What are you holding onto? – Ian SeptemberWhat are you holding onto?
– Ian September
During lives trial’s and tribulations, we forget to hold onto something before we are swept overboard. But what we are holding onto makes the difference of being in a “safe” place, or holding onto The One who can really save our life.
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What are you holding onto?
Psalm 91:14-16 (Msg) – “If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble. I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me. Call Me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times; I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party. I’ll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!”
Book: The Fisherman and his Friends – Louis Albert Banks
The story is told about two men who was assigned to stand watch on a boat on the open sea. During their watch, a fierce storm developed and one of the men was washed overboard. This sailor who drowned, was in the most secured place on deck, the most sheltered place, while the other one in the open, but he survived the storm!
So, what made the difference? Why did the man who had all the shelter, safe haven perish, and the one in the open survived? (not a trick question)
The answer is simple: Well, the sailor who was washed overboard had nothing to hold onto! He was in a “safe” place, but nothing to hold onto… while the other sailor, although exposed to the winds and waves had something to hold onto. And that saved his life, it made all the difference.
This analogy, this illustration is so true in real life, folks!
This analogy demonstrates how people are affected by life’s trials, tribulations, and storms.
When life is peaceful and everything is going your way, you tend to be very self-sufficient in a “safe,” shelter place. But sailing in smooth calm waters can be extremely dangerous, church! Why am I saying this church?
Let me explain: You see, when its smooth sailing all the way people in general have the tendency to become complacent, self-sufficient, lukewarm, and nonchalant (meaning: a feeling of casual calmness and relaxed, not displaying anxiety, interest, or enthusiasm.)
This is so sad, as I see this in the life of many Christians! Becoming comfortable in their walk with God, relaying on “self,” on money and possessions, on status and accomplishments, achievements, and stuff… being in a safe, sheltered environment, but really nothing to hold onto.
What a sad place to be in church!
You see church, it is also sad to see people holding onto things that has no eternal value. Even things that will lead to your demise, your destruction and spiritual death! Yet you hold onto them!
Proverbs 3:5-6(Amp) – 5Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. 6In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].
When the Tsunami’s and storms come your way, you will be swept off your feet, washed overboard, overwhelmed by the rouge waves (freak, monster waves), because you have nothing to hold onto!
It is during these times that you will come to realize, that you had your priorities all wrong! All mixed up! Chasing after “stuff” (Pie in the sky, instead of steak on the plate)
Matthew 6:33(Amp) – But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right-the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.
You see church, when we seek God’s kingdom first and His righteousness, everything else will be given to us as well.
But we need to seek (meaning not merely looking for something, like advice etc.) But to make a concerted (well planned, well devised) attempt, an effort to desire to obtain or achieve God’s kingdom… and His way of doing things that I will be sheltered from the storms!
As I prepared for this sermon, a strong sense of God’s presence came over me, and the need to ask the church the following question:
What is it, that you are holding onto?
What is so important, so vital, so essential that is so difficult for you to let go of? Why is it that you feel that you’ve “earned the right” to hold onto something specific in your life? Maybe something of material value, maybe a negative emotional experience, maybe a long sought-after achievement that materialized etc., etc. What is it that you are holding onto that’s holding you back?
When you are prepared to let go, church “Let go and let God…” you can trust God to navigate you through the fiercest storms of adversity.
It is often that you will hear these people say: “I don’t know what I would do without the Lord!” I can honestly say this, church!
These people have something, The Rock of Ages, like an anchor to hold onto… they know that their heavenly Father is always with them to strengthen, guard and protect them! Amen?!
Please realize church, that those who put their hope in God, have something they can hold onto, someone they can rely on in every circumstance of life, no matter what!
These people can confidently say of the Lord: “He is my refuge and my fortress, My God in whom I trust [with great confidence, and on whom I rely]!” – Psalm 91:2(Amp)
Can you too, say this with confidence church?
Inconclusion: God has not promised to keep us from life’s storms, but to get us through them, amen?