Spawning is a process that usually ends in death for fish. The fish battle rapid upstream currents, getting stuck between rocks, flipping out of the water onto the river bank, stranded with the possibility of being food for a predator. This upstream journey takes them thousands of miles from their warm water home in the ocean. Why do these aquatic creatures expose themselves to such torment and eventual death? Because they have a goal!
For the species to continue, they must leave the warm waters of the oceans and return to their nesting places. This means swimming upstream through cold rivers, lakes and creeks. It’s an inborn instinct for them to endure absurd, life threatening conditions. Each spring massive numbers (ten of thousands or more) of adult fish,of many species, begin this treacherous journey. However few make it to their destination. They usually return to areas in the northern United States, Canada and Alaska where they hatched several springs earlier. Once the female lays her eggs, she dies. Then the males come along, fertilizes the eggs and die as well. When the hatched eggs grow into small fry, they make the journey to warmer waters (for example; the Gulf of Mexico) to live most of their life until it’s time to travel to their instinctual destination, where they propagate the species. This process is truly astounding. When I recently saw photos of people with fresh caught salmon, I realized it was spawning season. As I thought about it, the idea brought verses of Scripture to mind.
Romans 12: 1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
1 John 4: 5-6 “They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”
Matthew 7: 13-14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”
We must plant and water the seeds of the one True Gospel of Repentance, Reconciliation, Redemption and Sanctification with anyone and everyone we know or meet! The Christian life means battling against all odds–the enemy, our old nature and the ways of the world.
Our Heavenly Father “gave” us all the armor we need for this battle. 1.) *the helmet of salvation* He gave us the payment required for sin by sending His Son, Jesus to die in our stead so that we may be set free from eternal death. 2.) *breastplate of righteousness* I may be theologically incorrect, but when I think of the ‘breastplate’ I see it as Jesus righteousness covering my sinful heart with His precious blood. 3.) *the girding of the Truth* I see this as a solid desire to live according to the Truth and not the lusts of the flesh; the eyes and the pride of life. Since it is the Truth, I see it as a place for the Sword of the Word. 4.) *shoes that are prepared with the Gospel* No matter where we go, He has given us the proper foot ware for the task–and that is hope 5.) *the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God* I believe we need to keep our sword sharpened, which can only be done by daily care by reading the Word with deliberate study. The sword is our only offensive weapon–again given to us our God to ward off the enemy (as Jesus did after His 40 days in the desert when tempted by Satan). If you keep a sword in the sheath for any length of time–it’s going to corrode and become useless! 6.) *the shield of faith* and we are told this is to quench the fiery darts of our enemy– 7.) *praying always with all prayer and supplication for all the saints* I believe we must use the beautiful gift of prayer, being able to speak to our Father through our Mediator Jesus Christ. Using for ourselves spiritually and for the True Church; the Body of Christ; the Bride of Christ throughout the world. So…with our Heavenly Father’s gifts and our Savior Jesus as Lord, we have no excuse in not fighting the many wiles of the enemy. Like the fish spawning, they are willing to forsake their life if need be to accomplish their job… are you and I willing to ” be more than conquerors through Him that loved us ” everyday, until our job here on earth is done? Are we faithful to swim upstream, as it were, to sow the seeds of the Kingdom of Heaven? ♥ Streim
One thought on “Swimming Upstream”
“The Christian life means battling against all odds–the enemy, our old nature and the ways of the world.” How very true! All we can do is rely upon the gracious intervention of the Lord to enable us to gain the victory in Him… I thank Him so much for the promise “greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world”!
Lord bless you. Thanks for the encouraging words!