“Your cords hang loose; they cannot hold the mast firm in its place or keep the sail spread out” – Isaiah 33:23
I came across this verse in my Bible readings this morning. I was convicted.
There are a lot of areas in my life in which I can identify loose cords. Cords and rigging which needs to be tightened.
So how do I tighten the ropes? What can I do to begin repairing the ship?
- Turn to God in repentance. A couple of chapters earlier, Isaiah urged his listeners: “Turn to Him from whom people have deeply revolted” (31:6). The truth is, apart from the grace, forgiveness and strength of God, we are unable to fix the rigging. We are all but incapacitated without God.
- With the Spirit’s help implement tightening activities. There are activities which loosen us up. Which let us “relax” (in a bad way) the tension within which God wants us to live our lives. There are activities which blind us to the slackness of our ropes. Instead let us not give up: i) devoting ourselves to the reading and meditating upon God’s word (Psalm 1), ii) gathering together with Christians who will spur us on to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24:25). iii) engaging in authentic, honest and heartfelt prayer and worship…for it is by such discipline that our drooping hands are lifted and weak knees are strengthened (Hebrews 12:12).
- Stop comparing ropes. If we look around us, we may see other slack and loose ropes aboard other vessels. Whilst seeing this should prompt us to make sure ours our kept properly, the usual response is to think to ourselves “hey, at least mine aren’t as loose as theirs”. There is one ship whose sails we ought to be comparing ourselves to and that is Christ. Who has become for us a “sure and steadfast anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19).