I remember my first snorkeling experience. We rented our equipment, listened to some safety tips and instruction, then off to the perfect cove where the water was calm. I thought, how hard can this be? Just put your mask and fins on, mouthpiece in and you're ready to go. I had a few problems in the beginning (hyperventilating), but after a few trial runs I had it down.
We've all seen the underwater world in books, movies/TV, so we have an idea of what to expect. But, to see it in person is something else. It's not just the beauty of colorful fish and coral; it's the excitement and adventure of trying something new and seeing it for yourself. There was so much beauty around me and I didn't want to miss out on anything, so...I spent a little too much time under water. My snorkeling experience ended abruptly when I came up out of the water to discover I was far away from the shore!! How did this happen? Seriously, I didn't go out very far on my own.
Those subtle little currents took me out farther than expected or I ever wanted to go. I was so enthralled with all that was around me that I didn't take time to see where I was at (to look up). Why didn't the instructor tell us to watch out for this? Maybe he did and I didn't hear. Even if I did hear, would I have followed his instruction?
This reminds me of God's Word. “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22). God's Word also says: “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me,’ for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:13-15).
Satan is good at enticing us and dragging us away with those "subtle little currents." Before we know it, we're farther away from God than we expected or ever wanted to be. We're actually surprised when we find ourselves in trouble...so far away from the shore (God).
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
That's a promise! God can only provide a way out if you turn to Him and ask for help. We also need to be aware of where we're at. We need to be looking up and checking in on our walk/relationship with Jesus.
The following scriptures are some of God's "instructions" to help keep God number One and Satan out:
Hebrews 4:12 - memorize and meditate on scripture --the Word destroys mental strongholds.
1 John 5:14-15 - prayer opens up the windows of heaven.
2 Cor. 10:4-5 - think about what you're thinking about --the mind is the battlefield.
Psalm 9:1-2 - take a praise pause.