What is in your boat?
This is the question that God asked Pastor Andy Harrison from Planetshakers, when he was on a prayer walk with God.
The Bible has a lot to say about boats. But more than boats, the Bible has more to say about vessels.
But we have this treasure in jars (vessels) of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
“This verse says that we have treasure, meaning the Holy Spirit, in this earthly vessel of ours,” said Pastor Andy Harrison, in the second session of Planetshakers on 29th of January at Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre.
“It’s talking about a container, which is built to hold something. It could be a glass, a jar, or a vase.
“In Australia, when we say the word ‘vessel,’ we are not talking about a bottle or a jar. But we are talking about a boat, fishing vessel or ship. Now, that’s a vessel.
“But whether I am talking about a boat or a bottle, it doesn’t matter because both are built to hold something.”
A bottle, for example, is built to hold and contain water. Hence, it would not make sense to make a bottle flat and thin. With that said, the bottle is designed with its contents in mind.
“If I was going to make a cruise ship, I will be thinking about the thousands of passengers going on a holiday. I gotta have water parks, theme parks, and bowling alleys.
“And you are formed by God in your mother’s womb. God literally designed you. Did you know that you are designed with contents in mind?”
You are designed to carry the Spirit of God, meaning the Presence of God.
“As a matter of of fact, He didn’t just design you in your mother’s womb. He has been shaping you ever since. The reason you have been through some things, is because God is using every trial to shape you, and not for no reason.”
God designs us because He wants us to carry His Spirit and His Presence. There is a reason why you are given certain personality, gifts, skills, abilities, power, and authority. You were built to use them in His Spirit.
But what if we fill the bottle – that is obviously built to contain water – with dirt? Then, it would not longer have the capacity to be filled with water.
“What’s my point? If I were to take something that is designed for one purpose to be full with another thing, then it seems like it’s no longer available to be filled with what it’s made for.”
But this is what happens very often in us, as God’s vessels. We ask Him to move in our lives. And we know that God wants to move in our lives. But how come it doesn’t feel that He always is?
“You know why? Maybe it’s because while I am asking to be full of Him, I have allowed this vessel to be full of other things.
“He is saying, ‘Andy, I would love to pour out into you and move in your life.’ But first thing is we got to take this vessel that is built for My Presence and we need to empty a few things first.
What is in your boat?
As he was praying, a vision came to mind. He saw a picture of him sitting in the middle of a boat. But wait… he realized that he was not the only one in the boat.
“I saw ‘disappointment.’ And I started to look around, I realized this is ‘disappointment’ in my boat. This is ‘frustration.’ And this is ‘hurt,’ all in my boat.
“I did a bit of stock-take. ‘Where did you guys come from?’ And to be honest, something like ‘disappointment,’ I don’t even remember how he got into the boat. I have no idea at what point or when it happened.
“But I do know that it happened at some point, because right now in this boat, I have ‘disappointment’ with me. And you know the things that we don’t realized are the most dangerous ones.”
They are called the stow-aways, and they get into the boat without anyone realizing them getting in. The most insignificant and smallest stow-aways, so we think, are the most dangerous.
For instance, rats had found their ways into boats and destroyed hundreds of them. This is because boats are not built to contain rats.
“So, ‘disappointment’ got into my boat like a stow-away. I didn’t mean to have him there. I didn’t know he was even there.
“Now, here’s the interesting things about stow-aways. They seem insignificant on the boat. They haven’t stop the boat to where it’s going. But everywhere I go now, ‘disappointment’ comes with me.
“What am I saying to you? I’m saying I may still reach my destiny – I am going to reach my generation in Australia – but when I do reach my generation, I don’t want ‘disappointment’ coming with me.
“Because what might have been insignificant on my boat could wreck havoc in the generation that I reach.”
As for ‘frustration’ and ‘hurt,’ he invited them on the boat. Now, why would he invite them?
“When you have been sitting in the company of ‘disappointment’ and ‘frustration’ long enough – you have conversations with them because they are sitting on your boat – eventually when someone hurts you and lets you down – you know what? – ‘Come onboard, ‘hurt,’ I have a place for you.’”
But we are not built to be in the company of ‘dissapointment,’ ‘frustration,’ and ‘hurt.’
Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers.” (Psalms 1:1)
“God’s saying, ‘It won’t be wise for you, Andy, to be in conversations with them any longer. This is not a company I have made you for. This is not the people that I have made for you to be in conversations with.’
“I began thinking about 2 Corinthians 6 – come out and be separated from them – don’t be amongst them any longer, be ye separated. It’s time to come out of conversations with these things.”
Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you. (2 Corinthians 6:17)
“They are allowed to be there because I have made an agreement with them. And there may be something coming with you that came onboard with you twenty years ago. I don’t know about you. but I don’t want to sail any mile further with these things in my boat.
“I want to break agreement with these things. I want them out of my boat, purely because when I am sitting in conversations with them, not one of them sounds like my Father.
“I don’t care how much sense they seem to make. I don’t care how real they seem. I don’t care how much I still want ‘hurt’ onboard. I don’t care how much I want to protect myself.
“But purely because it doesn’t sound like my Father, because I know how His Words sound like and I know how His encouragement sounds like. ‘Holy Spirit, I know how Your Presence sounds like.’
“So, with that, in Jesus name, I am going to break agreement with these guys. I am throwing away the stow-aways. ‘Off you go, in Jesus name.’ I literally saw myself got up from my boat and tip ‘disappointment’ off the edge.”
Our boats are not designed for ‘disappointment,’ ‘frustration,’ and ‘hurt.’ But only the filling of the Holy Spirit.
‘Now, in a great house, there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, as apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, read for every good work.’ (2 Timothy 2:20-21)
Some vessels are used for every day use. These are the vessels that allowed themselves to be filled with disappointments, frustrations, and hurts.
And then, there are other vessels freed from contamination who set themselves apart. They are the ones who say, “God, I don’t want what’s designed for You to be filled with anything else.” And they poured out everything that does not belong to God, to be filled with everything that belongs to God.
“I kicked ‘disappointment’ out. And now I say, ‘Lord, there’s an empty seat for you now. So Lord, now I receive your encouragement. Now I receive your Word for me.
“And ‘frustration,’ I break agreement with you in Jesus name as well. God, you have not told me to be frustrated, so now I receive whatever the opposite was.
“Close your eyes and I want you to ask God today, ‘God, what’s in my boat?’ Today, you are gonna break that agreement. It doesn’t matter what you let yourself to be full of or what you allow in your heart.
“One touch with Jesus, one moment with Jesus, turns everything around. He wants to get these things out of your heart and out of your body. This is a moment between you and Jesus.”
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