God is Watching You Part 3
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Then, I think, that too often our good intentions prove to be, "As false as the smooth, deceitful sea, and as empty as the whistling wind. "In some ways, we are like the sea, because we are restless by nature. We run in one direction and then in another; rarely following the right thing. Some are always seeking something, but they don’t know what. They do not know Christ and until they do know Him they will not be able to rest. They are as restless as a whale with a harpoon in him and as restless as the sea when a storm moves over it.
I want to say, next, that the sea can be furious and terrible, and so can ungodly men.
All rivers flow to the sea, but it is never filled up. It has swallowed whole navies, but its appetite is never satisfied. It washes away cliffs that weigh thousands of tons, but it stays the same size. The Atlantic Ocean in a storm is terrible, but have you ever seen the tempest in a man? It is an awful sight. I have seen my own brother when he is drunk: it changes him from a man that everyone immediately likes, to one whose eyes flash lightning, his face is black with fury, he cares for nothing, and his tongue speaks constant cursing. Men in this condition can’t be reasoned with until they sober up, and they must be avoided until then.
Many men crave all the wealth and prestige that they can get. They are never satisfied. If you gave them half the world, they would cry for the other half. Our minds never rest in sweet content until God satisfies it with Himself. Man or woman, without true religion, which comes through faith in Jesus Christ, it will be your fate to hunger and thirst; or, like the sea, rolling and foaming, after you know not what.
Human nature is like the sea, in the danger it can cause. The ocean can be very destructive and unfeeling. It has made thousands of widows and orphans but goes on as if it has done nothing. There is terrible power in the ocean and when it is let loose there is immense disaster.
But let’s not talk about how destructive the sea is; instead, think of how destructive the life of a sinner can be. How many lives have they damaged by their vices, foul words, and filthy acts? They might say to God, “Am I a sea or a sea-monster.” And God would reply, “A shark could not devour as many as you have by your lusts and uncleanness.”
We must not forget that we are less obedient to God than the sea is. No matter how unruly the waves are, they fall back at God’s request. I wish that we were like the sea in this respect. It yields so readily. If a little wind springs up, the waves answer immediately to heaven's call. The great currents of the oceans flow to where God appoints them to go. The sea was obedient to the Lord and so was that great fish, that swallowed Jonah, “The Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land."
As for us, we refuse to obey, and when left to ourselves, even the law can’t restrain us. Is there anything on this earth which a proud sinner will not attempt? He will break down every hedge that God puts up to block the road to hell. A man will go against the wind and tide in his determination to be lost. We need to be looked after. We need to be watched. We need to be kept in check even more than the sea or a whale. We need the restraining providence and constraining grace of God to keep us from deadly sin.
And now, last of all, I would like to say that all that they complained about was sent in love.
They said, “Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me?” But if they would have known the truth, they would have thanked God with all their hearts for what He had done for them.
First of all, God’s restraint of some of us kept us from self-destruction. If God had not controlled some of us we would have been thrown in prison; we could have died; we might be in Hell, even now. Who knows what might have become of us? I believe that anyone who knows my life could say, “If it wasn’t for the grace of God changing you, you would be a terrible sinner.” I wonder how many times has the Lord laid His hand on us to keep us from a fatal step into sin? If you were stopped in your youth and brought to Faith in Jesus, it was a gracious act by God.
If we have been hindered in our adult years and brought to bow to the will of the Lord, this is also by the grace of God. If we had been left to ourselves, we would have chosen the course of self-destruction. Don’t you think that God disciplining you, giving you a tender conscience, reprimand you so often, proves His great love for you?
Surely, someone has prayed for you. Perhaps your mother or father. My friends, the Lord would not have held you back if He did not intend to bless you. The heart attack that I had was meant to keep me from running too far into sin. When I went through bankruptcy, it was meant to show me that I can depend upon God for all things. These seeming troubles are all tokens of God’s love. The Lord will not let you perish. Christ bought you with His blood and He means to keep you for His own. If you will not come to Him with a gentle breeze, He will bring you with a storm. It is best to yield to the pressure of His love. You can be like the horse or the mule and be managed with a bit and a bridle, but it would be much easier if you were ruled by love.
The Lord is working to keep you from sin because He will not lose one of His. The prodigal son was driven home by stress. He was hungry and tired of feeding pigs. The unkindness of the citizens of the far country helped to hurry him back to his father. Hardship and want and pain are meant to bring you back, and God uses them for that purpose; and the day will come when you will say, “Thank you, Father, for the rough wave which washed me on shore; thank you for taking my comfort and security and bringing me back to you.”
But I can say to you from experience that God will not always deal roughly with you. Perhaps tonight, He will say His last sharp word to many who have gone astray. But it is best to yield to softer means. God and the Holy Spirit can send your soul for a lifetime of calm. The winds and waves on the Sea of Galilee went to sleep in an instant. How? When Jesus came walking on the water, He said to the wind and waves, “Be still.” The waves crouched like whipped dogs at his feet, even though they raged moments before.
Jesus is here at this moment. The one who died on Calvary looks down on us: believe in Him. He lifts up His pierced hands and cries, “Look unto me, and be saved.”
Here is a soul-saving verse for you, “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you will accept the Lord, as a sea or a whale, you will no longer complain of Him watching you. Return to Him as obediently as the sea obeyed Our Lord, and you will no longer complain of Him hindering and chastising you. And you will be able to rejoice in perfect liberty. Those who love to serve God are free indeed.