Monday, July 27, 2015

Faith and Safe Sailing

UV 1482/10,000 Faith and Safe Sailing
Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
I Timothy 1 v 19
Faith is like a sail of a ship. It catches the winds of God’s mercy, grace and peace. The conscience is like a GPS or direction finder that keeps the ship going in the right direction. Even an error of a single degree would take the ship to a completely different destination. There is a need for mapping our route and studying it diligently such that it is adhered to. Even if at times one goes off course, the conscience prompted by the Holy Spirit will make mid-stream corrections. Those who deliberately set aside their faith, yield to their lusts and depart from a righteous path are like ships that get wrecked on the rocks. Instead, if they look to the lighthouse of the Word and follow the commandments of God and believe in His promises, the ship that represents life will be on a safe course.

The Lord has charted the course of our lives in His Word. If we stick to the paths He has indicated, we will be safe even in choppy waters and in the storms of life. We will not be diverted or wander away from Him. The rudder of wisdom will enable us to judge if our vessel is off course or if it has developed a leak. The desire or zeal to serve the Lord will be the fuel or motivation that keeps us up and running.

Noah began building a huge ark even as the weather was good and the land was dry. It was his faith in God’s Word and His willingness to implicitly obey that enabled him to do so. His contemporaries laughed at him for his madness. Sometimes, even today people laugh at our faith and call us crazy. Noah sealed all the gaps in the ark with tar. Similarly, we should seal the gaps and holes in our faith. Our conscience should always be kept clean like a compass. The ark of our faith will withstand all the tests we face in life. Just as Noah’s Ark landed safely on Mount Ararat, the Lord will prepare a safe landing for us. Jonah did not obey God to be His messenger to Nineveh and as a result, the ship he was travelling in ran the risk of shipwreck. St Paul while on a ship that ran aground was able to save himself and others from drowning as his faith was strong and he knew the Lord was in control of the situation. The disciples panicked even as Jesus slept peacefully as their boat was rocked uncontrollably by the winds and waves of the storm in the Sea of Galilee. But Jesus on being awakened by them commanded the storm to be still. We too can use our authority in Christ by faith to command the storms that we face in life to be still. We must stop being deluded that we are the captain of the ship. Jesus is the only competent captain of the ship of our lives. Leadership is best left in His able hands. He will not let us shipwreck.

Prateep V Philip

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