Summary: The shield has been called the most important armour for a Roman soldier. In the same way, we need to take up our shield of faith. Based in Mark 4:35-41.
At one point in the movie, Indiana and his crew are captured by the Nazis and forced to lead them to the resting site of the Grail. What lies before them is a cave laden with booby traps to ensure that only those worthy can access the grail.
At one point, Indy approaches a chasm which he must cross to continue, but there appears to be no bridge. To cross the chasm, he is required to take a “leap of faith”, which revealed a hidden bridge beneath the ledge and grants passage to the other side.
When Christ is guiding our ship, when we allow Him to take control of our lives, we are going to come to points in our lives that feel like we’re standing on the edge (or like my mom likes to say, the “precipice”), staring into an abyss and thinking, “I can’t possibly get across this”. But when we have complete confidence in Christ, we continue on because He is in control of our boats and we are allowing Him to guide our lives.
As we are allowing Christ to guide our boat, and this is our second characteristics this morning, as people of faith, we need to understand that storms will come. We need to understand that storms will come.
As we allow for Christ to guide our boat, there will be times when he will lead us into stormy waters. We don’t always understand why, but he leads us there nonetheless and we need to anticipate these storms.
Jesus promised us that difficulties will come. In the Gospel of John, chapter 15, Jesus says to His followers: “Remember the words I spoke to you: ’No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”
The apostle James says in the introduction to his epistle, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
When I graduated from Bethany in April of 2007, I had to face a storm of my own. I left the school with a lot enthusiasm and expectancy, but what I didn’t realize was that His timing was not my timing. And because of that, I found myself unemployed with no prospects. Now for a guy who had just spend four years going through his schooling preparing for full-time ministry, this was not an easy task. I had to go and get a job in Fredericton to pay the bills and essentially wait. I would describe that summer as stormy. I was working, but felt unfulfilled. At times, I felt abandoned with $20,000 in student loans hanging over my head. I wondered if I would ever find a place to serve. At times, I questioned myself and my call.
But I came to a place in early fall. I had an epiphany, a eureka moment.
One day I thought to myself: self: maybe there’s a reason I’m here, at home. Maybe God wants me to accomplish things here. Maybe He just wants to see if I’m in this for Him or for myself. Did I want a church because it was where He was calling me or did I want a church because all my friends had churches? At that point, I made a choice. I said, “God, I don’t know how this is going to end. I don’t know what you’re doing through this, but God I’m going to allow you to guide me through this storm”. That point of surrender didn’t stop the storm, but in my weakness, Jesus showed His strength.