Summary: Living for Christ instead of living like the world.

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Series: It’s Backwards

Go Against the Flow

Matthew 7:13-23

Residents of a small Australian town have been left speechless after fish began falling from the sky.

Hundreds of spangled perch bombarded the 650 residents of Lajamanu, shocking local Christine Balmer, who was walking home when the strange 'weather' started.

She said: 'These fish fell in their hundreds and hundreds all over the place. The locals were running around everywhere picking them up

The fish were all alive when they hit the ground so they would have been alive when they were up there flying around the sky.

'When I told my family, who live in another part of Australia, about the fish falling from the sky, they thought I'd lost my mind.

'But no, I haven't lost my marbles. All I can say is that I'm thankful that it didn't rain crocodiles!'

Meteorologists say the incident was probably caused by a tornado. It is common for tornados to suck up water and fish from rivers and drop them hundreds of miles away.

Mark Kersemakers from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said: 'Once they get up into the weather system, they are pretty much frozen and, after some time, they are released.'

Lajamanu is located half-way between Darwin and Alice Springs, on the edge of the Tanami Desert.

Live fish in the dessert falling from the sky? Stuff like that makes you wonder what God is doing doesn’t it? There are some strange miraculous events in the bible which were sometimes brought for the very reason of waking people up to something beyond their understanding. Fish flying in the desert? Fish still alive that far from water? Fish don’t do that on their own – they had to have some incredible help in order to accomplish that. Something like that is clearly not normal.

That word – normal – is an interesting one. If I were to ask you, “are you normal?” you might have to be given a little more information before you could answer. Normal is defined sometimes by your peer group, your country, or your family – and they can mean some very different things. Wanting to be “normal” is considered a healthy attitude but it isn’t helpful if “normal” is left for society to dictate what the definition is. We aren’t supposed to be normal in that way, we aren’t supposed to be a nameless cog in a group of nameless cogs. In fact God’s plan ultimately is to have his people so transformed into a new creature that they are shockingly out of place in whatever spot they occupy. They are meant to be out of place for the reason of pointing to him.

This week we begin a new series and new small group session called “It’s Backwards!” and it is all about how Jesus taught things which seemed to run counter-culture to what was going on during his day and run contrary to the popular opinions of our day. That’s one of the reasons for this week we are having our worship service backward. It is a little awkward on purpose. Don’t get comfortable today – being too comfortable shuts off your brain and God wants you engaged. This life is to be and adventure so let’s not keep it out of our worship time.

So let’s get to it – Jesus teaches us to go be different, to be awkwardly obvious, and to go against the flow – to be like fish falling out of the sky in the desert! He doesn’t want us to be like everyone else. First consider the….

I. Tyranny of the Majority.

A. In a world run by poll numbers and financial gains, the most popular ideas run the show.

1. Most popular cars, clothes, jobs, phones, toys – all are the ones which are mass produced and the more they are used and seen on TV the more people want to have one. When the products are cheap and useful that is great thing for everyone because it makes life a little easier to get through.

*I remember not long ago when AT&T came out with the IPhone combining an IPod with a touch screen phone and people lined up to be the first ones to purchase one. June 29th 2007 it was launched and people would plunk down $599 for one just to be the first to have it. And the more the IPhone sold the more it seemed to be in demand – some people who had no idea what and IPod was now wanted one because everyone else did! Even when something works really well it isn’t a good idea to just buy it because everyone else is.

2. And it happens that way in much of our life. The polls say a politician is pleasing he suddenly has power; a woman is seen as beautiful her clothes are copied; that thing is friendlier to the environment then it becomes standard. And the constant undercurrent is that since something is popular it must be the right way.

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