Stay the Course
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:13,14
To "Stay the Course" is a phrase used in the context of a war or battle meaning to pursue a goal regardless of any obstacles or criticism. The phrase allegedly originated as a nautical metaphor on maintaining a constant, unaltering course while navigating.
In order for one to effectively chart a course he must have a chart or map and a compass in order to navigate the seas of life. When one is born again his eyes are opened to the Word of God and his conscience receives the Holy Spirit to guide him. The Word is the chart and the Holy Spirit's guidance is our compass. To try and strike out alone without God's direction is not only foolhardy but downright dangerous.
It amazes me how many that I encounter today in the church that don't know the Bible or have any kind of constant fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. They seem to exist only upon what they hear on Sunday, or from T.V. or from some other source. Many wander aimlessly throughout their lives empty and devoid of any spiritual life.
"But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
The apostle Paul was sent by the Holy Spirit to testify of the gospel of Christ in the midst of certain persecution and tribulation and yet he was determined to finish his course and the ministry that he had received from the Lord regardless of the dangers that awaited him.
Paul knew the Word of God, he was baptized in the Holy Spirit, he was convinced of his position of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and therefore he could proceed on a steady course. Without the Word and the Spirit it is impossible to follow God. It would be like leaving the dock and sailing all week, only to return on Sunday to get another heading to get you through another week of sailing without a destination.
The Word of God is our map and the only source of direction that the Christian has to allow him to navigate through a dark and sometimes dangerous world. Building a solid relationship with God through the study and meditation of His word and praying in the Spirit seeking the will of God in every situation will yield a peaceful life filled with the joy of the Lord.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. Psalms 1:2
PLOTTING YOUR COURSE
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand. Psalms 37:23,24
When one begins his journey with Jesus he must establish a dialog or line of communication with Him. Speaking with someone you can't see is at best challenging but once you begin to discipline yourself to seek the Lord I can guarantee you will find Him. Establishing a quiet time with Him is the most rewarding and joyful time you will ever have as a Christian, after all you are having fellowship with God!
If you truly surrender your will and your life to God, He promises in His Word to lead you and guide you into all truth. When we become His sons or daughters by faith in His Word we are immediately brought into His family and as a loving Father He begins to take control of our life and guide us to His desired destination.
As we traverse the path of life we have a chart and compass that no one else has, only those who are born again into the family of God have a built in GPS to navigate with. The Holy Spirit and the Word of God illuminate our way through the darkness of this world and allow us to make our way even in the face of great danger and distress.
Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5,6
BLOWN OFF COURSE
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6,7
Once we have made the decision to follow Jesus and sail the oceans of life by faith in Him; we must loose our vessel from the moorings of this world. Upon charting our course toward Heaven we have committed our way to Him through sometimes dangerous and stormy seas. Many a mighty man has succumbed to the powerful winds of false doctrine and false brethren, not to mention the search for buried treasure that the world constantly offers.
In order to stay the course one must stay focused on the target or destination, never taking his eyes off the prize of the upward call of God. There are many distractions along the journey and many a trap or detour to sink a vessel or destroy it on the rocks of life. Jesus is faithful to lead us and guide us as long as we allow Him to do so, but as Peter learned as he stepped out of the boat and took his eyes off the Captain, the stormy seas began to swallow him up!
By maintaining constant fellowship with the Lord and praying at all times in faith believing Him and taking Him at His word will render a peaceful and fruitful journey. Many a seafarer was blown off course and suffered shipwreck because they did not pay attention to the chart or their compass and they were distracted and veered off course.
Having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning their faith have suffered shipwreck. I Timothy 1:19
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
The kingdom needs navigators who will preach the un-compromised word of the living God! The church is starved for truth and languishes on the verge of shipwreck because they have no knowledge of God's word. The Bible clearly states that God's people perish for lack of knowledge, not the knowledge of the world but the truth of the revealed Word of God.
We are in a time of great distress and upheaval in an ever changing world and now is the time to get back to the basics of spiritual life and throw out all the foolishness that has crept into the body of Christ. There has been enough pollution in the house of God and its time to clean house and eliminate all of the religious nonsense that has been allowed to infiltrate the church of the living God!
God's people have been blown off course by false prophets and false teachers and polluted with doctrines of demons forcing them to believe a lie and many have sunk into destruction having no firm foundation to rely on in the face of certain shipwreck. To stay the course is to get back to the only source of truth, the chart of God's word and the compass of Holy Spirit's divine direction before its too late!
But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:14-17