Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the skiff and let it fall off.
Acts 27:31-32 New King James Version
Stay in the ship or you will die. So many of us keep trying to get out of the ship.
Paul was on his way to Rome because the Jewish leaders arrested him. He’d been preaching in the synagogues and the Jewish leaders felt threatened by him. He’d broken no laws or violated any Jewish customs, but the leaders tried to kill him.
Paul started off the book of Acts as the leader killing Christians, but he finished the book as a person the leaders tried to kill. He had a come to Jesus’ moment and cut away his former life, his skiff. When hard times came and he was the one being persecuted, he didn’t fall back to his old ways, or get out of God’s boat and back into his little skiff. No. He cut away his old life, his skiff. He never got back into his life boat again. God told him he was to preach the Gospel and God co-opted the Roman Army to provide him transportation to do just that.
In the previous verses, they were in the middle of a dreadful storm and were letting the wind drive them wherever it willed. Paul let the Holy Spirit drive him wherever it willed and he preached the Gospel everywhere he went. If he had left God’s boat when the going got tough, he would have perished.
How many times have we tried to leave God’s boat and get into our puny little skiff? Living for God isn’t as easy as we thought it would be. So, we fall back on our former way of doing things and don’t realize we’re spiritually dead if we don’t stay in God’s boat. Our life boat is nothing but death for us.
Let us completely and irrevocably cut away our former life, our claim to ourselves, our skiff, stay in God’s boat, and let His Spirit take us wherever He wills.