Updated: Sep 24, 2020
I've been really into looking up the meaning of things lately. Definitions of words, names, phrases - you name it. And this new found hobby of mine has led to some pretty incredible discoveries so far.
I was reading in Mark the other night when this particular verse caught my attention:
"And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him. (Mark 3:9)"
And I thought to myself, I want to have a boat ready for Jesus. God, how do I prepare my boat? Trust me when I say that I never thought my Bible study time would take me to InterMarineBoats.com, but there I was, looking up step-by-step how one goes about preparing a boat for sea. And what I found, absolutely blew me out of the water!!! (pun intended). Here's what I found:
The first and most important thing before boarding a boat, is safety. This section talked about the importance of life jackets, fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, documentation, a compass, distress signal flares, and more. THIS BLEW MY MIND!!!! The first step in having our "boat" ready for Jesus, is to USE all the safety equipment he's given us. Our "life-jackets" and "passports", our "compasses", "first-aid kits" are all God's word! Woah!!! His word not only directs and corrects us, it also acts as healing when we are hurting, it is LIFE when we are drowning, and it is a stamp on the passport of who we truly are, our identification as a child of God!! WOWOWOWOWOWWWW!!!
Our "fire-extinguishers" took me straight to Ephesians 6:16 "In all circumstance take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish the all the flaming darts of the evil one." Our FAITH is our fire-extinguisher! "Distress signals" and "flares", our "radios", that is when we call out to God in prayer!! Pray sends up a distress signal to God when we need help!
"Radars" and "depth-finders" that is the work of discernment of the Holy Spirit within us, helping us to read the waters and decide where it is safe to fish, or where we need to avoid.
And lastly, but certainly not least, our "searchlight" and our "life-raft" is Jesus <3 He is our safety, our anchor, the One who keeps us afloat and points us home even in the darkest storm. He is our guiding light and our confidence as we go through the waters, protecting us in every moment until we make it safely to the shore.
2. Chart Your Course (as if this could get any cooler!!!)
Step 2 on InterMarine's website read as follows:"Regardless of your intended destination, get out the charts and study them. Paying attention to charted depths is essential in South Florida and running aground is not only embarrassing, it can be expensive. Plot the course on your chart plotter or paper charts. Calculate your time and distance, mileage and fuel needs."
Y'all, I can't make this stuff up! It is TOO good. When we know our destination, it will not only determine the route we take, but it will save us from getting off track and making costly decisions. When we PLAN OUR COURSE ahead of time, study the path, understand how to get where we're going, and figure out what we may need along the way in order to get there, we are a lot less likely to end up off-course, or floating around in circles. When our gaze is set on heaven, if that is our ultimate destination, then we should plan our course accordingly. Study the map of God's word, chart the waters with God's commands, and bring what you will need along the way, like friends who encourage you in faith and point you closer to Jesus especially in life's difficult storms. When our eyes are set on heaven, our course will reflect that. Our destination will determine what we do along the way.
3. Tell Someone Where You're Going ( I CANNOT Y'ALL)
For boating purposes, this is for safety reasons. You tell someone you trust where you are going, when you are leaving, and when you arrive safely, just in case anything should happen. But as I read this one I couldn't help but laugh, because God was just speaking so loud through the boat metaphors and I loved it. TELL SOMEONE WHERE YOU'RE GOING!! Tell people about Jesus, tell someone why you are charting your course for heaven, share the Good News! A-maz-ing!!
4. Briefing Your Guest
The last thing this article mentioned was making sure that everyone on board knew where all the safety equipment was, how to use it, what to do in an emergency, etc. and it made me think of how beautiful it is that none of us have to make this journey alone, and God doesn't want us to. He gives us beautiful people along the way that teach us, guide us, and help us. A boat runs more smoothly with a crew, we weren't made to do life alone. And God will give some pretty awesome first mates if you ask Him.
To end, I want to jump to Luke 5:3, which say this, "Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat." This is really the whole point of this lesson for me, when we prepare our boat, when we are in God's word, and in prayer, and living for heaven, and encouraging one another in faith, then God can use our boat to do His work! WOAH! If you keep reading in Luke 5, Jesus performs a miracle so that Simon's boat begins overflowing with so many fish it can barely stay afloat. When we have a boat ready to Jesus, He can perform miracles with our lives. Incredible.
"And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him." (Mark 3:9)