Passage for Study: Acts 27: 39 - 44 … Acts 27 linked for study …
My Journal for Today: Pastor Swindoll is absolutely right as he writes in today’s devotional, "The best plan for surviving a storm is preparation.” A ship’s captain would never launch his vessel onto the open seas without going over the navigation charts and – these days – checking out the weather forecasts. If you’ve ever been on a cruise vessel, the first thing the crew goes over with the passengers are the emergency procedures. Think about those boring instructions which every flight crew goes over with the passengers on an airplane before the plane gets into the air; and I hope you pay attention to them before that plane takes off: because, though no plane or ship captain would ever want to go through what that pilot did by landing his plane in the Hudson River last year, he was well prepared for the emergency and all of his passengers survived because of his training and his pre-flight preparation. Because that pilot was so well trained and he knew exactly where to land that plane, those passengers all survived.
Today’s title for this devotional is the “Anchor of Reality;” and reality is an anchor as long as we, as Christians, carry that anchor into the reality of our future. As Swindoll points out, ”Passivity is faith’s enemy.” And to that I’d add a Pollyanna attitude that nothing bad will ever happen because we’re in Christ. No, the Boy Scouts have it right in their motto, which takes the anchor of reality into account as it declares … BE PREPARED!
My friend, what are you doing right now to prepare for a potential shipwreck or turbulent flight? When you get on a flight, are you lulled into passivity, apathy, and lack of attention as the crew instructs you on how to prepare for an emergency? Do you know where the nearest emergency exit is? Are you briefed and ready if the ship goes down in water to know where the flotation devices are; and do you know how to use them? Or have you been lulled into that “nothing bad will ever happen to me” attitude, which the enemy will use against you if/when a bad storm develops and the ship goes down.
That crew of that ship Paul was in all made it to shore because of the preparation they had taken just before ship broke up to surrender their leadership to Paul and to join him in prayer to the God of Abraham. My dear friend, what are you doing now, during the calm of life to prepare and make sure that you have the anchor of reality covered in the event your ship of life runs into a really bad storm? And if you’re in the storm right now, you may find, as Swindoll writes, that you’re having to use the pre-planning (or as we call it in our ministry – the “battle planning”) which you had done in the calm of life to deal with the storm.
Maybe you’re now having to find out that you have to humble yourself and find help from a competent Christian counselor to make it through a marital storm. Perhaps, you now recognize that those bad choices you made in the past, when you believed you could get away with some sin, have now come crashing down around you; and you have to take serious emergency procedures to save your marriage, your church, or your very life. That is why it’s best to humble yourself now and take preparatory actions to avoid the storms or to be prepared BEFORE they come your way. As my mentor used to tell me, ”Humble yourself now in your day-to-day worship of God, or He will humble you later when you’ve let pride take you down.”
And so, we need to ask ourselves …
• Am I taking decisive action to avoid the storms by having a disciplined DAILY devotional life and by having a written battle plan to avoid the potential pitfalls of life?
• Is my prayer life going deep to keep me humble and to deepen my relationship with Christ?
• Am I getting to know my God by studying Him through His word?
• Am I worshipping my God everyday by the choices I make, the people I serve, and the actions I use to honor our Lord?
Answers to these questions, by our life choices, will show whether we are carrying the anchors I written about in the last few days, the anchors of STABILITY, UNITY, RENEWAL, and then today, the anchor of REALITY.
If you’re ready for any storm of life because of the daily battle plan or preparation you’re making now to build your faith (i.e., your anchor), then you will not fear any storm which may be brewing ahead for which you cannot plan. And like the ship did when the storm hit Paul and his compatriots, you’ll be able to survive even a shipwreck because you had all the anchors you needed to keep you afloat or to allow you to swim ashore safely.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, when the winds of life blow calm now, keep me humble and ready for any storm ahead by the planning and actions I take now – everyday – to be ready for any storm which might come. Amen