Monday, July 9, 2012

Surviving the Storm

"One Year Bible" New Testament Passage
Acts 27:1-20
18 And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship. 19 On the third day we threw the ship’s tackle overboard with our own hands. Acts 27:18-19 (NKJV)

It is inevitable that storms will come into our lives.  The Bible nowhere promises that you will avoid storms.  The Bible promises that God will give you to the tools, the wisdom, and the power to SURVIVE the storms of life.

As Paul sailed toward his destiny in Rome, a storm struck.  It was of legendary proportions.  It even had a name -- Euroclydon.  To quote the now classic film of a few years back, it was the PERFECT STORM.  It had begun with soft breezes (vs. 13) but it grew into a life-threatening force.

Perhaps you are in a storm now.  It has been brewing for some time, but now it is pounding down upon you fully.  There are several things that Paul and the ship's crew did to SURVIVE the storm.

Paul had been fasting (vss. 9 and 21).  That's always a good move.  Seek the Lord with prayer and fasting.  In addition, Paul was seeking to hear from God as concerning direction.  Keep your spiritual ears open.

One of the important things Paul and the ship's crew did was to LIGHTEN THE LOAD.  In vss. 18-19, they realized that if they were going to survive this storm they had to get rid of some things.  They were carrying too much baggage. 

Hebrews 12:1 speaks in similar fashion.  Using the imagery of running a race, the author tell us to "lay aside every weight."  He goes on to describe these weights as "the sin which so easily ensnares us."  If you want to win the race, sometimes you have to lay down some things.  This may include more that the obvious "sins".  It may also include some "good" things -- some things you have depended on in the past but are now holding you back.  If you want to survive the storm, sometimes you have to lighten your load.

Perhaps God has allowed the storm into your life for the very purpose of "encouraging" you toward needed changes.  Perhaps He knows that you need to let go of some things in order to be ready for the new things He has for you.  Our life with God is a succession of LAYING DOWN and TAKING UP.  We lay down those things the Holy Spirit is putting His finger on today.  We take up righteousness and obedience -- faith and a future. 

You can survive the storm.  God will help you to take the steps He is calling for.

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