Riding the Wave – Excerpts from the Koinonia Life Discussion Forum
Riding the Wave – Excerpts from the Koinonia Life Discussion Forum
Chris shares his experiences with "the wave…."
As we go along through life with Jesus we're riding a wave. Even if you're not a surfer, you've all seen the pictures. A huge, curling wave thunders towards the beach and a small figure on a fragile board manoeuvres skillfully so that without losing balance, and with the wave doing all the work, there's an exhilarating and rapid journey until the energy of the wave is finally spent.
It seems to me that in some ways this is like our lives as believers. The powerful, thundering wave is Jesus. There's more than enough force and power to overwhelm us, but just as the curling wave seems almost to cradle the surfer, so he cradles us. He loves us so much, he will never let us be harmed.
You can't surf without getting wet! If we want to travel with him and feel his awesome power lifting us and pressing us forward all the time, we're going to get drenched by his Holy Spirit. Isn't he great!
In our own strength
And of course, if we don't stay with the wave, we just end up bobbing about in the water, not moving anywhere quickly, not moving at all except by our own efforts.
Staying on the wave
How do surfers stay on the wave? Essentially, they need to know waves really well, and they must concentrate all the time. And we are just the same; to stay in the wave we must know Yahshua really well, and we must pay attention without any distraction.
It also takes balance to stay on the wave! If you let yourself get off balance, you're back in the surf waiting for the next wave.
It's great to be on the wave. But unlike waves in the sea, if I do fall off, after swimming about in my own strength for a while, all I have to do is turn to him, reach out for him, and he'll always pick me up and set me back on his wave.
The church, through the centuries, has been hit by wave after wave of great, powerful breakers picking up those who will surf with Jesus but leaving behind those who prefer the ways of man, struggling along in their own strength. It's been a great source of sadness, both here on earth and surely in heaven too. Wave after wave has come down the ages, salvation through faith not deeds, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the supremacy of love, learning not to get in the way while he builds his church. Are these waves just going to keep on coming, breaker after mighty breaker until we come to the end and he returns and stands amongst us on the beach and the time of waves is gone forever?
He is beautiful!
And what about the sheer beauty of a great wave? He too is beautiful to behold. We should always have our eyes fixed on him, then we will see his beauty and we’ll marvel. Mere worldly matters will become less significant for us. Imagine being captivated by the glory of a huge wave, glassy, greenish-blue, sparkling in the sunshine with the white spray flying - and the sound as it roars, thundering towards the shore – and the clean smell of seawater. Wow! Will you look away at ordinary things while such a wave is there to be experienced?
Then, Stephanie shared these memories:
Perhaps because I grew up by the sea the Lord has frequently ministered to me there. It’s often been my favourite place for a morning walk, and even in the desolate winter the ocean held much teaching for me from our Lord.
It’s interesting that God ministers in such a variety of ways through the same picture, differently for each of us, changing from day to day. One day I was standing on the sand fellowshipping with the Lord, and he showed me a picture of the ocean as Himself. I scanned the vast sea and thought about all the possible fish and the life under the water. I considered the safety of being on the land.
Then the Lord said, "Step in".
"What?" I questioned. It was very cold -- December as I recall -- and even though the sun was shining brightly and it was a beautiful day, I knew the Lord was speaking figuratively to me.
"Step in", I heard once again.
In my mind's eye I saw myself getting my feet wet, first that big old toe, then my feet, then my ankles. It was as if the Spirit of the Lord hovered over me and I sensed His wooing to plunge in. Once again, in my mind's eye I went deeper into the water, this time up to my waist.
As this episode in the spirit progressed the Lord called me further and further until I sensed Him saying to be completely submerged. In my prayer, of course, I wondered to Him,
"Lord, what are you doing? If I go under I will drown."
Yet the Lord continued to call me. He called me "under," to be completely submerged and surrounded by the sea, and as I surrendered He showed me that He would be my very breath.... He would be my life as I lived completely "in Him."
It was an awesome day, truly untranslatable, but I hope you see that His life is enough for us. He will and can sustain us by His very breath. He speaks parabolically, but those pictures can become LIFE! Oh, the depth of the riches of God -- how unsearchable are His ways!
