If you were to embark upon a seafaring vessel, would you choose a boat of peace or turmoil? Whether we realize it or not, we each make a choice. As we navigate upon the waters of life, we encounter two ships. We can sail upon a wor-ship or a war ship.
Our vessel of peace is known as worship. The vessel of turmoil is a war ship. I realize I am taking liberties with words. However, I believe God has a message for us through this play on words.
A war ship is waiting at the docks of our lives. There are numerous seafaring battles to fight. In history, we read of many battles fought upon the waters. Ships sinking and the sailors drowning were (and still are) possibilities. As spiritual sailors, we are involved in spiritual warfare. I Peter 5:8-9 tells us, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” Ephesians 6:12 NLT says, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
This results in a violent voyage. However, we can be encouraged by II Chronicles 20:15. “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” Psalm 34:19 says, “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.” In Ephesians 6:10, we are told to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.
According to II Corinthians 4:8-9, we will encounter times when we are hard pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. Jesus says in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
It is time for us to embark upon the wor-ship! Psalm 95:6 invites, “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.” Psalm 96:9 instructs us to, “Worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth.” Psalm 105:1 encourages us to “Give praise to the LORD, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done.” John 4:24 says, “God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Throughout our lives, we will be onboard both ships at various times. Prayer includes praise and petitions. Our prayers will burst with praise when we are on a wor-ship. II Samuel 7:22 says, “How great You are, Sovereign LORD! There is no one like You, and there is no God but You.” However, our prayers will include plenty of petitions when we are on a war ship. Romans 5:20 says that where sin increased, grace increased all the more. That describes a spiritual battle. Prayer is asking God to speak to the chaos of our lives. Prayer fights both outward and inward forces. The fervency of prayer will overcome the ferociousness of the enemy.
We will encounter violent waves of a vicious enemy. Ultimately, however, we will ride upon God’s victorious waves. There will be a tsunami of triumph. I encourage you to read Romans 8:31-39. I highlight a few verses. Verse 31-32 asks, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us all things?” Verse 35 asks another question. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Verses 37-39 answers, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I John 5:4 NLT declares, “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.”
With a renewed fervency of prayer, we will defeat the enemy’s ferociousness. I believe a big wave of revival will soon crash upon our nation. Living water will flow across our land. Isaiah 44:3 promises, “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants.”
We are spiritual sailors upon the seafaring vessels of wor-ship and war ships. Using another another play on words, let me ask a question. Are we embarking upon a seafaring or see-faring vessel? Do we have spiritual eyes with which to see what is happening in the heavenlies? Paul says in Ephesians 1:18, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people.”
When the war ship tries to steer you into tumultuous turmoil, claim Psalm 91. I encourage you to proclaim the complete Psalm but I quote verses 2 and 3. I will say to the LORD, “You are my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly plague.” The captain of wor-ship is waiting for your arrival. Jesus promises in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
I suggest that wor-ship is the best place to be when we encounter war ships. The best wor-ship is also a war ship because worship is a form of spiritual warfare. Philippians 2:10-11 says, “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” This is a picture of the final victory of all worldly battles. There will be no more turbulent seas. In Revelation 4, we find a description of the Throne of Heaven. Verse 6 says, “in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.” Around this sea are four living creatures who worship God saying in verse 10, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”
In closing, I include a few lines from two current worship songs. The first is Battle Belongs by Paul Wickham. The song begins, “When all I see is the battle You see my victory.” I also like the lyrics, “So when I fight, I’ll fight on my knees with my hands lifted high. Oh God the battle belongs to You.”
The other song is Defender written by Bethel Music vocalist Steffany Gretzinger and recorded by Francesca Battistelli. I highlight the following portion. “You go before I know that You’ve even gone to win my war. Your love becomes my greatest defense. It leads me from the dry wilderness. And all I did was praise. All I did was worship. All I did was bow down, oh All I did was stay still.”
Welcome aboard to the wor-ship!