Paul shares the example of those not mature being tossed around like the riding the waves in the wind. There is only two ways to prevent being torn apart by a wind storm at sea, and both require action.
The first sure way to avoid being destroyed by the winds and waves is to get to safe harbor. This requires that the ship’s captain see the lighthouse that can guide them to safe harbor. That means keeping your eye on something outside the boat that isn’t moving, so you can make shore.
I have ridden on ships from Mackinaw Island to the mainland, and I love to sit in the front of the boat. I love to feel the spray of the water, as waves grow higher. However, I’ve never had to worry about where we were going, because I could see the shore line, since it’s only five miles away.
There are many stories of sailing vessels who lost sight of the lighthouses or were just miles from having them come into sight and going under in a storm.
One modern shipwreck that really shows the importance of getting to safe harbor or a safe bay happened when I was a child. The Edmund Fitzgerald fought the waves of 40-50 mile winds and heavy waves crossing Lake Superior. The tragic end of the Fitzgerald’s journey was less than 17 miles from the safety of Whitefish Bay. Even with modern radar the great iron ore ship lost its struggle to make it to safety and broke between the waves of the Great Lakes.
Even if you make safe harbor, or are on a smaller lake waves and wind can still push a boat and force it onto shore, unless you make sure you have a good anchor. It always amazes me that huge ships of the Great Lakes and Ocean are held with chains that have links nearly as large as I am. The anchor that holds these gigantic vessels in place are as tall as small homes and bigger than many cars.
Even fishing on smaller lakes I have experienced the minor pull of waves with anchor’s that were too small. The result was the need to pull anchor and ore away from the shore line where our boat had been pushed.
Spiritually, we need a firm anchor in Jesus for our faith. Paul reminds us that it is immature faith that is pushed around by every idea and thought that comes along from the devil trying to deceive people.
Some Christians forget that we are always in a battle for souls, and that this includes our own soul. Paul wrote of his desire to secure his soul, even as he served, in writing to the Corinthians:
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. (1 Cor. 9:24-27)
We need to be sure we are maturing in our faith, so that we will make it all the way to heaven in the end. What a shame it would be to run the spiritual race and fall apart before getting to the prize of heaven.
The only way to be sure of staying secure is to keep growing in faith, and then living what we know out in daily life.
Take some time to ask God to help you become Anchored in Jesus today.