Yesterday was Sunday. As with most every other Sunday, you will find me at Grace Fellowship Church in Flint, Texas.
During the sermon, Pastor Robert told a story about bustin’ a hole in the bottom of his boat out on the lake one day. Robert talks about hunting and fishing quite a bit…lol.
Christ did too though. Most of his disciples were fishermen. Once, out in a boat, He gave them specific instructions that, once the fishermen did as He said, resulted in a catch that was waaay over the boat’s capacity (John 21)
Why did Christ talk about fishing so much? Well, He was a carpenter. And most of the carpenters I have known all loved to fish…coincidence? I dunno.
Anyway, Christ used analogies a lot. I have found that, when He used an analogy, no matter how far you followed the analogy, it worked. He used fishing so, by association, the fishing boat can be used just as successfully. The fishing boat is a form of ‘water-born vessel’….and scripture refers to us as vessels prepared for every good work (Romans 9:21, 2 Timothy 2:21)
As Robert was telling the story about the hole in the boat, he made this statement: “the water is supposed to be OUTSIDE the boat.” I found this statement rather profound actually. He compared us to the boat in as much as, being in the world, the world is not supposed to be in us. He told of how he made a beeline back to the trailer.
This got me thinking. My mind kept going with the fishing boat analogy. When we become a child of God, we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17.) So, think of it as getting a new bass boat. The boat and trailer are clean. They don’t smell like lake water.
Once Christ has washed you and made you new, you don’t wanna get messed up again by the world do you? Now, you could love your boat to a point to where you keep it out of the lake and in pristine condition. But, then, what would be the point to having the boat?
You bought the boat to go fishing in…that’s what it was made for. Christ drew us to Him for the purpose of drawing others to Him until His return. We are COMMISSIONED to fish (Mark 16:15-18.)
Now, you can fish from the shore if ya want…from solid ground. But you get the bigger catches out towards the middle of the lake in deeper water. This means putting the boat in the water.
Putting the boat in the water comes with risk. But if you follow the safety rules and the proven operational practices, you can mitigate a lot of it. In our lives, scripture and the experiences of other cover this. Does that mean nothing inconvenient or bad won’t happen? No.
What if you run out of gas?…or tag your prop on a stump?…or your steering wheel comes off in your hand? Well, more than likely, lake patrol or another boater will throw you a line and tow you in. And you may make a new friend, ya never know. Inconveniences can be blessings too.
Out in the middle, though, is where the exciting catches are. But, in our lives, just as in a boat, we need to keep the lake OUTSIDE the boat. We are to be IN the world (because that’s where we are commissioned by Christ to go) but not OF the world.
If you’ve been in a boat on the lake before, you know that the lake splashes in as you move around the lake. As we go through life, we screw up. We do things that Christ wouldn’t be happy with. The world splashes on us. Does this mean we are no longer able to be used by Christ for His Kingdom? Absolutely not! We get down on ourselves waaay to easily sometimes.
When you put the boat back on the trailer after a day of fishing, you generally wash the boat down right? Jesus can clean the little bit of the world that has splashed on us off of us. If you clean your boat every trip, it cleans up easier. Keeping your boat clean goes a long way in the continues good operation of the boat as a whole.
If something extreme happens and the lake is coming into the boat through means other than just a splash here and there, we need to make a beeline back to the trailer to get the boat out of the water as expediently as possible. There will come a point when there is too much lake IN the boat and it will sink.
Is this the end of the boat? It doesn’t have to be. We can sink out in the world and as with a boat, it can be brought back up from the bottom and made operational again. With a boat, it all depends on how much you liked the boat as to how much you are willing to spend salvaging it. Christ spent His LIFE on me…I thing he likes me enough to salvage me.
We need to allow our owner to keep us in good shape. Yes, I said owner. That is not just an analogy. He purchased us with a price. He covered our debts in return for forfeiture of all assets. We are bond-servants. Truth be told, we are all slaves to SOMETHING or SOMEONE. May as well make ourselves a slave to someone that a) has authority over all creation and b) has our best interests at heart. ‘He who is in the world’ can make neither of those claims…just sayin’ (1 John 4:4.)
Y’all stay safe and keep a round in the chamber…