Life Without Ballast
The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed... - Luke 6:49
Ballast is the weight at the bottom of a boat that keeps it upright in the water. Without ballast, a small wave can cause a ship to roll over. Ballast, weight, burden, load, gravity, pressure, etc. are good things because they keep us upright. Just as a ship's crew can foolishly choose to lighten the ships load so it moves faster in the water, we can chose to reject wisdom and throw off divine ballasts we perceive are holding us back. Keep in mind, God-given ballast does not hold us back, it holds us up, but that doesn't stop us from getting ourselves free.
In his book, "No Silver Bullets," Daniel Im suggests three ballasts that both the Bible and social science tell us are necessary for Christians to mature in Christ These ballasts are necessary if our faith is to continue growing and we are to continue becoming more like Jesus. These ballasts keep us from toppling over and wandering away from the path of following Jesus. What are the three? Just a warning....you will not be surprised. They are: 1) Reading the Bible; 2) Attending worship service at your church; 3) Attending small classes or groups that study God's word and encourage each other's faith (from "No Silver Bullet's" kindle location 1220).
John Wesley, the 18th century church reformer (; included these same ballasts in what he called the means or ways God's power flows into our lives. He used the terms, "searching the Scriptures, the Lord's Supper, and Christian conferencing." (1) (I admit that last one sounds funny to us today). You can find these ballasts in the Bible as well, check out Acts 2:42 as one example. Now the important question, "What ballasts, what weights, what "burdens" are those who call themselves followers of Christ mostly likely to throw off because they get in the way, hold us back and/or are "unnecessary"? The answer is: Daily Bible reading, worshiping weekly and committing to small group discipleship.
In the bible the word for God's glory (kabod), literally means weight. Those who give glory to God, give him ballast, reverence, honor, respect. They respect and therefore learn and follow his word and his ways. The decision to keep or toss God-given ballast, is a decision between two glories. When we toss aside the God-given ballast (weight, glory) it is because we think something else is more glorious. When we choose to go do something else on Sunday instead of worshiping God with our church family, we glorify and honor that something else more than God (the same goes for what we choose rather than reading God's word and being in discipleship relationships). Our choice brings us apparent freedom, but it's a freedom that is missing God's glory. It is a freedom that lacks the loving ballasts God has given to us. The choice you make will determine whether you stay upright or topple over when life tosses its waves at you. The wise person, therefore, keeps a God-ballasted life.
Keep Pressing On,
- Pastor Tim
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I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.
- William Carey
My name is Tim Kirkes. I am honored to be the a child of my heavenly Father, the husband of Lisa, the father of two boys and the pastor of San Dimas Wesleyan church.