Seekers is a podcast focused on answering common life questions through the infinite wisdom of God’s living word – The Holy Bible.
Summer precedes one of my favorite seasons, fall. I always look at fall as a time of new beginnings. New year of school, new football season, new set of upcoming holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, all leading up to the new year. Summer is like the calm before the storm. A slow era that turns into a very busy one as time blends one season into another. But for those that are making a big change, like going off to school, enlisting in the military, or moving for work, this new season will be like no other.
Moving away from home can be exhilarating, terrifying, and everything in-between. There are new opportunities to pursue, new friends to be made, and inevitably new challenges to tackle. What if we could be prepared for the good and the bad before we ever left, and thus be able to enjoy the experience that much more?
In this episode of Seekers I look at what the word of God says when it comes to leaving home, and how we can best be prepared for when the struggles of living a new life start to rear their ugly heads at us.
God, I pray that those listening to this will receive what they need to not only leave home, but thrive in their new environment. God You are awesome, and Your word is rich with all the wisdom we need to make it in this life and the next. Please Lord, use this message to help those that need it most. In Your name I pray. Amen.
When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Go To God
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.
I love this verse. I find myself saying that a lot. But look, God’s got you. He’s got you through not one of your battles, or a few of your battles, or most of your battles, but ALL of your battles! He’s got you covered.
When you move away you lose the safety net that you’ve relied on in the past. Whether that be family, friends, a coworker or a teacher. You lose the ability to depend on them to help you out in your time of need. At the same time you are in a new place that looks nothing like the one you’re used to living in. What a great time to go to your Heavenly Father, one that has been, and will always be, with you. When you pray to God you are talking to a living God, one that knows exactly what is going on in your life, and is here to shepherd you through it.
It’s often said that our faith is deepened when we go through struggles. The skeptic in me wondered how that worked? I mean, if things are going so great in my life that I can take my wife and kids on a vacation to the Caribbean, I’d be very thankful to the Lord for it as I dug my toes in the sand and watched my kids play in the glimmering turquoise blue ocean Wouldn’t that deepen my faith? Well, while it might add another thing to be thankful for, it wouldn’t be the same as going through hardship.
Why? Because when we go through trying times, times when we feel like we have no control, like bad things are going to happen, and that we are helpless, that’s when we must depend on God. That dependence on God is what strengthens our faith. And trust me, when you are in a new place you will deal with situations that you can’t solve on your own, and you won’t know anyone that can fix it for you, and that’s when we are given the great opportunity to give it to God. To see His power first hand.
2 Corinthians 6:14
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
It seems to be human nature to want to fit in when we’re in unchartered waters. When we’re surrounded by people we’ve never met, we want to fit in and get along. But who we choose to befriend is more important that how many friends we make, or how everyone gets along.
Befriending those that aren’t believers will bring you down. Let me repeat this, befriending those that aren’t believers will bring you down. Why? Because they will pull you toward living for the world rather than Christ.
Yes, you should be a witness to them, but in order to do that you have to keep your own testimony clean. And going to the bar with Chuck, or the club with Liz, or doing God knows what else with Bob will not win them to Christ, but it very well might push you further away from Him.
Actively seek good Godly friends, and hold them close. Fellowship with them. And make it a priority to spend time with them. If you don’t know where to find them, try church!
When I went to college as a lost young man I hung around others that were lost, and was no good to anyone when it came to the cause of Christ. I can attest that those years were some of the most lonely and difficult of my life. Not because they had to be, not because I was 500 miles from home, but because I made it hard on myself by not seeking God, and His people for my life. No amount of alcohol, drugs, dancing, partying, trash talking, fistfighting and general tomfoolery will ever amount to even the slightest feeling of peace we get from the Lord.
Stand with those that are for God and you’ll be made stronger. Stand with those living for the world and you will be made weaker. Pretty simple choice with incredibly big consequences.
You Have Nothing to Fear
At some point when you leave home you will be afraid. Afraid for what’s ahead, afraid that you’ll fail or not do as good as you can, afraid for being safe, or experience fear and anxiety about nearly anything else in this broken world. God knew it would be this way, and He put in His word that the only fear you should experience is toward Him, and everything else He’s taken care for you.
2 Timothy 1:7
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
There are two kinds of fear in the bible, one good and one bad.
The fear of God is good. This is the awesome realization that God is the creator of us and everything we see around us. Realizing this fully is a powerful step to worshipping God, and living your life for Him. After all, if you really believe God made you, then you’d want to read the operating manual (the Holy Bible) and make Him happy each day by living a life pleasing to Him.
Bad fear is the kind that leaves us frightened and anxious. It too is often mentioned in the bible, but for the believer it is noted as something that has been overcome by Jesus on the cross.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Jesus loves you. He cares for you. And He doesn’t want you to be afraid.
Picture this message like a first aid kit. This is something you bring with you in preparation for bad things happening. My thinking is that if you understand, abide by, and grow in these principals I’ve shared, then you will be delivered from your problems, have plenty of good Christian friends, and without fear or anxiety. This sounds like a great recipe for enjoying your time away from home, and making the most of it!
There’s only one catch here. One thing that unlocks all these powerful tools to help you thrive in your new life. You have to first know Jesus as your savior, and then earnestly live for Him.
If you don’t know Him then you fall into the unbeliever category. This category doesn’t allow you to experience all that I’ve mentioned today. So let’s get that out of the way now. If you don’t know Him, you can ask Him into your heart right now. Pray this prayer with me.
“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
Amen, if you just prayed that prayer and meant it, then you’ve been saved! There are angels rejoicing in heaven over this fact, and if you tell me I will be too! This is the best decision you’ve ever made in your life, one with eternal consequences that will allow you to live forever in Heaven.
Now, it’s time for all of us believers to lock up the final part of this equation. To live for Him. This means trying very hard not to sin, and confessing our sin to Him when we do. It means reading our bible and meditating on His word. It means loving our neighbor, and forgiving all that have done us wrong. It means depending on God instead of man. It means seeking His will for our lives, and then going and doing what He has called us to. If you can do these things, then you will be able to have the type of relationship with God that gives you freedom from fear, and the power to go anywhere and do anything!
God, thank you for your word Lord. Thank you for the living word. The word that delivers us from a life of uncertainty and angst, and puts us in a perfect place of peace. The peace you say in your word surpasses all understanding. Thank you Lord. I pray for all those listening that are starting their new journeys soon. God be with them. Protect them. Comfort them. And use them for Your will Lord, to show others the great power of all that You are. In Jesus name I pray, amen.