The Unsinkable You
by Ernest Angley
In the twenty-seventh chapter of Acts, we read of the Apostle Paul on board ship in the midst of a raging storm-tossed sea. In danger of going down any moment, the ship seemed a sure death trap. What did Paul tell the terrified passengers? And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me (Acts 27:22-25).
From this fragment of Paul’s life, we can learn how to contact God, how to be unsinkable. You, like Paul, will endure many storms in your walk with God, times of great stress. Jesus told the disciples, In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33). How you handle the storms, the tribulations that come your way, is the key to your happiness. Much unhappiness in the Christian life results from refusing to face life realistically.
If the storms of life consistently depress you, it indicates you are not really trusting your God. Paul trusted God; that’s why he could encourage those on the ship to be of good cheer. The storms of life couldn’t sink him; he faced them head-on with the faith of God, and he overcame depression.
Do you feel yourself sinking in the chaos around you? Remember, with God YOU’RE UNSINKABLE. It’s the devil who whispers—and sometimes shouts—that you’re sinking. Recognize the control you have over your mind to think positive thoughts rather than negative, to dwell on the good not the horror, to listen to God and not the devil. Expect good things, don’t look for disaster. Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
By failing to use the control over your mind that God has made available, you pave the way for takeover by another force. The devil has been able to think through many millions of minds, deceiving people into believing his thoughts were their very own. They accepted Satan’s ideas instead of God’s. They owned a sword—the Word of God—to wield in victory, but neglected to use it to protect themselves.
Life Is Worth More Than Gold
Born-again children of God have a different outlook on life than people in the world; different, in fact, than was their own outlook before they were made new creations in Jesus Christ. The Bible holds promises for you more valuable than all the silver and gold in the world. In many crises, gold is worthless. Paul and those with him in the ship would have found no help at all in gold and silver; the weight of it could have been fatal had they tried to swim with it.
Many today are giving all their strength, their time, their very life for gold and silver. "If I just had more money," they think, "I would have everything I’ve ever wanted." All the money in the world cannot buy happiness or peace of mind when the death angel reaches out. Gold and silver sink right to the bottom.
People work themselves to death amassing money in the bank, but the time comes when they would give it all to live a little longer. Money was more important to them than God while they were healthy, but now only God can save them.
Made out of the Right Kind of Stuff
A real child of God, made out of the right kind of stuff, will stay on top of the water like a duck. Ducks love water; they don’t have one worry about sinking. Gliding over water deep enough to drown an ostrich, they seem calm about the whole thing. Others in their situation might very well panic.
Just as God made ducks unsinkable, He made the Christian unsinkable, too. Ducks don’t struggle, worrying they will forget how to swim; and the Christian doesn’t have to struggle to stay on top of the waters of this life—yet many do. The struggling Christian wouldn’t make a very good duck, now would he? Can you imagine him as one very worried duck splashing around? Some Christians live in constant fear that God is not going to move for them, that God does not love them; and they sink under the weight of troubled, tormented thoughts. Even while they worry about not staying on top, God has blessed them, stood by them and made them unsinkable.
Never worrying that God will forget him, the duck stays in the place God has made for him—duck sense. It’s the secret to the whole thing. If we would just use duck sense, we would be victorious in the place God has made for us.
Ducks eat the food God has provided; ducks stay in the place God has prepared for them. All too often, we fail to display that same discipline in our view of ourselves; in other words, we simply are not in touch with the reality of who and what we are. Self takes the bit-in-the-teeth and runs out of control. The Lord is left out of our everyday plans—to say nothing of our plans for the future. The plans are ours, not God’s; and that’s where the trouble comes in. Know who you are in God; know exactly the provisions God has made for you in His Word; know the benefits and the requirements of the Kingdom of God—and then stand.
Had you been aboard ship with Paul, would you have believed what God said? Hold to God’s unchanging hand; and decide that YOU REALLY ARE UNSINKABLE, that you will not go down.
Stay in the Place God Has for You
Man wants to run things his way, not God’s; and that’s a terrible gamble. It brings the guilt that comes from robbing God. Can a man rob God? Yes, by disobedience, by not trusting God. God is robbed of man’s love, even man’s soul. The soul came from God; it is His. And when man refuses to surrender it to God, God is robbed. Malachi, chapter three, states that man robs God by withholding tithes and offerings. When man robs God, man robs himself of God’s blessings, God’s benefits; and man no longer is the UNSINKABLE YOU that God meant him to be. In a multitude of creative ways, man seeks to shed his guilt for disobedience; but the guilt sinks him deeper and deeper. Never would the duck be troubled by guilt because never would a duck rob God. He wouldn’t dream of not glorifying God or of withholding obedience, or of being anything but a happy duck. Some of you, however, can’t conceive of being a happy Christian. You fail to enjoy the sun for thinking about the clouds. You worry all summer about next winter. Dwelling on the trials to come steals the blessings of God and His happiness from your heart.
Obey God Completely
Paul obeyed God completely. He told those on ship to not set sail, for there was trouble ahead. Disregarding Paul’s advice, they struck anchor and headed out for sea. A disastrous storm swooped down on them. Did Paul say, "I told you so"? No. He began to fast, pray and seek the face of God. He trusted God, the key to staying afloat.
