Stay the Course Sailor
Daily Devotional for November 22nd
And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy…. Acts 20:22-24a
As we have already established, the word course is used to describe a race but is also used of a journey, specifically a journey at sea. The captain of the ship surveys the map and then charts his desired travel path accordingly. The course God has charted for you is His purpose; His direction for your life. There is also a collison course that the devil has for the world. Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world… As a child of God, you no longer need to worry about navigating through this life attempting to find your way on your own because the Master of the Seas has already planned out our voyage.
Apostle Paul understood that his life was in God’s hands. He also understood that the devil will use hardships in order to drive us off course. Persecutions, bonds and afflictions were all meant to detour Paul from the course as they will you. It makes no sense to us to sail into rough waters knowing them ahead of time. Satan knows that most of us would avoid hardship at any cost. Therefore he is able to get us off course. Sometimes your course means going through storms instead of avoiding them.
Leeway is a sailing term which describes a sideways drift of a ship to leeward of an intended course. This means that you can have your course charted, sails set and ship pointed in the right direction but the winds can influence your final destination and you’ll never know it unless you keep your eyes on the course, navigational map & destination. You also have the temptation to veer from the course due to foreseen troubles. Paul would reveal to the elders in Ephesus that although knowing all things that he would face, he was not about to be driven from the course God charted for him.
Do we really believe the scripture which says all things work together for the good, to them that are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 The devil would love nothing greater than to contrary winds toward you to get you off course. When this happens, it is our responsibility to adjust our sails to the course the Lord has charted for us.
When we surrender to His purpose, there His presence will be with us. We cannot expect God to follow us in this life, we must rather surrender the stern of our ship unto Him. When we do this, the power of God will be present to work in your life. Paul would finally reveal to the young preacher Timothy that he had fought a good fight, he had finished his course and had kept the faith. In order to finish the course, you have to stay the course.