Saturday, January 16, 2021

Sandcastles and Tsunamis


There was a spiritual storm that came in to the world in 2020. I am not sure any of us had any warning. It was a spiritual tsunami that caught us all of guard.  Now that the tsunami is rolling back out to sea, it is revealing the destruction and disaster it left behind. 

If you have been around me when I am teaching Bible Studies, I may have taught you the hand motions to one of the most foundational (no pun intended) passages in the Bible:

"So then, everyone who hears my words and puts them into practice is like a wise man. 

He builds his house on the rock 

The rain comes down. The water rises. The winds blow and beat against that house. But it does not fall. It is built on the rock.  But everyone who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man. 

He builds his house on sand.  

The rain comes down. The water rises. The winds blow and beat against that house. And it falls with a loud crash.”

Matt 7:24-27

As we are surveying the shocking damage caused by this spiritual storm, there is one thing the houses left standing have in common: They were built on the solid rock of Jesus...OR, they ran to the rock that was higher than them when the storm hit. 

"From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Ps 61:2

Our house definitely felt the full vengeance of this spiritual storm. We got close, hunkered down, and ran for safety: to THE ROCK, to Jesus Christ. 

As the wind and rain beat against the windows of our house (for a long time), the waters started rising. We knew only the Lord could keep us safe in this level of storm.  Our house survived... only because HE WAS STRONGER THAN THE STORM.

The beauty about Jesus is that you can run to Him at any time. Maybe your house wasn't built on the solid rock of Jesus and there is major destruction in  your marriage and the lives of your kids. When your heart is overwhelmed, RUN to the rock that is higher than the waters engulfing your house! It isn't too late!!

 I remember when our friends were stuck in the hurricane in Abaco, everyone was running for the highest point on the island. They wanted to get higher than the storm's waters. They survived the storm because of where they ran. We will survive because of Who we run to.

As we watch the waters from the 2020 tsunami continue to recede, we are faced with the reality that the storm left in its wake. The sad reality is that there may be another storm brewing. We have to continue to run to the solid rock of Jesus with our families.  Not to wine, not to prescription medications to dull the anxiety and help us disengage in the war, not to extra-marital affairs, nothing will see us safely through these storms other than the Lord and His Word.  We have to learn how to deal with anxiety in a healthy way and use the tools God has given us BEFORE running to alcohol and/or drugs. 

Here's the deal, the tsunami is coming whether you are sober-minded or not. You need to be clear-headed in order to pray and run to safety. Make every effort to stay clear-minded! There is a reason that command comes right before the roaring lion verse.

"Be ALERT and of SOBER MIND. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8

Believe me, I want to check out right now too. This boxing match in the spiritual realm is intense and bloody. The seriousness of what is happening in our world can be so overwhelming. I am counseling people in crisis almost every day. Marriages falling apart, depressed teens, depressed adults, adults trying to figure out how to care for their elderly parents, etc. It would be so nice to pretend like this isn't happening and just drink wine, but it IS. And God has entrusted us with the ministry of reconciliation. We have to be begging people to be reconciled to God and to each other.  We have to be teaching people how to build their house on the ROCK or rebuild their houses on the ROCK.  We need to be in search and rescue right now, trying to find people who are buried in the wreckage of this storm and fighting for life. We need to make our homes ground zero for the wounded.  Take a break from the fight and get refreshed with some LIVING WATER and then get back in the fight! There is no time for resting. Look what happened to David when he stayed home (napping and going on strolls) instead of engaging in the war. 

"In the spring, at the time when kings march out to war, David sent out Joab and his servants with the whole army of Israel...

One evening David got up from his bed and strolled around on the roof of the palace. 

And from the roof he saw a woman bathing—a very beautiful woman."

Disengaging from war will get you into a bigger mess. We are meant to be busy in battle.

It keeps us out of trouble. If they enemy has tempted you with an extra-marital affair when you should have been out to war, RUN. 

"Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does."

1 Cor 6:18



How do you build your house on the rock? The passage tells us. You HEAR the Word of God and put it into practice. We can't be hearers only but DOERS. We believe the Word of God is true and we act on it. Faith without works is dead. Even the demons believe and tremble. This is different. This isn't "Church", this is total surrender and commitment to obeying the Word of God- no matter what. 

This means walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. Being so filled with light, that you have no dark corners. Asking God to make you His floodlight.

"If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”

Luke 11:36

If your marriage is in trouble (don't be embarrassed, most are!), run with your spouse to the rock that is higher. Confess your sins to your spouse and ask God to take your broken marriage and put it back together. Develop healthy habits of reading the Bible together and praying together daily. It is the daily seemingly insignificant decisions that are most SIGNIFICANT!!

Watch as God breathes His life back into your marriage. Decide to have fun in these dark days. Surprise your husband with a candle lit dinner after the kids are in bed. Or better yet, run away for an overnight together. Write him a love note. Kiss him for no reason... in front of the kids.

Don't let the flame of your marriage dwindle while being hyper-focused on things you can't control. Focus on what you can control. Fan the flame of your marriage! Ask God for creativity how to bless your spouse. There is a reason it is called "making love". I really think God has given us the ability to "make" love! Ask God to give you love FROM HIM for your spouse. Your love has limits. His doesn't. His love is agape (ours isn't) and His love never fails (our does). 

If you have a spouse who is an addict, get help. Nothing will work while they are addicted. They have to be sober-minded for there to be forward movement. Don't be an sin enabler. Get them to a Christian rehab. (I know of a good one in Chattanooga if you are in need).

 God can pull you both out of a slimy pit. I love that God called certain things in our lives "slimy". He knows that some pits we find ourselves in are impossible to get out of apart from His supernatural intervention. 

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.

Ps 40:2

The enemy has weakened us all this year. It won't require much for him to slug us with one final and fatal blow. 


“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

2 Cor 12:9

The power of God works BEST in our weakness! Bring your weakness to the Lord, so that the power of Christ can flow through your spiritual veins. 

Now, is not the time to disengage. We are all weary. Do not check out.
Do not give up.

"Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."
Neh 4:14

If you need help, email me. I loved that picture that was circulating in the news of the waitress that reached out to the abused boy. 
She wrote him a note and he responded: 

God is reaching out to you. He wants to HELP you.
Respond to Him!

The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
    He rescues them from all their troubles.
Ps 34:17

If you don't know the Lord, today is the day of salvation. 
These spiritual tsunamis before the return of Jesus will overpower you apart from the saving power of God. 
(Think sandcastle vs tsunami)

Repent of your sin.
Believe and be saved!
When the rain and wind beat against your house, it won't fall.
(Think house high on a rock)

I will end with this prayer... that God would strengthen you in you INNER MAN! (or woman!)

"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man"

Eph 3:14-16


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