• ~IMPORTANT~

    The non-refundable, $150 down payment for our 2019 Mission Trip to Nicaragua is due June 24th!

ROOTED IN THE STORM— 4/8/18

Happy Monday #teamawakening family!

We kicked off our April theme last night— ROOTED IN THE STORM.

 We’ve all experience storms. Some hate them. Some watch them. Some chase them. Some hide from them. We also face storms in life, and how we respond to the storms of life we face determines how the storms will affect us.
Unfortunately, storms are inevitable. There is a phrase that we use around the church office that says, “Change is inevitable. Misery is optional.” Storms are going to come our way, but that doesn’t mean that we have to dread the seasons of life that brings the storms.
Text: Romans 12:2NIV says,
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
We’ve gone over this verse MANY times, but last night we looked at something in this verse for the first time. We looked at the word “renewing”. The word renew means to grant or obtain an extension of or on: renew a license: to grant or obtain an extension on the loan of renew a library book.
Your license is no longer valid if it is not renewed. Think about renewing a library book. You either return it or renew it. If you return the book, it goes back in the possession of the library. If you renew it, it stays in your possession.
The same is true when it comes to our minds. We can choose to renew it or return it. When we renew our minds, we allow control and influence of our minds to be placed in Jesus. When we “return our minds”, we allow the influence of our minds to return to Satan.
Renewing our minds is key to not just getting through the storm, but thriving in the storm.
Heath Adamson said, “Seeds are planted in the mud.”  Mud is messy, can be deep, difficult to navigate through, and can be immobilizing. Storms have a way of making a mess, and can leave us picking up the pieces long after everyone else moves on with their regular everyday lives. Strong, messy storms are something that we typically try to avoid at all costs, which can also affect the way we pray when we face the storms of life.
How do you pray when you’re in the storm and up to your neck in mud? Do you pray that God removes the storm or that he makes you stronger in the midst of the storm? The most important thing is not what the storm does to you as much as what God does in you as you work your way through the storm with his help and guidance.
Colossians 2:6-7 says,
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
The foundation of all we do and dream has to start, be rooted, and built in Christ. Try to picture and think of a tree and its roots.  The deeper and stronger the roots are, the stronger the tree is and the more it can withstand in the storm.
Where do the tree roots grow? They grow IN THE MUD! A tree can be cut down and actually grow back because the energy is stored in the roots! There will be times in life that the storms you face will knock you down. The good news is that you can get back up even stronger than you were before the storm if you are rooted in Jesus. You can stay ROOTED IN THE STORM!
Check out these two Scripture passages:
Psalm 1:3: Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.
Jeremiah 17:8:
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”
The tree that is planted, or rooted, by streams of water always has a source of strength and fuel to grow, thrive and become strong. We are like the tree in these two Scripture passages. A life that is planted and rooted in the presence and ways of Jesus will always have a source of strength and fuel to help navigate the storms of life. We sometimes pray and ask God to remove the storm that we are facing, but you can’t have the streams of water without the rain and you may not be able to have the rain without the storm. Be careful what you pray for!
We closed out the night by briefly looking at the true story in Matthew 14:22-33. Peter and the disciples were facing a storm at sea. Jesus came walking to the disciples on the water and calls out to Peter. Peter begins walking towards Jesus on the water until he took his eyes off of Jesus and looked at the storm and waves raging around him. Peter begins to sink into the water and cries out to Jesus to save him from the storm.
Did Peter fail? No! The moment that Peter was at his weakest and most vulnerable was the exact moment that he came to experience and understand the faithful provision of Jesus in the midst of the storm!
Where are you at as you read this post? Do you feel hopeless and overcome by the storm? I want to encourage you to call out to Jesus and allow him to plant a seed of trust, strength, victory, and deliverance in the midst of your storm.
You can’t have the tree without the roots getting muddy. You’re going to have to get muddy if you want to grow and stand strong in Jesus in the midst of life’s storms, but remember and be encouraged that GOD PLANTS SEEDS IN THE MUD!
BE BLESSED!
-Pastor Dustin
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