How do you react when things go wrong? Do you give in to tantrums? Do you throw objects or hit the person you’re angry with? Why not work off all that steam down on your knees in prayer until you know that when you stand to your feet, God has given you enough grace to trample devils underfoot through the power in the blood of His Son Jesus? Are you really following the Lord? If so, then YOU TRULY ARE UNSINKABLE.
Anointed by God, Paul received insight on the results of obedience. Through prayers and fastings, Paul held onto God in full trust; as a result, the angel of the Lord came to tell him that everything would be all right. Had Paul grumbled and complained, the angel of the Lord never would have visited him. In your patience possess ye your souls (Luke 21:19).
Jonah was sinkable because he had rebelled against God’s direction. In fact, he was swallowed by a whale; in that loathesome place full of foul odors and gurglings, he repented and the whale spat him out on land. Some try to serve God as submarine Christians, going to endless lengths to escape yielding to what God wants done. They are disobedient to God, and all too many fail to follow Jonah’s example of repentance. Disobedience to God will weigh you down like boulders, sink you and wipe out the blessings of God in your life. You must obey God completely.
Believe the Promises of God
God has made you unsinkable, Child of God, giving many promises; but those promises are useless in the dark hours if you refuse to believe them and to act upon them. You feel yourself going under; you panic and strike out for the kind of help that will sink you completely. It’s a poor testimony for the Lord: I don’t trust your Word enough to stay on top of the waters of life.
Unsinkable in the lions’ den, Daniel trusted his God. The day after Daniel was thrown into that dreadful place, the king rose early to see if there were any chance that Daniel was unharmed. O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths! Daniel cried triumphantly.
Daniel’s friends, the three Hebrew boys, were thrown into the fiery furnace because they worshiped God; but the fire couldn’t harm them. They didn’t sink; they stayed on top.
God Doesn't Make Sinkable Christians
Skimming along on top of the water, the duck never worries about what holds him up. It looks easy; but if you try to swim like the duck, you’ll find it harder than it looks. Staying on top of the water is more difficult than it seems for the Christian, too; it takes much prayer, fasting and living in the Word of God. Sounds simple, but great discipline is required.
The disciples, when they had failed to deliver a child from the power of the devil, asked Jesus why they could not cast out the devil. And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:20,21).
God made THE UNSINKABLE YOU, but it took a Calvary to do it; it took becoming a new creature in Christ Jesus. GOD MADE YOU UNSINKABLE. Never did He create one Christian who would not be able to stay on top of the waters of life; but you cannot be up and down, in and out with God and expect to overcome. He that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:6-8).
Ducks are realistic about who they are; they don’t try to be dogs or cattle. They live within the character that God created for them. Never changing, they stay on top. Some people receive salvation, stay on top, live a good life—and then they change. With that change comes the sinking.
GOD INTENDED US TO BE UNSINKABLE. He put His Spirit within us so that no storm or distress would wash us out to sea. He provided us with a way to trample devils underfoot, a way to live free from fear. God gave us power over every evil, strength over weakness, sickness and disease. God walks with us; He is our God and we are His people. God didn’t create spiritually weak-hearted Christians with backbones of jelly; He gave us spirits that will not compromise with His Holy Word. The newly born-again Christian comes up from the altar a new creature in Christ with love for everybody and power over all that would defeat him in God. The way is clear for him to arise in the power of God’s might and Spirit; what advantage he takes of these marvelous qualities is up to him.
Paul Was Unsinkable
The Acts of the Apostles tells us that the Early Church Christians were unsinkable; we have found that Paul certainly was. No matter how hard the devil tried, he couldn’t sink Paul. In Jesus, Paul had discovered the Pearl of Great Price; and he sold everything, left it all behind to take Jesus for his own. Paul put his life on the altar; and that’s what we must do, also. To be unsinkable, you must put everything on the altar. You can see how close to the world you can live and still remain a Christian or you can leave the world as far behind as possible. You can live for Jesus, doing as little for Him as you feel you can get by with; or you can live for Him, pouring your life into His work because you love Him so much.
Faith Defeats Fear
Although God made man unsinkable, He also made him a free moral agent; and, unfortunately, man all too often takes unwise advantage of that freedom. What God intended to be a freedom becomes a bondage, a "jumping overboard to the sharks." Only so long as you remain on the Old Gospel Ship are you unsinkable.
Paul, riding a ship savagely pounded by storm, received an answer from Heaven because he trusted God and not his senses. How often do we claim to believe God when we really are paying more attention to adverse circumstances? Fear comes in; we can feel ourselves sinking. Really believing God completely means you have full assurance in your heart and life that God will care for you. A peace comes into your being that you cannot explain; it’s the "joy unspeakable and full of glory" the Bible speaks of. You walk without fear before God. Fear and faith have nothing in common. When fear comes in the door, faith goes out the window. If you are dominated by fear, then you’re not using faith; and you’ll not do the things God wants you to do.
