Swim          (Revival 2021)                 *Verses in NKJV*

– It has been great to be here every night this week. It is a special blessing from the Lord that we can publicly meet without fear of imprisonment or financial ruin if caught.

Example: China missionary, persecution through technology and govt tracking, church having multiple meeting places/service times to avoid this. MUST be there to know when the next will be.

– What happens in these church walls does not need to stay in the church wall. The world needs this!

– While many in the world are dying for this, you get to live in it. Don’t waste this opportunity!

If I asked you how to swim, what would you say? What if I asked you how to NOT drown?

– I could describe to you what to do, but something would be missing that you will only truly understand by being in the water. Knowing WHAT to do and knowing HOW to do it aren’t the same.

Example: USMC boot camp swim qual. Your choices are sink or swim, because staying out of the pool is not an option. They had instruction, and motivation, and desire, but some of them didn’t know how to turn that stuff into NOT drowning.

– Honestly, they should have taken time to learned how to swim before they got in that position.

– In the storms of life, you’ll need to learn how to spiritually swim BEFORE you get in the water.

In our scriptures, David was drowning under the pressure of losing everything. His home, his family, his friends, his victories. All the things he had been relying on to bring him comfort or safety.

1 Samuel 30:6 (NKJV), Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was [a]grieved (literally “bitter” over the loss), every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

1. You will default to your foundation.

– This is David. As a child he killed lions and bears, and the giant Goliath. The mighty warrior and leader, praised for his many victories in battle. The anointed, chosen, future king!

– David was described by God as a man after God’s own heart. He was a strong man of God!

– He is now in a long season of trials and relentless persecution, and his strength is running out.

– King Saul is on a mission to kill him. David won’t kill Saul, he is running out of places to run, and now he feels like he is out of options.

– 1 Samuel 27:1, And David said in his heart, “Now I shall perish someday by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape to the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me anymore in any part of Israel. So I shall escape out of his hand.”

– Wouldn’t this have been a great time to “strengthen himself in the Lord”, rather than run to seek comfort in the hands of the enemy? Did he forget that God is the deliverer?

Example: My PTSD.

– My default strategy for going through hard times was to “grind”. I didn’t see it at the time. I would tell you to pray, seek God, lean on His strength… I knew what to do, but when the seas raged, I defaulted back to what I’ve always done.

– I had always been able to “swim” through it, but you can only hold your breath for so long.

– The biggest convicting moment was when my psychologist who is not a Christian, knowing I’m a pastor, asked if I’d prayed and if it had helped.

– I realized that I had not be seeking strength in the Lord, I had defaulted to my own.

– Whatever you build your foundation on, you will default to in times of trial.

Matthew 7:24-25, “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

– The famous quote says, “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” (You will default to what ever you have been practicing. Self-reliance, or God-reliance.)

– The hard times WILL come. I don’t just want you to know you should be strengthened in the Lord. I want it to be your default and foundation. Trust Jesus with every area of your life.

– David found his foundation in the Lord again!

Psalm 23:4-6, Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

2. Remove the barriers that keep you from being strengthened in the Lord.

– Removing distractions is the key to spending time building your foundation on the Lord.

Hebrews 12:1, Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Example: MCIWS Instructor Course, long swim with full gear, removing one piece of gear at a time… Despite the many hours and miles already swam, I felt lighter, faster, and unencumbered.

– There are so many “time suckers” stealing your time and attention from the Lord.

– We all have the same amount of time. It is how you prioritize yours that makes the difference.

1 Chronicles 16:11, Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore!

Jeremiah 29:13, And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

– Having trouble finding time with Jesus? Remove the barriers.

– You must break free from the addictions that ensnare you. Not just the classics, but also junk food, “your show”, phones, DRAMA, or anything else you turn to first in times of stress and crisis.

Dopamine fasting: Motivation chemical causing you to go after things you want and need.

         – Every time you “click” you get a hit. Every like and post means someone loves you.

         – Every cheeseburger brings a feeling of provision, and shopping bag brings safety.

         – With every hit of dopamine, you become addicted to distractions.

– Fasting dopamine means cutting out the things in your life that trigger that response. The less you have it, the less you want it, until it no longer controls you.

– When you break free from the distraction, get alone with God.

– Fill the new time with drawing closer to God, in prayer, and bible reading. This will be your default.

– In prayer, listen more than you speak. It is okay to be silent, and just wait for God to speak.

Matthew 6:33, But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 

– I know you have tried before, try again! Self-control is a fruit of the spirit, meaning you need the Holy Spirit inside of you to be successful. You can’t do it on your own strength.

3. Be encouraged!

– Almost every non-swimmer approaches the deep water with fear, but you can’t learn you how to swim if you won’t get in the water.

– The foundation of swimming is simple. Relax, deep breath, trust the teacher, listen to his voice.

Isaiah 41:10, Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

– Swimming is the metaphor for our life in Christ. Live by Christ’s strength, not your own.

– Be encouraged. Just keep swimming! Trust the Lord and listen to his voice.

Isaiah 43:1b-2a, …“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you…

– alter call – prayer –

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