STORMS: Reveal What We’ve Built On!


SOW THE WIND, REAP THE WHIRLWIND

In the past few weeks newspaper headlines have indicated that we’re seeing ‘the worst storms that have ever hit the Atlantic’ (in recorded history)

First we saw Hurricane HARVEY (just 2 weeks ago as of this writing) described as ‘the worst disaster in Texan history […] a once in 500 years flood! […] The damage bill is already drawing comparisons to Hurricane KATRINA in 2005, which caused $108 billion of losses.’

Hurricane Harvey makes landfall on 25th August 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas (Corpus Christi means ‘Body of Christ‘)

Now , less than 2 weeks later, we’re in the midst of Hurricane IRMA

NAMING THE HURRICANES

Since the 1950’s, hurricanes have been given names (as opposed to numbers), for example the most powerful hurricanes from the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season were;

KATRINA meaning ‘pure‘ (hurricane KATRINA August 2005, Hit New Orleans)

WILMA   means ‘you must follow the divine law of love. You have great persistence and hate to give up’/. ‘Resolute protection’ (Hurricane Wilma, October 2005, Haiti was hit badly) 

And from the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Harvey was the first and worst hurricane since WILMA :

HARVEY (Hurricane that battered Texas, August 2017) means ‘battle worthy, blazing iron’ 

And now…eerily

IRMA (Hurricane IRMA, September 2017, Caribbean and Florida)is named for ‘Goddess of War‘ and is currently hitting Florida (‘the powerful big monster hurricane ripped through the Caribbean and made landfall over ‘Florida Keys‘). In German, IRMA derives from the Old German word ‘irmin’ meaning war goddess, while the American meaning behind the name of the storm is ‘noble‘ 
WE’RE IN FOR STORMY TIMES…

Where do we go to find peace in stormy times?

Jesus said, ‘In the last days, the hearts of many will fail them due to fear of the circumstances’ (Luke 21:26)

Storms reveal what we’ve built our lives on! What is most valuable? What do we value most in this world? 

In the Western World we seem to have put our trust in the ‘treasures of this world‘; the deceitfulness of wealth, the cares of the world and the desire for things other than the Kingdom of Heaven (God’s way of life and priorities being fulfilled on the earth)

Through the stormy times of the last days Jesus warns us ‘Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man’

For example- Hurricane IRMA has left more than FIVE MILLION without power in Florida. The storm ‘hammered’ Fort Myers, the county seat of Florida, a place known for tourism associated with the homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, both involved in the exclusive ‘The Millionaires Club’ and both luminaries in the history of the so called ‘Second Industrial Revolution’ related to ‘Electric Power’. But this storm has rendered the state powerless in the face of this ‘Monster Storm‘. 

The storm carved a path through places such as Naples, Florida (one of the wealthiest cities in the US and the second highest proportion of millionaires in the Empire. Real Estate here is amongst the most expensive in the country and many wealthy families have homes in Naples, Florida)

Richard Branson’s (‘The Virgin King‘) Necker Island in the Virgin Islands has been completely ‘obliterated

Just a week ago, people were going about their normal daily lives, going to work, running their business, looking after their families, going abroad on holiday, marrying and honeymooning…now just 1 week later, over 3 million people are homeless and 6.4 million people have been told to run for their lives as killer winds approach. 80% of the Bahamas lies just 3 feet about water

STORM WARNING

In Jesus’ teaching to his disciples on the hill, he gives them a clear Storm Warning (Matt 7:24-29). He says,

‘Anyone who listens to my teaching AND puts it into practice is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against the house, it won’t collapse because it is built on the bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.’

‘When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority- quite unlike their teachers of religious law’

So what were the things Jesus taught, that we must build our lives on so we can stand strong in stormy times?

Jesus starts with 8 Characteristics; a Foundation or Ethical Guideline for the Character of Life in His Kingdom (I hope to cover these 8 Characteristics of Matt 5:3-12 in an article coming soon entitled: The Wheel of Life)

Our Life Must Be Built on The Foundation of THIS TEACHING [Matt5-7]:

ANGER– don’t murder or even remain angry with someone. If you call someone an idiot or curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell!  If you are worshipping and remember that someone has something against you, go and be reconciled to that person. If someone’s taking you to court someone- on the way, settle your differences quickly before it goes any further before a judge

LUST, SEX + MARRIAGE– don’t commit adultery or even look lustfully at someone. Don’t divorce your spouse unless they’ve been unfaithful

HONOUR COMMITMENTS– don’t break your vows, or even make vows. Don’t swear on things (like on my mums life or grandmas grave etc),, a simple yes I will or no I won’t will suffice. Anything beyond that is from the evil one  

REVENGE VS LOVE FOR ENEMIES- love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, be kind to your enemies, if they slap you on the right cheek, offer them the other. If you are sued in court and they demand to take something from you, offer them even more

FORGIVE THOSE WHO’VE HURT YOU- if you forgive those who sin against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins

KEEP THREE SECRETS- give to those in need in secret, fast in secret and pray in secret

WATCH WHAT YOU TREASURE– don’t store up treasure on the earth. Don’t worry about everyday life- having enough food and drink, clothes and so on. Those kind of thoughts dominate those who don’t know me or the Father. Don’t worry about tomorrow, today’s trouble is enough. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? You cannot serve two masters and so you cannot serve God and Money. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously (according to these ethical foundations of the Kingdom) and God our Father will give you everything you need 

DON’T JUDGE OTHERS HYPOCRITICALLY OR WASTE ENERGY TRYING TO CHANGE PEOPLE- the standard you use will be the standard you are judged by, the measure you use in assessing others will be given back to you and if you give others a standard they don’t want- they will turn and attack you. Live up to your own standards, but don’t force others to, unless of course, they are willing to learn from your own lifes-walk and teaching

THE GOLDEN RULE- Treat others the way you want to be treated. That about sums it all up really

SO WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE YOU?

Is your life in the path of the storm? 

What are you building your life on? 

Building on this foundational teaching of Jesus will keep us from being shaken by the storms that are raging all around us

And collectively, if we have built on these Foundations, whole nations could stand strong when storms batter our cities because as the true foundations are revealed, we would be shown as being made of stronger stuff than the shakey foundations this world is built on…

THE STORM IS COMING, WHERE ARE YOUR MOST VALUABLES STORED?

What do you value most in life? If the storm hit and swept those things away…what would you have left to stand on?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin Corner September 11, 2017 at 8:25 pm

This is a very good article, Peter, and agrees exactly what the Lord has been saying to me

Reply

Peter J. Farmer September 12, 2017 at 7:24 pm

Thanks Robin…that’s encouraging that the Spirit is showing the same things to different people around the world!

Reply

Gifford Claiborne September 13, 2017 at 2:48 am

So obvious it’s painful.

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