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April 6, 2020 2:00 am
This worldwide coronavirus pandemic did not take our God by surprise. And it won't last forever. In the message "Sure Steps for Uncertain Times," Skip shares what your life as a believer should be marked by during this time of crisis.
This teaching is from the series Topical Teachings.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Let me just say it's normal to be afraid. It's normal to be fearful, it's natural to do that were not called a natural living as Christians we are called to a higher plane of supernatural loving God doesn't want us to live there can address were dealing with who we can move beyond wide pandemic of the coronavirus 19 did not take all God by surprise and it won't last forever. Life seems extremely inconvenient indeterminate right now, but today on connect with Skip Heitzig Skip share some solid steps you can take to get through this crisis before we begin. Here's a great resource that will give you more insight about what the future predicting the future 100% accuracy know of the goddess close to being able to make that kind of what you think of prophecy as being an aspect of one of God's great attributes. God is omniscient. He knows everything because he is omniscient. One of the aspects of his omniscient that he knows the future in advance and can write about predictive through his prophets in graphic the guessing game Skip I think the newly reprinted you can see in the book of Revelation now, including helpful frustrations. Get your copy when you give a generous gift of $35 or more to help expand the Bible teaching outreach Skip Heitzig just call 800-922-1888 to give today hundred 92 to 1888 to forgive him but securely connectwithskip.com/offer skip.com/offer we were in Psalm 27 get into the teaching with Skip this before, but this 2020. This year has been really strange for me because I've been in the hospital for free surgeries and I couldn't wait to get out and hug people that I have been praying for me and only to find out there's a coronavirus and I can't hug people so again I just can't wait till we get together again. I just want you to think about keep that thought in your head in your heart that one day this is going to be through working to be getting back together and working to be enjoying one another's fellowship real time. Once again, well grab your Bible wherever you are in your homes on your device here on the platform and turn to the book of Psalms Psalm 27 Psalm 27 know any crisis brings anxiety and an international crisis brings heightened anxiety in your life lately has not been what it normally is and you are thinking now differently about life, then you have thought in the past I when you're talking to someone now thoughts like MI far enough away from this person's thoughts are dominating your mind when a package comes to your house. Are you wondering should I clean it off. Should I disinfect actually open it you are second-guessing your life like never before. You are thinking about grocery shopping, hugging your kids family life way differently than ever before. That's called stress. That's anxiety. Those are things that we are living with now in this new normal for a while. I one counselor, one therapist said the coronavirus anxiety is running so high that all my therapy patients want help coping.
That is why when you get on Google or when you get on Instagram or whatever platform you're noticing these little messages about precautions coping how to deal with your always being reminded of. So let me just say it's normal to be afraid. It's normal to be fearful. It's natural to do that but were not called the natural living as Christians we are called to a higher plane of supernatural, loving, and God does want us to live there know we can address were dealing with what we can move beyond well. That is why we go to the Scriptures because there's no better place to take our cues for supernatural living.
Then the word of God and and of all the places in the word of God. I think Psalms is one of the best places because so many of the Psalms reflect our actual experiences whether David or Asaph are the sons of Cora wrote that some we often resort to the Psalms because we read it go but that's exactly what I'm feeling is that's that's exactly what I'm dealing with. So in Psalm 27 a. By the way I'm to be looking at this more devotional email application only, not just exegetical. You don't go there, but not much. I really want to apply these things to our lives. Psalm 27 is a time of national crisis. We don't know exactly what is going on but we know it's a time of national crisis because the language in the Psalm reflects that, but it's also a time of personal crisis for the author of the Psalm.
None other than David. Now here's where it gets a little dicey. David had so many crises in his life. It is hard to pick which one he was going through. He was hated by his family.
He was hunted by Saul. He was chased down by Goliath. He was attacked by the Philistines. There was on a civil crisis going out of several times during his reign, his son Absalom rebelled against them so they could pick. It's hard to know exactly what he was going through but he was going through something that affected him personally and his country nationally. We know that because of some of the words in this song words like wicked enemies follows the Army war, false witnesses and breathing out violence. So there's some kind of warfare going on in David's life that he is going through writing about and what I find interesting. As I read through the Psalm is that it's the same language that experts are using regarding the coronavirus.
