The other night mum and I were watching The Hunt For Red October. There was a scene toward the climatic end where an American naval crew had boarded the Russian submarine (Red October) in order to secure the safe defection of the Russian Captain, Marko Ramius (portrayed very distinguishably by Sean Connery). Whilst trust was being tiptoed upon, because neither side knew really what to expect from the other, the Russian sub was suddenly fired upon by a torpedo, wielded by their own countrymen, and everyone instantly fell into a frantic rush of crisis procedures. Through it all Ramius, as the Captain and leader, was firing off instructions right and left, all which were being adhered to immediately and without question. Until...
...suddenly the instructions start to NOT make sense. They still come but now seem contrary to everything his crew, and the recently boarded US crew, were taught and knew to be right. Next come questions from his crew - some voiced tentatively out of respect for the Captain, some demanding out of fear for their very lives. But Captain Ramius sticks to his decisions, and the crew members - even those who are slowly being convinced he is mad - obey his commands.
It was very exciting, edge of your seat, knitting needle suspended in mid-stitch kind of stuff. Of course, it all worked out in the end. And that's all well and good when you're the viewer, the one sitting in the comfy lounge chair holding the remote, and able to hit pause when you need to take a nature break!
But what if you were actually in that situation, or one with the same degree of adrenalin provoking rush? What if you were one of the crewmen hearing your 'leader' directing you to turn around, knowing that turning around meant you were now facing the rapidly approaching danger - an armed torpedo with a targeting system? There's nowhere to go but run, and yet you are being asked to turn around and face it! Really??
Would you question? Would you consider the sanity of your instruction giver??
Really though, haven't we all, at some point, experienced moments in our lives (some of them long, LONG moments), where God is telling us to turn around! We can see the danger that we were moments before running from, but which God is now asking us to face head on. We can hear it...maybe even smell it. In the movie, the crew, even against everything they believed to be the right course of action, followed the judgement call of their Captain...though some quite reluctantly.
Do we? Do we trust God, Who knows the end and outcome we cannot see? And Who, the Bible tells us, purposes everything for His glory and our betterment? - "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28). ALL THINGS! Not some things. Not just the sensible sounding things. Do we step out in faith...sometimes blind faith, and follow those seemingly preposterous and impossible instructions?
Or do we do what we think is best?? Come on, honesty time now...we've all tried it, haven't we? And what was the outcome? Amongst varying degrees of dismal failure, I'm sure we were brusquely awakened by this questions; How many of us are even Captain material, anyway? - able to think on our feet like Captain Ramius did? I know this...I'M NOT!!! Ha-ha, not that I don't still try, fool that I am!
In church yesterday our Minister preached on John 6:1-14; the feeding of the 5 thousand. He spoke on the contrast between human-thinking and God-thinking. How many of us would see a situation, like feeding that many people, or a submarine going head to head with an active torpedo, and think this is impossible, or this can't be done, and then pack up and go home? How many of us take God out of the equation?
The Bible says; "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" (Matthew 19:26). So, what does this mean? LET GO AND LET GOD!Deuteronomy 31:6 says this; "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."
Now, if we believe every word of the Bible is true, and every promise of God (and we SHOULD!), then there it is...in plain English. WHY do we still question? WHY are we still afraid? WHY do we fight God when the Bible is telling us He is with us, and He is saying to us DO NOT BE AFRAID!?
Let us be brave. Let us be bold. Let us push forward in the strength of Christ, even when it makes no sense or seems to be opposing everything we think we know. Let us go onward and upward, knowing He has already sealed the VICTORY.
Might Father God, Protector and Encourager of Your people,
Be with each of us as we face our daily torpedoes, whatever they may be. Don't allow us to be overcome with worldly thinking, or our own inability. Remind us that You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Warrior against Satan and his evil. Remind us that through Christ we are the victors, able to move on boldly in His Name and through His strength. Praise be to You, Dear Father, and may the glory always be Yours. In Jesus' Name, amen.