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Walking Through the Storm

Doug Batchelor
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Doug Batchelor

Speaker and Director of Amazing Facts, Senior Pastor of Granite Bay Hilltop Seventh-day Adventist Church.




  • October 18, 2017
    7:00 PM


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Our theme this week is we're talking about being rooted and it's based upon a passage that you'll find in the book of Colossians and they may be putting that up on the screen Colossians chapter two. And there it talks about. As you therefore having received Jesus Christ the Lord so walk in Him will talk about walking tonight rooted and build up in him and established in the faith as you've been taught of bounding in it with Thanksgiving be aware less than he once heat you through philosophy and empty deceit according to the tradition of men according to the basic principles of the world and not according to Christ. So our theme is really being rooted in Christ and being rooted is important you want your roots down deep because if the the roots of a plant are not down deep a windy day can blow it away and there are some storms coming. Always like to begin with an amazing fact I was wondering what was one of the worst storms in history and it so happens that it's modern time November eleventh one nine hundred seventy I remember this they had the ball Hola psych loan in Bangladesh it produced a devastating twenty to thirty foot high storm surge. As a result the massive flooding killed somewhere between three hundred and five hundred thousand people. There all in the low lying regions there was one town has a mother. Had one hundred sixty seven thousand people forty five percent of the population was wiped out. If you can even fathom that. And we've certainly had our share of storms recently just in the last couple of months not counting what's happened around the world just in North America we've had a couple of record breaking storms the hurricanes of course area Harvey in a few years ago Katrina you out here may not know I think I'm amazed I look at the news sometimes and it seems like politics fills the news and there's only a few fleeting stories of talk about what just happened in California where we had record fires five thousand. The homes were burned two of our church members in Granite Bay It's a suburb of Sacramento how their homes burned up. And one of our church members had twenty one family members in their home because they'd been evacuated from the fires a lot of people had to leave would just they had ninety seconds warning what would you take you know I've asked people before if you had ninety seconds. To get something out of your house what would you go out What about your kids one of the first. People say I want pictures of the kids I thought about the kids. I mean I'd start there. It was amazing to me how many people first thing they went for was their pets. I mean I can understand that hopefully they didn't have any kids if they were thinking like Ben But yeah these folks really some of our families that has lost everything talked to one family a lady used to be secretary for Joe Cruise many years ago thirty years ago and she and her husband Pastor for sixty four years worth of sermon notes he kept on the old fashioned way and all their things and and as we talked they found courage she her faith is so great she was saying this is so exciting. It's like you know before the Lord comes we're going to lose everything and she was excited. He didn't look so excited he lost all the sermon notes but they weren't worried so much about the stuff I'm at a fact they told me one interesting story they said you know all the things all just got charred the house burnt down but there were some stacks of papers that were so deep that the see the fire had burned all the way through these things that stacks of tracks they had gospel tracks. And the neighbors came back to go through their homes they said are gospel tracks the wind picked up it was blowing our gospel tracks all over the burnt neighborhood talking about the end of the world. She said you know we're gone and we're still witnessing. You know we've seen some some tragic fires and yeah and it was a record breaking. Thousands and thousands of square miles that were burned. You know Jesus said there's going to be storms in the last days. Matthew twenty four you know this whoever hears these sayings of mine and does I'm a liking him unto a wise man who builds this house on the rock and the reindeer. Sends in the flood came and the wind blew and beat on that house and it did not fall because it was founded on the rock and what's the rest of that but he who hears these words of mine and does not do them is like the foolish man who builds his house on the sand. And the storm knocked his house down now. You got the wise man then you get the foolish man but you notice even though one is building on the Rock and one is building on the sand one hundred percent get the storm. The Lord doesn't say and if a storm comes he says when the storm comes. Now that's something especially for the young people that are here right now I want you to know. You're going to run into some storms and we're not talking about weather tonight we're talking about the storms of life and some of you maybe have encountered some storms as financial storms happens when you go to college. There are relationship storms there are health storms. All kinds of storms that you might be going through and. The Lord sometimes allows these storms to get our attention you know one of the big questions I often get when these storms are coming one after another people were saying you know why is God doing this and I wrote a note and had some quotes in there that explain that. God may allow it but it's the devil