At the end of his third missionary journey, Paul was arrested in Jerusalem, transferred about 40 miles up the road to Caesarea, and sat in prison for over two years before being sent by boat to stand trial in Rome. During the journey to Rome, a storm blew the ship off course and threatened to kill everyone on board.
"In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, 'Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.' So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it fall away."
Where is our true security? Most of us have lifeboats which we keep close to our side. Even after we've accepted the forgiveness and saving grace of Jesus, we tend to keep the lifeboats - just in case. We say we're trusting our future to God, but we still make sure every step of our life is planned for the next 30 years and fight any attempt to deviate from "the plan" - just in case.
We say we understand the concept of eternity and the idea that our life is "a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes"
(James 4:14), but we still strive for titles and positions so our friends and family can remember us as "successful" - just in case. We say we want to live for Jesus and praise our Heavenly Father for all eternity, but we still don't want to miss the immediate pleasures of the world - just in case.
If we keep one foot in the ship and one foot in the lifeboat, we will never live as God desires. It makes absolutely no sense to say we believe and trust God with our eternity and yet fail to trust Him with the uncertainties of tomorrow or the storms of today. Cutting the lifeboats means we place ALL our trust in God, believe His Word as truth, and live accordingly: "Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says" (James 1:22).
We MUST stay with the ship! A saving relationship with Jesus implies we have recognized the eternal storm of sin which threatened to sink us to the pit of hell, but it also implies we are clinging to His forgiveness as the ONLY way to be saved; "for there is no other name under Heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
Let's ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any area of our life which is not consistent with a life of unrestrained belief and trust. Then, let's ask for the strength and courage to, once and for all, give Him ALL of our heart and cut the lifeboats.