I hear him saying were at war with this and working to win this war.
There talking about an invisible enemy that we have so Psalm 27 is very applicable to what we are all in this world right now dealing with. But here's the great news, though the Psalm has those words and it it has other words in it like strength confident beauty, saying, salvation, and goodness. So what that means is Psalm 27 gives to us what the believer's life is to be marked by any time of crisis and I went to get you five things that should mark your life and hope you're taking notes because your homework is gonna be to use Psalm 27 is your own personal prayer points. We need this song because those malls are closing in stores are closing in restaurants of closing theaters have closed were feeling very uncertain about the future. We need shortstops in uncertain times.
This Psalm gives it to us. So the first step to take in uncertain times is the step of vigilance just simply means being alert, being aware we observe what's going on around us in verse two of this Psalm. David says when the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh. She's noticing this happening in real time.
In verse three, he says, though an army may encamp against me. So all that to say that David was aware, not ignorant of the threat that was going on around him.
He was aware that he lived in a world filled with wickedness wicked people enemies and he lived in a dangerous world.
There were life-threatening circumstances in David's life when he wrote this so here's what we find ourselves is not that we have a lack of information we know what's going on around us.
In fact, we've all become amateur experts, the last 10 days we we know words we never heard of before.
Never talk about covert 19 and talk about infection rates and like you did that before, so it's not that we lack the information there's an overload of information will be very careful what we are getting our sources from we do have to be aware of the potential danger most everybody is and let me drill down a little bit under that knowing the potential danger that is ongoing. That is really shaken some people's faith to the very core. It's as if people are saying oh yeah, I noticed that this is going on around me, but I also noticed God isn't doing anything to stop it. So the big question in many people's minds is the age-old question that comes up every time something happens out of our control. How can a good and loving God allow evil like this to happen.
It's the same question asked on September 11, 2001 was the same question asked in World War II when people stood in front of Nazi concentration camps. How can God allow evil to happen and so many conclude there must be no God. If God is all-powerful and all loving this could not happen.
So where is he is the answer right in the middle of God is right in the middle of this. Not only did he see this coming. And not only can he control the keys in the middle of what I mean by that. Well Christianity is built on the life of a man who suffered and died. You know the think of the very worst things a good happen to any human being in terms of pain-and-suffering humiliation and Jesus went through that that we talk about that all the time so we live in a fallen world. Ever since that fall. The fall of man. There has been Sanders been violence has been corruption and there is been paying in the Bible speaks about that. The Bible speaks about things like earthquakes lightning that cause fires talks about destroying wins. The Bible of course, speaks about the flood and other floods. These are a part of biblical history as well as history in general so the Christian is not na´ve about this will close our eyes to the fact that there is evil in our world. We know that Jesus said that God causes the sun and the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike. Job, who suffered horrible things, including the death of his family. He understood that he said the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. So any thinking Christian is not na´ve about this. Any thinking Christian knows that God is an automatically immune us from tragedy doesn't always heal us.
Miraculously, I was Chuck Colson a few years back who said it is absurd for Christians to expect a miraculous answer to every need from caring ingrown toenails to finding parking places. This only leads to faith in miracles instead of faith in God so dear Christian brother or sister does God call storms yes he does.
We seen them do that in our own personal lives as well as the pages of Scripture. But most often he calms us in the midst of the storm and that's what I'm praying for you. You're going through it while going through it. Stay calm in the name of Jesus. You can do this and he can calm your nerves and give you faith, but the biblical perspective is one of vigilance. We are where we are alert evil is real.
There are many reasons for evil that exist but one day one day God is going to eradicate all evil from this world so that it will not exist perpetually into eternity know that you see we mean there's reasons for evil all yes I can answer why every evil thing happens, but I can answer why there is evil in the world. Number one, there is the activity of a super being called Satan where the super God, but he created a being that is a super being with a free will, called Satan who wreaks havoc in this world, he rebelled.
