GOING NOWHERE – stop rocking the boat!

Going NowhereA man, attempting to sail the Atlantic Ocean, found his boat becalmed for a day. Finally, frustrated by lack of progress, he tried to make the boat move by pushing against the mast and rocking it.

Through strenuous efforts he succeeded in making it rock and so created small waves on the otherwise smooth sea.  Seeing the waves and feeling the rocking of the boat, he assumed he was making progress and so he continued his efforts.  Of course, although he exerted himself a great deal, he actually achieved nothing.

So it is with us.

If you are a blood-bought, adopted child of the living God, what does the effort of the man in the becalmed boat say to us?

The man achieved nothing through his efforts to move his boat.  No doubt he worked hard.  No doubt he was committed to his task. The waves and the rocking made him FEEL like he was achieving – but he failed.

*  How much of our Christian service is self effort?
*  How much is directed by our Lord and achieved through His enabling?
*  How much credit do we accept for ourselves?
*  How much glory do we give to the One who enables and empowers us?

Colossians 1:18
That in ALL thing HE may have the pre-eminence

Colossians 3:17
Whatever you do in word or deed, do ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus

Philippians 3:3
We . . . worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus,
and have NO CONFIDENCE in the flesh (self)

If you are NOT a blood-bought, adopted child of the living God, what does the effort of the man in the becalmed boat say to you?

Going nowhere 1The Bible tells us that all people
are born with a sinful nature
and therefore sin by inheritance and by deed.

Romans 3:23
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Romans 5:12
Just as through one man (Adam) sin entered the world,
and death through sin,
so death passed to all men, because all have sinned.

Try as we might, do as much good as we can, all our efforts to stop sinning or to wipe out our sin or to counter our sin with good, we are still sinners.  We can do NOTHING about our sin. 

Our efforts are even more useless
than those of the man trying to move his becalmed boat.

Going nowhere 2Romans 3:10-12 says
there is no one who is righteous;
there is no one who seeks after God; t
here is no one who does good.

Isaiah 64:6 says
all our righteousness
(all the good things we do)
are as filthy rags

Our efforts are even more useless
than those of the man trying to move his becalmed boat.

The good news is that even though we can do NOTHING, Christ has done EVERYTHING.

Going nowhere 3When we see ourselves as God sees us, agreeing with Him about our sinful condition, God gives us faith to believe that Jesus Christ died to pay the penalty for our sins.

We are given the FREE Gift of salvation by the GRACE of God.

Going nowhere 4Ephesians 2:8-9
By GRACE you are saved by FAITH,
it is the gift of God,
NOT OF WORKS lest any one should boast.

John 3:36
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life;
but he who does not believe the Son shall not see life,
but the wrath of God abides on him.

If you are NOT a blood-bought, adopted child of the living God,  receive the good news that Christ died to pay the penalty for your sin.

The next move is yours.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4
Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures,
And He was buried and He rose again the third day
according to the Scriptures.

John 14:6  Jesus said . . .
I am the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE.
No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 6:37  Jesus said . . .
The one who comes to Me, I will by no means cast out.

About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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26 Responses to GOING NOWHERE – stop rocking the boat!

  1. Anna says:

    I believe you deserve to be nominated for the 2012 Blog of the Year award, so I nominated you. Please go see my post to read about it. God Bless, Anna


    • Thank you Anna. I am honoured to be considered for this award and accept, giving credit to my amazing God, because it is HIS work in me and then through me.

      I am afraid I’ll have to delay official acceptance of the award as I am waaaaaay behind here at the moment and desperately playing ‘catch-up’. I will do so as soon as I can. Thanks again.


  2. Ann says:

    Thanks for sharing, Angela

    I have gone back and forth and back and forth reading and digesting this piece, but I end up at the same place. God doesn’t need me to help Him work out a way of escape for me, but I have to admit, I often feel the need to help Him out. A little. Or more. Much more…

    Great analogy.

    Had it not been for His goodness. I am sure I might have succeeded in capsizing the boat too…

    How truly great and awesome and wonderful is our God!



    • I must admit I smiled at your “I have to admit, I often feel the need to help Him out” but my smile faded as I realised I often do the same. What a useless activity – and what is worse, what an insult to our great God. It is ALL His work. All He requires from us is complete surrender to Him and His will and His work in us and through us.

      What a truly incredible, amazing God!


  3. Anna Popescu says:

    Hi Cloudwatcher! I just wanted you to know that I’ve nominated you for “Blog of the Year 2012”! Here are the details: http://faithlovejoyhope.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/excited-thankful-humbled-by-awards/



  4. This is a very engaging post Angela. There is plenty to think about.
    Thanks for sharing this thought provoking post. God blesses.


    • Thanks Noel. It is so easy for Christians to fall into (or be pushed into) areas of ministry, even though it is not the area of God’s choosing for them. They can be sincerely busy, but not know the blessings of achievement in the power of the Lord. Or we can work in our own ability and strength, without depending on Him, and see no results.

