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May 02, 2021

Shipwrecks In The Shallows

Shipwrecks In The Shallows

Passage: 1 Kings 19:1-9

Speaker: Chip Paul

Series: Stand Alone Message

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: worship, salvation, elijah, promises, gods promise, promised, true faith, faith in jesus, lasting faith

Pastor Chip picks up the story of Elijah after the great showdown on the mountain, when God showed His power. Elijah’s life is threatened by one of Jezebel’s messengers, and Elijah becomes afraid and runs away to hide and even asks God to end his life. We see how a strong faith can be shipwrecked by not relying on God. We learn today that we should hold on to the promises of God, the hope that He has placed in us, and rely on the finished work of Jesus. Do you have hope based on God’s promises for you personally? If not, then reach out, we’d love to answer any questions and pray with you – burnthickory.com/next

That's one of my favorite hymns right there, just to be able to sing, It is Well. And it is well with my soul to sing His praises and to give them to God and then to go God it's because of you, because of your gospel truth that it is well. A lot of us don't quite understand the story behind that hymn when it was written, and what was taking place. And I'd like to kind of tell you a little bit of that story this morning. Tell you a little bit about how that was written and how the lyrics were brought about. This man by the name of Horatio Spafford, who wrote those lyrics. He was a wealthy man, he was an attorney, he was a real estate investor. He had a fortune. And he lost it all. He lost it all in the Great Fire of Chicago in 1871. Around that same time, he had a four-year-old son who died from scarlet fever. During the midst of all these kinds of trials, and all the things that are going on in his life, he looks at his family and he says we just need a break, we need a vacation. So, he sends his wife and his four daughters on a ship to England to get away, to rest, to find a vacation time. He was going to stick back for just a second, get a couple of things done, get some business things handled and then he was going to meet them. While they were traveling though, the ship that his wife and his four daughters were on, had a terrible collision and sunk. More than 200 people died in that shipwreck. Of those was his four daughters. His wife Anna survived. She made it to England. And when she got to England, she sent him a telegram. And this is what he said, Saved alone. What shall I do? At that point in time, he jumped on the ship, he's heading to her trying to get to her as soon as he can to comfort his wife. And traveling over there, the captain of the ship that he is on, has heard the story, has heard what is going on and what has happened. And he goes to him and he says, I need you to know that we are about to Passover exactly where your four daughters were laid to rest. Where their ships sunk. At that point in time, he was comforted with some words, in his mind and in his heart. And he wrote these words down: "hen peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, though has taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul." This is a man living in tragedy that understood that in the midst of the shipwreck, that it is well. Hey, let's pray. Father, we thank you for this morning. God, we thank you for the opportunity you are going to give us now just to open your word. To spend time in here. Dear God, I pray this morning, that your name would be glorified, that you would be exalted, that your word would reveal your truth, that you would speak to each and every one of us today. Challenge, encourage us, help us, comfort us, but more than anything when we bring glory to Your name. And it's in Your name we pray. Amen.

Hey last week, we had the opportunity, Pastor Matt, led us into 1 Kings, chapter 18. And we talked about this man by the name of Elijah. And Elijah was a stud. I mean, he was a rock star of the faith. He was living it up. We focused on this understanding of one true God. Right. He talked about how they had multiple Gods of Baal, that they were worshipping. But Elijah had proven to them that there was one true God. During the course of that sermon, we also saw and landed in a point where we see that Elijah has actually defeated because of God raining down, has defeated the false gods. People are laid flat out, worshipping God on their faces. They're laid out. They're worshipping, their exalting God, the God that Elijah is proclaiming, the God of Elijah's faith. And he is in a good place. I mean, he is a rock star at this point in time. Right after that, he goes up, spends some more time with the Lord, asking for rain, rain starts to come. It literally says that he takes his coat, and he tucks it in his belt. He is ready to run, he takes off running, running as fast as he can like Flash Gordon gets in front of the chariot and gets all the way. I mean, some miracles are happening, some radical things are happening. This man is sold out, for God. His faith is on a high, he is knocking it out of the park, it is a good time in the life of Elijah. And then all of a sudden, we get into 1 Kings 19, which is we're going to spend some of our time today. If you have your Bibles with you, I'd love for you to open them up or open your app or follow us in the notes. You can click right there 1 Kings 19; we're going to go through verses 1-9. You can watch them on the screen as well. But I want us to read a little further into the life of Elijah. And 1 Kings 19:1 it says, "Now, Ahab told Jezebel everything that Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So, Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, 'May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely if by this time tomorrow, I do not make your life like that of one of them." He's like, Hey, I'm going to kill you. The threat is out there. We're going to make this thing happen. It's not good. Here I come. "Elijah was afraid and he ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it, and prayed that he might die. 'I've had enough Lord,' he said, 'Take my life. I'm no better than my ancestors.' Then he lay down in the bush, and he fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, 'Get up and eat.' He looked around and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank. And then he lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time, and touched him and said, 'Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.' So, he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled 40 days and 40 nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night. Now this is not the same Elijah that we have just recently seen. We went from an Elijah who was taunting, to an Elijah that is running. He's taunting people in the previous chapter, like bring it on, I got this, bring some more water, pour it on there, God's going to rain down, it's going to be a good time. It's going to happen fire from heaven is coming down to now he's running for his life. You see this radical living guy who's all about God, now literally crying out to God saying, God, just take my life I'm done. He's giving up. You see him going from praising on the mountainside to sleeping in a cave by himself. You see at this point in time, in Elijah's life, that he is in a moment of just craziness. And his faith is challenged. And a shipwreck is happening for him. There's a lot of us that go through those moments in our life, where we are on some radical highs in our faith. And then all of a sudden, some kind of tragedy or some kind of craziness happens, or things don't go quite like we think they should. And all of a sudden, we find ourselves in a deep point in our faith. That's what I want to speak into today. I want to speak into that understanding that as we prepared and as we had gone in these moments of life, that we would step out and continue to live out our faith.

