November 30, 2018

Refuge


Have you ever had one of those weeks? You know where you start out great, you are in the word, your perspective is correct, you understand your purpose in life... and then Whammy... life hits you right between the eyes. It seems that you get hit from every direction. It’s like stubbing your toe on the chair leg, then while hopping on one foot holding the wounded foot, you bash your shin into the coffee table and fall over hitting your head on the TV stand smacking your elbow on the end table on the way down... 


So what do we do? What should our first response be? Sunday school answer... Jesus. Go to God immediately. But do we? We tend to try to power through it... our attitude is... I can do all things through me, myself and I... (That’s not what Phil 4:13 says)


The reality is that we are in a battle as followers of Christ and we MUST rely on Him and the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Ephesians 6:10-13

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 

11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 

13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.


This requires us to have vision beyond the circumstances. Which is difficult to do while you are broken and bleeding. But if we can grasp this, we will indeed stand firm in our faith. Psalm 34:19 was the verse I woke up to this morning. 


Psalm 34:19

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.


When we have days or weeks that seem wonky... get in the habit of understanding the battle and the enemy, but more importantly, look to the Lord first. He knows that as believers we will have many afflictions.... but He will deliver us out of them all. This is Hope! Sometimes things hit us from a direction we were not expecting, because the devil is looking for ways to take us out. 


1 Peter 5:8-9 

8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 

9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.


Stay focused, resist, stand firm in your faith, don’t lose perspective, especially in the midst of the attack. Eyes on God! Paul addresses this in Philippians 4. 


Philippians 4:11-14 

11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 

12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 

13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. 

14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.


Perspective... in all circumstances it is possible to be content. 


ONE: God is our refuge go to Him first. 

TWO: We have each other, don’t be afraid to reach out. It’s not a sign of weakness, its a sign of humility and your desire to make it through life gaining faith in God while being an active member of the body of Christ. 


Look at verse 14. He tells them, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. God gave us other believers to walk through life with. We sharpen each other, defend each other, pick each other up, sometimes we can only sit and pray. Don’t do life alone. I know personally this week I reached out to a few people and said.... Pray...


Remember 1 Corinthians 12? 

You are a valuable member of the Body Of Christ! And when one member hurts... we ALL hurt, when a member of the body does well, we ALL rejoice!  


Prayed for you all this morning! Hold steady! 

Love ya! 

Pastor Scott

Calvary Belmar