Saturday, June 27, 2009


"The Lord on High is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea." Psalm 93: 4

In a more humbling message the Psalmist asks: "Why boasteth thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? The goodness of God endureth continually." Psalm 52:1

"His righteousness endures forever." Ps. 112:9 / 2 Cor. 9:9)


ENDURANCE. (Grk. Meno) ... Amidst Life's Storms is a matter of our dependency on God's grace - His grace is the outworking of His eternal existence, righteous nature and His Divine will and Rule. In His attributes the fact of his immutability (Hebrews 1:12; 13:8) - His unchanging person, plans and promises do not preclude His power or prerogatives - His immutability is not a self-restricting influence but assures us of His unchanging nature!

God works and instructs men in different dispensations or ages to respond always by faith but always in light of their need to find and know God in keeping with His particular plan but never by any compromise of Himself - His Word, or His ways. The Lord God endures for all eternity! God would have us, as His "adopted Children" to endure - to "abide" (John 15:4) or in other words to remain dependent upon Him and upon His own self-revelation through Jesus Christ and the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures! To 'abide,' - in this sense, is then ~ according to Rev. M. E. Elliott: "to be able or enabled to endure or last through ( a test, process, or action) without changing or shrinking." {Read Numbers 31:23].

Judie and I have recently been privileged to travel and minister on a similar route as the one followed by the famed: Captain James Cook (1768-79 in three voyages). We too travelled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, and New South Wales, New Zealand's North & South Islands and Hawaii's "Big Island' and we have now returned to the Cape of Good Hope - where Cook had also travelled. On this trip, I had more than one opportunity to be reminded of the need to be found abiding in Christ! To "abide" is to interpret the Truth in such a way that we do not shrink back! To abide - is to navigate accurately - rightly: to last through a test without compromising our commitment to navigating life-seas according to the truth of God's Word, the Holy Bible.

Captain Cook, as the Eighteenth Century's most famous seafaring explorer holds numerous records along with his famous Royal Navy ship the Endeavour! These exploits serve as a testimony the bravery and endurance of the sailors of that era! Cook is also a testimony to the vital nature of navigation - the hermeneutic skills of those who go to sea.

It is of interest - at least as regards my theme of "Navigating Life's Seas" that young James Cook's "education" or training began with Cook serving first as a navigator in the British Royal Navy. Then he had further 'life preparation' through his next appointment as the Master of several small craft. His next steps in "internship" came as he was occupied for some time completing a survey of the coast of Canada and Newfoundland. Respect for his 'navigational ability' actually led to his commissioning as a Lieutenant and his assignment to carry-out an expedition to observe transit of the planet Venus from Tahiti. Only then, was he honoured with the Captaincy of the Endeavour and with the search for a "huge continent" ... reputed to exist somewhere in the Southern Pacific Seas.

NAVIGATING LIFE - SEAS calls for the ability to identify truth and interpret reality. The skills of being a observant and reflective - even 'critical' - thinker is at the core of the deep learning required to navigate the seas of life. A 'navigator' is in reality a student of 'hermeneutics' - one who develops the art of accurate or sound interpretation. Actively (versus passively) thinking through the information available around us comes only for those who "value questions over answers!"

The early Navigators like those famed in the High seas folklore of the Dutch, French, Danish, and British were men driven by questions. Precision, relevance, and significance were the sources of the 'Navigator's' logic, not academic arguments, nor the prestige, fame or even the wealth of Aristocracy. The were men who understood that authority depended upon accuracy and upon one's genuine commitment to the good of others. Anything else was not really "authority" but something little more than "official power." These men "set course" by thinking for themselves though they clearly respected the viewpoints of others.

Authority, rightly understood, is a positive matter in Christian teaching. Paul the Apostle explains that this right, liberty, or power to do anything (Grk. 'exousia') comes ... "in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me, for building up and not for tearing down." (2 Cor 13:10)

In our day there are some really "encouraging men" of genuine Biblical Spirituality who are committed to lift-up (edify) those around them. "Captains," if you will - men of courage and great faith in our own times!

In New Zealand, I met a serious Christian student and one concerned for God's will and the good of others. This brother - Henk Hoogvliet was to me just such an encouragement. His commitment to edifying others was a special blessing in my travels.

In Australia, I found other genuine life "navigators" - men like John Ecob, Peter Jackson and my college friend, Buddy Smith. Of course, there are many many more, but these are men who are genuine and serious about the skills of Navigating life's Seas. These are men concerned for others - "tutors" of others and they remain so by remaining students of the truth of God's Word and by being men with "learners hearts" they are listeners -prepared to keep learning themselves!

Marc Sr.