that brings us destruction God will sometimes withdrawing his protection it's God's angels Revelation says that are holding back the Windsors strife. But when we were eject God and His angels in the winds blow even in the story of Job it was the devil that went forth from the presence of the Lord and he brought the fire down and he brought the tornado. And these bad things happen and they call on an act of God. But God sometimes allows the storms because we learn through them now we're going to look at one particular storm in the bible tonight it's mentioned in the Gospel of John Mark and Matthew they all share different aspects of the storm. First I'll read it to you from Mark if you have a Bible Mark Chapter six many of you have it on your device Mark six forty five. Now just to give you the background Jesus had performed his miracle where he fed the multitude and they were so impressed you know there are five thousand men not counting all the women and children so you know the maybe fifty twenty thousand people have been miraculously fed by this little boy's lunch and they realize that the Lord has the power to feed an army. And you know that's army marches on its stomach and they said let's make him king and the disciple sort of like the idea of let's let's prodigy's this into being the Messiah and the thought of this is getting out of hand I need to break it up and it says a mediately he made his disciples get into the boat he dismissed the crowd he said no no you guys get in the boat cross over to the other side I will catch up with you he sent them to Bethsaida. While he sent the multitude away he dispersed the eager crowd. And when he had sent them away he departed to the mountain to pray now when evening came the boat was in the middle of the sea where was it. No miss then and he was alone on land it looked like they were separated from the Lord and he solve them straining at rowing for the wind was against them. Then a Jesus check the weather before he sent them for I fly I checked the weather. Once or twice I didn't that's how I learned you always need to check the weather because you could get surprised. You get caught in a storm flying is very unforgiving you have a problem up in the sky and he saw them straining to rowing for the wind was against them and it was quite a wind storm because they would go two strokes forward one stroke back now about the fourth watch of the night it's about. Two to four in the morning he came to them walking on the sea and would have passed him by them it's like OK you guys going to row I'm going to walk they're going the same place he just thought he'd walk and was acting like he was going to go by them and when they saw him walking on the sea they suppose it was a ghost and they cried out for they all saw him and they were troubled but immediately talk with him and he said Be of good cheer it is I do not be afraid and he went up into the boat to them and the wind ceased and they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure and marveled Now Mark is looking for words to explain what would you think I mean how many times have you seen someone walk on the water. He says greatly amazed beyond measure Marvel there staring at him for a couple of things one walking on the water two he gets in the boat and it's instantly calm the how did they end up in the storm. I want to remind you it says he made his the samples go before him. He sent them out do you think the Lord knew what was coming. He knew what they would encounter he knew that they learned something through it he sent them into the storm into what he knew would be a headwind. Matta fact is four things I want you to notice quickly about this now back up and explain he sent them into the storm he saw all of them in the storm. He saved them through the storm. And he settled the storm the first of all he sent them into the storm he made is the cycles get in the boat and go before him to the other side. You know sometimes it's in the middle of a storm you feel God's greatness in your smallness. Sometimes it's in a storm you realize your helplessness Have you ever been out in a hurricane. Back in one thousand nine hundred sixty four I was in Miami with my dad lived in Miami Beach and they had Hurricane Betsy came through now most of you were not alive. Back then some may remember that and I remember my dad same we need to batten up the shutters a thousand that's houses on an island in Miami Beach is very very vulnerable but they built the house in you know when you live in that kind of country they build all the houses where they had storm shutters so we had them all in the garage and he's bolting all these things and I'm thinking this is rather ominous I'm only like seven years old and I'm wondering what's up. And then finally we heard the terrible how when the storm finally came and I'm with my brother and my step brother and we just heard it it was screaming outside and you can't see out the windows because they're all buttoned up and even though it was daytime finally they said they opened the front door and when they saw the palm trees a coconut trees were laying over and want to start to build up in the streets and my brothers I was the youngest is a druggie gone out there. So we dare you to go out there. And saw you know I couldn't stand a dare so I was like seven so I stepped out the front door I was bad this is a little you know. Little bit gusty. This is no go and get out there and my brother and my step brother looking from the dark one so I went a little further so that was this if you're not really out there you had gone out there and I knew when I found out now what they're up to the trying to get me beyond the protection of the garage wall. And so I took a step out from beyond the garage wall I still remember getting knocked over like I'd been hit with you know a