I’m on the island Antigua for a few days. Antigua is a beautiful island in the Eastern Caribbean. It’s surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other.
This morning as I was walking on the beach and tasting the salt in the air, I reflected on the grilled snapper I had for dinner which was probably caught from this same ocean. The fish was delicious, perfectly seasoned but it was not salty like the salt water that it came out of. I thought, how is it that a fish that is in an environment of salt is able to keep the salt from getting inside it? How can a fish live in salt water and not be salty?
My mind immediately thought about the phrase, ‘to be in the world but not of it,’ from John 17:16. I thought, God wants us to live like the fish; to live in an environment but not allow it permeate our minds and souls. Like the fish, we are to maintain our perfect balance.
If you’re anything like me, you know how challenging this can be. How do you not get sucked in to all of the subtle and not so subtle advertising on television; the steady dose of fear mongering from the news and even the guilt and condemnation that the church itself can make us feel?
I learned that most saltwater fish are created with specialized organs in their gills that help them excrete the salt. I used my spiritual imagination to wonder if our ‘gills’ are the Holy Spirit. As we live in this world, could it be that God wants us to constantly use our internal filter? As we maneuver through life everyday and live in a world, that, like the Atlantic ocean, could easily overpower us with it’s sheer volume and force, could it be that God wants us to maintain our inner peace, joy and all other fruits despite how ‘salty’ our external environment gets?
Wouldn’t that we a wonderful place to get to in our lives? Where we can truly live in the world and not be of it. Where we can use our ‘internal gills’ called the Holy Spirit to keep our hearts and minds focused on Christ regardless of what’s going on around us.
As we go about our daily lives—as we see a McDonald’s commercial on T.V. that tells us that we ‘should be lovin’ it’; as our friends tell us that ‘one bite won’t hurt’; as the enemy tries to convince us that we are beyond help or that food will make us feel better, rely on your internal filter system to help you maintain your balance and integrity. Act as you have an automatic filter. Don’t beg and wish for something that is already naturally built in to who you are as a Christian. Our assignment is to trust and believe that the Holy Spirit will keep us safe and covered each and every time.
Like the red snapper, we can be in the world but not of it. We can not only survive, but thrive in an environment that can suck the life out of us if we don’t use our internal filter.
If you want to learn how to overcome the daily food temptations and lose weight by the power of the Holy Spirit, check out our free 21-Day Challenge. Check it out here.