Consider the ancient ship especially those they had during the days of Christ. Above is an example. Notice there are two methods of powering the ship. The first was the sail. The sail depended on the wind for propulsion. At times the wind blew strongly and at times hardly at all. It could come from all directions and sail driven ships were designed to take advantage of the wind no matter what direction it came from nor how little it blew.
As the Scriptures remind us, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone born of the spirit.”
The second mode of moving a ship was the use of oars. Whenever needed they could move the ship and add to the movement of the ship. In ancient ships, the oarsmen sat with their backs to the front of the ship. It is easier to pull the oars than to push them. As a result, the oarsmen couldn’t see where they were going nor their final destinations. They had to trust the helmsman for that.
The final main thing I want to point out is that at the rear of the ship there was an oarsman who was able to see where the ship was headed and could turn the ship with a relatively small oar no matter how great the ship was. Believe it or not, even great ships today are steered with a relatively small rudder.
Now in the case of the church, we are in essence something like a ship. The Holy Spirit fills our sails and gives us the power we need. We add to that God given power with our own efforts. The truth is that we know what is our ultimate destination but we must trust in God to give us the power to get there.
In the case of the church, our helmsman is Jesus Christ. Only He can clearly see our destination and goal and we must trust in Him and in Him only.
Now, there is one last thing to think about. On the ancient ships, the oarsmen pulled together. If one side pulled harder than the other, the ship would go in a circle. If some didn’t pull their oars as hard as others, the ship would not progress as rapidly.
You and I all need to trust in the course of our great ship. In other words, trust God to give us the power and trust Christ to give us the direction. Then let’s work together each pulling our weight and our share. After all, when we do, God gets the glory and we reach the safe port called the Kingdom of God.
Not peace and grace but Ahoy Mates. Reed.