Read: John 14:15-17 |
Sailboats and Row Boats have things in common with Believers. Since most of us have very little experience with either sailboats or rowboats, let us first compare and contrast the two via pictures and descriptions of their functions. Subsequently, we will relate both to believers.
Row Boat: Man invented the rowboat as a simple means to travel on water. A rowboat requires muscle power to move. The boat goes straight by applying equal force to each oar. The boat turns by applying more pressure to one of the oars in the water than the oar on the other side. Physically, rowboats are flat-bottomed and lack a keel. Thus, standing in a rowboat is discouraged because they tip over easily. They also do not do well in rough water. Additionally, rowboats are not designed for long distance traveling because of the physical strength required to propel them.
Sailboat: The most obvious distinction is that sailboats have a sail up above and keel down below along with a rudder for steering. Sailboats need the wind to blow to move – no wind, no motion. Although we cannot control the wind, we can control the sail. The job of the sailor is to be prepared for the wind. They must tie the sail correctly; point the boat in the right direction and raise the sail up the mast. They must also judge the conditions around them and make the effort necessary so that when the wind does blow, they are ready.
So which are we most like – a sailboat or a rowboat? The first clue to knowing which one we are is to look at our hands. Do we tend to grab the oars to row ourselves in or out of situations? Alternatively, do we join our hands together in prayer to ask God to steer and guide us?
A believer is like a rowboat when we depend only on our own strength or muscle power to steer through the waves of doubt and confusion in our lives. If we usually have the feeling of being swamped and overwhelmed, that is a clue that we are stuck in a “rowboat mentality”. A rowboat mentality depends on “our” own strength and resources versus relying on His strength to supply our needs.
Sailboat Believers handle the situation differently. The sailboat mentality trusts in their faith in God and the Holy Spirit. Scholars translate the name for Holy Spirit into “divine wind” or “breath”. The divine wind will fill our sail and pilot us “to and through” each situation. Our job is to stay in the boat; point the boat in the direction God leads and make the effort necessary to stay ready for the Holy Spirit to move.
So Brother Raymond, how do I start or change myself to take on the Sailboat believer approach? Great question, I am glad you asked! When you wake up and have your devotional each morning, you are starting to raise the sails. When you “pray without ceasing”, you are raising the sails higher as you lift God higher. When you seek Him through the day, you are changing the angle of the rudder and steering in His direction. As you walk and talk with Him, the Spirit will fill your sails, the keel will cut through anything Satan throws in your way and move you to fulfill the purpose He has laid out.
All aboard, let us sail with Him each day!