big wet mattress and rolling down the street. And then I had a flat myself out and crawled back. To behind the shoulder and I tell you what I felt pretty small out there in the hurricane and palms were blowing in the rain is this like pins and needles thing in your face and and I was crying I was terrified when I finally got back the next day we were riding our bikes down the street and the water was over our front wheels and just the sunset aisles were completely covered our house fortunately was built up above the water level but it was really creepy because. Any of the reptiles and the cockroaches and anything that couldn't swim all went up to our doors. And see it open the door and it was a menagerie of terrified looking varmints it was pretty spooky you could fish right out the front door it was there really we saw there were fish right there because it just went from our front door out into Biscayne Bay. But I remember how small I felt in the storm. And you get on a storm and you feel your weakness sometimes you're in a storm and you. You can't see. I've been caught as I said a couple of times flying in bad weather and it's pretty spooky feeling when. Clouds have to drop down on you you can't go down because there's mountains down there and you can't go up because the clouds are kind of settling down and pretty soon you just get stuck in the soup and it's like you take a white can of spray paint and you spray the airplane windows all white and you can't see you have no reference where you're going to know where you are and all you have is your instruments. To get you where you're trying to go and you better know what you're doing with your instruments. But. It's kind of frightening. By the way we really wouldn't know where we were going if it wasn't for the instruments witty when you see everything happening we're in a storm right now. He saw them in the storm and I find this very comforting that even though he sent them into the storm if they could only know that he was watching them they would have felt a lot better Jesus wasn't worried. This Jesus ever worried. I think the Lord you know he he prays for us but God knows all things he's always telling them Don't be afraid where is your fate he saw them straining at rowing for the wind was against them. You know in this life you have to head into the wind being a Christian is like going up the down escalator. Now most of you know that when you're in the shopping mall you get on the up escalator to go up if you just stand on the up escalator you go up if you stand on the down escalator you'll go down what happens if you walk. Up the down escalator. The security gets you yeah that's right. Yeah yeah that's right I've been caught on that before. If you stand on the down escalator you go where if you just walk you can stay nowhere you know how you get up the down escalator you've got a hostile. Being a Christian you can't just stand there there is effort involved in being a Christian and you know there's a message going out that you just believe and that's it it's like you're on an escalator to heaven that's not how it works you've got this nature in your body that is pulling you down you've got the trends in the world that are pulling you down if you want to be a Christian the Bible says we strive we war we run we wrestle if you don't agree with me take it up with Paul I'm quoting him these are biblical terms Jesus said be energetic about entering the strait gate and it's worth it a man being a Christian but the idea this you know when a sloppy I got the idea of what it means to be a Christian Christian this is a battle you're rowing into the wind and this is what the disciples were doing and Jesus sent them and there's a message of salvation here he sent them rowing into the wind because when they were making any headway the secret was inviting him into the boat. Did he catch them. He saw them in the storm proverbs fifteen three the eyes of the Lord are in every place keeping watch on the evil and the good the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth so that he might show himself show his glory. It is power to those whose hearts are loyal to him as they have forty three to when you pass through the waters I will be with you for the Lord see them he hadn't forgotten about them. And then the other point I wanted to make you not only saw them in the storm he saves us through storms storms of some of the best learning experiences. I'll be talking later in the week about how many people are converted through a storm. I'll tell you there's some people that went through these fire storms in California they started out atheist they came out believers because they saw a lot of miracles that happened you know there is a some popular beliefs out there the when the Lord comes that the church is just going to get raptured away because God doesn't want us to go through the tribulation most Christians believe in agree that there's going to be a tribulation near the end of time and Jesus is pretty clear that they'll be a tribulation coming such as never has been since there was a time even under the end and you read in Daniel Chapter twelve at that time Michael will stand as a verse when the great Princeton stands for the children die people and there will be a time of trouble unlike any there ever has been and many that sleep in the dust of your soul week it's a resurrection so before the resurrection great time of trouble most churches agree where there's disagreement there's a lot of people say well the Lord loves us too much he doesn't want the church to go through tribulation so he's going to secretly rapture us up so we don't have to worry about that that's not what I read in the Bible. Bible tells us that the Great Tribulation is like it's the final perfect storm it's a seven last plagues and here's my question. When