Summary: When hurricanes or disasters strike we are reminded that we are frail and that we must build on the rock, Jesus, to survive.

The Purging Winds Capt. Kelly Durant 10-9-16

Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

2. How many of you have ever been at a place where the comedian was telling jokes but then he said one that was not funny? I recall one time about 1993, I was at a Renaissance Fair and it was an interesting event with people dressed up as in medieval times selling jewelry and things. Have you ever been to one of those?

And then a young man (from out of town) went on the stage to do a comedian show. He asked the audience, “Do you know what the most played music hit of Miami is? It is not a one hit number, but a song you hear with only one note! That’s right, do you want to hear it?”

He took out a bugle and played one note marching in a circle and it became obvious he was imitating the sound or note a siren makes when it is giving a warning of danger. These are the sounds everyone had heard just before the massive destruction of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Do you know what happened? Not a single person laughed! Everyone walked away from his show because he without even realizing it was making light of the event for those who had survived! I was amazed, how insensitive he was, and this proves how others never can fully understand tragedy and loss unless they have been in those shoes.

3. Destruction is the mission of the ‘prince of the air’. With wind (physical or verbal) our spiritual adversary loves to destroy properties, finances, and families but most of all he loves to destroy love, the love of God we share and comfort ourselves with. Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. God allowed Satan to carry out some destruction with Job in the Old Testament as an example to learn by, and from time to time God allows Satan to do his damage as a purge on humanity.

Just living on this earth is enough to scare all of us into depending on God! Anyone at any time can die from an earthquake, a hurricane, a flood, a volcano, a meteorite, an atomic bomb, or also be killed by a thief, a wreck, or a random guerrilla attack, or with a cancer or a medicine prescribed by error! And in Florida your entire house without warning can fall into a deep sinkhole!

Why do we classify a hurricane as an ‘Act of God’? Because frail man, that is comparable to a worm, has no power over these powerful forces that no human being can produce, manipulate, or control! We are, in the end, weak tiny creatures and often all of us get reminded by massive catastrophic events how defenseless we really are! We also we get reminded that we should build on the right foundation of the rock; we need God!

4. Catastrophic events humble us. Jesus reminded us that we are not losing it all without god as the foundation. No one can even build a storm proof house that can endure the winds and storms of time and the inevitable harsh assaults. The precarious conditions of our nature seem to destroy at any moment any of our frail constructions, physical or spiritual.

At one time when the earth was young, God protected Adam and Eve in the Garden from any destruction, but because man unleased death, it spread to all nature, misbalancing the forces of earth. Many of the practices of man’s exploitations provoke the destruction and poisoning of nature.

Even though the earth is fragile enough already, how sad it is that evil human man destroys nature as well! Some natural destructions are the consequence of our own mistakes and many catastrophic sufferings is our own fault. Romans 8: 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

5. No one should be surprised by these events since we who live on this earth know that man, and all creation, fell from perfection several millennia ago and came under a curse. But despite that God is with us and we get through the fire, storm, or the purge of winds!

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Hurricanes, storms, and floods invade the lives of millions every year around the globe and basically all of man’s cities are built on top of a danger zone. How foolish man is having built where he never should have. Also devastation, even without nature’s forces, may come into our personal lives from many sources. Destructive events provoke great losses and pain, and we wonder, what is God’s purpose in this? God tests our compassion and love for each other, for one.

6. You are familiar that I, with The Salvation Army teams, have fed thousands of victims from the canteen trucks where destruction has been and loss and suffering is a reality. I’ve been to 8 different states doing disaster relief services and the people usually express appreciation for the food that we provide since they have no electricity (often for weeks).

We often give out cleaning kits and Wal-Mart gift cards and it is amazing to find many normally rude and mean people have a new attitude of gratitude, even after having lost all furniture and everything.

It really encourages me when I see people still thanking God that they were going to get through it all despite it all and that they are glad just to be alive! A purge has some good to it.

7. Loss, pain, and destruction, apart from making us seek God, should, and often does, bring us closer together to each other! In my experience I have seen many looking out for each other in these types of crisis, especially helping the elderly.

We can compare the hit of the massive storm to the devastation that can happen in our personal lives from many causes. Due to the sins of others which affect us in the world, or due to our un-submitted to God nature, we often suffer from the consequences of bad choices.

