I love reading about the history of sail and immersing myself in fiction set aboard tall ships. One of the things you notice reading books like that is it takes a lot of skilled people to handle a ship. You need someone to captain, someone to chart the course, someone to manage upkeep tasks, people to hoist the sails, and a whole host of other jobs. In addition to having a navigator on board, ships would also hire local pilots when going through unfamiliar waters to make sure they didn’t run aground or go off course.
As we’ve talked about before, the Bible uses analogies of storms at sea to show us how invested Jesus is in keeping us afloat. But storms aren’t the only time we need Him. We also need Him to help navigate our lives. Even in situations that seem familiar and easy to handle there’s a chance of something unexpected showing up that we’ll need help navigating. And in situations where we have no idea what to do, we need to make extra sure we bring Him on as our pilot.
Jeremiah said, “I know, Adonai, that a man’s way is not his own, nor does man, as he walks, direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23, TLV). We don’t have complete power over our destinations or the course we take. We can influence them, we can plan our course and work hard to achieve our goals, but ultimately God is the one in control (Prov. 16:9). That’s why we’re better off if we trust Him from the get-go.
Then you will take delight in the Lord,Psalm 37:4-5, NET
and he will answer your prayers.
Commit your future to the Lord.
Trust in him, and he will act on your behalf.
Without God, we’re like ships that haven’t got a stabilizing anchor or a navigator to steer them. In one evocative passage, Isaiah speaks to some of Israel’s and God’s enemies saying, “Your rigging is untied. They couldn’t strengthen the foot of their mast. They couldn’t spread the sail” (Is. 33:23, WEB). We don’t want to end up like that. We want to be like “Those who go down to the sea in ships” and “see Yahweh’s deeds and his wonders in the deep” as He “he brings them to their desired haven” (Ps. 107:23-30, WEB). We want to be like the psalmist who asked, “Guide me in the path of your commands, for I delight to walk in it (Ps. 119:35, NET).
We live in uncertain times. It’s easy to be afraid as we face unknowns, but that’s not how God means for us to live. He means for us to live boldly, trusting that He knows what He’s doing as He guides our course. When we trust Him to navigate and use His word as the guidebook for our lives, He will bring us to a good destination.
May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love, and into the perseverance of Christ.2 Thessalonians 3:5, WEB
Featured image by David Mark from Pixabay
Song Recommendation: “They Word” by Amy Grant