Summary: The island fever that we want to talk about tonight is when saints feel that their challenges are closing in around them.
At this time I would like you to turn with me to Isaiah 40:15, when you have it, please say ‘Amen’.
For your hearing as it reads - “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.”
The theme I would like to use tonight is: Island Fever
According to a Dictionary.com:
The word “Island” (for our utilization and consideration tonight) means: to cause somebody to feel isolated. As an example, isolation from contact with peers, colleagues, or relatives.
The word “Fever” (for our utilization and consideration tonight) means: to throw somebody into a state of agitation.
The passage of scripture that we are focusing on illustrates how our God cares about every challenge we go through. As we have read the word of our Lord: “behold, he taketh up the isles”. He knows the name and location of each of the 300 islands of Fiji and unknown number of islands on earth. So much the more does He know about each of the challenges that we go through. So how can we mentally get into a state of island fever?
As a native of a very small island, Vulaga, I always thought that the term ‘Island Fever’ was a strange expression. I heard this term mentioned from others but, I never understood what island fever was. I discussed this with my husband and the example that we chatted about was during a time when he was stationed on a very small island called Diego Garcia (3 miles long by about 6 blocks wide). Just for your information, if you are traveling down I-40 and see a freight train, they are normally about 1 mile long. So, Diego Garcia is only 3 trains long!!!
Island fever to the sailors that were stationed on the island called Diego Garcia meant that they had worked themselves into a crazed state because of the physical limitations of the land. According to Teddy, the military people would land on the island and within a few weeks become extremely frustrated with living on this small island (even though the U.S. Navy provided every convenience for their entertainment). The number of fights and other behavioral issues was always problematic because these individuals would look at the small size of the island without taking advantage of the benefits that were available. Swimming, snorkeling, boating, fishing, water-skiing, as well as, the short work hours were all benefits for the military personnel that were stationed there; but for those who had ‘Island Fever’ none of the benefits mattered. These individuals were overcome by the fact that they were stationed on the ‘ROCK’.
So what happens when Island Fever hits us as saints of God?
The island fever that we want to talk about tonight is when saints feel that their challenges are closing in around them. The type of fever that drives them to make a premature change before the Lord has directed them. Although we may feel at some point or another that our challenges are closing in around us: our salvation comes with benefits. As this sensation of Island fever approaches, we must remember to take advantage of our advantage. Salvation is not a limitation, it is an advantage. Salvation comes with spiritual benefits: the power of God’s majesty. Island fever saints have allowed that feeling of limitation to overwhelm them. “I can’t go here, or there. I can’t do this, or that. I don’t have this or that.” But remember, our God is the God of the universe. To Him the Earth is an Island in the midst of His creation. He has the solution to every one of our challenges: if we will only ask HIM. The island that our God wants us to exist in is without limitation.
Just as the “Island Fever” that we experience when we are on a physical Island limits us to focus on the negatives of our environment: that same Island Fever, that we experience as saints of God, limits our focus to the negatives in our lives. But the truth in both cases is that the Islands that we are blessed to be a part of are unlimited through our relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. When we feel that “Island Fever” creeping on us, we must ask our Lord for help.
As our Assistant Pastor reminded us this morning, our Lord in Mark 9:24 admonishes us to cry out “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief”. When decision time comes our Lord has given us the free will to make choices. It is critical that we do not make the wrong choice because we are under the constraint of “Island Fever”.
The significance of a choice is that there is more that one alternative. If we allow our Lord to open our minds it gives HIM the opportunity to show us an alternative that we may not have thought of before. As the saying goes, think a thought that you have not thought of before. Who better than the saints of God, FILLED WITH THIS WONDERFUL, ASWSOME, HEAVENLY, Holy Ghost power could even begin to imagine a thought that they have not thought of before? But, that will not happen while we have “Island Fever”. Our Lord promises us a New way of walking and a New way of talking, not the limitations of pessimism.