Stop being afraid! YOU ARE UNSINKABLE; YOU CAN’T GO DOWN. You have nothing to fear and nothing to worry about when you place your trust in God.
Act Out Your Faith
How often have you heard people give their testimony of faith, only to see them act in a way that contradicts their words? Oh, that people would live up to their words! Paul lived his words; he acted out the faith of God in his life. All fear had left him, and Paul knew that he could not drown. How could he be so sure? The Lord had told him he would appear before Caesar, that not one person aboard ship would be lost. Paul knew that God couldn’t and wouldn’t lie. It was time to believe God.
Paul prayed, fasted and believed God; but unlike Paul, many people pray, fast—and doubt, showing the kind of faith due only to an idol god.
After Paul received the answer from Heaven, he stopped praying and pleading with God to move. He recognized that the answer had come, and he put his trust in it. Many claim to have "prayed through," to have turned all their problems into the hands of God; but they still walk the floors, wringing their hands as fear consumes them.
If you truly have placed your problems into the hands of God, you will no longer fear. Fear over the matter means you have little confidence in the Lord. When you have put something into the hands of the Lord, the matter is settled.
Paul closed the case even though days passed with the seas raging. Not walking by sight but by faith, Paul let the people know it was time to break the fast, that God had answered prayer and everything would be all right. How marvelous to be sheltered so securely in the Lord’s everlasting arms, to know that when God tells you something is going to happen, it will happen!
God help us to realize who we are, what we are, that WE ARE UNSINKABLE!
Know the Power of God
Learn to know the real meaning of being washed in the blood of Jesus. We talk about the power in the blood, we sing about it; and yet we act as though the blood of Jesus is powerless for our lives. When Jesus was on earth, He knew who He was, where He came from and where He was going. We must know the same things about ourselves. Know who and what you are in the Lord; know that you have been made to sit with Him in heavenly places and that YOU ARE UNSINKABLE. As this knowledge becomes reality in your heart, the storms of life will not deter you or hinder you, and you will ride out the waves just like the duck.
Prayer Will Keep You on Top
Even a den of lions didn’t sink Daniel, but only one lion, chained out of reach, makes many of God’s children sink because they are not prayed-up. To be prayed-up and to have the victory means everything to soul, mind and body. How much time do you spend in prayer and in reading the Word of God? How much or how little does it take to sink you?
The three Hebrew boys underwent the trial by fire, but they were unsinkable. No matter how cruelly people jeered and mocked, Noah was unsinkable. He was made out of the right kind of stuff.
Looking at others can discourage and pull you down. Often church members, dead in the Spirit, fight those working for God more than sinners fight. Why? They see people living their life for Christ the way it is meant to be lived, and they feel condemned, being too dishonest within themselves to do anything about it but cause trouble.
Losing to Win
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it (Matthew 10:39). Losing your life in Christ means He is free to live through you; only then will you know true freedom. Winning a life in this world, enjoying the praise of man at the expense of God will feed the ego briefly, but your soul will be damned eternally in hell. You will have won your life on earth but lost it for Heaven.
As long as you lose your life so that Christ can live through you, YOU WILL BE UNSINKABLE. Pattern after Jesus. You think you can never be like Jesus? His life is our pattern, a pattern the disciples followed. They stayed in His presence in prayers, fastings and living in the Word until they began to talk and to act like Jesus. They were broken in the Potter’s house again and again to be remolded into vessels the Lord could use. THE UNSINKABLE YOU will spend much time in the Potter’s house so you can be molded into a perfected vessel for Heaven. Looking into your heart, God sees the least flaw; but, instead of throwing you away, He just smashes you and forms you anew into a more suitable vessel. Jesus never said following Him would be easy; but if you do, YOU WILL BE UNSINKABLE.
Decide to Be Unsinkable
Is the devil unsinkable? No. It only seems that way to our mortal eyes. One day he will sink—right into the bottomless pit. Think of it: the devil is not unsinkable—but you are, through Jesus Christ. That alone should tell you who has more power in this world.
Simon had to learn how to be unsinkable; at first the human part of him had control. Not understanding the mission of Christ, he cut off a man’s ear to defend Jesus. Jesus healed the ear and told Simon to put up his sword. A confused Simon cursed and denied Jesus before the cock crowed. Simon thought he would not succeed in the Jesus-walk, and he gave up a few times; but Simon was only a large slab of clay being made over, being shaped into a vessel of honor for the Lord.
Looking at Simon in his hour of testing, you would have thought he never could stay on top again, but Simon became washed in the blood of the Lamb and tarried in the Upper Room to receive the baptism in the Holy Ghost. He found that he really could be unsinkable, and he went on to be a mighty force for God. Realize that in Christ Jesus, YOU TOO ARE UNSINKABLE; and by yielding to Him in total obedience, you will stay on top of life’s troubled sea. THE UNSINKABLE YOU will adore walking the waters hand in hand with the Master. THE UNSINKABLE YOU—tell yourself daily, "With my blessed Savior, I TRULY AM UNSINKABLE!"
THE UNSINKABLE YOU, All rights reserved. Copyright © 1986 Ernest Angley.
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