They just weren’t biting. We were after walleyes but for some reason we couldn’t find them. We navigated the boat to several different locations on the northern Minnesota lake but still no luck. After several fruitless casts, I finally got a bite and reeled in a large walleye. When I got the fish into the boat it flopped around violently. When I removed the hook it cut me with its gills, shook its head vehemently and flopped around some more. The fish was not happy being out of its element. After I measured it, it happened to be too big to keep. So I released my unhappy walleye into the cold lake water and watch it as it swam away.
A fish out of water reminds me of a believer out of fellowship with God. Those who have been redeemed need to follow the example of God’s Son. They need to swim with God’s people. And they need to obey the principles of God’s Word. But sometimes a believer gets hooked by a sinful habit or a worldly philosophy and finds himself in an unnatural environment. They then struggle with guilt and the terrible consequences of being out of fellowship with the Lord. God tells us in His Word in Gal. 5:16, 17: “…Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirt and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another so that you do not do the things that you wish”. When we choose to take the bait and swim in the realm of the flesh we become like a fish out of water and we end up doing what we don’t want to do and being where we don’t want to be.
Have you been there? Perhaps you have been caught by a sinful activity, or enticed into a forbidden relationship? Those who know the Lord Jesus as Savior need to shun any lure that would take him out of fellowship with his wonderful Lord. Don’t end up becoming a fish out of water.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation