Don’t Sink Your Boat

By: Jim Kaseman

Galatians 5:16–“Walk in the spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

Even though we are born again, Spirit-filled, tongue-talking, we can be flat ugly if we want to! We can do things ourselves to sink our own
boat! We can hinder our own success, we can sabotage our own walk with the Lord Jesus Christ, putting holes in our own boats. We can get in God’s way and not walk in the victory that is already provided for us. Let’s examine a few ways to sink our boat, and let’s patch some holes!

A POOR UNDERSTANDING OF PEOPLE

I Peter 3:7 says for husbands to dwell with their wives with understanding, so that their prayers will not be hindered. This principle applies to all of us. We can hinder our prayers by not walking in understanding with one another. Understanding people and getting along with them is not just a matter of prayer but of practical work. Be nice to one another, be tenderhearted, kind. That will affect you spiritually, because what Christianity is all about is a relationship with God and with each other. It’s time to get ourselves out of the way and see others as more important than ourselves. Put others’ interests before your own. Help meet other people’s needs. Then the law of sowing and reaping goes into effect, and we’ll have much more doing it that way than if, because of fear, we try to hang onto our “rights.”

BLAMING OTHERS FOR OUR FAILURE

11 Corinthians 13:5-“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.” in other words, look to yourself as to whether or not you are
walking in the Word. At some point we have to accept responsibility for our own lives. We cannot continue to say “If only I had a
different wife, different children, different pastor, different job, different company, different world…” I don’t care if you think you are totally pure, righteous and holy, I can guarantee that if there is a problem in a relationship, you both contributed to it.

Don’t be so concerned about changing everybody else. If you stomp your foot on the bottom of your boat, insisting you are blameless, the only boat that will sink is yours! Take a good look in the mirror and take care of that person. Let God take care of the other people and we’ll have a glorious time.

LACK OF PURPOSE, GOALS OR VISION IN LIFE

Habakkuk 2:2 says to write the vision so that we may run with it. If you take the attitude that “whatever happens, happens,” I can just
about prophesy what will happen… NOTHING! If we are going to walk in victory, we are going to have to have a goal. One real good way to sink a boat is to row aimlessly until it falls apart. Proverbs 29 :18 says not to go charging into battle without a plan. James 1:5-8
indicates that in order to have stability in our lives we must become single-minded, have a purpose for living, have a goal, have a vision.
You will not have a good marriage accidentally! You cannot develop relationships with a magic prayer.

There must be a definite goal and a plan for getting there or it’ll never come to pass.

LACK OF KNOWLEDGE

Hosea 4:6-For lack of knowledge God’s people are gone into captivity, or perish or they are destroyed. Until I received some knowledge from God’s Word and faith came, I was not born again. So we see the danger of lack of knowledge. Clear, balanced understanding of God’s Word is like our navigational map to tell us where the sand bars and reefs are, and how to avoid them.

On the other hand, there is a very real danger in too much “knowledge.” If you take one or two subjects in the Word and get into excess with it, it is guaranteed that you will end up in false doctrine. You cannot build your life with Jesus on one area of the Word. We need the
whole counsel of the Lord, accurate, full knowledge for real success. A balanced faith walk is taking the principles of faith and applying
them to every area of life.

SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH NEGATIVE PEOPLE

II Corinthians 6:14–“Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” There is a principle here that works for all us as believers. There are some people calling themselves Christians, some even professing to be Spirit-filled, and they are walking in darkness. They’re spitting poison out of their mouths, gossip, unbelief, doubt, turning people against God’s Word. if you hang around these people long enough you’ll be dragged right into it with them. If we take our boat into their muck, the acid reaction will eventually eat right through the sides of our boat.

If we are going to walk in the victory that God wants us to walk in, we’d better be walking with people who believe the same way we do. We can stay in love with those we disagree with, even those in false doctrine, but we cannot stay in close fellowship with them and not be dragged down. We need to be led by God’s Spirit and know where we fit in the Body.

