SURVIVING THE STORMS OF CHANGE
This morning we talked about how change can be good and it can be bad. I pointed out many of the problems that our nation has embraced with the storm of change and how this in turn has been affecting the Lordís church and causing some be swept up by these storms so that they find themselves moving farther and farther away from God. Well, in tonightís lesson I will offer some practical points that will help us to survive the storms of change and that can potential help our nation get back on track as nation under God.
One of the first things we must continual tell ourselves is that no matter how much the world changes around us Godís Word and his way does not change. While I am for changes that will enhance our lives and make us a better people we must be ready to stand firm with God when it comes to issues that have to with religion. I donít care how smart we become we can never get to the point where we can do it better than God or to think that God will stand up and say well why I didnít I think about doing it that way. When we start becoming so big in our own eyes that we think we have all the answers we need to read passages such as,
Jeremiah 10:23 O LORD,
I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks
to direct his own steps.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust
in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;† 6 In all your ways acknowledge
Him, And He shall direct your paths.† 7
Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.† 8 It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.
So our first step to
surviving the storm of change is to realize that God is all knowing and
powerful and that His word does not change and no matter how smart we become we
can never do it better that God. We must always humble our self before the Lord
realizing that we are nothing without Him and that we are no one else has the right
to change His word.
Once we understand our
place and realize that Godís Word doesnít change and he is not interested in
how we think we can make it better. Then the second step that will help us
survive the storm of change is to respect the authority of the scriptures. We
are taught countless times that we must stick to the pattern that God has set
before us in his word.
Letís look at a few of
Proverbs 30:5 Every
word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust
in Him.† 6 Do not add to His
words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.
Revelation 22:18 For I
testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone
adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this
book;† 19 and if anyone takes
away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part
from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are
written in this book. See Also Deut. 4:2, 12:32
Galatians 1:6 I
marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace
of Christ, to a different gospel,† 7
which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert
the gospel of Christ.† 8 But
even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what
we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
1 Corinthians 4:6 Now
these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos
for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written,
that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.
There are so many passages that teach this concept that should be easy for us to see how important it us for us respect the authority of the scriptures. We must make a commitment to respect the authority of scriptures in every situation even when our own heart tells us otherwise. This is the only way that will be able to worship God in spirit and in truth. As I said this morning Jesus tells us that both of these elements are necessary for us to be pleasing to God. We must fully engage our entire being as we worship from our heart but our heart must be guided by the truth of Godís Word.
The 3rd step in surviving the storm of change is that we must study Godís Word and make it a part of our life so we can know the scriptures and what they say is right and wrong. Part of respecting the authority of scriptures would certain include studying them. Again, the Bible makes this claim itself.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto
God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of
2 Peter 3:18 but grow
in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your
hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason
for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
If we are going to be
successful in surviving the storms of change then we must put Godís word into
our heart so that we will not find ourselves swept away in false doctrine. When
Paul writing to the Ephesians he let them know that when they became unified in
their knowledge of Jesus and what the scriptures have to say he tells them the
result will be this,
Ephesians 4:14 that we should no longer be
children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by
the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,† 15 but, speaking the truth in
love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head †
Whenever we arm
ourselves with the word of God we will be prepared to survive the storm of
change. I love how Paul describes the prepared Christian that stand up against
the whiles of devil which would include those who are trying to move away from
the authority of the scriptures in,
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in
the Lord and in the power of His might.† 11
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles
of the devil.† 12 For we do
not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts
of wickedness in the heavenly places.† 13 Therefore take up the whole
armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having
done all, to stand.† 14 Stand
therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate
of righteousness,† 15 and
having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;† 16 above all, taking the shield of
faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked
one.† 17 And take the helmet
of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;† 18 praying always with all prayer
and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all
perseverance and supplication for all the saints Ė
The 4th step to surviving the storm of
change is to never compromise the authority of Godís word. This is one area
that we get ourselves in trouble because sometimes we may be strong and fully
armed on about 95 % of everything that comes our way. But sometimes things will
come up that effect our personal lives that will cause to start listing to our
hearts and emotions instead of obeying what the scriptures say.