      May we all seek, know, and work in the place of God’s appointment, in His enabling and power, under His direction, and experience the joy of His provision and results.

      We serve an incredibly amazing God who delights to work in us and through us to reach others with His love, mercy and grace.


  5. Debbie says:

    I loved all the verses you used in this, Mentor Angela. Just so good, as His word always is! And you have left me with a good visual. As the man who rocked the boat FELT like he was achieving something, whenever I feel like something is being achieved and I am working hard, may I look at the fruit of my efforts, to see if they are in fact there .. .and that they are His.
    God bless you and thank you for not turning aside from telling all today to accept Christ and His promises, and live.


    • Debbie, I know I often get so busy in the Lord’s ministry that sometimes I run on ahead of Him, without stopping to seek His direction. Of course, I hit a brick wall and He gently reminds me that He is there to show me the way and to enable me in HIS way. My own efforts are useless, but I am amazed at what HE achieves through a willing, obedient instrument.

      We serve an incredibly amazing God who delights to use us to reach others. What a privilege!


  6. snowgood says:

    The John 3:36 verse is worth considering, like so many scriptures there’s a promise for those who choose to believe and a solemn warning for those who do not. Would that more spoke in a balanced way from the word rather than repeating the parts which make us feel comfortable, or even worthy.


    • Stephen, we are on the same wave length. The Bible is very clear that it is ‘one or the other’ with no in between and no sitting on the fence. As 1 John 5:12 puts it “He who HAS the Son HAS life, but he who DOES NOT have the Son DOES NOT have life”. We are either born into the family of God and become the blood-bought, adopted child of the living God, or we remain as we were: a child of the devil (Eph 2:2-3, John 8:44).

      We need a clear vision of those outside of Christ and their eternal destiny. THEN we will be willing to go out of our way to give them the good news. I can’t understand Churches, pastors and children’s ministry groups who say we shouldn’t mention sin; that we should just tell of the love of God. Yes, God is love – but He is also just and He will act in justice.


  7. alwayzhis says:

    You got that right!! A great reminder of “what we have (salvation) and Who gave it to us and why!!
    Try as we might, we are “literally” incapable of doing anything in life for ourselves without God. It still astonishes me sometimes when ‘Christians’ attempt to navigate through each day on their own, without spending that most needed “morning time in the Word and prayer” with our Father God.
    Great post.. and a much needed reminder sister Angela.
    Blessings and love


    • I agree Stephanie. I don’t know how ‘Christians’ can exist without constant ‘food’ and the abiding presence of the triune God. I fear many are swept into a false assumption with the “easy-believism” taught so much these days. They ‘believe’ but seem to have no sense of repentance or of accountability or responsibility towards God and others. They show no signs of a changed life.

      I think of 1 Peter 4:17 “the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God” or as Paul says in Romans 13:11-12 “It is high time to wake out of sleep; for now is our salvation near. The night is far spent; the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armour of light.”


  8. Rob Barkman says:

    Thank you for the great reminder of the fruitlessness of our self-efforts and the fruitfulness that results from God working in us. By God’s grace, as His servants, let us allow Him to do a great work within us, using us as a poet would use a pencil to write a beautiful, God-glorifying poem.

    When I think about these things my mind always goes to ….

    For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
    (Ephesians 2:10)

    Lord bless.


    • Thanks Rob. I hang on that verse that I am HIS workmanship. I know that of myself I am nothing, but ‘in Christ’ I am created for a purpose and my amazing God will fulfill His purpose in me as I submit to Him.

      What a privilege it is to be used by such an incredibly amazing God!


  9. Lyn Leahz says:

    Excellent post, sister Angela. God bless you! You’ve really fired some powerful nukes at the kingdom of hell today! Praise the Lord, and may the victory be ours through the blood of the Lamb! God bless you, and thank you so much!


    • Thanks Lyn. Your comment makes me think of the lyrics of an old song by Steve Camp which asks the questions “What would the devil say about your life?” and “Do they know you in hell like they know your Christ?”

      I believe the song was based on Acts 19:13-20 where the sons of Sceva tried to duplicate the miracles performed by Paul in the name of Jesus. Of course, the demons didn’t obey and cried out “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?”

      All blood-bought, adopted children of the living God SHOULD have a reputation in hell. We SHOULD cause satan to tremble when we pray and when we witness for Christ.

      We serve an incredibly amazing God who has given us the victory in Christ.


  10. optimisticgladness says:

    You are so good at coming up with these analogies! Nice work.


  11. Pingback: GOING NOWHERE – Stop Rocking The Boat! | wayneaugden

  12. admin says:

    So true! All of our self efforts merely exhaust us. It is only in complete surrender to the Lord Jesus that we make true progress. Thanks for your post.


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