But I think prior for us digging further into the Scripture, I just want to kind of prep the table for us a little bit. I want to sit in the moment for just a second here because I truly believe that there's some actions that you and I need to do. Prior to shipping off every day, there are some actions in our life that we need to do daily before we ship off. A lot of us don't go through these things. A lot of us don't do these things. Maybe we do. Maybe we don't. But a lot of us don't spend the time that we need. And so, there's three things that I'm going to go over these three actions. They all start with the letter P, that's the pastor thing to do, we're going to make this happen. It's going to be good. We're going to land on this. The first one is this; every single day we need to wake up and prepare. As a Christ follower, it is easy for you and I just to step up in our day to wake up in our day and already start preparing for work. Getting the book bags put together, getting the lunches put together, getting all the things ready for the day, and we completely forget to prepare spiritually. We step out of that moment, and we step straight into mom and dad mode, we step straight into student mode, we step straight into getting things done, getting to work, we sleep in, and we just do not prepare. We don't prepare for the moments that God has before us. See, I need you to understand the prevention of shipwrecks start in preparation. Most shipwrecks, did you know happen in the shallow waters? 95% of shipwrecks happen in shallow water. You know why? Because somebody failed to prepare, prior to shipping off. Somewhere, somebody didn't set the course right. And before they know it, they're running into a reef, or they're running into another shipwreck. In those shallow waters, not in the deep waters, but in the shallow waters, many of the shipwrecks happen and it's because of a lack of preparation. Hebrews chapter 12:1-2, it says, "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.....let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and the perfecter of our faith." You see, the key thing is here, as it says, we are to fix our eyes on Jesus, this is something you have to do. To fix is a very personal thing, this is something you have to do daily. I cannot fix your eyes on Jesus. I cannot do that for you. Nobody can do that for you, but you. You have to take this personal; you have to take this into your own self and go, I am going to prepare my day by fixing my eyes. The things that I'm going to place in my life, the scripture that I'm going to place in my life is on Jesus, the one that I'm going to worship. The one that I love, the one that I'm praying to. So, I'm going to start my day, I'm going to step in this moment and I'm going to prepare my day daily by just fixing my eyes on Jesus. So that when we started to ship off, we started to step into that next kind of area of our life, no matter where it is, whether it's going to work, maybe it's going off to college, whatever it is that we're stepping into, that we're prepared for the journey. Because our eyes are on Jesus. But then the second thing is this, we're going to plan. And you may say, isn't that the same as preparing? And I'll answer you with this. Planning is about positioning, making decisions today that position you for opportunities that may come tomorrow. CS Lewis says it like this. He says, "The greatest thing is to be found at once's post as a child of God, living each day as though it were our last, but planning as though the world might last 100 years." You see, spiritual planning is about applying God's will to our spiritual walk. Spiritual planning is about going God, what is your plan for my life? I'm prepared, I fix my eyes on you. Now I'm going to plan to be in the midst of your will. God, I'm positioning myself right now. I'm positioning myself in a way that I may apply your will to my life, that I may apply what you're calling me to do to my life today. That is, I set sails, I step out, as I go into this world today as I step into that environment, wherever it may be, that I'm prepared to walk with you spiritually through it. You see, most people don't plan to mess up.

