SAFE AND SOUND
A Story of Transformation
The USS Cole, one of our guide missel destroyers was attacked while refueling in Yemen on Oct 12, 2000 . It was attacked by terrorists when a small boat loaded with explosives was detonated beside the ship. The explosion blasted a hole in its side 40 foot by 40 foot, killing 17 sailors, and wounding 37 more. The Cole was helpless, sitting in the water, unable to move. They called for reinforcements and help came within hours from the British, a Marine ship, and others. The ship was in danger of sinking and being lost. The sailors worked fervently and managed to keep the ship secure.
They loaded the USS Cole on an enormous ship, the Norwegian Heavy Lift ship Blue Marlin, took it to a safe harbor in America in Pasacgola, MS. It was safe there. No terrorists could reach it where it was. Everyone could rest because it had been saved.
This is exactly like what happened thousands of years ago in the garden of Eden. The Terrorist attacked God’s perfect creation, Adam and Eve. Humans were created in the image and likeness of God. Satan, the Terrorist, hates God and all of His creations. Satan by tempting Eve into sin brought death, destruction, and disablement into this world. But God sent His Son Jesus to save us from being lost, perishing. When you place your faith in Jesus’ sacrifice for your sins and turn from them, you are saved. Jesus became Lord and Savior of your life. You had been damaged by the enemy. The enemy had tried to destroy your life, but you were saved. You were brought into the Homeland, to the Safe-Harbor, Jesus Christ. You were placed in Him and He was placed in you. Now you are safe.
The USS Cole was dry docked in Pascagoula, MS. There was still a problem. It was safe, but it was not sound. It was not the way it was supposed to be. It was not the ship it was originally intended and designed to be. It has to be restored, renovated, renewed to its original state and actually they made it even better.
The repair yard had to replace 550 tons of steel. Clean it up. Love on it. Repair it with care. On April 19, 2002, after years of work and a millions of dollars, the USS Cole was sound. It was whole, fully repaired to its original condition. It left the place of renovation for the place of service. It left the place of renewal for the place of supporting righteousness. It left the place of being rebuilt to build a safe haven for liberty. It left to head back out to service, to serve the United States.
Many are safe in their salvation, but they are not sound. They are just like the USS Cole. You have been saved and brought into Christ – nothing can touch you there. You are safe, but you are not sound. You are broken in your emotions, thoughts, and actions. Even many who are serving are not sound… in their thoughts, emotions, and actions. You don’t have to look far to realize you are not sound. Look at how anger affects you or sexual temptation. Look at how truly kind and gentle you really are. Look at how loving you are compared to the love of Jesus. We live in such a broken world that needs loving restoration.
God wants us renovated, restored, transformed, renewed into the likeness of the Perfect Person, Jesus Christ. He is the blueprint, the design for you and I. God wants every person to be like His Son Jesus in their thoughts, actions, morality, character, responsibility, and relationship to the Father.
The process by which we are renovated, restored, transformed, and renewed into the likeness of Jesus is called Sanctification. Other terms mean the same like Christian Spiritual Formation or simply discipleship. Christian Spiritual formation is process by which a believer becomes more like Christ.
“We must see the soul and the person in its ruined condition, with its malformed and dysfunctional mind, feelings, body, and social relations, before we can understand that is must be delivered and reformed. … One of the greatest obstacles to effective spiritual formation in Christ today is simple failure to understand and acknowledge the reality of the human situation as it affects Christians and non Christians alike. We must start from where we really are.” (Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart, 45)
Are you safe? Have you come to Christ and sought Him to be the Lord and Savior of your life?
Are you becoming sound? Are you allowing Christ to transform your life to become more and more like Him? It is a life long process. A journey that must be embraced.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)