the Lord Save the Children of Israel from the slavery of Egypt did he save them from the plagues or did he save them through the plagues. Weren't the plagues falling all around. And in spite of that God let them stay in Egypt during the plagues and he saved them through those plates God tends to save us through tribulation let me give you a verse on that Acts fourteen twenty two we must through many tribulations enter the Kingdom of God. Now how do you ever recruit Christians with a verse like that. That doesn't sound like a good marketing program does it by the way it does not sound like a good marketing program to say if you want to come after me deny yourself and take up your cross but that's the truth friends. Jesus said there's going to be storms now I told you that the storm is going to come to believe yours but the storm comes to fools. So you just gotta decide do I want to go through the storm as a city person or a lost person you're going to have storms and everybody's in trouble in the last days. You're either in trouble with God as you follow the devil or you're in trouble with the devil because you follow Gods you've got to make up your mind who you want to be in trouble with. Is not what it boils down to. So there's going to be storms but God saves us through the storms. It's through these trials that come someone once described flying as endless hours of monotony punctuated with a few moments of terror. And but you learn the most during those moments of terror. You know we learn through pain. There is this place where I stopped my four wheeler once I was riding through the woods it's ranch up in California and this spot it's off the trail I stopped there once and I got stung badly because I parked on top of a nest of yellow jackets. And first when you get hit you're wondering what was that actually now that I think about I wasn't driving a four wheeler driving a bulldozer. And I thought someone shot me. And. I looked around who did that and then I got hit again and then I finally I got stung several times before I could climb off the thing I had to run into the house and I left this bulldozer idling on top of a yellowjacket nest Well thought I can't leave it there all day. And so even though it was summer time I put on a snowmobile suit. And I put on a ski mask I put on goggles over the eyes with the ski mask goes I put on gloves and my boots because I had to venture back boldly into the bulldozer and before I went out I took a picture of myself because I thought that this really looks dopey. I did a selfie i was before you had him on your cameras I'd use a mirror but. You know. And. But you know one now even though that's been years ago I don't ride by that spot on my four wheeler without thinking those yellow jackets are dead and gone there's been no nest there for years but I remember that spot because I remember the pain that I felt on that spot and God's wired us for survival that we seem to learn through pain is not right. Sometimes he teaches us through the storms through the experience through the fear through the loss of the storms. God saves us through tribulation Joseph was not saved from his trials God saved him through his trials and he did something great with him because of his trials job was not saved from his trials God saved him through his trials and Noah was not saved from the storm God save Noah through the storm. And so you need to batten down the hatches if you're going to be a Christian you're going to run into storms you want to make sure you're building on the rock and you will get through the storm. You already know the end of the story but did the disciples or via the storm. You know why Jesus was in the boat. Do you need to be afraid of the storms not of you invite Jesus in the boat. So he invited them they invited him into the boat first they were afraid. And the wind ceased. Kind of like when they threw Jonah overboard he got very calm the wind ceased. Now. There's one version of the story I haven't read you yet. The account in John in the account in Mark a very similar but there is something that is in the account of Matthew that's left out of the other two are going to take you to Matthew Chapter fourteen verse twenty five. Matthew picks it up same way as Mark now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went walking to them on the sea and when the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were trouble and they said it's a ghost and they cried out in fear but immediately Jesus spoke to them saying Be of good cheer if you're up it's I don't be afraid how to tell him cheer up in a windstorm. Because he said it's I don't be afraid the Lord was there with him in the storm now here's the part that's left out and Peter answered him and said Lord if it's you command me to come to you on the water. To command me Lord. And Jesus said Come you know there's not too many prayers uses said no two. Have you ever noticed that even when Peter said Lord I'd like to walk on the water he says that go for. The Lord wants you to do exciting things as a believer right. And when Peter had come down out of the boat. Now you know that must've been something. Because. You know you're out in the boat is rocking and pitching with the waves and he's trying to hang on to the side of it it's a big enough boat for you know twelve fifteen people and he steps on the side and I feel something firm under speed he's fish that see all his life he knows there's no coral reef there. And he puts his other foot down. How do you look at it Jesus out there in the stormy sea and he ventures off to walk towards Christ you know I remember hearing a story about one hundred. That wanted a new hunting dog and he found this dog that was advertised that he could run and fish fowl so quickly that he wouldn't even sink in the water it looked like he walked on water