[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″]I have read some books about a boat at sea that loses all of its power, and how those on board are attempting to regain the boat’s power to move and steer the boat against the raging sea. Their survival or peril hangs in the balance according to what they do at this moment.[/x_custom_headline]
Although not a seaman myself, I can totally appreciate what it means to be dead in the water, completely at the mercy of the wind and the waves, because I have witnessed this same scenario over and over again as a minister.
As a pastor, I have dealt with the lives of hundreds of individuals as they have come under the attack of the enemy and faced the storms of life. Some of them come through to the other side of the storm without weakening, staying strong in their faith and their good confession still intact. But sadly, this is not the case with most people.
What I have witnessed with many people through my years of ministry, is that they are upbeat and victorious as long as they have no storms to endure or battles to fight. But if something comes along and knocks them backwards, then instead of taking the Word of God and acting on it to assure a breakthrough, they will instead use their words to cancel their victory. They begin to think thoughts that the devil is shooting at them, and then they become depressed. Then they stop praying and reading their Bible, and often stop coming to church, too. And all of these things taken together leaves them without any power, without communication, and no way to steer their lives out of the hurricane that has descended upon them.
So then their lack of obedience to God and their refusal to do things God’s way, the way they had been taught at church to act when their lives came under attack, leaves them dead in the water, and easy prey to an enemy who was wanting to sink them and bring them down all along.
Victorious people know what to do before the storms and the attacks, during the storms and attacks, and after the storms and attacks. They understand what it means to be consistent, regardless of their circumstances, and never wavering in their faith or their obedience to God and His Word. They know they must speak the Word only, even if their head is screaming at them, and they want to talk defeat and anger and unbelief.
You see, victorious people are willing to do what defeated people know to do, but are unwilling to do, and usually refuse to do. So they place themselves in a position to be dead in the water, completely adrift at sea, being tossed about in whatever way the wind and the sea chooses to toss them.
[x_blockquote cite=”James 1:22 NASU” type=”left”]“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”[/x_blockquote]
All the time the hearers of the Word were sitting beside the doers of the Word in church services, they had convinced themselves that they would always be victorious too, overcoming every storm of life they faced. But they were deluding themselves. Somehow they had listened to hours and hours of teaching, in some cases hundreds and even thousands of hours of teaching, yet missed the key ingredient of being a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.
And so then an attack comes against them and you can see happening in their lives what should never be seen happening in the lives of any Christian: Power failure! All of a sudden you can see it on their countenance, the lights have gone out. And then they begin drifting. They start skipping pre-service prayer, and mid-week services. When they speak, their words no longer sound like Jesus, but more like the Wicked One. Their speech has betrayed them.
And then things begin to crumble even further in their lives. They can go weeks at a time without attending church services. They go AWOL from their Bible time, prayer time, ministry of helps involvement, fellowship with their brothers and sisters in Christ, and from following the leadership of their pastor. And now they have cut themselves off completely from all hope of winning. Now they just want to survive…if they can.
Is that really how you want to live? Is there no fight of faith inside of you at all? Do you really want to be dead in the water, tossed and tumbling by the wind and waves of life?
To walk in victory you will have to answer these questions and be honest with yourself. Because if you don’t do what it takes to turn it around and become a doer of the Word, and not a hearer only, you not only will lose the battle, you may not even survive it.
Look closely at what Jesus said about this, and you will see exactly what I mean.
[x_blockquote cite=”Luke 6:46-49 NASU” type=”left”]”Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 “But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”[/x_blockquote]
It’s your choice. You can experience victory or defeat. You can overcome the enemy, or be overcome by the enemy. You can be a doer of the Word and sail on into the abundant life Jesus promised you. Or you can be a hearer of the Word only, and then when the storms of life come, just be dead in the water.