Monday, 6 June 2016

Are you in the right boat?

Is your life full of stormy weather?
Maybe it's because you're in the wrong boat.

You see, there are two types of boats in life. 


Boats that are heading in the right direction 
Boats that are heading in the wrong direction.

Both boats can experience calm sailing. 
Both boats can encounter stormy seas.


Both boats come in all shapes and sizes.

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It's the direction of the voyage that makes all the difference. 

Is it right or is it wrong?

But how do you discern which boat you are in?
How do you know when to abandon ship?
How do you know when to change boats?
And WHO is choosing which boat we are in anyway?



It seems to me, the answer to these questions could be vitally important if we are to navigate successfully through life and journey to the right destination. No one wants to get to the end of their life to discover they had fought hard to overcome the worst of life's hurricanes, only to end up at the wrong destination. Nothing could be more demoralising.

Maybe the first question should really be, what is the right destination? For if we don't know that...well everything else is really quite pointless.

3 Clues You're in the Wrong Boat.

1. Are you running away from God's expressed wish to you? Three times we are told that Jonah "ran away from God", after God revealed his will to him. God had commanded Jonah to go and boldly call the people of Nineveh to repent. Jonah deliberately disobeyed and jumped on a boat headed in the opposite direction. It was a deliberate choice of disobedience.  He didn't like what God had to offer. He didn't call it good. He didn't call it pure.

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2. Is your storm a result of God disciplining you? You may already know the answer to that. If not, just genuinely ask Him. In my experience, if every time I open the Word of God, the LORD God is telling me he is disciplining me, then that is a clear sign, I am doing something wrong. In Jonah's case, he knew without asking the LORD. A storm of discipline only comes when we are in the wrong boat.
"I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you." Jonah 1:12


3. You need to abandon ship if you are to obey God. Sometimes the only solution in an enormous storm is to abandon ship and throw yourself on the mercy of God. When faced with a sinking ship in a storm of discipline, Jonah threw himself on the mercy of God and asked to be thrown into the stormy sea.
"Pick me up and throw me into the sea" He replied, "and it will become calm."Jonah 1:12
His intention? Jonah believed it would be better to lose his life, than to try going on living in a boat sailing further into disobedience. In Jonah chapter 2 we read of Jonah's prayer of repentance to the LORD as he sunk deeper and deeper into the ocean. His longing for God and obedience to God was greater than his longing for life itself.

Is this how you feel towards God?
Would your life be worthless if it was not lived in obedience to the LORD?
"When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple." "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs" Jonah 2:7,8
Are you clinging to a worthless idol?
That is what disobedience is. An idol in your life.
Oh that you would abandon yourself onto the mercy of God and value your life as worth nothing without God.
Jesus said "If anyone would come after  me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Of what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matt 16:24-26
Paul put it this way. "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith." Phil 3:7-9 

My Story of the Deep.

When the LORD God asked me to wean myself off using pharmaceuticals to manage my allergies and Hashimoto's Disease, I thought I would die. I didn't know then that they were hurting me, with all their side effects. I didn't know then that there would be a better alternative for my body, using natural medicines. All I could see at the time was my own wall of fear. My own idol of terror.

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At that time, I knew that to obey God, I too would have to overcome the same storm that Jonah did. If I was to obey, I would need to decide that living in obedience to what Christ was calling me to do, was worth far more to me, than continuing my journey deeper into disobedience.  I literally felt that I was like Jonah; utterly dependent on my God for mercy.

And he gave me mercy. For many years now, I have not used any pharmaceuticals and have relied on natural medicine. Slowly but surely my allergies dissipated. Slowly but surely my Hashimoto's Disease healed, as I walked in obedience to his word. The LORD had had a better plan for my body.  I needed to overcome my own fear and terror and trust him. I needed to change boats. I needed to call His boat - good.

I do not know what the LORD God will ask you to do. But let me say one thing. Pray and seek Him earnestly. Soak yourself day and night in his Word, the Bible. Beg Him to teach you and equip you to obey; and He will.
















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