I went fishing recently, the-sitting-by-a-lake-with-a-rod-and-line type of fishing. Some people think that it is very boring and just an excuse to do nothing. I must admit that I had heard of a pastor who went fishing regularly, without a hook or bait on his line, in order to get away from his congregation! That’s not my style though, I like to be active when I am fishing. In my case the activity entailed getting the tackle set up correctly for the type of water I was fishing, casting my line and then watching intently for that little movement of the float which means ‘get ready to strike’. Unfortunately my reactions are not so quick as they used to be and several fish got away (you should have seen the size of them!). However I did land a few decent fish.
It reminded me of Peter’s exhortation that we should stay alert for the devil. I don’t know if you have ever thought of the devil as a fisherman? Jesus referred to his disciples as fishermen, but not the devil. The fishing in Jesus’ day involved nets and so on rather than rod and line which is perhaps the more usual concept of a fisherman for us today. Peter’s picture of a prowling lion was however familiar to Christians in the first century and that analogy reminds us that the devil is a wily being using subtlety and stealth, just like a fisherman.
I had a picture in my mind of the enemy sitting over our lives with his baited hook waiting for the unsuspecting believer to grab at the bait so he could strike and ‘hook’ us. In fact the Scripture is telling us that he (the enemy) is always ready to strike, so we need to stay alert and watch out all the time.
I wonder how often we have taken hold of one of his deceptions (remember the worm on the hook is a deception to get the fish) by not being alert or discerning as we go through our daily lives? I certainly have fallen prey to his temptations lots of times!
As we go through today, maybe we need to remember that the enemy hasn’t taken a lunch break and gone away just because all seems peaceful, but he is still there dangling his tempting hook over us getting ready to strike. Stay on guard, be alert, watch out for the evil one on the prowl or just sitting still near us waiting.
Thank God His Holy Spirit can warn us and keep us ready to respond by standing firm and resisting in the power of Jesus’ name.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for providing us with life pictures of our spiritual walk. Thank You that You can speak to us in the most ordinary of things. Help us to be ever watchful and alert for the devil’s schemes and recognise the deceptions and temptations that could trap us and disable us from effective Christian living, Amen.