Who’s in your boat?

Paul had been down in the bowels of the ship communing with God. Everyone else had been busy trying to figure out how to get through the storm when Paul stepped out into the middle of the ship and said, “Be of good cheer, for I believe God!” Everybody on this ship must have stood back for a moment and thought: “Here is a man who is on a journey that none of us would want to go on, but he is the man who has the Word of God! He not only has the Word of God, but God has given him everyone who sails with him!”

Paul was a man who, according to human reasoning, was going on the most distasteful journey of his life. But he was completely willing to follow God even unto death, not only to Jerusalem to be arrested, but now to Rome, and to Caesar. Paul was willing to go to prison, to do whatever God asked him to do. He was completely satisfied with the life that Christ had given him. He was on a totally different journey from everyone else. Nobody on this ship could understand it.

Nobody walking by their own abilities and their own will could remotely begin to understand Paul’s journey; and yet, he is the man with hope and life. His course is set, he has his spiritual compass in his hand, and by the Spirit he sees the end. His eye is singly focused; his whole body is full of light. It’s this man, Paul, who says, “Jesus, you are welcome on my boat, you are welcome into my life.” They have Paul in a physical boat, but it is not the physical boat that is carrying him. There is an unseen vessel taking him on his journey. In actuality he is in the hand of God and there is an evident split between the physical and the spiritual world.

It’s not that Paul didn’t go through hard times. Remember the Scripture where he said, For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life (2 Corinthians 1:8).

Paul went through storms himself, and knew difficulties and trials. However, somewhere along the line, he made the decision, “Jesus, you are welcome to be in the center of my storm. You are welcome into my boat.” In the natural it looked as though the Apostle Paul had lost his ministry and his credibility; but it is this same Apostle Paul on a journey with God who writes much of the New Testament while in jail.

Brothers and Sisters, you may not like the journey God has you on right now. Initially, it might be incredibly distasteful, but if you will obey God, he will bring your children, your grandchildren, your sons, your daughters, your neighbors, your friends, your entire family, to safety in Christ. It will not just be you who will be saved, but all the people who sail with you! He will give them to you because they will see your steadfastness in the midst of their storm; they will see a light in your eye when their eyes have become dim. They will see a rock under your feet when they are sinking in quicksand, and they will see you standing in the midst of the same opposition and difficulty that faces every man, woman, and child, ever born into this world. You, however, will be standing with purpose, with an objective, and with words of hope to a dying generation! You know what your life is about! You know where you are going! And God says, “Not just you, but I will give you all those who sail with you! I will pour out of you living water for those who are thirsty!

I will make your life a compass for those who are confused in this darkened generation!” God says, “I am going to send you on a journey and it’s not going to be your journey any longer—it’s my journey. All you have to do right now is to invite me into your boat.”