A great example of this can be found in the OT
where we find that the children of
Ezra 10:1 Now while Ezra was praying, and
while he was confessing, weeping, and bowing down before the house of God, a
very large assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him from
This was not a matter that would be taken care over night because there were many of them that had married these foreign wives as we see in,
"But there are many people; it is the season for heavy rain,
and we are not able to stand outside. Nor is this the work of one or two
days, for there are many of us who have transgressed in this
matter.† 14 "Please, let
the leaders of our entire assembly stand; and let all those in our cities who
have taken pagan wives come at appointed times, together with the elders and
judges of their cities, until the fierce wrath of our God is turned away from
us in this matter."
But eventually we see
that the children of
Matthew 10:37 "He
who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son
or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.†
38 "And he who does not take his cross and follow after
Me is not worthy of Me.
we must be willing to stand fast in Godís Word even if it means that family has
to come second.
5th step that will help us to survive the storm of change is to have
preachers who will preach the whole council of God even if parts of it are not
very popular in our society. I keep running across articles and other
Christians that keep telling me that more and more preachers are preaching a
water downed message and they are not using very much scripture. Some reason
that have been given of why they do this is because number 1 they want to keep
their job 2 They afraid of the people and they do not want to rock the boat.
firmly believe that our preaching should be rooted and grounded in the word of
God and eldership that allows a preacher to keep preaching from the reader
digest in my opinion is not doing a good job at making sure that flock is fed
with the word of God so that they can grow spiritually. We need more preachers
like the apostle Paul who said this to Ephesians Elders,
"Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the
blood of all men.† 27
"For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.† 28 "Therefore take heed to
yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you
overseers, to shepherd the
Galatians 4:16† Have I therefore become your enemy because I
tell you the truth?
understood that he should fear God and not man and that when he spoke the whole
council of God even if the people didnít like what they were hearing he could
lift his head high realizing that God was pleased with him because he did not
sell the truth for a lie. There are more and more people that donít want to
hear the truth today they are like those people that Isaiah talks about in,
Isaiah 30:10 Who say
to the seers, "Do not see," And to the prophets, "Do not
prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.† 11 Get out of the way, Turn aside
from the path, Cause the Holy One of
is what will happen to a congregation who gets swept up in the storm of change
because they have not been properly fed with the whole council of God. So, we
must have preachers who are willing to preach the whole council of God.
6th step that will help us to survive the storm of change is using
the power of prayer. We need to pray to God every single day for the strength
to resist the temptation that will come before us. Jesus taught his disciples
to pray for such,
Matthew 6:13† And do not lead us into temptation, But
deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the
glory forever. Amen.
Then later on he warned
his disciples how important prayer is and how it helps us.
Matthew 26:41† "Watch and pray, lest you enter into
temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
To many times we
forget about prayer and we only use it when we are desperate but we should be
taking advantage of prayer ever day realizing that God hears our prayer and he
answer our prayer.
Hebrews 4:16† Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of
grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.†
once we have all these steps in place we are going to be equipped with
everything that we need to survive the storm of change and we also will have
everything we need to begin to influence and lead our nation back to God and
the way we do this is we take everything we have learned in this lesson and we
become shining examples to those who are around us.
must teach our children these principles. I keep hearing about how the church
is losing its children to the world or to the denominations. The best thing we
can do to prevent that is to instill in them these 6 steps I have shared with
you so that they will respect the authority of the Bible and be fully armed
with the word of God so that they to can be Christ like examples to those
around them as well.
we show our commitment to serving and allowing Godís word to be our moral
compass it will catch on and we can influence or nation to come back to God. We
can certainly make our voices heard when we vote people in to public office or
when we vote no on those things that God would not want us to vote yes on.
These are things that we can do to help change our nation and we must exercise
great patience as we allow God to work in the background knowing that his word
does not return void. So just keep planting and watering and allow God to give
truly believe that if we will follow these 6 steps in this lesson it will lead
to more Americans who will say no to abortion. These steps will also empower
ever Christians to resist the temptation of fornication, adultery, pornography
and homosexuality. If every congregation would follow these 6 steps I feel
confident that every one of them would stand strong in the faith and they would
all be able to survive the storm of change by not allowing false doctrine to
hope these lessons today have shown you some of the major problems that we are
dealing with today and that if we commit ourselves to serving God and
respecting his authority we can make a difference in our nation and within our