Christo wrote about a song that touched him:
Steven Curtis-Chapman sings a song, more about a river than the ocean, but the principle is excellent. I don’t know how Curtis-Chapman interprets the song, but it symbolizes my longing to know Him more. Here are some extracts…
The long awaited rains
Have fallen hard upon the thirsty ground
Have carved their way to where
The wild and rushing river can be found
And like the rains I have been carried here
To where the river flows, yeah
And in the rush I hear a voice
That's telling me it's time
To take a leap of faith So here I go!
I'm diving in I'm going deep
In over my head I want to be
Caught in the rush
Lost in the flow
In over my head I want to go
The river’s deep
The river’s wide
The river’s water is alive
So sink or swim I'm diving in
But we will never know
The awesome power
Of the grace of God
Until we let ourselves
Get swept away into this holy flood
(You can read the entire song online at http://www.purelyrics.com/index.php?lyrics=hgbqvhum, and see details of the album at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00000J6BZ/ref=m_art_bow_2/104-3605009-4634357?v=glance&s=music.)
A source of inspiration
The sea has always been a great source of inspiration and learning. What I find amazing is that from place to place and from day to day it's always different. The colours are wonderful and are affected by the colour of the sky, the clarity of the water, and the nature of the sea bed wherever it's shallow enough. It sounds different too, depending on the size and angle of the waves and the strength and direction of the wind, also the nature of the beach. I love the sound of waves on a pebbly beach. The rattling and sucking noises of retreating waves and the crash of incoming waves. And the smells too, the spray on your face, the taste of the salt in the air.
The sea assaults every sense in the body! And so does our glorious King, who holds the universe in his hand! How marvellous are the things he's made!
Praise him! HalleluYah!
The beach reveals power to Pat:
Over the years I have enjoyed going to the beach. When I had smaller children it was a busy time; I barely had time to relax. For children who don't actually live on the beach it is so exciting, and Mom wants to share in the excitement of their explorations. Mom has to also watch closely that they don't drown.
My water experience though has been mostly in lakes. We have a small boat on a nearby large lake and we go there and swim in the summer. I have become a much better swimmer in my old age and my children are older, so now my beach experience is a bit different. I can relax more now and I can swim. I've noticed that where the waves meet the shore is a lively place. Board and body surfers experience the power of the surf. But to enjoy swimming, like I do, one has to get out beyond the surf.
The beach reveals so much power, so much action. It affects all our senses, but we are aliens... and the real life is out there in the deep. We have to be changed to live in that environment; and He tells me I am a ‘new creature’. (2 Cor 5:17 – ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’)
A quotation – ‘A raindrop has both form and nature. When it hits the ocean it loses form....it's nature remains the same.’
The ‘old thing’ that has passed away is our nature or original character. The rain drop has already gone through a process. It simply changes form.
A world of water
He's already told us over and over again, it's not about 'doing stuff', it's about 'being'. I need to ‘change form’, I need to stop being ‘conformed to the world’ and be where he wants me to be, not where I want to be. I need to be experiencing him, immersed in him, soaking up his presence. So maybe the crash and roar of the surf is less valuable than diving into the deep water and dwelling in him.
Isn't it fascinating how water in various forms is used in the Bible such a lot to illuminate the truth for us. We read about 'rivers of living water', water baptism as an emblem of 'dying' to self and being reborn into a Spirit-breathed new life. We read about the Almighty making the sun shine and the rain fall on evil and good alike. We're told that unlike water from the well, Yahshua will give us living water so we'll never be thirsty again.
And just think of a world without water! No oceans, no rivers, no clouds to protect us from the heat of the sun, no life. Water is essential for life, an oasis in the desert reveals the principle, so does the fertile strip of irrigated land along the Nile. No wonder water is so useful for illustrating how the Almighty gives and supports life!
Oh Father, thank you for your Son who is always pressing forward and loves to carry us along with him. Teach us to get to know him better and better, and help us to pay close attention to him day by day. Teach us more about life, Father, new life in your Son, abundant new life supported by your supply of living water. We want to live and move in you and in you alone.
The Koinonia Life list is at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KoinoniaLife/. (You can join the list from this page if you’re not already a member.)
The message thread from which the extracts were taken begins at message 1166. Thanks go to the authors of the original e-mails who’ve given permission for them to be used.