The winds of storms, the wrong foundation combined with adversity, loss, and the stripping away of all that we thought we had, overwhelms even the best of us and it either makes you and me totally insane (if we remain faithless), or it drives us to God for His help to start over.

8. The experience of people who lose everything by a disaster is not unique in many ways as a vast majority of the people pass through some life-changing crisis sometime or another.

The storms of life are inevitable. Everyone goes through a storm of some kind. Some people lose everything by bad relationships or break-ups, or the death of a family member or a serious health problem. Other ones, like Job in the Bible, experience devastation due to invading events from the outside but Job kept his faith and was blessed for it.

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. Sadly, however, some people get bitter and blame everyone and God for their bad times. Recovery will not come with this attitude and these types of people instead of rebuilding their house on the rock of Jesus rebuild their house on the sand again!

9. The frightening reality is that any one of us could lose our property, family, friends, and/or our health, overnight! It is in these painful times that we must exercise even more our faith to get us through. And, if we pray, and allow friends to be there for us, we will come out like pure gold refined in the fire as Job.

Some storms, or turmoil, come from the consequences of us having made bad choices. Why would anyone choose to build in flood or earthquake area is always a question that reoccurs in my mind. Some people are just unwilling to give up their way of doing things to move to safety. This is a physical thing and it reveals a spiritual lesson as well!

But most of all, why would anyone chose to live without being close to Jesus, without establishing their life on the rock foundation, is the question that should resound within us. Jesus points out that some are wise, and some are foolish. Matt 7:24-27 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: The sand is the world and Jesus is the rock. Without faith and God’s strength, all we have collected over time, our efforts, our productions and goods, our savings, all will be washed away if not established upon God’s foundation of salvation. People that lose all but have God, remain strong; those who don’t have Him usually go crazy!

10. Many people in life have had to start over. What you as a good Christian will not lose, if you are firm on the foundation of God, is your faith, and your place in heaven with your rewards for the works you have done on earth. So actually death is not even a loss but a gain! (As Paul stated in Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain)

In this country, and all around the world, most people are not currently rebuilding their houses due to a physical storm that has devastated their property but rather they are recovering from a personal loss, a heavy spiritual battle that has hit them hard. Many people would choose to rebuild on Jesus if they could learn about Him, but they need your and my guidance and help to do so. Now is an opportunity to connect with others and show them Jesus love.

We are living in hard times and those not experiencing pain must help those who are in pain. After experiencing a loss, after a deep injury, the biggest question by them is, where do I start to rebuild? We must help and guide one another and pray.

11. Sin, like a storm, destroys not just the one who practices it, but all the ones close by as well. Never is just one house flooded, it is entire neighborhoods!

In society today, when you consider bankruptcy, divorce, addictions, and selfishness, it is more than one in every two homes that has suffered destruction of some kind. Devastation may have come by an act of God, or by an attack of the enemy, or it may also have been brought on by someone’s sin. Know this, this is why I choose to serve God, to change at least a few who will listen!

It is a sad reality that many of our Corps members, amongst everyone we know, we conclude that the storms in life have caused many to end up with broken dreams, broken relationships, and broken hearts, and also end up with no money as well!

The effects of sin we can compare to the destructiveness of a storm with its purging winds. At first thee winds seem far away and few believe it may cause any danger. The reality is very few people ever prepare for a storm with survival preparation. God’s Word, our faith, and His strength in us made perfect in our weakness… it is our survival equipment!

So how do we escape the pain of losing it all? Why not just give it all up all to Jesus today? The disciples gave up everything to follow Him on the mission. Do a preemptive offensive.

12. Many people in the world, not just in Florida, right now are in the phase of rebuilding what they have lost. In many places you see torn out carpet, cabinets, and drywall making huge piles of rubbish near the street. Throw away your trash and sin today! Build on the rock!

Do you know what your trash is? What is in your life right now between your walls that is rotting and making you sick? After the winds of a purge, you have to clean up, assess, and then be led by God or you are condemned to repeat the process until you learn better.

Do what you have to so you will never have to worry about future purging winds. Storms will come and go but you will be just fine, strong and prepared, because your treasure consists not in the things of earth, but in the heavenly ones! Prayer…