At some point in eternity past and we are still feeling the repercussions of that today so that's number one number two rebellion in man's heart you know when when when Adam chose and in the world cell that is the fall of man and God curse this earth. By the way, God pronounced a curse on the ground on planet Earth. Adam had choice and we are simply replications reproductions of Adam and Eve. So following people heard other people in that small evil that happened. So there's a super being. There's fallen people who hurt other people within number three we have freedom of choice. We can choose to say yes to God.
We can choose to obey. We can choose to rebel God and make people robots he allows them lots of latitude in his sovereignty and his grace to make a lot of choices, some good some bad. Before there is natural law and because God cursed the earth, are natural laws that happened.
I remember when Katrina happened in people's and how can a God of love allow Katrina to happen yet the city that it destroyed was built under sea level with walls they knew couldn't protect category for storms and the storm came so when we define natural laws expect evil to happen if I try to defy the law of gravity by jumping off a building is not to be a good outcome. If I walk in the middle of the freeway when oncoming traffic. Not a good outcome so I can't defy laws put in place and is a Christian I can apply this crazy quick fix of St. are buying this evil in the name of Jesus because evil is going to happen because we live in a fallen world. So we need vigilance we need to be where we need to be alert.
Having said that, we certainly cannot stop with being alert. We can stop being vigilant. We can't stop with being aware because if you stop at the information.
The information will tell you little crush if all you're doing is going in your twitter feed a newsfeed and that's all you're doing years. Can you give up.
So the second step after vigilance is confidence. Watch what David does in this song the Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear the Lord is the strength of my life of whom shall I be afraid. And in verse three he says no one Army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear, though war should rise against me, look at this language in this I will be confident you see Howie in the same verse talks about fear and confidence was fear but but I'm confident unlucky to be afraid now fear is the most typical emotion in a crisis.
That's why soldiers are trying to harness it. That's why police and firefighters are trying to harness it there trying to take their fear and channel it. David does the same thing but in a theological manner. David here is being theologically logical.
He's thinking through the implications of an all-powerful God who is sovereign yet he lives in a world filled with evil.
So he is being theologically logical and he saying since the Lord is my light and since the Lord is my salvation. That's why I not get a fear in other words, if there is a God. And if that God is as the Bible declares him to be.
I need to be more afraid of him than what's going on around me, and it is not exactly what Jesus said. He said do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul but rather fear him who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell. So there's any fear here. It should be what is God going to do with my life and what am I going to do with this God. That's what we need to be thinking.
See, I don't have to be afraid of of an enemy that is unseen.
I have a friend that is unseen. The Lord he is my light and my salvation. I love the fact the Davis of the Lord is my light because one thing we all know about darkness when when it gets dark when the shadows come at night. We have to turn the little lights in our house. Darkness usually accentuates people's fear. That's when our imaginations come out of the closet and get all wonky and weird on us. We start imagining weird things of the what if's come out at night. What if this happens, what if that happens you know were always dealing with those scenarios so the Lord is my light now in the Bible. Light physically speaks of the glory of God light is always pure and brilliant inequality so it speaks of God's glory morally light speaks of the holiness of God. He's always sure Morley has a spotless character intellectually light speaks of the knowledge of God. So think of all those implications. The Lord is my light. Think of it, physically, morally, intellectually, God knows everything right so he is omniscient, my love. In Exodus chapter 3 the children of Israel are facing an affliction. And God said, I have seen the affliction of my people. I have heard their groans and I am come down to deliver them. That's the light of God that that's the likely speaking of so so you can't see God but God can see you. God sees right where you're at because he can see you. You can live confidently. I was reading about the Impala. The African probably go to the zoo. Probably just about any zoo in Siena. Paula, a what you may not know is you're looking over the little fence and looking at the empower the little 3 foot high fence that keeps on Paul and Gino and Paula can jump 10 feet high and when he jumps 10 feet high. He can cover ground about 30 feet in the tent for jump yet I 3 foot fence keeps him contained want to know why it's because in Apollo will not jump if you can't see where his feet are going to land. That means this preacher lives completely by site and not by faith.
