Jer 3:15 “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
A few years ago there was a father and his son, who was about 14 years old. The boy being victim of summer boredom, prodded his dad into going sailing in their old family sail boat, “Sailbad.”
As they approached the docks, “Sailbad” looked as eager as she could, considering her age, although she was in need of major repairs.
They motor out to the channel and set sail. As they neared the inlet to the great waters of the Atlantic, the man noticed Pat, his boy, was straddling the fore part of the boat, the pulpit, a slang word for the bowsprit. For it seemed that this was always the boys favorite place to ride to get the most enjoyment out of a boat ride.
Turning into the inlet the father noticed that the waves were much rougher than he had ever seen it before. The waves were about six feet high and they were pipelining right in on them.
Suddenly the dad realized his son, his only son, was still up front riding the pulpit.
“Get back here,” he shouted into the wind. The boy tried to obey but it was too rough to let go. So he held on for his life hoping he could survive the onslaught of the big waves.
His only son was about to be hurled into the sea, but he noticed that if he turned back his son would be dashed into the moss covered rocks of the jetties. So he set his teeth and began to pray that he could hang on.
One minute the boy would be fifteen feet in the air and the next he would be out of site of him completely, as he would be swallowed up by a hungry wave. He would emerge from it gasping for breath, nearly torn free from his grip on the pulpit. His leg also began to bleed badly.
The dad noticed that two or three of those mountainous waves would see them through, so he screamed at the boy to hold on, and watched as the boy with one foot dangling, braced himself for the next assault.
Finally the boat smoothed out in the calmer waters of the ocean, the boy came off the pulpit, hugged the mask, gasping for breath, limped back to his dad, embraced him lovingly and silently, and sank to the deck.
You could see his heart pounding from exhaustion, his naked chest glistening and dripping wet. After a few minutes of rest, he opened his eyes, and made a statement that his “preacher” dad would never forget.
“Dad,” he said in a weak voice, “I never knew that it could be so rough ridding the pulpit,”
That boy was not the only one to make that discovery
From the day that Simon Peter mounted the rostrum, and became the fiery eyed prophet of Pentecost’s first pulpit, until when last the anointed man of God stood there, it has always been a rough ride. And only the anointed will survive. The man that stands in the pulpit will have to be a little bit of everything. He must be some Lawyer, some Doctor, a Mentor, Counselor, Advisor, Guide, Instructor, and he must be a lot of
psychology, he must be some socialite, and many other things people expect out of their preacher.
We expect him to preach heaven so sublime that we can feel heavens comforting breezes blow and yet we expect him to preach hell so hot that sinners can feel its tormenting flames. We expect him to preach the love of God so vividly that we can feel the arms of God around us, yet we expect him to preach against sin with such a fervency that it will make sinners shake. It’s sort of frustrating isn’t it? Yet that’s the man standing in the pulpit.
Look first at the sailboat, as she sails in full sail. The white sails are beautiful, blowing in the brisk wind, with the distant horizon forming a natural backdrop. But notice the ship, the sails, what holds these together as the strong winds blow? Ropes, ropes of all description, but to what are all these ropes dependent?
All the ropes that are found in the mask can be traced to the long tapered pole extending forward, for their support. Without the pulpit they would have nothing to brace to.
So it is with the church. Everything within the church assembly must be attached to the pulpit. Separation from the pulpit will mean certain failure. If it’s the Sunday School, it must be dependent on the pulpit. If it’s the singing, if it’s the secretary, if it’s the song leader, if it’s the youth department, whatever, it must be tied into the pulpit. You as a person cannot be a part of the church if you are detached from the pulpit.
I don’t care what comes or goes the Church needs the pulpit to lean on.
The pulpit area on a sail boat is higher than the rest of the boat and it is in the front part of the boat. When sail boats were the only way to navigate the seas, there was a small seat built into the bowsprit were it connected to the ship. In this seat was a pilot.
In this message I will liken the pulpit of a sail boat to the needs of the Church.
