Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Trouble in Your Way? Stay in the Ship

Acts 27:31

31Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.

Trouble in your Way? Stay in the Ship

This story in Acts is very good. Paul had warned his captors not to sail when they did. They left based on their experience and knowledge of the sea, and found themselves in a terrible, ship-killing storm.

It's hard to convince someone who's an expert at something to change their mind, especially if you don't have credentials or experience equivalent or better than theirs. Timothy ran in to this when Paul encouraged him to 'despise not thy youth'. Sailors are no exception. Those who have sailed know the sea. They've seen the sea's moods and states. They take pride in recognizing the signs of storms and calms. They usually learn this stuff the hard way, so they are comfortable in their knowledge and experience.

So, when some non-sailing preacher comes along touting that he knows something they don't, that wicked combination of pride, experience and spite gets together and makes it impossible for them to do anything but what THEY know. Later, they found out that the preacher was right. They didn't understand WHOM he knew.

Trouble comes from alot of different sources. When it's time for maturing eagles to leave the nest, the parents 'trouble' the nest to make it uncomfortable for them to stay. When the waters at Bethsaidia were 'troubled' healing happened, if you got in 'trouble' first. Then there's the kind of trouble these experienced, salty sailors found. Storms that seemed set on capsizing the ship and killing all onboard. The kind of trouble that overwhelms you with its size and capacity for destruction. The kind of trouble that comes from tornadoes, fires, floods, loss of income, divorces, sicknesses, deaths.

The natural thing to do is to get as far away from the touble as possible. But God isn't natural. He says stay.

When we belong to God, He accepts responsibility for our well being. That's not just when we're obedient, but all times. There are some problems we bring on ourselves, like these sailors who left port despite the Godly instruction to stay. We spend more than we make. We do things to our body that weaken or destroy it, both inside and out. We keep company with people and things that detract from our best selves. We set sail in waters that appear fine, but are unsafe up ahead. And the Lord keeps us.

Even when the trouble is of our own doing, we have safety in the ship. The natural tendency will be to run away and hide, but salvation is in the ship. Paul recorded that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, them that are called according to HIS purpose (Romans 8:28). That means the good things, the things from God, and the things that we pull into the picture. They all work together for our good.

Our trouble is no challenge to God. Only our willingness to trust Him...obey Him. These are the real challenges...the real mountains.

So, dear ones, speak to your mountain. Only tell it that you are choosing to trust God. Tell your storm that blow as it may, you're staying in fellowship with God and that you choose to believe Him over the wind. Tell the flood waters that your spiritual house is built on the solid rock of Christ and you shall not be moved. Tell your sickness that you were already healed by His stripes and that no matter the symptoms present, it had no authority in your body today. When temptation and disobedience come to call, tell them you're busy praising and praying to God. You'll see them another time.
Jesus told us not to be surprised when troubles come. He said He was persecuted, so we would be too. When we accept salvation, we become the sworn enemy of God's advisary. That old rascal can no longer win our soul from God, so he focuses on keeping us as far away from our calling as possible. And usually, with trouble.
There's an old song, 'Trouble in my Way...I hafta cry sometimes'. But remember, even it ends with 'Jesus, He will fix it, afterwhile.' It's okay to cry. Just remember to cry out to God.

Psalm 27:5 (The Whole Psalm fits...)

5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

At Fellowship, we have room in our ship for you.

Lifeline is produced from the Evangelistic Ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA. You are encouraged to share this message. The Fellowship Church website (www.fcchosengeneration.com) includes a link to the Lifeline Blog (www.lifelineatfellowship.blogspot.com) where you can find previous messages. Evangelist Robinson also posts her entries on Facebook and Twitter. To subscribe to the mailing, or for questions and comments, tweet (@evangeliststeff) or send email to fellowship_lifeline@yahoo.com. Fellowship Church can be reached at chosen.gen@att.net.
Fellowship Church
Where Passions Become Reality
Because You Are a Chosen Generation
455 Highway 138 W, STE C
Jonesboro, GA 30236
Alton Watkins, Pastor