Acts 27:18-24 “And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.”
You are so valuable to God!
We have been called out of darkness into a marvelous light. There are so many wonderful transitions today taking place in the church and in individual lives. To understand the vein of the Spirit that moves through this church is full of power and direction and revelation. It’s all about reaching for and loving this city!
The problem is along the way, sometimes we take on more baggage than we should bring for the journey. We’ve got to be careful that we are willing to let go of things that hold us down. God gives us clues that things need to change.
As we go ahead and take a trip, we deny ourselves the privilege of doing it in the will of God. We come to the conclusion that God needs our help. He does not need our help. He wants to use us. He wants us to be good stewards, obedient. ‘The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.’
Good in the Hebrew means a whole lot more than merely ‘good’. A man or a woman cannot have their steps ordered of the Lord if they are not good. The word ‘good’ creates a list of responsibilities, stipulations that need to be understood and applied so we can have clear direction.
We get frustrated because we don’t know what the next step is. Take a good look at our hearts and see if we are truly being good so we can have direction. The word ‘good’ means ‘obedient’.
When Abraham was called out first, it was because he obeyed. Every step he took in obedience released God to further reveal in his life His will and give Abraham more of His promises.
Oftentimes, it is because of our own disobedience that we don’t know the will of God. ‘After you have done the will of God, you will receive the promise’. (somewhere in Hebrews). There is usually a space between the making of a promise and the fulfillment of that promise.
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space we begin to engage our will, what we perceive to be His will, and we also begin to understand needs to change to line up with what His will actually is in our lives.
God is saying, “I need you to see in that space that I have a promise, but that will not be fulfilled unless you obey.”
Help us to have the integrity to handle Your promises, Oh God!
Every season preceding the fulfillment of a promise is full of transition so that we might learn to understand and obey the will of God. It’s all about your spiritual frame of mind. You may feel like you’ve come against an obstacle or even an enemy and you don’t understand why. You might even begin to doubt whether God is with you. The presence of a storm in your life does not indicate the abbesses of God. On the contrary, David had to face Goliath. God put Goliath in David’s path. David saw Goliath as a door.
When was the last time you looked at your storm as a door? It’s something that God puts in the way so He can validate something in your life. You have been anointed to face every enemy like a door! Your enemy is a door!
The storms that begin to form is not really an opposing force to you. The enemy wants to sink you, but God blow you right into your destiny! God directs the wind. You can go ahead and arrive at your final destination.
You are in a boat, on a journey, the waves are high and the wind is blowing, but the Master is still in control!
Let the wind blow as hard as it wants to. God is in the wind of that storm. He may have given the enemy permission to blow and throw out the thunder and the lightning, but it ultimately at the command of the creator. What the enemy meant for evil, God has turned it to your favor.
Sometimes God can only do His best work in your life in a storm.
God wants to make your enemy afraid of you.
The Bible says they were exceedingly tossed. They had lost all hope. In the text of Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
As long as hope lies within you, you have promises waiting to be fulfilled. But, God has to bring people to that place of no hope, so He can do something through you. A Christian should never have no hope. People need what you have to offer. You will bring light into darkness on many levels and many dimensions.
In the process of the storm, they started to lighten the ship. They threw things out that were important in the beginning, but its importance changed. Maybe, just maybe, you’re still in love with things that you need to get rid of, to the point that you’re willing to give up what He now has for you. Everything about God is progressing forward. In seasons of our lives, God allows certain things to be a part of your life for that part of the journey, but once they have served their purpose, you need to be willing to let them go.
Abraham is on a journey and God told him to take Isaac to Mt. Moriah. He stopped and made everyone but himself and the lad stay behind. Only they two were to go forward. He had to let go of the young men and the donkeys. They served their purpose.
This is why you need to be very prayerful about every relationship you have. You need to be discerning enough to recognize that not everything and everybody is needful for your next phase. You can’t force it into the next dimension. You need your hands free and open so that God can fill them for the next phase of the journey.
Lay it down.
Paul said, ‘You didn’t listen to me. I told you not to go.’ How many of us have been out of time in God? How many of us have missed the timing of God? And stepped out of His will? Force something too soon or waited to long? ‘But, be of good cheer, because God knows what a knucklehead you are and how stubborn you are, and He’ll still work with you.’
Not all broken stuff in your life is a sign of failure. Don’t lose hope because you got out of time and stuff got wrecked. It’s not always a sign of failure. It’s just that God would have preferred to go about it His way, but He’ll take it busted up and still make something good of it. He’ll take the broken stuff.
Maybe God let your ship wreck so you won’t try to use it to go back where you no longer belong. Visitation has a time and brings revelation with it. Don’t try to go back to your comfort zone. He wrecked the ship and doesn’t allow you to be able to go back.
When you receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, everything changes. You can see properly for the first time and you can move forward. Every sin you’ve ever committed is removed in baptism in Jesus’ name.
There is a voice that calls at you sometimes, the past, that cries out, ‘Come on back!’ That’s probably why God wrecks your ship. ‘No man that puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the work.’
You have come too far and your destiny too great. Even in the storm, God is taking you to your next dimension. God never said your ship would make it, but you will make it! ‘He that hath begun a good work will perform it until it is completed.’ He will invest every bit of His power. He will be with you every step of the journey. He is going to plan it all out and lay it all for you because He is the high and lofty one that inhabits eternity. He resides, lives, in three dimensions at the same time—past, present, and future. That is the God that we serve!
For that reason, let the ship wreck, let the storm come, let the enemy come against me, let the heathen rage, let the viper come out of the fire, I’m getting there.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Ric Gonzalez.
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If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!