If you watch the news you may have been relieved when the four remaining of the twenty-four crew members from the cargo ship ‘Golden Ray’ were rescued alive and well. At present the actual cause for the capsize is still under investigation. I heard an experienced seaman talk about one possibility that could have caused the disaster, a failure to load the cargo properly and not having proper ballast. He told how cargo ships need to have sea water pumped into ballast tanks in the bottom of the ship to keep them from being top heavy. He thinks the captain may have been waiting to get out to sea to fill the ballast tanks and upon making a turn the cargo shifted and the ship being top heavy capsized. We will see if his theory is true, but it did give me thoughts of how a Christian can be capsized in their faith.
I also thought the name of the ship the ‘Golden Ray’ was interesting. Nothing delights the devil more than when God’s children who you might say are ‘golden rays’ of light for His kingdom get overturned in faith and put out of commission. It can happen easily especially when we don’t maintain ourselves spiritually. It happens when we don’t keep our spiritual ballast tank full. Just like a ship needs to have proper ballast to sail safely so does the Christian need the same. The following verse explains what I mean…
Galatians 5:16-18 “…walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
We are encouraged to walk in the Spirit. What does that mean? Does it mean that you have a wonderful feeling and have the goosebumps? Interestingly the word ‘walk’ comes from a Greek word peripateó. It is a compound word. The first part of the word peri means to set perimeters or a place. The second part of the word pateó means to tread in or upon. Together the word peripateó means to set the perimeters you will tread in or walk on. In doing that you will also establish where you will not go or what you will not allow in your life. Failing to allow the Spirit to set the boundaries, the perimeters and what we allow in our life means we will get top heavy with worldly weights, some of which are not sin at all, but can become an idol when not under the authority of Christ.
What I mean is if you let your job be more important than your relationship with the Lord you will lose your spiritual balance and it can capsize you in your faith. If you let concerns for money and the cares of this life be your priority and if you put all your focus and energy into taking care of them and neglect the things of the Spirit you can be spiritually capsized. You can love the Lord and at the same time neglect Him and His Word. You can pay a tithe and at the same time treat it the same way you do a bill, not putting faith in the act of giving it to God. Remember Hebrews 11:6 says “without faith it is impossible to please God.” You can put friends, time and family and a host of other things before God. The problem is when you do that you become top heavy with carnal things. Remember “the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary to one another.” We need to be more Spirit minded, more Spirit centered than we are world minded and world centered. Doing this will help us to sail through rough seas safely.
Remember this… the world we live in is not stable, but we can be, if we are balanced by the Spirit! Also, if you are a capsized ‘golden ray’ repent, and the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is ready to raise you back to your feet. He will help you to make Jesus the Captain of your ship and to help you get back on course to fulfill the works of Christ.