Sometime ago my wife and I were in Australia visiting our son. One day he suggested that we launch his boat and go out onto the river and do a bit of fishing.
My wife, who doesn’t like being on boats, stayed back at the house. My son, two grandsons, age 10 and 6, and I eventually got the boat into the water after a half hour drive to the river.
Fishing went well. I caught one and was very pleased with myself until my son measured it with a ruler. He said it was too small. He said there is a law regarding what size of fish you are allowed to keep. If you are caught with fish that are too small when you get ashore you will be fined. I didn`t want to break the law and go back home with illegal fish so I reluctantly let it go back into the river.
This fishing experience led me to think of times in our lives, while we are going about our daily duties, when thoughts come to us and we hook them just like we do with a fish. Good and bad thoughts come into our boat. (mind). We need to measure them by God`s standard, the rule of love. “God is the law giver and our judge”, Isaiah ch. 33 v 22. He measures each thought that we have in our mind as each moment passes.
An example of an illegal thought would be anger, bitterness or resentment etc. If we were to allow anything of that nature to live in our heart, Gods law of love would demand that we put it back where it belongs. Into the river where it came from.
Matthew ch. 22 v 37-39 is God`s measure or ruler for our behaviour. “Love God with all our heart, soul and mind and neighbour as ourselves.”
It was a bit disappointing for me to let go of the fish I had caught. It can be a whole lot harder to let go of sin which is a title for a huge net filled with illegal stuff. Galatians ch.5 v 19-21, lists a lot of it.
Some fish can leap high out of the water as they swim along at a fast speed.
I saw a video clip where fish were actually landing in the boat. One slapped a man on the side of his face.
This illustrates how random thoughts can enter our minds and we need to be on our guard to make sure no illegal ones get a chance to stay there.
Galatians ch. 5 v 22-23 indicate where to go fishing for the legal fish. The big ones. Ones you can keep and give no fear of breaking the law when you meet the lawgiver. There is no law to break when you come to shore with your boat full of Love, Joy, Peace, Long-suffering, Gentleness, Goodness Faithfulness, Meekness and self-control.
Is that a legal thought you have at this moment? He is watching.