What is the Bible say about us creatures we live by faith and not by sight.
We can jump in the dark because God is light. That's how we can trust because of who he is. So the first step is vigilance were where we got a know what's going on with the precautions confidence the Lord is my light, whom shall I fear the third sure staff in uncertain times is the step of reverence, worship, we need to pause after realizing who God is, to worship in verse four he says one thing I have desired of the Lord and that will I seek that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion in the secret place of his tabernacle, he shall hide me, he shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me. Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in his tabernacle. I will sing yes I will sing praises to the Lord, hero, Lord, when I cry with my voice, have mercy upon me and answer me.
Here is what I love about the way David crafts the song.
It's as if he saying when trouble overwhelms me. I'm gonna let God overwhelm my trouble to bring God so near and in my worship that I'm I'm to be overwhelmed by him and let God overwhelm my trouble.
Think of Joe.
You know we talked about MRD in the study will know about them, but we also know about Joe's wife and a sheet she was overwhelmed by the sorrow happening to her husband and in her own family, the loss of her children and she was so overwhelmed by it. You know what she said curse God and die hundred dollars, which he said her husband curse God dude and just die but fake news, I like that.
What I love is how Job was so overwhelmed by God because he said it says he fell to his knees and he worshiped God.
We have the same choice and I'm noticing how people are making choices is fine. If I look at Twitter and I'm looking at the feeds of my I get prominent Christian leaders.
I watch the hundreds of people respond. Many of them respond to this by cursing God, while others respond by calling on God just to, you can see in in the reading of the emotions that are behind that so trials have a tendency to move us toward God or move us away from God.
I was making phone calls this week to people in our church. Some poor, elderly, some who are sick and just to hear the words of faith, not fear was so encouraging. Some of you that I talk to you know you have such a love for God and trust in him, and you're not.
You're not fearful of this, you gonna go into the future and some are facing terminal illness. I spoke to a young lady was a few weeks to live.
But she had such a joy in her heart surrounded by her family filled with faith.
It's so encourage me that you can let God overwhelm your problems is with David this he assesses the danger he he expresses confidence and he worships God many years ago when there was another crisis in the world called world war two, and London was being bombed by the Nazis. One church on the sign out front that said, if your knees are knocking Neil on them. I love that team moved in the right direction being moved in prayer and that's where David said here. He says there's one thing I have desired of the Lord and that I will seek to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. Notice how emphatic David is you know he is so focused is a single-minded passion of pursuing God is like. It's like he's looking for God in the scope of his rifle in his own in and zero in on him alone in pursuing him alone Skip message shoe steps were uncertain. Skip let you know these encouraging messages coming your way.
Well, there's no doubt that these are interesting times that we live in, but they can become unnerving and unsettling, especially as we become more and more isolated from one another more than ever we need the truth, and encouragement of God's word to help give us God's perspective when the temptation can be to embrace fear and anxiety more aggressively here connect with Skip icing. We believe that God has called us to help encourage and equip you in such a time as this. We have messages and resources on our email@example.com and on our mobile app and as we continue to send out teaching of God's word around the world. It's more important than ever that we don't have to pull back on our ministry because of finances, your gift today will help us continue to deliver God's word to you and others in this new remote environment that we find ourselves in. You can call 800-922-1888 or you can visit firstname.lastname@example.org to give your gift today.
Thank you for standing with us in these times that you Skip coming up tomorrow Skip share some encouragement to get you through this crisis, letting you know how God is with you, especially in times like this it's not over in a week is not over until he may not be over in a month, perseverance and prayer is better than panic. This will not last forever, when it's all done to look back and sort of figure out why God allowed this we can answer those questions later on. While were going through it so Skip presentation of connection communication to ever-changing time