The storms of life will come . . . are you able to stand?
We are all going to go through times of difficulty, thats a fact! When your foundation is rooted in Christ you won’t get decimated; you actually have a fighting chance to stand.
The Apostle Paul, warning the church to stand firm says, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” (Ephesians 6:11-13 NLT).
Tag Archives: Pastor Steven Lennertz
The storms of life will come . . . are you able to stand?
Our view of God is a result of how we have been indoctrinated. In other words, whether you believe in God or not is influenced by your experiences, your history; be it in church, outside of church, experiences with Christians, or non-Christians. The experiences we have mold our view of God/Church/Jesus.
My experiences have affected me. As a young person, God was real, but distant (Catholic). In my teen years God was introduced as an alternative to going to hell (Calvary Chapel – Jesus Movement era). As an adult, and on into the ministry years God was introduced through ritual, “this is how we do it” protocols (Baptist). However, I have come to see God through the person of Jesus found in the New Testament, and the ministry of Jesus confirms to me that God desires relationship with me not a religion. Jesus calls me to follow Him in relationship how about you?
Think about this, what if all you have experienced in churches could be erased and you could start fresh, start all over again with a perspective of Jesus that is not tainted by, or inaccurately represented by past experiences.
If you were to look at Jesus through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John the four accounts of Jesus’ life found in the Gospels here is what you would find, it is relational! Rules don’t make a relationship LOVE DOES! This is love, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13 NLT). This is what Jesus did for us all.
If you start loving Jesus you will start doing things differently. You’ve been in love; you know when love is in your heart you start thinking and doing things differently. Jesus loves you. He says follow me. He doesn’t say; follow religion, the church, or a charismatic leader. He simply says, “Follow Me.”
Take a look at the Jesus of the New Testament. He is much different than what you may have experienced. He accepts you “as-is.” He doesn’t say change, and then you can follow me. The good news is when you begin to follow the Jesus of Scripture He changes you!
You choose, follow/not-follow
Where would the church be today without Godly women who minister so faithfully? Throughout the Scriptures we see God using women in powerful ways! Deborah is one such lady. Did you know Deborah is the only female to have ever led the Israelite people! She was one of Israel’s most dignified leaders. She is an excellent example to all of us. (Judges4&5)
The Jews had enjoyed rest for eighty years due to the godly leadership of Ehud. This was the longest period of peace recorded in the Book of Judges. Sadly, as soon as Ehud had died the people fell back into idolatry bringing with it God’s punishment. The old saying is true, “Sin will take you further than you want to go, cost you more than you want to pay, keep you longer than you want to stay.” (http://johntrotter.wordpress.com/2009/01/11/i-never-knew-you/)
Interesting, Israel’s trouble came from within “The Promised Land,” from a pagan king. Their rebellion against God had forfeited their claim of God’s Promised Land creating their captivity in there “own land.” Sin robbed Israel of God’s purpose. Israel lived in defeat for twenty years. Sin can rob us as well!
Paul said this about sin in Romans 6:12, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires.” (HCSB)
Eventually, the burden of Jabin’s wrath caused the children of Israel to cry out to God. The Bible directs us to strive for righteousness, “The labor of the righteous leads to life, The wages of the wicked to sin.” (Proverbs 10:16 NKJV) Now, when most people get into a fix, real trouble they will cry out to God, and that’s exactly what the Israelites did.
I’m sure their hopes were in Barak. He was the military commander. However, he had a fearful and fainthearted spirit. Opportunities are often missed because of being reluctant or overly cautious. Many a person fails to act, fails to grasp an opportunity because they are fainthearted, fearful, or unbelieving. They hold back, hesitate, and shrink from some challenge or opportunity—all because they do not have enough faith or enough confidence to step forward. The consequence is tragic, the opportunity is lost and the challenge is rejected. Think of what is often lost because we are hesitant or untrusting.
God does not call us to be reluctant, fainthearted, fearful, and unbelieving. The call of God is to be courageous, to be people of courage! It’s through the cries of the Israelites that God provides a courageous woman named Deborah, a Judge, and Prophetess for the people of Israel. Great leaders are positive, encouraging, and our greatest cheerleaders. They motivate, and inspire their followers with supportive words. Deborah was a woman of great character (Judges 4:4-5).
Dr. Brian Harbour points out, “That between Moses and Samuel, no one else filled all three roles of prophet, judge, and military leader, except Deborah. On top of her service duties, Deborah was also a wife and mother.” (http://ebookbrowse.com/the-story-of-deborah-courage-under-fire-pdf-d225756147)
Deborah exemplified to others what a leader with God, as her firm foundation, ought to look like.
As you read Deborah’s song (Judges 5), she rejoices in those who made the effort to join in the army of God, and she rebukes those who sat on the sidelines and were unwilling to offer themselves.
What do you have to offer God?
Some of you are moving forward in faith and some are sitting on the sidelines. Please know God can use any of us in His service if we are willing and obedient to His call.