Summary: How to prepare for the storms that are on the horizon.
SAILING THROUGH THE STORMS
The Right Approach for the
March 15, 2009
Pastor Brian Matherlee
During the recent snow storm we had where the snow melted and then would refreeze overnight a man was relating how he used his seven-year-old son’s baseball bat to smash the slick coat of ice on his driveway. He got cold and went inside for a cup of coffee before attempting to clear the car. Several minutes later, his son, who had been outside with him, came in. “Dad,” he said, “I got the ice off the car.” “How did you do that?” his father asked. “Same way you did,” the boy shrugged, “with the baseball bat.”
Speaking of storms—what does a tornado, a hurricane and a redneck divorce have in common? Someone’s going to lose a trailer!
I want to talk to you today about how to prepare for the storms that are on the horizon.
The economic storm is nothing compared to the real trouble that lies on the horizon. We can see the stock market come back. We can turn around the housing market and jobs. People can have their retirement accounts rebound. But if we return to a place of prosperity in the world but have missed the opportunity to reclaim our nation for Christ we will have larger storms that we will not survive.
I Chronicles 12:32, “men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what to do.”
What can we do that will help us survive the storm?
1. Have an awareness of the moral situation
a. There are signs of the storm around us.
b. Less than one percent of the youngest adult generation in America has a biblical worldview, found a new study examining the changes in worldview among Christians and the overall U.S. population.
The Mosaic generation, those between the ages of 18 and 23, “rarely” have a biblical worldview as defined by The Barna Group. The research data found that less than one-half of one percent of Mosaics have a biblical worldview. A biblical worldview, as defined by the Barna study, is believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is completely accurate in all of the principles it teaches; Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic; a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.”
c. I believe God has tried desperately to gain our attention and turn us back towards Himself through the many tragedies our nation and world has experienced. But like Israel during the time of the Judges, the “revival” is short lived and each subsequent time it falls shorter and shorter of God’s moral standards.
d. Do you remember how full churches were following the Oklahoma City bombing? It was news. I was in Terre Haute, IN at the time and the local news crew came to our church, interviewing us and filmed our services. We had new faces for a number of weeks. When the Twin Towers were destroyed people turned out in droves but the fact is it was only for a week or two.
e. Our world has crumbled morally. We are a post-Christian nation in behavior and very soon in name if we don’t fully return to God.
f. With all the bad news, awareness means we also know how awesome our God is.
g. 2 Kings 6—Elisha was a prophet during the time the Arameans and Israelites were at war. The King of Aram was repeatedly frustrated in his raids against Israel because God was revealing to Elisha every decision the King of Aram was making and Elisha was telling the Israelites. The King of Aram decided to go after Elisha. He surrounded the prophet and his servant in the city of Dothan. The servant was afraid as he looked up and saw the army around them. Elisha prayed and asked the Lord to open the servant’s eyes and they were. He saw the angels and chariots of fire the Lord had provided for their protection.
h. Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
2. Hold to objective moral standards
a. “In Words We Live By, Brian Burrell tells of an armed robber named Dennis Lee Curtis who was arrested in 1992 in Rapid City, South Dakota. Curtis apparently had scruples about his thievery. In his wallet the police found a sheet of paper on which was written the following code:
1) I will not kill anyone unless I have to.
2) I will take cash and food stamps—no checks.
3) I will rob only at night.