Below the Waterline-1
Nearly 30 years ago, on October 16, 1992 the $650,000, high tech, state-of-the-art sailing ship Coyote set sail from New York.
It was headed across the Atlantic Ocean for France and the November start of a solo, non-stop, around-the-world sailing race.
Experienced yachtsman, Mike Plant, who had completed 3 solo, around-the-world sailing trips was at the helm.
But, Plant never made it to France.
After a 28-day, 200,000 square mile search, the Coast Guard gave up searching for him.
Finally, 4 days after the Coast Guard quit searching, a Greek-owned tanker spotted the Coyote, turtled — that is, floating upside down hundreds of miles north of the Azores.
The ship’s hull was intact with its 85 foot mast, fully rigged with sails pointing to the bottom of the ocean.
The twin rudders seemed fully operational.
But there was a glaring problem as the ship was viewed from the air.
Its 8,400 pound lead keel bulb was missing.
Without this bulb the ship would have been unable to stay upright in strong winds.
Without this keel bulb the ship would have been unable to right itself if it went over on its side.
Without this keel weight, the ship was a death trap.
After extensive study of this incident I have gleaned several spiritual lessons, but the one I want to focus on this morning is our need to have the hidden part of our life filled with the weighty things of God — the fluff of the world will not keep us upright..
Text: 1 Timothy 1:1–4 (NASB95) Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, 2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, 4 nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.
1 Timothy 1:18–19 (NASB95) This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, 19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.
We WILL Face Storms
We WILL Face Storms
Since Mike Plant died in the incident, we will never know precisely what upended the Coyote.
It is thought that he may have encountered a storm and without the keel weight, the Coyote would have been unable to stay upright.
Storms are a constant factor in this fallen world.
A world that Romans 8:22 (TPT)[describes as].... the universal agony and groaning of creation, as if it were in the contractions of labor for childbirth.
We long for what Romans 8:21 (NASB95) [says will happen] … [when] the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
As long as this world is a slave to corruption we will face storms.
Sometimes those storms will rush up on us suddenly and if we don’t have the necessary weight below the waterline, our lives will be capsized.
That was certainly driven home to me by the Lord in 1982 when storm after relentless storm washed over our lives with:
Our rental house burning right as the year started
It included 2 stays in the hospital for me, one, right after our house burned, which included painful surgery for an abscess and one at the end of the year
We faced the storm of being laid off from my job just as we found out Sandra was pregnant with our Son
Moving 400 miles to take a new job only to be told their was no job
Having our new rental home robbed while we were moving
Yadda, yadda, yadda — you get the drift — it was a bad year.
One relentless storm after another.
If it had not been for Jesus.
If had not been for the Holy Spirit working in us
If it had not been for a strong church supporting us
Our lives would have turtled, never to be upright again.
Sometimes that’s the way it happens.
Out of the blue, with no warning, you get hit by a sudden devastating storm and if we don’t have enough weight below the waterline our lives get flipped upside down.
Other times there is lots of warning, but that doesn’t make it any easier — you’ve still got to have that weight below the waterline.
In 1987, I had just gone into full-time vocational ministry.
We had moved to Vidalia, Louisiana to help a ministry friend with the church he was pastoring.
We had both come out of the same church.
I received a call from my father.
He needed my help.
He felt certain that he was having serious health issues and wanted me to come take over his business while he dealt with it.
So, once again, we moved.
He went to the Navy hospital in Pensacola and then they sent him to Bethesda for more extensive surgery and treatment.
So, while I held down the fort with his business, he went through tough times in Bethesda, MD.
But the storm clouds were on the horizon, my father would die at 53 years of age.
It took 2 years for it to happen, but it DID happen.
It was slow to approach, I had plenty of warning, but it still felt like a gut-punch when it happened.
So, storms WILL happen in our lives.
But if we have enough weight below the waterline, we will stay upright.
Our ships may lean all the way over, but the weight of God’s provision will bring us back upright.
The Weighty Things of God
The Weighty Things of God
In our text, the Apostle Paul was commanding Pastor Timothy to teach and preach:
So that the people of God would NOT be filled with the fluff of:
myths and endless genealogies
The people of God need the weighty things of God if we are to survive these troublesome times we sang about last week,with our faith intact.
Do you remember?
In singing about the soon return of Jesus we sang:
Troublesome times are here, filling men's hearts with fear Freedom we all hold dear now is at stake Humbling your hearts to God saves from the chastening rod Seek the way pilgrims trod, Christians awake
If we don’t have our lives filled with the weighty things of God...
below the waterline, out of sight, in the hidden places of the heart,
like Mike Plant, we are at risk of shipwreck.
The Apostle Paul told Timothy in Verse 19 of our text that we MUST keep the faith.
We must keep a good conscience.
To reject these is to suffer shipwreck.
How can we do these things?
First of all, we need to realize that we are not alone in our struggle to keep the faith and a good conscience.
The Holy Spirit will come alongside us.
As Jesus promised in John 16.
The Holy Spirit will ...
Guide us into all truth.
He will prepare us for what lies around the next corner.
IF, we will cooperate with Him.
In the next few weeks leading up to June 5, Pentecost Sunday, I feel the Lord directing me to emphasize our partnership with the Holy Spirit.
The way to that partnership is to cooperate wit the Holy Spirit.
As He works in us an old-fashioned, theological word: sanctification.
In order to have more of the weighty things of God, so that our lives don’t capsize in the rough times that WILL come, we are going to have to let go of the fluff of the world.
We are going to have to have more of God in our lives.
The best that the world has to offer:
Medications - including alcohol and street drugs
Sex, power, money, fame
NONE of these, NOTHING the world has, will give us the weight we need below the waterline to be able to withstand the strong winds of this life.
The weight we need beneath the waterline to right the ship of our lives when we get broadsided by an unexpected wave.
Sanctification is something the Holy Spirit works within us.
2 Thessalonians 2:13 (NASB95) But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.
Sanctification by the Holy Spirit.
Sanctification speaks of a 2-part process — a separation.
The first part is turning away from the world.
Have you turned away from the world?
We do that through repentance and surrender.
Have you done that?
The second part of the 2-part process is turning towards God.
It is a consecration, a surrender of everything we are, everything we ever will be to God.
It is running after God with passion and abandon.
As we are sanctified, as we turn from the world, letting go of its fluff and facade,
as we let go of its glitter and hype
As we open our hands
THEN we are positioned to receive the things of God that He wants to give us.
Things that are weighty and will keep the ship of our life upright in stormy seas.
How About You?
How About You?
This morning I would caution you.
And most of you know this.
Life in a fallen world is full of storms.
The only protection we have is by filling ourselves with more of God.
Not where people can see and complement you.
No! in the places where people cannot see.
Is that you this morning?
If not I urge you:
Repent of your sins
Surrender your life to Jesus.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, enter into cooperation with the Holy Spirit for your sanctification.
This is not a work that will be completed overnight.
It won’t be completed in our lifetimes.
But the more we cooperate the more weight we will have below the waterline.
The less likely our lives will end up shipwreck.
Can we come to the Lord this morning?
Allow Him to do a work in us?
Can we all come forward and seek Him together?
As we do, He will help us because He never fails.