“General Quarters! All hands, man your battle stations!” On board a Navy vessel, this announcement commands all sailors to report to their duty stations. Whenever a ship prepares for war or war drills, a ship divides into compartments. Each individual area is secured by a steel door hatch that seals to a rubber gasket around the frame of the door. This makes it impossible for water to come into that compartment. Once the steel door is secure, the room becomes watertight. If one area is hit by an enemy torpedo or missile, only that section fills with water. No other compartment fills with water, and the ship is secure from sinking. The Navy calls this “Watertight Integrity.”
Scriptures very plainly declare that Satan works to destroy you: Jesus told Simon Peter that Satan wanted to “sift him as wheat,” Jesus called Satan a thief who comes “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy,” and Peter described him “as a roaring lion, . . . seeking whom he may devour ” (Luke 22:31; John 10:10; I Pet 5:8). Satan tries metaphorically to “sink your ship.” He attacks an area of your life and floods it with guilt, shame, and confusion, causing you to question your integrity. He hopes to continue the damage until each compartment of your life is destroyed.
Whenever a ship takes a hit from an enemy attack, the ship is brought into port. They lift it out of the water and the ship goes into what is called “Dry-Dock.” The area that is damaged will then be repaired. Later, the ship is set back into the water and ready to go to sea. It is once again “Watertight” and ready for service.
There are times Christians need to go into “Dry-Dock.” An area of your life is attacked and you need God to repair the damage to your integrity. Proverbs 28:13 states, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Integrity requires one to take accountability for his own actions. David said, “Against thee, and thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight…” (Psa 51:4). You may say, “But I have confessed and forsaken . . . still, Satan continues to flood my mind with guilt. What more can I do?” The Lord gives us powerful tools called prayer and fasting.
“If my people . . . pray . . . then will I hear . . . forgive . . . and heal . . .” (See II Chronicles 7:14.)
The Lord describes His chosen fast in Isaiah 58:6, “Is not this the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?”
The Lord first shows the purpose of fasting, but then He describes the benefits in Isaiah 58:8-9,
Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.'
Prayer and fasting can bring integrity back into each compartment of your life. Then, you are ready once again to fulfill a life of service. Your vessel will be one of Watertight Integrity!
- Rev. Gary Carter
Dean of Christian Education/Vice-President
Texas Bible College
He served in the US Navy from 1973 -1977
The nature of an investment is to let go of one thing in the present, place it in the realm of the unseen, and trust that the ship will come in. That is faith. Fear will not allow many to let go. Consequently, they live their lives on the banks of “good intentions.” Others see no other option than to let go. A true call of God removes all other options from the table and invests in the invisible realities of God’s promise. The understanding of this comes when one makes prayer investments!
11 “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.”
This spoke of sea merchants who would send out grain on ships with the knowledge that gold would return. Grains of prayer sent into the heavens today will return with gold tomorrow. I am not referring to the corruptible gold of this world. I am pointing to something of much more value and of much greater quality. It’s the rarity of a golden call into the ministry. It’s the birth of a ministry that is priced far above worldly wealth. Callings and anointing do not come from pedigree, social status, name-dropping, or pushing the right buttons. They come from agonizing, broken, painful grains of prayer; the grains that irritate, but transform. Solomon knew the value of returns.
1 Kings 10:15, 22-23
15 “besides that from the traveling merchants, from the income of traders, from all the kings of Arabia, and from the governors of the country.”
22 “For the king had merchant ships at sea with the fleet of Hiram. Once every three years the merchant ships came bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys.”
23 “So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.”
It would be years before the ships would return with that of greater value; but when they did, the merchant's faith and patience would be rewarded. We are Prayer Merchants! We deal in invisible, spiritual matters. We work with wind and we must be ever ready to adjust our prayer sails to its moving. Prayer takes a direction. That direction is subjective. Prayer direction never contradicts the Word or the pastor. What one hears in prayer is forever subject to the authority of the Word of God. Before a decision is made, pastoral counsel must be sought. If the word does not support it, and the pastor does not approve it, it’s the wrong direction.
It is said that Eccl. 11:1 is also an allusion to the sowing of rice. The rice was sown on muddy ground, or ground covered with water. It was then trodden and trampled under the feet of cattle. The weight and pressure of the trampling is what caused it to take root. Root systems are vital to growth, and only come through the process of being stepped on. Insurmountable weight and pressure are tools in the hands of God that produce needed growth in our lives. It was after “many days” that visible evidence proved the power of invisible investments.
When we depend upon organizations,
we get what organizations can do;
When we depend upon education,
we get what education can do;
When we depend upon man,
we get what man can do;
But when we depend upon prayer,
we get what God can do.
A. C. DIXON
Texas Bible College is the grounding upon which prayer investments are made. Roots, deep roots, are intertwined around the rocks of solid doctrine. Like steel that has been tempered and shaped, Apostolic leaders are faithfully forged, powerful preachers are pressed into form, and Kingdom-shakers are sent into the world. It all starts with Prayer Investments.
- Rev. Carl McLaughlin, M.A.
Texas Bible College