Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia tell us what a “muster drill” aboard ship is: “A muster drill (also sometimes referred to as a lifeboat drill or a boat drill), is an exercise conducted by the crew of a ship prior to embarking on a voyage. The purpose is to prepare passengers for a safe evacuation in the event of an emergency while on board the ship. In this MUSTER DRILL, passengers are educated on the use of Life Vest and escape routes from the ship.”
My wife and I have been on two different ships for a vacations in the Caribbean, and yes, the muster drill was mandatory before leaving the dock. All we wanted to do was to get underway, not stand on an outside deck railing, waiting for instructions, with a life-vest on. I always felt like a kindergartner, standing in line, holding hands with other kindergartners , then going out for RECESS. All I wanted to do was go out on the swing sets or Monkey Bars to play. But somehow, we muddled through the well-meaning information on each trip (some had to “muddle” more than others).
Scripture: Habakkuk 3:17-19 (New International Version).
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”
CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE WAY:
In today’s world we see overwhelming number of people moving from one position to another at the drop of the hat. When life’s circumstances get a little tough…the water gets “choppy” and we see the white caps from the gale force winds increasing around us; everybody wants to immediately ABANDON SHIP! There are very few who will stay the course and get through the bad times.
More Bad News!
FEAR grips the hearts of the UNSAVED, the heathen, with the release of every bad news article; the Stock Market will crash because of one day of business.
The question is this: Will we, as God’s people, stand for Jesus when everything around us is failing? When jobs fail, when the economy goes under, when sickness strikes, when shortages occur or when storms are on the horizon, will we stand up and be counted as Faithful in Christ?
Habakkuk said, “We’ve got troubles, but I think I’ll just thank God anyhow!” It seems evident to me, the Prophet had been to the “Muster Drill” before. He knew what to do in case of an emergency…when the alarm bell sounded aboard the ship and the Captain gave precise instructions in exactly what to do.
The Captains Instructions Given, but Not Heard and Understood!
And on that day, when evening had come, He [Jesus] said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” And leaving the multitude, they took Him along with them, just as He was in the boat; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. And He Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you so timid? How is it that you have no FAITH?” (Mark 4:35-40 NAS).
The Captain had already conducted the “muster drill” when evening had come. His instructions to the crew and passengers before stepping one foot in the boat was, “Let us go over to the other side”; the instructions were perfectly clear–WE ARE GOING TO THE OTHER SIDE…and yet, when trouble came their way in the middle of the journey, they forgot the Captain’s promise; and their lack of understanding, their FAITH, had abandoned them in the midst of the storm.
It seems amazing to me how life plays itself out; one moment everything seems to going so smoothly and then…
Habakkuk Knew that Difficulties Were On the Horizon–
The mention of the fig tree, the grapevine, the olive, the grain, and flocks covers the entire range of agricultural produce on which the nation depended on. It is reasonable to assume the failure of the crops would be due to the Chaldean invasion. Enemy troops not only lived OFF the land, but deliberately destroyed what was left behind.
In these last days, we know that times will become more difficult. We’ve already seen many economic problems and shortages arise causing fear and panic in our society.
When the Scriptures say that in the last days, men’s hearts would be failing for fear, they mean what is said literally. We are truly living in a perilous time this world has ever seen and yet…the worse has yet to come.
Are we going to praise Him when the times get tough for us?
Satan will bring circumstances that will sometimes overwhelm you: [a] Financially – bill piling high [b] in your marriage [c] with your children [d] in the Church [e] in your witness for JESUS.
Will you praise Him when people turn against you?
Habakkuk knew that when God’s judgement fell on Judah, it would also include him. He would not be spared because he was a prophet of God. In fact, he could be treated worse than any other prisoner because of his trying to warn Judah of its coming doom.
It seems people you meet these days, just don’t believe that times could get any harder.
People seem to be sticking their heads in the sand and try to ignore the problems. I want you to know that it can and will get worse! We are living in a dangerous World–just let on Hurricane or Typhoon come, and see how fast the shelves empty.
THE “FAITH BOAT” IS READY TO SAIL:
I was a big fan of the American television series set on a cruise ship. It aired from September 24, 1977, until May 24, 1986. The one-hour sitcom was usually set aboard a Princess Cruises cruise liner nicknamed, The Love Boat. Each episode contained several simultaneous story lines of the passengers on board; people’s romances, their failures, disappointments, etc., and were all played out by guest actors on The Love Boat.
When the world turns on you, will you still praise Jesus?
When your friends won’t have anything to do with you, will you follow the crowd?
When your family won’t have anything to do with you because you are just “to religious”, will you quit and abandon ship?
When the community you live in turns against you, will you want to put one foot on the ship’s guard-rail and bow to political pressure?
Habakkuk Knew the Importance…
Habakkuk knew when it was all said and done, GOD was the only real salvation he had…his life-preserver was secure and tight.
Habakkuk knew that GOD would be his strength:
Vs 19…”and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet
and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.”
GOD WILL deliver us through every trial, every test, and every circumstance and He will lift us up above the rocky shores.
A Little Deer…
A HIND was a little deer able to climb even the steepest of cliffs, walk through the roughest places, and leap over deep chasms. The HIND lived in the high mountains and cliffs and always stayed above all circumstances that involved people on the ground.
GOD has the POWER to lift you up, right where you are, today. POWER to change your lemons into lemonade and make your tests and trials into greater victories.
A BAR OF STEEL:
A $5 bar of steel cut into ordinary horseshoes is worth $10.
A $5 bar of steel cut into needles is worth $350.
The same bar of steel cut into delicate springs for watches becomes worth $250,000.
So the next time you get discouraged at what God is putting you through…you’re about ready to abandon The FAITH Boat…think of that BAR OF STEEL.
The “Muster Drill” of Instructions Have Already Been Given!
Have you been in the valley long enough? Are you ready for a change of scenery, perhaps even an Ocean Cruise?
We can dwell above our circumstances and live on a higher plane than the rest of the World. We don’t need to be concerned with those things that threaten to destroy the World. It begins with a spiritual REBIRTH; a “born-again” life experiences that will set you on course.
GOD is our refuge and strength; our High Tower; the Captain of our ship of FAITH. He is our Deliverer and will get us safely to our final destination! So, let’s get aboard the FAITH BOAT and experience the LOVE Cruise of a lifetime!