I. TO WARN THE CREW OF SUBMERGED DANGERS:
There is a possibility that the pulpit has something it could say about every conceivable problem or decision that you will encounter. I had rather take my chances on the advice of the anointed man of God than I had to accept the advice of friends. There are times that the advice of the man of God would have been better than the experts. (Acts 27:10-11) “And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.” The owners of the ship went bankrupt because they wouldn’t listen to the advice of the man of God.
My friends, there are many things out there that an ordinary child of God will never see coming until it’s to late. To late to avoid the consequences of a hidden danger.
An anointed donkey saw more danger than a carnal preacher saw.
Elisha prayed that the eyes of his servant would be opened.
I advised a man and his wife to not buy an after hours grocery store.
I begged a young girl not to marry a boy that was claiming the Holy Ghost.
Recently I advised a man not to take certain action at church.
(Heb 13:17) “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, ———.”
II. TO POINT OUT THE COURSE:
(1 Cor 11:1) “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”
You can meander and wander around in the maze of this world if you want to, but I want to know what the compass reads.
In one of the space flights they had to make a “mid-course” correction. To be off course 1 degree would cause them to miss the target thousands of miles.
The Church, in our day, needs somebody in the pulpit that will give its membership direction. Hollywood is trying to lead us and they are giving us the wrong direction. Government is trying to advise us and they are not including God. Educators
are teaching us and they are leaving out the truths of the Word of God. The pace setters are trying to set the pace and are going in the wrong direction. Prognosticators are making their predictions and have no perception as to the will of God in these last days. We desperately need a man of God to stand up in the mist, haze, and obscurity, when spiritual fog has the world blinded to the love and mercies of God, and let us know the direction we must go to be saved.
One preacher moved everyone in his church to north Louisiana because he said a tidal wave was coming. One preacher claimed he was taking all the “Wheat” to North Carolina and leaving all the chaff behind. That’s not direction. I want to hear what it’s going to take to get my soul to heaven. I want to know what we should do as a Church body to be ready for the rapture.
God will not lead us wrong, but will give us someone to ride the pulpit that will know the will of God.
III. TO TAKE ON THE BULK OF THE STORM:
It was the leaders of the early Church that suffered the most persecution.
It will be the pulpit in your church that will listen to all the problems, that will listen to all the criticism, that will listen to all the gripes.
It was the pulpit that was arrested in Natchitoches for disturbance of the peace.
When I pastored in Orange, Texas, it was the pulpit that had to answer every time the neighbors complained about the noise.
I have had to deal with every thing from mean kids to homosexuals at church.
God calls a certain breed to fill the pulpit. If it were not for the pulpit, dear child of God, Satan would have had our souls long time ago. We ought to be thankful for the man who dares to stand in the pulpit in this modern day.
How can there be any action in the pew, when there is no unction in the pulpit, and I pray “Lord, put unction in the pulpit so that I can be moved by the word.”
How can there be convictions in the body, when there is no power in the head, and I pray, “Lord, give the pulpit power to preach so the church can be free of worldliness.”
How can there be shouting in the congregation of the Holy, when there is no victory in the Holiest of Holies, and I pray, “Lord, put undeniable victory in the pulpit.”
How can there be growth in the flock, when there is no feed in the stalls, and I pray, “Lord, let there be food from the pulpit that your children may eat and grow thereby.”
How can there be jewels for the crown, when there is no anointed one, And I pray, “Lord, let there be an anointing settle down on the pulpit that will set at naught the work of the devil.”
How can there be any food for the table, when there is no fire in the stove, and I pray, “Lord, put the fire of God in the pulpit like Jeremiah of old.”
How can the camp arise for battle, when there is no one to give a certain sound on the trumpet of truth, and I pray, “Lord, let the pulpit make the certain sounds and the clear notes of truth.”
How can we see down the dark, lonely paths of faith, when there is no light to light the way, and I pray, “Lord, give the pulpit the light of the gospel to show a clear path that we may walk therein.”
How can there be any warmth on the hearth, when there is no fuel in the wood box to feed the flame, and I pray, “Lord, give the pulpit the fuel to kindle the flicker, yes the flame, yes the bonfire of revival.”
For revival that will sweep across our church, our community, our country side,
that will bring saints to the prayer closets and sinners to the prayer alters in one great visitation of the Holy Ghost.