about these fish and see the parallel there was with the lives of Christians.
Fish must swim or sink and die
Fish are completely submerged under water. They open and close their mouths to pump the water through their gills and extract oxygen from the water to breathe. There is only a small amount of oxygen in the water near them and they have to keep moving to find richer places. Fish can actually suffocate if they stay still too long.
Christians need to keep moving: but how?
Christians are also “submerged” with Christ in baptism; with water as well as in the Spirit. Followers of Jesus move with Christ in a myriad of ways and must keep growing and moving forward with the Lord. Christians standing still in their walk is as deadly as it is for fish to not swim to breathe. Christians move when they go to their chair to pray, when they read the Holy Word and allow it to root within them, when they confess their sins moment-to-moment (as soon as the conviction comes), and when they see to it that they hear the Word spoken or preached at a place of worship. There are many, many more but I am only putting forth a taste with a few basics here.
Carp are an example of non-moving fish (by comparison)
Carp live primarily in stagnated water and mud-bottomed ponds, lakes and rivers. They will eat most anything and are considered opportunistic feeders. They often stir up the sediment with their sluggish movements as bottom-dwellers which adversely affects many plants and animals around them.
Christians who behave like bottom dwellers also adversely affect those around them. Even though they may read the Word (most do not), it isn’t allowed to root within them. Their lives lack a great deal of discipline for the Word, prayer, participating in congregational preaching with the heart instead of just the ears, not giving too much thought about sins in their lives, and not having a general pursuit of Jesus as the lover of their souls.
More fish comparisons
In Leviticus 11: 9 the Lord tells his people that they can only eat fish that has both fins and scales. With the comparisons made thus far, one can see spiritual reasons for this. The fins on a fish are what enables them to propell themselves through the water to keep up their constant movement. The scales represent a sense of integrity and justice and the full amor of God. The integrity and justice is reflected in Christians’ thoughts and actions as they deal with all men. The armor of God is crucial during increasing growth for protection as God’s warriors in prayer and doing the works of God. All of this armor, and growth of integrity also positively affect the world around them.
What Christians give out to others is a direct result of whether or not they are swimming enough to keep thier oxygen coming, pumping their mouths to give testimony and witness to others, spending time in the Word and praying, keeping short accounts with God with frequent confession of sin, and spending time with the people of God in a place of worship. Obedience to God over these things and many others will cause Christians to have their own positive effect upon the world around them.
The fish that were considered Kosher were also representative of what God’s people put into their bodies to be spiritually healthy as well as physical. For example: shellfish eat the toxic waste in the ocean. They are the vacuum cleaners of the oceans. When God’s people ate those fish they could become physically toxic. It was also to be synonomous with partaking of that which was sinful and thus they could become toxic in the spirit and soul.
Time to ponder
As you deepen and move along in your relationship with him ponder who he is and how he thinks. Then contemplate the thought that throughout all of eternity you will never know all there is to know about him. He is endless and we get to begin that knowing of him here and now.
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