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Succeeding in life: learning to throw | Religion

I am not a fisherman and have never pretended or pretended to be one.

But growing up on the Virginia coast, with bodies of water in just about any direction, eventually someone will take you fishing. It was elementary school summer camp for me.

I had no rod or reel; I just got an old cane fishing rod. I didn’t look as cool as the other kids, but I caught a fish as big as anyone else.

The interesting thing about a cane fishing rod: there is no casting involved. You simply put your baited hook and bobber in the water and wait for movement.

If you are using a rod and reel, the technique is somewhat different. You can fish much further from shore, but you have to learn how to cast.

As for me, I wasn’t too good at it. No one in my family fished. None of my friends have fished. I never developed the passion for fishing like some I’ve met over the years.

Therefore, I never learned how to cast a fishing lure.

But I learned to throw away my worries. Or, as Peter wrote, “Put all your cares on Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

It’s a verse that makes a great bumper sticker or cross stitch to hang in your bathroom, but what does it really mean? And how do you learn to “lay your worries on him?”

The first thing to do to help us understand this verse is to read it in context. Let’s go back a few verses, see what it says, then read a few verses beyond that.

“Likewise, you younger ones, submit yourselves to the elders. Yes, all be subject to one another and put on humility, because “God resists the proud, but he is gracious to the humble”. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your cares on Him, for He takes care of you. Be sober and watchful, for your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he will devour. Resist him firmly in faith, knowing that the same afflictions are being tried by your fellowship throughout the world” – 1 Peter 5:5-9 (MEV)

If we want to follow Peter’s instructions, we must first submit to those above us in faith. How do you submit? Just do what they tell you to do.

Years ago, the pastor of the church I attended wanted all musicians in the church, of which I was a part, to be certified for prison service. He wanted to have live music when he preached.

I was obedient and received the required training. The first time we pulled into the jail parking lot, I remember thinking, “God missed the pastor, I’m not supposed to be here. However, the pastor knew exactly what he was doing.

Eventually, I took over the prison ministry. It was there that I learned to manage a group of volunteers, to speak in front of a crowd and to flow in the anointing.

Submitting to an elder, as Peter said, means you will stop resisting. If they recommend something specific to your life, like fasting or prayer or a particular Bible study, then it would behoove you to be obedient.

Resisting or being disobedient would imply that you knew better. It could also be a definition of pride, meaning thinking that you know what is best. I would like to warn you of what Peter warned: “God resists the proud, but he is gracious to the humble.

When you are obedient, whether you agree with those above you or not, or whether or not you understand what they are asking of you, you humble yourself before their leadership. And then you also open yourself to receive the grace of God.

If you want to resist anything, resist the devil. Resist his thoughts, ideas and actions.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you recently saw a doctor who diagnosed you with an illness. As an elder, I’m going to tell you to put the Word of God first. Take the healing scriptures found in Isaiah 53:5, Matthew 8:17, and 1 Peter 2:24 and memorize them immediately. Whenever you feel any pain or symptom, speak these scriptures aloud; remind the devil that you are cured. Refuse to believe what the devil tells you, but instead choose to believe God’s promise.

How did you react to that last paragraph? Have you considered it as a possible course of action? Or did you reject it outright? Your reaction will tell whether you are resisting God or the devil.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you have to do what I say. What I wonder is what are you resisting? Are you resisting the advice I just gave you? Or are you resisting the devil?

Many Christians today will resist the elders and not think of siding with the devil.

“How can I say I’m cured when I have all these symptoms?” they will argue, not realizing that grace becomes available when you submit to God (and those He has placed above you) and resist the devil.

Entrusting your care to Him is easier said than done. But by learning to submit to God’s guidance and direction and refusing to believe what the devil tells you, it can be done.

Tim Hughes is a lay minister and elder at Ascension Life Church in Athens. He can be reached at

Tim Hughes is a lay minister and elder at Ascension Life Church in Athens. He can be reached at