The problem is most people just don't plan not to. That's the problem. None of us go around going, Man, I hope today it's just an awful day. I hope I mess up everything. No, no, we just don't plan not to. We don't take those moments just to sit down. Proverbs 27 verse 12 says, "The wise, see danger ahead and they avoid it, but fools keep going and get in trouble. You see when God leads us, when he is the one that is walking with us, He looks ahead of us and He helps us not to have those shipwrecks in our life. Because we have planned to be in the midst of God's will today. But then the third thing is we got to praise God. Hey church, praising isn’t just on Sunday when it's a good song, or when the right songs play for us. Praising is no matter what every day. Praising is just getting up every day and going, Lord, thank you for today. Psalms 150:6 says, "Let everything that has breath, Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord." Every day, we need to get up and we just need to praise the Lord, before we ever step out. Every day, we need to give all the Glory to Jesus for what He has done for us. Every day, we need to get up no matter what's happening, and say Praise You, Lord, reveal yourself to me, I'm ready for it. I'm ready for us to ship off, I'm ready for us to do something great in Your name and in Your power. And I'm praising You for it. And I'm giving You the glory for it. Hey, those are some things that I think that every day, we need to prepare and plan and just praise. So that we can step out and be just that person that is bringing the glory of God into this world. But it all starts right in the beginning. But now let's step down into the scriptures here. And let's find some truths that we find in Scripture. So that we don't shipwreck our faith. There’re some truths that we find in 1 Kings 19 that I'm going to walk through with you this morning. The first one is this. We have to hold on to the promises of God. 1 Timothy 1:18-19 says, "Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you so that by recalling them, you may fight the battle well, holding on to faith and good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck regarding the faith." See I need you to understand David Nasser says it really well when he says this, he says, "Shipwrecks start with one small compromise here and then there." For Elijah, the compromise is fear. You see the opposite of faith is fear. Elijah is running for his life. He says right here in 1 Kings 19, "Elijah was afraid and ran for his life." No longer is Elijah's faith now leading him now his fear is leading him to run for his life. In every situation I want you to understand, there's a promise. And in order for us to step back into those faith moments, and not to chase after the fear, and not to live in the fear moments, but to live in the moments of faith, then we have to hold on to the promises that God gives us. And he tells us in Hebrews 13:5 it says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you." He says, I've got you. Elijah, why are you running? It's not a real threat. Let's be honest, if Jezebel wanted to really kill him, she wouldn't have sent a messenger. She would have sent somebody to kill him. She was that awful of a person. But she was threatening him to bring fear into his life so that he may step out of that faith moment. And shipwreck that faith moment. And he runs.

But Scripture tells us; hold on to the promise because God's got you. Now me, when I was looking through this and thinking through this, it started making me think back to when I was a younger parent. Now I'm just going to go and confess, we weren't good parents. We really weren't. We didn't know what we're doing. My oldest is up here. I have a senior graduating. Makes me feel old. But I do. His name is Joshua, you guys know him. But when he was five years old, we took him to a fair. Now we lived in South Georgia at that point in time. We were broke. We were young. We were dumb. We thought we knew how to do parenting. Everyone told us what we did was not the right way. Everybody was telling us we had older people in our life saying no, you need to do this. We're like, we got this. I read the book. And we're like, we understood this. Now, I look back and I'm like throw the book away. Listen to the other people. But there were moments in my life that I thought, man, I thought we knew what we were doing. Let's just be honest. Like every young parent, we all have those moments. We're like, we're rock stars. You can't tell me what to do. We know what we're doing. Right? Like, we've done this before. I had not. I knew nothing about it. So, we take him to the fair. We think this is great. We go to the fair with him and the fair in Albany was like a big deal. So, at this point in time, you had to buy tickets for all the rides, you couldn't just get the bracelet and ride all the rides you had to buy the tickets. So, we bought tickets. We did not make a lot of money. We were broke. We were just trying to make it. And so, we only bought the amount of tickets that we thought we could afford. And so, we get in there and we're walking around, and Joshua says he wants to go in the funhouse. We're like, Okay, cool. Well go in funhouse. I'm not going in the funhouse. I'm not going to use my ticket on the funhouse. You can go in the funhouse. He's five years old. I'm looking at my wife and I'm like, Hey, I want to use my ticket over there. I don't want us in the funhouse. She doesn't tell me no. So, I'm like, I guess we're in a good place. Right? So, she doesn't say anything. So, we send my five-year-old into the funhouse by himself. And we think this is a great idea. We're good parents. He's going to have a blast in there. We sent him in. And about the minute he stepped in there, I start going, this may not have been a good idea. Because there's those little moving floors, there's the mirrors. He gets in there and luckily; my nephew was with me. And I looked at my nephew and I was like, Hey, you want to go in the funhouse? He's like, "Yeah," he's nine. So, I sent him in with my five-year-old thinking, that was a great idea as well. I said, "Hey, would you get into the Fun House." He's like, "Yeah, I got this." I'm like, I'm not burning a ticket to get him out of there. So, let's go. So, I send in my nephew who's nine in to help Joshua, get through the funhouse. So, he kind of helps him go over and through. I'm looking through the outside, and I'm like, Oh, there he is. And my wife, Laurie is looking at me like this may not be a good idea and I'm like, it's fine, we got this. It's good.