because he would run so fast he never even sink and sure enough he tried out the dog and and he shot a duck or goose is not Midland The dog ran out ran back never sank in. That I can't believe it I got a dog that walks on water. He couldn't wait to show his friend. He was going to say anything he was just and let the dog surprise him. So they went out hunting one day and they're down in the blinds in the waiting there doing their duck calls and pretty soon the little flock of ducks flies and they shoot a couple times they hit one duck lands in the lake he gives the whistle the dog takes off rooms across the water runs back with a duck. Friend look inside anything. They're writing home later that day and he said. You know it's my new dog so yeah I did. He said you notice anything unusual that I did is that it's really something isn't it so yeah I guess your dog can't swim. So Peter gets out of the boat. And he's got his feet on the water and he's looking at Jesus and thank you he's walking towards Jesus and as long as he keeps his eyes on Christ he's doing the supernatural he's doing the impossible he's walking on water. Haven't ever tried that before. I have skied barefoot. It's not quite the same and it really hurts when you fall because you have to go really fast when you're skiing barefoot which means if you fall you don't a sinkin you skip along the surface like a stone for a while. One of our boys broke his ribs falling on the water risk being barefoot it can hurt you normally you can't walk on water. Being a Christian is something like walking on the water. It's impossible without a miracle it requires an act of God given you his spirit. To be able to live a godly life in a wicked world see I think you're better off telling people the truth and don't give them any false allusions being a Christian is impossible. Unless you keep your eyes on Christ now you read on in the story and this is where Peter made a mistake it says that he got out of the boat and he started walking on the water to go to Jesus as long as he had his eyes and Jesus as long as he was going to Jesus he was doing fine but when he saw that the wind was boisterous What did he do. By the way you know you can't see when you can see with the windows you might see the trees laying over in the wind and you might see the waves mounting up in the wind but you not really seen the wind you see what the wind does and he took his eyes off cries and he's looking at the waves he's looking at the spray and he's thinking man I'm I've been a sailor all my life what am I doing out in a storm like this no life jacket because it could be fatal and his faith began to sink in when your faith begins to sink you begin to sing. And it all happened when he took his eyes off Jesus you know how we get in trouble trying to live the Christian life. Through our focus. The key to living a victorious Christian life it says and he was Chapter twelve seeing then verse one we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses let us lay aside every weight in the sin the does so easily beset us and let us run with patients that race within Durance looking under Jesus I think some version say fixing your eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith how can you run the the race how can you fight the fight the only way you can do it is you gotta keep your eyes on Christ now that a lot of you are thinking it's a metaphor I hear all the time what does that mean to keep your eyes on Jesus was not that complicated you become like what you look at. What are you looking at. You become like what you look at. So many people were converted by looking in the Bible. As the key to solve the Lord he was transformed he wanted to see Jesus that's why I climbed the tree. Paul wanted to see the Lord. Well Paul saw the Lord before I wanted to see him. He was converted Isaiah Chapter six in the year the King as I had died I saw the Lord he was converted thief on the cross he saw Jesus lifted up he was converted they were quite literally looking at Christ so how do we look to God. His word. He's reveals Himself through His Word I was converted by reading the Bible there's power in the word and so when you spend time in your prayers and you lift up your eyes to God in your prayers in your devotions in what you do with your time. You know there never has been a generation like this generation that has as many screens as we have today. I remember waking up I was on an overseas. Flight and I took that pilgrimage to the back of the plane and all the lights in the plane were off because it was a middle of the night man my way back. Every share had a screen it's kind of an eerie look when you're in the back of one of these jumbo jets and you see hundreds of screens stretched out before you in front of every seat. And some people were sleeping a lot of people fell asleep watching stuff so their screens are still going somewhere awake couldn't sleep and they're still watching and they're all watching different things because they get like a programmable they can choose what they want to watch channels and. And slowly walking back to my seat looking at everybody's screens. You can kind of tell where everybody's head was. I didn't see any religious programming. Their heads are in the world and the screens on the airplanes aren't much different than the screens in your pocket. Most of what people are looking at these days it's not good food. Why do you eat that which is not good we need to hunger and thirst after righteousness and then you become like what you look at. I remember hearing about a pilot up in Alaska. He was flying cross-country out the middle of this vast wilderness and there's a Tundra. He flew over he was up pretty high and he flew over. An Olympic insignia wasn't quite perfect but there's a limbic insignia you know what you get the five