Some years ago I took my wife and a couple of friends on a white water rafting trip. The Upper Gauley is especially exciting during the Fall as the Army Corps of Engineers opens a nearby dam to raise the level of the river. Before launching onto the river we received instructions from our guides. One of them, a burly gentleman named Derek, spoke words which have long rung in my ears. “In case you fall out of the raft or we all overturn, you will participate in your own rescue!” He was seeking to assure us that he or another guide would be there to help you, they would hold out an oar, they would reach out to grab your hand or your life jacket and you will help them. You will help them to save your life.
I see an awful lot of passivity among those who profess faith. They know that Jesus is a great Savior and that He will ever have mercy on them and forgive them their sins. They also know how He wants them to live. They know something of the labor that will be involved in holiness and they shrink back. It’s hard. It takes lots of effort. I know that if I obey and if I labor God will bless it, but I just don’t feel like it. I have heard many saints ask that I would pray that they would get alone with God and His word. They ask me to pray that God would overcome a certain sin in their lives. The Bible speaks of men determining to meet with God. “You will hear my voice in the morning! I will go the house of the Lord! I will forsake my sin, I will cut off this hand or gouge out this eye!” That is the language of faith. That is the language of one who is determined to participate in their own rescue!