“Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters; They have seen the works of the LORD, and His wonders in the deep.
“For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths; Their soul melted away in their misery.
“They reeled and staggered like a drunken man, and were at their wits’ end.
“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distresses.
“He caused the storm to be still, so that the waves of the sea were hushed.
“Then they were glad because they were quiet, so He guided them to their desired haven.” (Psa 107:23-30)
Over my desk is a picture that my oldest son gave me as a gift. It is a picture of the disciples on the stormy sea of Galilee.
After Jesus calms the sea, the disciples asked a question among themselves,
“What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Mat 8:27)
Good question. More people need to ask that same question, today.
The question has been settled for me long years ago. I have met Jesus personally. I know what kind of Man He is. Over my many years, Jesus has been ever-present to guide me through the stormy seas of life. There have been quite a few.
But I can certainly understand why the disciples became alarmed on the stormy sea of Galilee.
I met her in dry dock in Seattle, Washington
The USS Calvert, was the oldest troop transport in the Pacific fleet and one of the most decorated. She was undergoing some needed repairs. This was in 1962. I had spent a year and a half in the Philippines, and now I was to serve as one of Calvert’s radiomen.
What an initiation! On our voyage down the coast to San Diego we met a fierce gale off of Oregon. I watched her bow disappeared beneath the waves and then rise up again. The old ship would shudder. It was electrifying.
But for the USS. Calvert it was business as usual. The old ship had seen greater storms than this one. She just kept right on course.
I will never forget my year and a half as a radioman on board the USS Calvert. We carried troops throughout the far east, always ready to make assault landings.
Anyway, many years later, the Lord gave me a dream about a ship. In the dream the Lord directed me to take the ship out from the coastal area and launch into the deep waters.
When I awoke, I understood my instructions. We were to move Christian Challenge away from the shallow emotional driven teachings that were making rounds in certain movements at that time, and launch out into the deep of God’s faithfulness.
It had been troubling me for some time how so many of the modern-day, teachings appealed strongly to man’s natural inclinations, yet seemed to have little regard for a true Christ-honoring walk with the Lord. It was rare to hear any teachings on repentance or on the second coming of Jesus Christ.
I will never forgot how a minister visiting our services, felt a need to caution me about preaching on the second coming of Jesus, that I was really out-of-step with today’s message. It didn’t take long to make clear my position on what he had to say.
My point – Where are the teachings on godly living, on having a sanctified heart, on having a heavenward focus and not an earthly focus?
No indeed, I am not against prosperity, but Biblical prosperity does not have its emphasis on dollars. It has to do with having a proper heart-relationship with the kingdom of God.
Jesus said it this way -
“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!
“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Mat 6:30-34)
Some people don’t catch the essence of what Jesus is saying. To seek ‘His kingdom’, means to seek God’s direct rule over your life, and not to seek to rule your own life. To seek ‘His righteousness’ means to seek His way of living.
David said it well enough – ‘He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.’
Over time I began to really appreciate what the apostle Paul meant, when he said,
” … we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.” (Eph 4:14-15)
Oh yes, we had to deal with some ridicule in the background, but it was my responsibility to live in obedience to the Lord.
Making Course Adjustments isn’t easy
Would you believe that making a change in course is a major part of every believer’s walk with the Lord. Even the apostles had to learn to separate misguided teachings from the truth of the new covenant. And believe me, it is very easy to get caught in unhealthy, misguided teachings.
Being under bad teachings does not mean a person isn’t saved. But when the light comes it is time for a course adjustment.
Is it easy to make a course adjustment? Not really. Sometimes these course adjustments will cause a separation from those that we hold dear.
It is interesting how so many years earlier, the Lord gave me the very same instructions that He gave to Jeremiah.
” … Before Me you will stand; and if you extract the precious from the worthless, you will become My spokesman.
“They for their part may turn to you, but as for you, you must not turn to them. Then I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; and though they fight against you, they will not prevail over you; for I am with you to save you and deliver you,’ declares the LORD. ‘So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.’” (Jer 15:19-21 NASB)
Are the Winds Blowing for You
Don’t think it strange. The winds of false teachings and false movements have blown across the church from its infancy. They seem to be growing stronger all the while. Do you feel like you are being battered about by strange winds?
Perhaps your ship needs to make a course adjustment. Maybe its your turn and your time to find the calm peaceful waters that belong to the covenant of God’s dear Son. The Lord wants to bring you into the safe harbor of His love.
Guess I need to find a stopping place. I would dearly love to hear from any of my readers who feel the Lord has spoken to them through this journal entry.
(You can write me personally – Buddy@ChristianChallenge.Org. – I am also on Facebook. You can message me there. https://www.facebook.com/BuddyMartin.)
Please take time to listen to ‘New Destiny Quartet’, as they sing, ‘Master of the Wind.’ The Lord would like to speak to your heart.
Your friend and brother in Christ,Buddy