intersecting circles. All the middle of nowhere and sometimes people will paint their roofs near an airport to advertise to the planes. Or in the city they might have something on the roof so that you know you can see an ad he's thinking why would anybody put an Olympic insignia out here in the the tundra of Alaska hundreds of miles from civilization you know what is that you know this can't be right so he descended and he turned back. And he finally figured out what it was a very sad. A big grizzly had somehow got his head stuck in a five gallon metal can and trying to eat something out of the bottom of the can but the can was stuck on his head. And the grizzly couldn't see where he was going. And the man said the doctor who was flying the told the story said the grizzly looked like he'd been wondering for days. With a can over his head in circles so that he had worn the five circles in the leaves and the grass on the tundra out there. Kind of sad. Describes a lot of people out there in the world. Is going in circles where they can't over their heads. They just can't see where they're going. If you don't have Jesus to go to you're walking blind in the store I used to read about this guy he was one of the great. Early daredevils tightrope walker and they called him the great London and I think he was the first one to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. And he did it without the safety net he did it without the They've got a cable where if you fall if you're on the safety cable and and several times he did it. And befalls I don't know if you ever been to Niagara Falls. I have but what you see today is not half of what it used to be because they've diverted a lot of the water for hydroelectric now but the Falls used to be even more magnificent You can see the spray ten miles away. And you could hear it thundering and the idea that this guy would go across the mouth of the falls there on a cable people would say How in the world can you do that in the wind is whipping below you in the spray is billowing around you and and the cable is wet Aren't you afraid when you see all of this he said I don't see it. But I mean you don't see it as I don't look at it. He said Before I began going across the falls he said I affix a silver star on the far side of the other end of the cable he said once I take off as I put my eyes on the star and I never take my eyes off the star and I put one foot in front of the other one foot in front of the other. And that's kind of what it's like in the Christian life don't worry about what you're going to do and years from now if you give your heart to the Lord people start worrying about what about the temptation tomorrow what will I do then and so they never make the commitment you're never going to know the power of God unless you get out of the boat and put one foot in front of another. Fix your eyes on Jesus and you keep walking towards him that's where the power is you can walk a supernatural walk when you do that all things are possible. You know the the Christian walk is a walk of faith. You've got to believe one step after another that you're going to be making it you can't get distracted Jesus said Seek ye first make it your priority. Tell him honey stories another hunter had a dog. Her He was a great hunter but he found out that he had been tricked. Took the dog out the woods put him on the scent of a bear. And the dog started off barking furiously after the bear but then a deer hopped across the trail so he started off after the deer. He had lost the deer but then he smelled the rabbit started off after the rabbit Meanwhile the hunters trying to catch up with his barking dog and by the time he caught up with them he was growling down the mousehole. Started out for a bear ended up with a mouse. It's kind of how it happens with a lot of young people we've got great ideals about what we want to do for God and then we get distracted with little things it worries me that. Especially when you're on a university where there's so much happening and there's so many things I'm thankful that this is a Christian university where Christ is made a priority and you know the middle of the week you people would come to hear about the most important thing you've heard saying before the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. And that's Jesus nothing is more important what profit is it if you gain the whole world and you lose your soul and the devil's going to help you get distracted chasing after a lot of good things. But you go you need to go for the big game you want to be like Christ he needs to be the priority in our lives him and. You know I read a statement one time that was written by Dr Bob Moore has more head in his book Fellowship of the unashamed. He describes what it means to be a Christian to have that resolve that tenacity that commitment. And he writes I am a disciple of Jesus I have a holy spirit power the die has been cast I've stepped over the line the decision has been made I'm a disciple of his I won't look back let up slow down back away or be still my past is redeemed my present makes sense my future is secure unfinished undone with a low living sidewalk in small planning smooth needs colorless dreams team visions Monday in talking chintzy giving and worth goals I no longer need preeminence prosperity position promotions plaudits or popularity I don't have to be right first tops recognize praise regarded or rewarded I now live by presents I learn by faith I love by Patience I live by prayer and I labor my power my face is set my gate is fast my goal is heaven my road is narrow my way is rough my companions few My guy reliable my mission clear I cannot be bought compromised detoured lured away turned back to looted or delayed I will mug flinch in the face of sacrifice hesitate in the presence of adversity negotiate