Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.” Nevertheless the centurion was more persuaded by the helmsman and the owner of the ship than by the things spoken by Paul. And because the harbor was not suitable to winter in, the majority advised to set sail from there also, if by any means they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete opening toward the southwest and northwest, and winter there.
Have you ever had any warning signs too? Only to find that you end up in the only shipwreck of the century! But it is okay, because the same way God saved these men even after the warning sign, God is still saving you!
You never heard these sayings:
Don’t go out with that person.
Don’t marry that one.
Don’t marry just yet.
Don’t get into that financial commitment.
Don’t go to that place.
Don’t listen to the one.
Quite simply…just DON’T DO IT!
There are so many do’s and don’ts but it looks like we always tend to take the route of “Don’ts.” Just when all that happens we realize that our advisers where probably right! After Paul had advised those men they still proceeded with their sailing. So many times we do the same. We proceed with our own sort of sailing. We ride the ship just how we want, when we want and where we want. The reality is, we could always use those gentle reminders along the way so that we won’t end up in that shipwreck type of situation where we have nothing left.
In this case, they lost everything they had. In most cases when people decide to ride the boat until the end they end up crashing. The crash is bad. But thank God we have an anchor. Thank God we have a life jacket. Thank God we have a rescue team of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost! Thank God for His great mercy because even in that sometimes He uses those things to teach us…Let us be stripped of all until we have nothing left. That way…when we hit the rock bottom, we will have everything added back on BY HIM and no longer by us and in our own strength!
And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship. On the third day we threw the ship’s tackle overboard with our own hands.
Sometimes when that tempest is throwing us to & fro, we come to that point where we need to lighten the load for we can’t take all our baggage in with us through these stormy times. And with our own hands, WE are the ones that are directed because now there is really not much of a choice! We have to lighten the load ourselves…everything is thrown out. Everything is stripped, so that the only thing that remains with us is our hope in Him.
After all that stormy weather in the lives of those men, they get words of encouragement. Now these men are reminded to take heart–that no one will have any loss of life. It is so much better to lose “things” in life rather than us. Let the things go that really weigh you down. Let the things go that don’t let you progress. Let the things go that really cause you the most pain because it is just not worth losing YOU entirely!
But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.
I had preached this message one time a Women’s Retreat in Pennsylvania many years ago. It was one of the most powerful messages I had ever preached. It is one that I hold dearly because as God gives it to me, it is not just for others, it goes for me first. It was a “More Than Conquerors” theme at that retreat. Unforgettable! As long as YOU are in a place with a purpose, God won’t let nothing happen because His plan must be fulfilled.
Next time, follow the warning signs. Follow the promptings of the spirit of God that dwells in you. If it is not meant to be then let it be because God has so much more in store for you. Even though the things be lost, even though you may feel the pangs of the heart, even though you still have those random tears trickle down your face, please know that the only One that will take you through any territory safely is GOD Almighty! Trust the promptings. Any pangs of pain will eventually cease. Just keep focused on WHAT YOU HAVE LEFT.
Although we experience the shipwreck of the century … it never really took YOU out!
Keep going because there must be that one little thing that you are doing right, and it is called trusting the God of the Universe.