Not So Gently Down The Stream


Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, May 24, 2015
Based Upon John 6:15-21

I’d like to share an incredible story with you. The Bible says: “When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.” (John 6:15–21).

I told you this was an incredible story. Now, what can we learn from it? Let me ask you a question: Have you ever embarked upon a day or some journey in life without Jesus? Or, have you ever been with Jesus at a point in time and then realized along the way that you did not welcome Him into your present experience? Was it a dark hour in your life? Did the winds of life arise against you as you rowed your spiritual boat against the strong currents of trials and tribulations? Maybe you chose a mate without asking God His view of the matter and it became the relationship from the pit. Perhaps you ventured into a disagreement between two other people, thinking you could help without first seeking divine aid, and suddenly it seemed you were the problem. Perchance you entered into business negotiations with some person or entity that became a disaster, because of a technicality in the contract you never bargained for.

It is possible that you got up one morning, and because you thought you had no time for devotion with God, you rushed out into your day planning to catch up with God another time, and everything seemed to go wrong. And, so you rowed-and-rowed your boat some more, not-so-gently down the stream, doing your level-best to get through your day or that complicated problem, only to realize the were are getting nowhere fast. What should you do?

There are times in our lives where many of us neglect our time with God and life has its way with us. We become bogged down, beaten, and bloodied by circumstances that otherwise would have been handled by God’s grace. The trials, though they must invariably come, would have been met with the power of God and His ability to build our characters for His glory, as we are refined as pure gold. In cases like these, what should we do? What can we do?

Look up.

We must look up and perceive the presence of God. But, when we see Him walking effortlessly upon our difficulties, instead of being fearful that He will indict or punish us, we must not fear. We have the privilege of receiving Him willingly into our spiritual ship and immediately, we will arrive at the place where He wills for us to be. When we make it a priority to welcome God into our experience, He will always guide us safely through the trials we must certainly face, and will ultimately carry us to our destination—eternity with Him.

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