Surviving the Storm!

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This past weekend, Virginia had some of the most powerful storms which hit between Richmond and where we live in Chesapeake/Virginia Beach.  Thousands were left without power.  Michele and I even had a tree that fell in our backyard and landed on the fence.  Thankfully, no one was injured, and the fence was not even broken.  Praise the Lord!

We have some friends in the Richmond area who have a 16 year old son who recently began driving and had taken some of his buddies to Kings Dominion which is north of Richmond.  We were with them this past week, and the mother began to share this story.  As she shared it, there were many things that the Holy Spirit began to speak to me, and I feel impressed to share those thoughts with you, knowing that many of you are facing some powerful storms in your lives at this very moment.

Deborah (the mother) had been watching the news when she saw the storms which were fast approaching the Doswell area which is where Phillip (the son) had been enjoying the day at Kings Dominion.  She texted Phillip that the severe storms were heading his way and to get to his car, take shelter and stay there until the storms passed by.

Phillip, being 16, could have ignored his mother’s warning based upon what he saw at the moment; it was great weather at the time.  The sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky and they were having great fun.  But Phillip, being the obedient and responsible son that he is, followed his mother’s instructions- even though he saw no eminent danger.  Just as soon as he arrived to the “safe zone” that his mother instructed him to go, the heavens opened up and the storm hit with full force.  Because he heard the instruction from his mother, and because he was obedient to following those instructions, he survived the storm with no danger.

It was the radar which revealed what was coming.  No one in Phillip’s environment was aware of the coming danger, because there were no signs of an approaching storm.  Faced with the choice of continuing his fun in the park or being obedient to his mother’s instructions, Phillip made the correct choice and was therefore safe.

As I reflected upon this story, I was reminded of Noah.

God told Noah to build an ark.  God gave him the specific instructions on how to build the ark- the type of wood; how to pitch the inside and outside of the ark, etc.  What was interesting is that before this period in time, the world had never seen a flood.  Many scholars even believe that people had not seen rain fall from the sky.  Rather, they believe and teach that the dew brought refreshing to the earth.

While Noah remained faithful to the instruction of the Lord, he was ridiculed by his friends and his neighbors.  Here was Noah, building something to preserve and maintain life, yet he was continually ridiculed by the ones whom he was trying to save.  The ark was a constant reminder to these individuals that they had an invitation to come into the ark and be spared from that which was coming upon them.  And when the time came, Noah released the sound beckoning these individuals to come aboard.  Unfortunately, they did not respond to the call and their life was ended as God sealed the door to the ark before the rain began to fall.

Just like the radar shows what is coming (even though there are no apparent signs of the storm right where you are), the radar provides a warning.  It caused Deborah to send the text message to Phillip driving him to safety.  And just like that message, God has given us the Holy Spirit who gives us the ability to discern things coming toward us.

I wonder how many times we choose to ignore the Holy Spirit’s prompting.  We pass those promptings through our filters rather than simply obeying the Holy Spirit.  We miss many opportunities, simply because we relegate them as being thoughts from our own, rather than realizing that the Holy Spirit is leading us and guiding us in many things.  Unfortunately, sometimes the consequences resulting from our incorrect choices can be costly.

So how do we change this dilemma to enable us to make the right choices?

GOD WILL ALWAYS GIVE A WARNING
WE MUST NOT DISREGARD IT

We must remember that the Holy Spirit is our radar, and we must remain tuned in to what He is saying, and watch for what is coming our way.  He will warn us.  Our job is to listen to His instructions and obey them.  Get the text message and move to safety.  Sometimes that means taking a different route home from work, or even delaying our trip by a day or two.  We must be listening and watching and remain tuned into the Holy Spirit, and what He is instructing us to do.

DON’G GET RATTLED WHEN
YOUR PLANS GET CHANGED

I wish this is one lesson that I could say that I have mastered.  Unfortunately, I still wrestle when things don’t go as I had anticipated.  I must be continually reminded that God has a plan, and I want to choose His will, not mine.

When Phillip was having a great time at Kings Dominion with his friends, I am sure that he was upset when he got the text from mom which required him to change his plans.  Perhaps he had been in line for two hours in 100 degree temperatures waiting for the ride, and he was the next in line to get onboard.  Yet, whenever he got that text from mom, he was faced with the choice of changing his plans, or being stubborn and following the instructions after he completed his agenda.  I am not saying that he did not get upset.  But I am saying that he heard the instructions from mom and followed them.

We will walk in less frustration if we realize that God is working on our behalf and therefore He may change, delay or alter our plans.  But remember, DELAY IS NOT DENIAL!

GOD WILL ALWAYS PROVIDE
A PLACE OF SAFETY AND REFUGE

Deborah knew the place of safety, and she gave Phillip the instructions where to go and what to do.  Phillip’s job was to merely respond to the message and in his obedience he would find safety.

Proverbs 18:10 says, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”

Revelation says, “Let him who has an ear, hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church.”  We must continually be listening and responding to what He is saying to us.  He is our shelter in the time of storm.

BE A LIFEGUARD:  TAKE AS MANY PEOPLE WITH YOU TO SAFETY AS POSSIBLE

Phillip was responsible for not only his own safety, but also of those who rode with him.  And just like Phillip’s friends (who were not watching the weather radar), there are people in your life and mine who are not listening to the Holy Spirit or watching the radar warning us of the approaching storm.  But God has placed you and me in their lives to warn, encourage and lead them to safety.

Our job is simply to lead them to safety so they may be saved.  That doesn’t mean we have to be preachy.  It simply means that our lives must reflect to the world that we are listening to and obeying the instructions from the Lord.  After all, YOUR LIFE IS THE ONLY BIBLE THAT SOME WILL EVER READ!

It is my prayer that our lives convey the love of God correctly, and that we continue to remain in Him, walking in the fullness of all He has called us into.

BLESSING, FAVOR, PROTECTION, PURPOSE, DESTINY, AND THE HIGH CALLING OF CHRIST JESUS- THE HOPE OF GLORY!

WATCH, LISTEN AND OBEY, and you will SURVIVE THE STORM!

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