Like a Ship Anchored in the Deep

HMS_Black_Prince_(1861)Heb 6:17-19 “God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” (NLT)

God’s promises are not changeable. He doesn’t get mad and then change His mind. He is solid, stable, and secure. The Word says, ‘He bound Himself with an oath.’ It is impossible for Him to lie. Once He gives His Word are a done deal. The promises in His Word are yea and amen, ‘yes and so be it.’

No matter what He will not change His mind. No matter your situation, He is there.

A ship crosses the ocean with a large sail, relying on the wind. It’s a large, beautiful vessel. In the harbor, other ships are around and things are comfortable. Everything is good. We’re loaded down and prepared for a journey. Then, you can see the rain coming, thunder and lightning, and a mighty wind.

Conventional wisdom, the safe thing to do, would be to get off the boat, but it’s our life. What do we do? We don’t stay in the harbor. Instead, we go further out. We don’t stay in shallow water, close to other boats. We go further out to deep water. When the waters are deep enough, at that point, they drop anchor and move either forward or backward to set the anchor. Once the anchor is secure, they will close the sails. They want to make sure the wind has little influence on the ship. With the anchor set and the waters deep, the ship can rise and fall with the waves. They are safe, but the rain and the wind and the waves batter against the ship. The sounds are scary, the water comes over the side.

The new crew might be terrified and ask that the captain throw over the cargo, but that’s old logic. The cargo actually weighs down the ship and keeps it from turning side to side. The captain knows what he’s doing. Those boats survive without damage and the crew is saved.

The ships in harbor are destroyed by other ships or by the land.

Jesus said a lot of stuff about this life and this world. One thing stands out so often when going through hard times.

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Stop looking for comfort in what conventional logic says to do. You don’t need to talk about it or be around friends or family. The ship master took the ship into the deep. He went away, alone. Get away from the crowd, away from the safety we find in the group. Go to the Captain of the ship and obey Him. Go deep. In the deep waters drop your anchor. Don’t be moved. Be at peace in the presence of the Lord. That’s where the anchor holds—in the deep. Go to the deep and stay there.

Psalm 42:7-8 “Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.”

Don’t slow down on your prayer life during trials. Don’t stop reading your Bible. Instead, get deep. Set your anchor.

Move to set your anchor. Listen to God and obey Him. Fast, get away from things for a while, news, media, etc.

Draw in those sails. Close those sails so the wind doesn’t affect you.

Psalm 1:1 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

Why is it when you’re going through a trial, some joker comes along that says they know the answer to your problem? The weird thing it, they sound good. You’ve got to get your sails in. Or maybe someone in the church who actually loves you and knows Jesus, but it’s still not quite right.

Proverbs 16:25 “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

Listen to the voice of God. The waves still sound awful, the thunder terrifying.

Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

Don’t forget the miracles and all that God has done for you. Remember His Word. Obey His Word. Don’t let go. Don’t throw over the cargo. That’s what will stabilize you.

Peter was in prison and it looked like he was going to die, but he remembered he would grow old before he was to die. That’s what was prophesied over him.

David remembered what God had done for him. He faced an impossible enemy with a slingshot and a stone. Remember when God has broken through and did a miracle for you. That hope that you have in Him, hold onto it.

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

You don’t know how it all fits, but God will keep His promises.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Set that anchor. Don’t listen to the world or what appears to be sound advice. Wait upon the Lord.

Remember all the things that God has done for you or spoken to you; this will stabilize you through the storm.

If there was anybody who had a reason to forget the promise and the hope and the anchor, it was Joseph. However, he had an ‘excellent spirit’ through it all. He found favor in whatever situation he was in. Because he was able to endure his storm, years of slavery, years of prison, he went from the lowest to the low to the second most powerful man in the entire nation.

It was never just for Joseph. It was so he could save his family, even an entire nation.

Abraham was getting ready to sacrifice his child. That was a storm in his life. It was his only child! Abraham knew, he counted God faithful, he knew God would keep His Word no matter what. That hope is what kept him. He obeyed God.

Peter knew what Jesus had spoken, the promise over his life. The anchor held.

Paul knew what had been prophesied over him. He knew he would stand before Caesar. The anchor held.

The same thing happens today. Pastor Yonts held onto that anchor in spite of terrible trials. He was faithful in spite of losing two children. Because of his faithfulness, we have a pastor today. You can hold onto that same anchor. A normal man understood that the anchor will hold. It may not make sense, but it is impossible for God to lie.

Even when good people say stupid things, the Anchor will hold. God has bound Himself with an oath to YOU!

God has not changed His mind. His promises are without repentance. He will do what He has to do to push you in the direction that He wants you to go. His goal is to get you in the place He wants you to be.

If the Lord sees something broke and not right, He won’t leave it alone. He will fix it. He will do something about it. This brings a storm or a trial or something awful into your life. The sooner you recognize it and trust God and obey Him, the sooner you will find that that Anchor holds.

Find that place in God that is deep. Let your ship rise and fall with the tide. Set that anchor. Don’t move.

Eph 6:13 “…and having done all, to stand.”

Go deep. Set your anchor. Pull in the sales. Rejoice in all that God has done for you, is doing for you, and will do for you.

You know what God has said. You know what He wants. You can almost see the promise fulfilled, but it seems so far.

When you put cookies or cake in the oven and you see them start to brown, and you want to take them out and eat now, but it’s not done yet. Don’t step out of the will of God because you’re so anxious to see that promise fulfilled. Listen to Him and follow.

Even if you’ve failed in past storms, you can still go deep and drop anchor and stand.

If Moses can step out of God’s will and God can still fix it. Moses messed up and killed the Egyptian, then he went on and led Israel.

God is not just God of the second chance. He is the God of another chance. He doesn’t keep score. He will help you to repent and then go deep again.

God is not here to judge or condemn or belittle. He is here to strengthen you, to give you what you need, to put His arm around your shoulders and say, ‘I’ve got this.’

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Skip Christo.

For full audios of  our sermons, click here.

If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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About ChristinaLi

Christina Li, BA, MA, is a wife, mother of five, journalist, and author. She believes life is an adventure and has seen first hand the miraculous that happens when you say 'yes' to God. Besides writing, she loves tea, black, green, or white, and coffee, fresh roasted by her wonderful husband. Check out her books at: amazon.com/author/christinali
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