Daily Devotional for Tuesday February 17, 2009
Swimming with the Sharks
(1 John 4:4)
Swimming with the sharks. One of the highlights of the 2009 Florida State Fair, waa 5,000 gallon tank with 4 sharks. Right after the Florida State Fair opened, I was asked by Fair public relations people if I would like to go into the shark tank and swim with the sharks. Immediately, about 10 different sermons came into my head around the topic of swimming with the sharks.
Despite the fact that I am a huge coward when it comes rats, wild animals, roller coasters, skydiving, and any other "thrill seeking escapades," I realized that the publicity would help more people know about Liveprayer and we could actually produce an exciting 4-5 minute YouTube video with a powerful salvation message. So I agreed to get into the tank dressed in my suit, with my Bible, and swim with the sharks at 3pm on Friday the 13th.
One hour before I was supposed to take my swim with the sharks, I got a phone call telling me that it was called off and I would not be able to get into the tank with the sharks. It was explained that due to the big crowds at the exhibit, the fact several news reporters had already been in the tank over the first week of the fair, the sharks were "agitated," "upset," and acting "very aggressive."
Their handlers felt it might be dangerous for me to go in with them and called it off. Part of me was upset since I was mentally ready and looking forward to the video we could produce, but in all honesty, another part of me was relieved. The Tampa press had come to cover the event, probably in case things didn't go well for me, and here is a link to one of the articles in the Saturday, February 14th St. Petersburg Times, http://www.tampabay.com/news/religion/article975941.ece
Despite the fact I didn't get in the tank last Friday and swim with literal sharks, the reality is, by virtue of living in this fallen and sin-filled world we all swim with the sharks every day. Circling us, never far away is the shark of sexual immorality, the shark of sickness and disease, the shark out to destroy marriages, the shark of addiction, the shark of greed, the shark of financial woes, the shark of pride, the shark of the false religions and cults, the shark of depression, the shark of suicide, the shark of hopelessness, and many other sharks satan uses to "kill, steal, and destroy" lives and take as many to hell as he possibly can!
However, in 1 John 4:4, Believers have promise from God that says, "Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." That means that the power of God that resides within a Believer is greater than any of satan's powers. That means that there is no shark satan can unleash in your life that you can't defeat. That means that you can live your life in complete and total victory.
I know today that many reading these words are facing great battles. Because of the economic crisis we are experiencing, many are out of work and need jobs. Many are losing their homes. Many are facing incredible financial difficulties. Please know today that God has not left you nor forsaken you and that His power resides within you to guide you thru this difficult period with your peace and joy in tact.
Many others today are facing great challenges with your health. Still others are in bondage to some addiction. Others have marriages in turmoil and other relationships that need to be healed and restored. I want you to know today that whatever your battle may be, whatever sharks may be circling you and preparing to attack you today, GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN YOU, THAN HE (or any shark) THAT IS IN THE WORLD!!!
I love you and care about you so much. Please know that I will be praying for you today. Now is the time to exercise your faith in God. God knew my heart, and to serve Him, I was willing to do something that I really didn't want to do. God tested me right up until the last minute, than mercifully allowed circumstances to come together to deliver me from having to actually get in that tank and swim with the sharks.
I want you to know that today, no matter what your problems, what sharks are attacking you, the same God who delivered you 5 years ago, the same God who delivered you 3 years ago, the same God who delivered you last year, the same God who delivered you last month, is the very same God who will deliver you today!!! Yes, the world is full of sharks that are looking to destroy you, but God has given you the power to defeat those sharks and live a life of victory!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller