What Kind of Ship are You On?
If you had to choose between being a passenger on a cruise ship or a sailor on a battleship, which would you select? I'm confident that most would choose the cruise ship since its purpose is essentially to pursue pleasure. Few, when given this choice, would decide to serve as a sailor on a battleship because of the hard work and potential risk of losing one's life in combat.

Although I've never been in the Navy, I understand that those who live on the ship are known as "ship's company." They are always on the ship whether it is journeying, at port, or dry dock. I've also never been on a cruise ship, though one day perhaps I'll have the opportunity to treat my wife to a cruise. A cruise ship is not designed for battle but for pleasure and relaxation. A cruise is a time to "get away." I can imagine that a typical day for a sailor on a battleship would be exceedingly different than an average day for a passenger on a cruise ship. On a cruise ship, you can sleep as late as you want, eat whenever you desire, and basically do whatever you want since you have no responsibility. But, for ship's company, your day would likely be filled with duties to tend to at appointed times. Each sailor has an assigned job (or jobs) and is fully expected to carry out his intended service. Otherwise, things won't go very smoothly, and the whole ship may fail its purpose. This is the nature of a military ship, and properly executed service becomes even more critical during combat.

So what, Stephen! What does this have to do with God's word? The application is easily seen when one question is asked: As a Christian, are you on a cruise ship or a battleship? Really think about it friends, and reflect upon your life genuinely.

Obviously, Christians should be on the Lord's "battleship," if you will. The Scriptures depict that we are to be in battle spiritually against evil; we are to be faithful soldiers for the Lord and His kingdom! Consider a few verses on this theme:

Is the church to be a cruise ship or a battleship? We know the answer, but does it accurately describe our present condition? Every Christian (or crew member) has a place to fit in and a task to accomplish. We are not tourists aboard God's vessel! We must find our place and fit in. We are not here to wear sunglasses, flowery shirts, take pictures, and slap on the suntan lotion. We are here to serve! We are here to fight the good fight of faith and endure hardship laboring for the Lord! Are you doing that? Do you know what it means to work hard for God? Have you experienced such personally or only read about it? Each of us must learn the job we've been chosen for and serve there faithfully. If we don't, we will fail our God-given task (i.e., "to seek and to save that which was lost" - Luke 19:10).

Don't misunderstand me, friends. I'm not saying that it is wrong for Christians to have a good time with one another, but we must remember first and foremost to have the mindset of Christ and to be busy doing the works of God while we have the ability and opportunity (cf. John 9:4). Too many churches today, I'm sorry to say, seem to resemble a cruise ship more than a battleship. Too many Christians, it would seem, look like full-time cruise ship passengers and not spiritual sailors serving diligently. Too many are determined to seek their own pleasure as their priority and only serve God and endure hardship when it is convenient and on their terms. May it not be so with us!