Once, we were in the water, floundering, without any hope. We were afraid of the shark. Even when there’s no shark and the water seems pleasant, it’s only a matter of time before a storm comes along. Or, if we stay out there too long, we’ll get tired and drown. Either way, the water is the problem, even if we don’t see it at the moment. Whether it’s the sharks, or something else, the water is deadly. Like sin. If we stay there, we’re doomed.
That’s why Jesus came along, and offers to rescue us, to lift us into a boat with Him. Colossians 2:13-14 NLT says, “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.”
Sometimes, even after being rescued—when we’re in the boat—we feel like we’re not necessarily in the boat to stay, because we’re still surrounded by the water. We’re in the boat, but the dangers are still out there, and they make us wonder if the boat is secure. “What if I slip and fall back into the water?” “Is the boat capable of weathering a big storm… or protecting us from a big shark?” We begin to think “Now, if only could only get a bigger boat, a better one. Maybe we don’t need a new boat right away, but it’s clear that we’re going to need one eventually, because the water with all its dangers is just too close. And God’s going to provide that new boat, right? Because He provides for all our needs?”
Nope. There’s no new boat. The one you have is the one you get.
But something has to change, you say! Well, yes. Something does have to change. God has begun our salvation, but He hasn’t finished it yet (Colossians 3:4). So what is God going to do, if he’s not giving us a better boat?
Someday, He’s going to take away the water.
Remember, the water is really the problem. We needed rescuing in the first place because we were in the water. We were dead in our sin. The boat was our rescue (Colossians 3:1); it saved our life – past tense. It’s not the boat that’s going to save us, it’s the boat that already did! Yet even when we’re in the boat, we still worry about the water sometimes.
Remember when the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee at night, and the storm came up? The disciples were afraid of the water. And then Jesus came walking along on the water (that’s a reminder of why we don’t need to worry about the water), called to Peter, and Peter came walking to Jesus. But Peter “saw the waves” and then, he was in trouble (Matthew 14:30). He wasn’t in danger from the water, but he certainly believed he was. He doubted that Jesus could keep him safe from the water. But Jesus kept him safe, because that’s what Jesus does.
And that’s exactly the key: it’s really not the boat that keeps you safe from the water, but the boatman. No matter how small and insecure the boat ever seems, it’s perfectly safe–not because of the boat itself, but because of whose boat it is. The wind and the waves (not to mention the sharks) obey him, so they can never sink the boat.
We’re safe, because of Him, no matter how much we doubt at times. We’re already rescued (Colossians 1:13)! The water is still there, because Satan is still making trouble, but that’s temporary. Your rescue is done, and you’re safe and secure. No matter what, you’re never gonna need a better boat. The one you’ve already got is perfect. Because it’s got the perfect boatman.
If you missed out on this week's sermon, check it out here.