at the table of the enemy ponder at the pool of popularity or me ender in the maze of mediocrity I won't give up shut up let go or slow up till I preached up prayed up paid up stored up and stayed up for the cause. Christ I am a disciple of Jesus I must go till he comes give till I drop preach to law no and work till he stops and when he comes to get his own he'll have no problems recognizing me my colors will be clear. As a lot of measured compromise out there. People need to say Lord I will follow you. I will follow you wherever you go like Ruth. Your god will be my God your people my people where you go I will go there will I live where you bury there all be buried God do so to me and more also anything but a death and like a marriage vow separate you and I. That's what it means to be a disciple Jesus said follow me so they forsook all and followed him. I don't think the world is yet to see what God can do in this generation if young people in particular would take up the challenge the way the disciples took it up back then and say I want to be a real Christian I'm tired of fooling around and don't look at the hypocrisy in the church that's nothing new it's always been there that's not going to be your excuse in the judgement. There's always going to be compromise is going to be a lot of people in churches you could point to where they say well they do this and they did that that's not your standard Jesus is your standard he's inviting you to follow him people are going to let you down he will never let you down. You need to fix your eyes on Jesus you know in all of this story. Says Peter took his eyes of Christ and he started to sink as some good news though when he started to sink he said Lord save me. Now if you're sinking in a storm you don't have to memorize Psalm one nineteen it is the shortest per in the Bible that I know of. I there maybe one other just as Lord help. But this is one of the shortest three words Lord save me can you say that. Stay with me Lord say me I mean make an appeal before we're done tonight I might ask you to say it again it's not hard. He wants to save you Jesus came to see he came to save the last. And as soon as he is Peter prayed what did Jesus do it is a Peter I gave you a chance you want to walk on water serve you right you took your eyes off me now you're going to get what you deserve. Or Peter tried to pray along for I would have said Lord save me but. You would have been drowned you didn't have time for a long breath he needed help right away how long after he prayed before Jesus sent the answer. At the last moment. You noticed Jesus probably waited till he's like his nose was just out of the water Peter I just want you to experience the sea. And he grabbed his hand full of a dozen God sometimes the event waits to the last minute. Someone said there was never late but he seldom early Children of Israel you know you wait till you get to the Red Sea and you get all the zing rejections that are armed breathing down your neck and when you're ready to despair then he parts the sea. So God saves you from the storm but it may not be exactly when you expect. And he brought him back to the boat. Now we give Peter a hard time but you know I think we need to speak up for Peter a little bit right now we think about his taking his eyes off Christ and when we take our eyes off Christ we get into trouble how many Apostles were there in the boat twelve how many had the courage in the faith and the gumption and audacity to say Jesus I'd like to walk on the water to. Only one. I think we need to give and who did Jesus pick to sort of lead out of Pentecost. The one who had the audacity to speak up could be chosen even though he made a mistake. God is warning people who will attempt to bold things for him and you may feel sometimes but I've often said I'd rather do something wrong than nothing very well at least you're trying to do something right. You know how many of Angelus that flops I've been connected with. But I've had a couple of ideas that worked I'm not going to tell you about all the mistakes and all the times my office said don't there's a thin line between inspiration and hallucination. But you know you got to try. Peter at least that low or I'd like to try to come to you in the storm he said come. He got out of the boat. He was willing to step out for Jesus. The Lord I think once more people like that today who are willing to step out for Jesus. I heard a story I remember reading it in a devotional book years ago so the event probably took place forty five fifty years ago. A boat with a couple of families was off the coast of South Africa they were fishing. And. All they were just you know it are ten miles from shore and they got caught by some bad weather. And in the process of the waves mounting and some waves washed over into the boat it somehow knocked out the ends and they lost power they had no radio with them and they began to drift further out to sea. Well during the night the storm got bigger finally it capsizes the boat and this dozen or so people a couple of families were together were thrown into the sea most of them as I recall were able to get back to the whole of the ship and hang on to the capsized boat they continued floating. By morning. They were pretty desperate because they realise nobody knew where they were they were drifting further away one girl in the group she was seventeen years old her name was Natalie. And. She was on the swim team there in South Africa. And they knew that she was the best swimmer and she knew it she said look I think I can get to shore even though the storm had died down some it was still very rough but it was really their only hope and so she had to make a decision to leave her friends and family that were still clinging to the boat and start heading out in the ocean and what she could see