SHIFTERS NOT THE SHIFTED
There are two worlds within our lives. There is the outside world where we are able to see and experience with our senses and there is an inner world of our hearts that we feel but may not readily see. I have this thing where if I see something cringy or embarrassing that is happening to someone else, that I instinctively squirm and look away. Or there will be moments where I walk into a room and though I see with my eyes a bunch of people sitting down, I “feel” the tension in the air as there is this atmosphere of anger amongst people. Whether we have the ability to put words to the things we feel in a situation or our inner world, we all experience it. When we spend more time with God, we are able to discern the inner thoughts and emotions that we feel as well as the thoughts and emotions in an environment.
What we may not be aware of is that what we hold inside of us a lot of times spill out to our surroundings so that we not only feel our stuff but the emotions and thoughts of others. Therefore, it is very important to learn how to monitor and constantly shift our inner world so that what spills out into the outer will be the things of God rather than the junk of the world. In today’s passage we see how the inner world of heaven that Paul stewards, will spill out into their hopeless situation and begin to shift towards hope.
Today, let us host heaven by hosting God by meditating on His words and living like Him.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned
The storm that they have been living in has led to hopelessness. The crew desperately tried to meet the storm and they were losing things one by one in hopes to survive but it got to the point where the storm did not let up but led to hopelessness. At times we are in storms where we do whatever we can to meet it. We try every tactic and tips from people but it seems that things are not working as we draw closer to hopelessness. In a world where we praise individual effort and those who worked hard to get to places of success, there will be moments where what we can do will not be enough. In these moments we embrace hopelessness because our strength and skill was not enough but it is in these precise moment where the hope in us dies that we have an opportunity to grasp the hope in God.
21 Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. 22 Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, 24 and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.
Paul stands up and gives a word of encouragement.
He tells them that they should take heart for no one will lose their life but only the ship that they are resting upon. It is interesting to note that the thing that is keeping them alive (the boat) is the only thing that will be taken away and there is this realization that what we hold onto desperately during desperate time may be the thing that needs to be let go so that you can hold onto God.
Paul then gives a word that He received from God where his destiny will not end in the storm but that he will live to go before Caesar and that all those with him will live. Paul didn’t buy into the hopelessness of the crowd but the word from heaven that he held was used to shift the atmosphere that he was in. It is in these moment where we have the choice to either shift or be shifted and if we first allow ourselves to be shifted by God then nothing that we will go through can move us when we have been moved by God.
Paul’s destiny saved the sailors. This tells us that our walk with God has the ability to impact the people around us regardless if they are saved or not. Thus it is very important to remind ourselves daily that more than our actions but the source of our actions which come from the inner thought/emotional/spiritual lives must be constantly monitored and guided by God. When we host God in the inner beings of our hearts than our actions will naturally follow and it is that type of Spirit filled action that can shift an atmosphere and impact the people in our lives.
Today let us host heaven so we can display heaven in all circumstances.