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Batten down the hatches!
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
Remember the Perfect Storm?
We are in the eye of the storm- it SEEMS calm and peaceful and there is a hope that America’s conditions will change- that we will make it out of this storm, but we are coming out of the eye and the wave is barreling down fast upon us.
I hear the Lord saying to His people BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES
BE READY! (there’s no time to “get’ ready, you need to BE ready)
There is a great storm coming and if you haven’t prepared yourself, you will suffer loss.
Batten down the hatches-
In this case we are looking at the ‘opening in the deck of a ship’ meaning. Ships’ hatches, more formally called hatchways, were commonplace on sailing ships and were normally either open or covered with a wooden grating to allow for ventilation of the lower decks. When bad weather was imminent, the hatches were covered with tarpaulin and the covering was edged with wooden strips, known as battens, to prevent it from blowing off and prevent water from getting below deck. Not surprisingly, sailors called this ‘battening down’.
It means to prepare for disaster
Make your ship water tight. Waves of water can hit the outside of the ship and it’ll just get tossed around a little, but let water get into the ship and it will sink.
Bad weather is imminent. Prepare for difficult times.
Batten down the hatches- BE READY.
How? I’m glad you asked.
1 Corinthians 10:1-12 (NKJV)
1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”[a] 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all[b] these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
I have learned to never say, “I would NEVER do that”
I know that given the right place and right circumstances, I might do anything.
Was it not Peter, Jesus’ closest friend and confidant who said, “I will NEVER betray You!”
Think about going back to your high school reunion and your old flame is hanging all over you, now imagine that things between you and your spouse were not going well- thoughts of this old flame would keep coming back and if you entertained these thoughts, there’s no end to what you might do
The Israelites experienced God’s grace in the exodus. They were delivered from bondage, baptized, sustained supernaturally in the desert, but read vs 5
God was not pleased with their unbelief, complaining, idolatry and sexual immorality.
As a result, their bodies were scattered over the desert and they missed the promise of God.
How do we batten down the hatches and “take heed”?
- Get the doubt out
Hebrews 4:11 (NKJV)
11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.
Is there any unbelief and doubt in you? Get it out! It will let in water to sink your ship.
Mind you, this is not an atheist unbelief, but rather an unbelief in God’s abilities to do what He said He would do. Like I said before, it was not a “I don’t believe in God”, but rather “I don’t believe God”
If there is any doubt in God’s ability to take care of you, regardless of how circumstances look, you need to get it out tonight.
If there’s any doubt in you concerning God’s Word, get it OUT!
Ex: I was talking with a friend about what even some Christians belief about heaven.
Which brings me to my second point-
- Know your Word!
But not just know it, live it, breath it, walk in it- it is life!
Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
You can and will be quickly deceived if you do not live in and love God’s Word.
We have three things to help us in this life:
the blood of Christ
the Word of God
The Holy Spirit
Get familiar with your Bible
God’s Word awakens and strengthens His life in our spirit, it exposes those areas of our soul where it conflicts with the Hoy Spirit.
By willingly submitting to God’s piercing Word, our hearts may be softened and changed so that we may truly enter into God’s rest.
Ex: one of my favorite testimonies was from an ex homosexual- share testimony and how after 20+ years and having a wife and three kids, he left his job at Focus, moved to a largely populated homosexual city and became a highly publicized chef
- Get rid of sin and walk in love and humility
Micah 6:8 (NKJV)
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?
walk justly- Hebrew “according to the law, what is legal” under the law of Christ
As Pastor Steve preached last week- cast off the old man and put on the new man! Put on your new garments of righteousness!
Ephesians 4:22-24New King James Version (NKJV)
that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
There is a lot of pride and false humility in the church.
Pride- if you do not humble yourself, God will humble you
Humility understands that I can do nothing of my own. The gifts given to me are not of me, they are of Him and I am just a vessel being used for the Master.
We need to stop exalting people and exalt Jesus.
False humility- the “look at me!” posting everything on FB for others to see
Walk in love- did you know that you can give everything away to the poor and it can still not be love?
1 Cor 13:1-3 READ
agape- love with a purpose, if you truly do not love the Lord with all your heart, mind, body and soul, then you CANNOT love others. So then the good works you do are filthy rags
- Stay within hearing distance of the Savior.
As I was in prayer a few weeks ago, the Lord spoke this to me about the church:
“It is not that they do not know my voice, for my sheep know my voice; they have moved so far away from Me that they cannot HEAR my voice”
Don’t be a wandering sheep! Stay in the presence of the Lord.
Stay in prayer and DAILY communication with our Lord
you build up your faith by praying in the Spirit- seek to pray in tongues
IT IS TOO EASY TO WANDER AWAY and do your own thing and still think you are good!
TAKE HEED LEST YOU FALL!
Stay in the fellowship of the church. Your brothers and sisters in Christ will hold you accountable.
Stop believing the lies of the enemy that says you don’t have to be in the church- there is no such thing as a lone ranger Christian! Get rooted in the Body!
- BE the light. Rise! Shine!
Ephesians 5:8,14 (NKJV)
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”
Isaiah 60:1-2 (NKJV)
60 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.
Like a lot of Isaiah’s message, this is a prophetic word, but not to the first coming of Christ as some have misinterpreted it, but rather to the second coming of Christ when He will set up His kingdom at the end of this age.
The prophet here addresses the church of God, which he supposes to be sitting sorrowful, and exhorts her to awake and arise from a state of darkness and mourning, and enter into a state of light and happiness, “now that her salvation, so long desired and hoped for, is at hand, and the divine glory is about to rise upon her, and illuminate the nations and people who had hitherto sat in thick darkness.” S
The reader will observe the exhortation is accommodated to the Jewish or Hebrew style, wherein, as by lying down is signified a servile and calamitous condition, (Isaiah 47:1,) so, by rising, and standing up, a recovery out of it into a free and prosperous state, as may be seen frequently.
Arise – This is evidently addressed to the church, or to Zion regarded as the seat of the church. It is represented as having been in a state of affliction and calamity. She is now called on to arise from the dust, and to impart to others the rich privileges which were conferred on her.
The reason to arise and shine is because people are in darkness. Actually deep (or gross) darkness to be exact. Remember this passage is prophetic of the end of the age.
Darkness will cover the entire earth. There is a lot of darkness hovering on the horizon. Morally, spiritually, financially, emotionally… In so many areas there is the darkness of despair hovering over this world. The one good thing is that the darker it becomes, the easier it is to see the light.
Shine – (אורי ‘ôrı̂y). Lowth renders this, ‘Be thou enlightened.’ Margin, ‘Be enlightened, for thy light cometh.’ Noyes, ‘Enjoy light.’ Septuagint Φωτίζου φωτίζου Phōtizou phōtizou – ‘Be enlightened; be enlightened, O Jerusalem.’ Herder renders it, ‘Be light.’
Vitringa regards the expression as equivalent to this, ‘pass into a state of light.
Gesenius renders it, ‘Shine, be bright; that is, be surrounded and resplendent with light.’ The idea probably is this, ‘rise now from a state of obscurity and darkness. Enter into light; enter into times of prosperity.’
It is not so much a command to impart light to others as it is to be encompassed with light and glory. It is the language of prophecy rather than of command; a call rather to participate in the light that was shining than to impart it to others.
Yes, darkness and destruction are coming, but the Light shines brightest in the dark.