Oct. 8, 2019

Poor Life Choices

In Acts 27 Paul was being taken to Rome for trial. He was put on a ship and into a situation that he had no control of. What we need to see in this event is that Paul was doing what he was supposed to do, at the time he was supposed to do it, the way he was supposed to do it and yet. nearly lost his life because of it.  

There are times that our obedience to God will place us in perilous situations. Have you ever had it happen in life that you were doing what you were supposed to be doing, when you were supposed to be doing it and then all H-E-L-L breaks loose?   

If you’re a tither, especially just beginning to tithe, your faith can be tested in that area because the enemy will definitely try to attack your finances.  It would seem that because you’re obeying God, you’ll go through financial upheavals. We could go on naming situation after situation where our obedience to God will bring about great disturbances and storms in our lives.  

However, there are times that the perilous situations we find ourselves in we have no one to blame but ourselves.  Quoting from Pastor Lamar Toulouse during one of his financial teachings; “Don’t blame others for your poor financial decisions.” Although the enemy will rise up against us in life, every storm that we go through is not an attack of the enemy. It’s not always our obedience to God but sometimes our disobedience to Him that can cause our hard times.  

James 1:5 tells us that if a man lacks wisdom let him ask of God. There are too many choices we make in life where we never stop to ask God for wisdom. Without consulting Him, you could find yourself in so much trouble that only God can get you out of it.  And that’s exactly what Julius, the captain and the owner of the ship did. They trusted in their own choices and made their own decisions in spite of the Godly counsel they had received from Paul. They believed and trusted in their own counsel and believed wrong. And because they believed wrong, they made poor choices and bad decisions. We must stop making poor financial decisions and then blaming Satan or even God for attacking our finances. We must stop eating poorly and neglecting our bodies and then blame Satan for attacking our health. We must stop doing things that causes storms in our lives and then sitting back and acting like we’re so innocent.  

Sometimes it just comes down to who and what you believe. There are things we do and we actually know better, but because we want what we want, we do it anyway.  There are times that the poor choices we make will bring us into seasons of darkness. The ship went into a storm, a literal hurricane that lasted for days. It wouldn’t let the ship go and took them where it would.  That’s the same way the storms in our lives will do, taking us places that we never intended to go because things get totally out of our control. The sailors threw away some of the very things that were supposed to keep them safe; the tackle, the anchor and even the lifeboat. More stupid decisions.  They passed ropes under the ship to hold it together but it did no good. Once you’ve cut God off to make your own decisions you just can’t hold it together anymore. 

They were so afraid they thought they were going to die.  They literally gave up. There are some people that truly believe the way their life is now is the way it will be until they die. Satan is a lie!  Don’t give up! Don’t let go, your best is yet to come! You have to decide who you’re going to believe even if you did mess up!

 Paul began to encourage them.  He told them of the vision of the angel he had had. The very first thing the angel said to Paul is “Do not be afraid.”  Listen, I don’t care how bad things may be for you right now, do not be afraid. One of the quotes I always use from my Pastor Sharon Chance, “Truth changes facts.” No matter what the facts may be, how real or right they are, truth always changes facts. Jesus is the Truth and He will change the negative facts in your life if you allow Him. Don’t be afraid because God says that you have a purpose.  You can’t go down with the ship because you have a destiny. There are events that will take place in the future that you will have a direct effect upon.  

Paul told the men to keep up their courage. He said ...I believe God will do exactly what he told me (Acts 27:25 The Message Bible)  God is saying to us right now, keep up your courage. Have the faith to believe that the good things and all the good promises will happen just as God said. 

 It’s okay if you’re going through the storm.  It’s ok if you’ve lost everything and you just can’t seem to hold it together to get out of the mess you’re in. It’s okay if you have to admit that you’ve made poor decisions and terrible life choices.  It’s okay if you’re in a season of darkness and you haven’t seen the light for years. It’s ok because His good promises to you will come to pass. Repent, ask God for wisdom and believe! Just believe! Believe that God will do exactly what He told you!