We went to Great Wolf Lodge in Cincinnati this past weekend to celebrate my daugther’s 11th birthday and just get away and reconnect. My parents came too and brought my nephew, he’s 5 and my youngest boy is 4. They both really enjoyed the wave pool and we spent a lot of time playing and splashing around in there. The water only gets about 5 feet deep in the wave pool so we would let them work their way out to the deep water in their floaties and we would play, until the waves came. As much as they loved bouncing high and low in the waves they both had their mouths wide open and as many times as we told them to keep them closed they would still get a mouth full of water and be coughing and burping. Some waves would knock them under if we weren’t right there ready to get them. My nephew liked to let the waves push him back to the shallow waters then he would fight them to get deep again.
It got me thinking about the verse in Ephesians and was a clear example to me of what happens when we let peoples opinions or views cloud our faith.
Ephesians 4:14 So that we are no longer children (Spiritually immature) tossed back and forth (like ships on a stormy sea) and carried about by every wind (shifting) doctrine, by the cunning and trickery of (unscrupulous ) men, by the deceitful scheming of people ready to do anything ( for personal profit.) AMP.
Paul was talking to the Ephesians in verse 11 about how Jesus gave himself to the teachers , the apostles, pastors in order to build up the body of Christ. He then goes on to say in verse 13 that we are to build each other up until we reach the full knowledge of Christ.
When we listen to worldly views, peoples opinions, and use that to determine our course of action we become like children being tossed by the waves rooted in fear. We go by what we hear could happen and we try to protect ourselves from the worst case scenario. Sometimes it keeps us from doing something that God may want us to do. I grew up being told to avoid certain areas of Indianapolis because they were not “safe.” I have found that as I have pursued ministry I’ve ended up in many the churches in some of those areas, and was terrified going there. God took care of me, nothing was taken and no harm came to me but I was tossed around by waves the whole time I was there, how much more could God have ministered or used me had I not been afraid.
Paul goes on to say in verse 15 that if we speak truth in love we grow and mature as a body.
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
I think Paul’s warning in all this is that Satan will use thoughts, opinions and people to derail us from the loving works God has assigned us to do. As Christians we should encourage each other to do our assignments, build each other up and speak love when someone is faced with the waves of fear. There were times when I had to pull my son or my nephew from the waves for a moment so they could cough or catch their breath. We need to do that for each other as we are pursuing Christ. When you see your friend start go to under or hit a wave with their mouth open. Give them encouragement, love and help bear their fears. The other thing that hit me is wave carry things to the shore, away from deep waters. God wants us to go deep with Him, he wants us to trust Him, have a deep firm relationship with him, we can’t let waves of fear carry us away from that deepness he is wanting for us. We have to know the truth in love and continue to grow in to the maturity of Christ to withstand the storms and waves when they come.