was the direction of the coast but like ten twelve miles away so she took off swimming. And she swam hour after hour and several times she turned to breathe between strokes and she didn't inhale seawater from the waves so that she'd choke and gag and sometimes vomit and then she'd have to continue swimming. And I should mention this is the part of South Africa where the water's a little warmer and it's notorious for great white sharks she began to sense she wasn't alone. And her feet had been cut when the boat capsized they weren't seriously injured but they were bleeding. And she looked back and she was certain she saw shadows. And she swam on and on and she was a Christian. She remembered that promise and Isaiah chapter was at forty two three says when you pass through the waters I will be with you and she came for claiming that promise when you pass through the waters I will be with you. Finally she got to the another wave hit her and she had choking fit and she was totally exhausted and and she looked and saw that there were distinct dorsal fins that were circling her and she was praying she said Lord please don't let me go slowly I don't want that have to take an arm and a leg and have me die slowly please let it be quick. And right about then she lost consciousness. The next thing she heard it was the honk of a boat horn. And she woke up and a little bit in a stupor she saw a boat approaching from a distance that had somehow seen her. And she realized that something was holding her up she looked around and saw there was a pod of dolphins she didn't know if they drove away the Sharks or if that's what she had seen following her but when she began to sink they actually held her up in the sailors that rescued her said we saw all the dolphins leaving when we came. And they saved her life. When you pass through the waters I will be with you. And she got the word to the authorities and they found her family and they were rescued but I often think about the courage it would take for a seven year old girl the leave the boat and go swimming off into the sea you know it takes courage to say I'm going to follow Jesus. I'm going to be his disciple no matter what anybody else does no matter what the world does it doesn't matter about the compromise of anyone else I want to do God's will I want to be saved I want to know that I'm living the life that God designed me to live and doing His will. And you just got to come to him just like you are Peter said Lord if that's you command me to come to you you know why Peter could walk on water. Because he had the command of the Lord behind it in of God commands you to do something he will give you the power to do what he commands inherent in every command of God is the power to do what he's asking you to do it doesn't mean it may be walking on water it might be parting the sea if you tells you to go under the sea he'll give you scuba gear whatever you need to do what God tells you to do he will provide for you. He's a loving father he's not going to ask you to do the impossible because with God How much as possible. You can be a Christian yes you can don't believe the lie that you can. God will never ask you to do something you can't do and you'll never be happy unless you are. Because you'll never have the real happiness that you're designed to have unless you're in the middle of God's will. So I'd like to just close by having a prayer with you and before I pray I'd like to ask if there are some of you here and you prayed about making a real commitment of your life to Christ you may have plans for your life and your freight how that might disrupt things you just have to ask the question who's plan is going to be better God's plan for my life or my plan for my life. Trust me trust the Lord He says I know the plans that I have for your Jeremiah chapter twenty nine verse eleven good plans for a future and I hope he's good good plans for you you can trust him I mean when God found me I was running around up in the mountains naked in a cave in the not of a garbage can and of course anything would have been an improvement right back then. But I had no idea the plans of God had for me his got plans for you and you activate them but he won't do it against your will Jesus said to Peter come and he stepped out of the boat and if you are willing to step out of the boat said Lord I want to be a real Christian would you stand with me through it not because everybody's doing to do because you mean it. And then when I'm praying you man your own heart want to pray that simple prayer and say Lord save me and then believe that whoever comes to him he will receive your father. Oh lord we're so thankful. That even though we may get off in the storms and be feeling like we're rowing in today into the wind that when we receive you into our boat we're at the destination. Lord I pray that you'll be with each of these people here there's a broad spectrum of needs represented but we all need Jesus that's one thing we all have in common especially if there's any young people here that are there wavering in their decision to follow you help them know that you brought them here perhaps are watching online and you have big plans for them I pray Lord the oldest bless them with your spirit help them to be willing by your grace to step out and know that you promise that you'll be with them through whatever storms they may encounter and you'll see them through Thank you Lord for the good news that you take us to the other side we're looking forward to your coming we won't want to be ready pour out your spirit on these meetings in this school and we thank you and pray all this in Jesus' name and this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about yours or if you would like to listen to more sermons visit W.W.W.. 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