EXPECTING AND TALKING FAILURE

This is the kind of person on whose tombstone you will see the words, “I told you so!” Thinking and talking and acting negative. Don’t
anchor your boat in low tide … when the high water comes, it will be sunk! Proverbs 18:21 says that death and life are in the power of the
tongue. In Deuteronomy 30:19 God tells us that He has set before us life and death, and He tells us to choose LIFE!

How obvious! The most positive Being in the universe is God. Negative thoughts, attitudes and words are death-producing, and are against God’s Word. We don’t want anything to do with them. Let’s be like God … positive.

UNABLE TO LEARN FROM OTHERS

Philippians 3:12-13—Paul knew that he had not “arrived” at perfection. He never got to the place where he knew it all. He always
maintained a teachable spirit. This walk in the Spirit is an ongoing process. We might as well get it settled that it takes WORK. Your walk with the Lord will never level off. if you are not working to go on with God, you will go downhill. The unteachable person has three “I” problems. They think they are INFALLIBLE, always right, argumentative. They are INFLEXIBLE. “I don’t care what the Bible says, that’s not what my grandfather taught me.” And they are INSECURE.

But if we keep a teachable spirit we can grow. Let’s don’t sink our boats by refusing to listen to someone who has already traveled the
waters!

REFUSING TO TAKE THAT STEP OF FAITH

I’ve had people tell me, “I don’t know about this faith stuff … I’ve never had so many problems.” I think to myself, “What other choice do
you have?” There are only two options: you are either with Jesus as a Christian or you’re out in the world at the mercy of the devil.
Everybody on the earth has their problems, trials, and tribulation. The successful people in the world are those who have been willing to
take a chance, take a risk.

Now as Christians, we use different terminology. It isn’t a risk because we are basing our step of faith on the Word of God. God does
not lie. And when we step out by faith, according to His Word, we know will come to pass. Fear will cause people to wait until everything
lines up just perfectly before they take that first step. That’s not faith! Faith requires corresponding action. Our “boats” were designed
with limited visibility That’s when we have to trust our navigational system (the Word of God). if you really believe God, how come you’re
not acting like it? Nothing will ever be accomplished in life without taking steps of faith.

UNDISCIPLINED LIVING

Just because we are Christians under grace and under God’s mercy does not mean that we don’t have to do anything. We cannot do whatever our flesh wants. It takes discipline to spend time with the Lord in prayer and in the Word. There will always be things to interfere. Galatians 5:2223 says that one of the fruit of the spirit is self-control, temperance, discipline.

In I Corinthians 9:24-27, it says that an undisciplined person is one who “beats the air” shooting in the dark, hoping to hit something. But
Paul tells us in verse 27 that he disciplines his body, bringing it into subjection, lest when he had preached to others that he should become disqualified. It takes discipline, not only to manage our time and our energies and our goals, but how about our moods?! If we are walking in the Spirit, there shouldn’t be any devil, not to mention any person, that should be able to cause you to get into a bad mood. You have control over your mind, will and emotions. Recognize the temptation and don’t give in to it. Love, joy, and peace take discipline. But they are necessary for victory.

STOPPED BY FAILURE

Christians sometimes have holes in their boats because they allow themselves to be stopped by failure. Maybe they are believing God for
something, and it doesn’t work out the way they thought it would. We need to understand that failure and mistakes are a part of our lives.
Spiritual growth takes time. We start out as babies, go through the teen years into adulthood. But even as adults in the Lord, we won’t
arrive at perfection in this life.

The attitude we have toward mistakes and failures will separate the successful people from the unsuccessful. People who are stopped by
failure see it from a personal perspective with themselves as the victims. And the people who are not stopped by failure see it from a
process perspective. They say, “This is not a problem at all. I’ve learned something from this. Praise God, when this comes around again,
I’ll not make the same mistake. I’m growing, I’m learning. Victory is ahead.” Don’t be intimidated by failure! It’s all part of growing up.

We are coming into a time of great harvest. If we ever needed to be mature and take what we’ve learned and apply it to help meet others’
needs, this is the hour. This is what bringing in the harvest is all about. Don’t sink your boat before you complete the job God has for you!

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED IN THE JIM KASEMAN MINISTRIES, JANUARY 1996, VOL. 22 NO. 1. THIS MATERIAL MAY BE USED FOR STUDY AND RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.

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