He gets through the mirror maze, I don't have a clue where he's, at that point in time. It goes all the way up and at the top of it, there's a slide that gets you down. I thought to myself, hey, okay, this is cool. He's going to get on the slide, he's going to ride down, it's going to be great. Now, this is not a normal slide. In South Georgia, all we had was straight sides at the time, we didn't have the little spiral slides like we do over in the children's worship space. And so, this was a spiral slide, tube spiral slide at that. So, it's this big tube slide you get in, it starts from the entrance, and you spin all the way down to the bottom. I thought, Hey, come on down buddy, but it's going to be good. Joshua sits at the top and he's like, "Nope!" I'm like, "what do you mean, come on, down, buddy, you got to come down." I'm sitting here thinking now he's, he's going to come down, he's going to come out. Nope, doesn't want to come down. I start having that moment inside of me as a parent going now, I'm going a little embarrassed. Because I've done something that he's not following through with our plan. People are starting to pile up behind him, you know, all the other kids are looking at and I'm going, I'm putting my five-year-old in a bad situation. He's not going down the slide, parenting 101 is going down the drain right now, we're not doing so good. So, I do the next thing that a good parent does. I look at my nephew and I go, "Hey, just help him down." And he's like, "Okay," and so as nine years old, the way of helping him down is literally getting behind Joshua and going to just pushing him down. I mean, just straight kicks him in the back, he goes down. All I hear is tumbling, bam, bam, bam, and finally he gets to the bottom. And he's just laid out at the bottom of the slide. And I look at him and I'm like, I got you dude. And I pick him off. What I learned in that story is this. There are so many times in our life that we get into moments of life, where we come up to something that we don't really know what's about to happen. We can't see the end. It's an experience that we've never stepped into. We've never gotten on that before. But when done right, it can be a lot of fun. Because we know that God's got us at the end, that the Father is there to catch us. And if we just listened to the voice, if we just listen to God and we just listen to the promises that He says, I got you. Come on down. There may be some tumbles. There may be some moments where we get pushed. But at the end, God is still there. And He says I've got you and He picks us up. So, we need to hold on to those promises. Even when we find ourselves afraid, even when something knocks us down, even when we're not quite sure we need to understand that God tells us I will not abandon you. I got you.

The second thing is this hold on to the hope that is within us. See, I need for you to understand as a follower of Christ, we have an amazing hope that lives within us, it's called the Holy Spirit. That's a blessing that as a Christ follower, that we have the ability to know that Christ lives within us. The Holy Spirit lives within us and He comforts us, and He guides us, and He takes us through these moments. In 1 Kings 19:5, I want you to see something here though. It says, "Then Elijah lay down he's under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, 'get up and eat." Waking him up providing for him. 1 Kings 19:7, you come back around again. It says, "The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, 'Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you." Now I want you to see something here. When you see in Scripture that it says "The angel of the Lord" all the way through Old Testament and New Testament you're going to see that that is specifically unique to not just an angel, but a specific separation and being. "The angel of the Lord" is what we call a Theophany, which is an appearance of God in physical form. When you see "The angel Lord," it is literally saying that God has physically come and said, Elijah, get up. Get up. We got things to do. I need you to eat. We got a journey to go on. Come on, let's go. If you look in Scripture, back in Genesis 22:11-18, you see Abraham is about a sacrifice his son, Isaac, and it says, "The angel Lord" God tells him to stop, "the." If you look at Exodus 3:2 when God presents himself to Moses, it says, "The angel of the Lord appeared to him in the burning bush," God in the burning bush presents himself to Moses. In Judges 13 when Samson's mother is told she's going to have a child, she's like, I'm not able to do that. It can't happen. He says, "The angel of the Lord says, you're going to have a child." God in presence in physical form speaks directly. But why is the question for me. When I read that, why does God Himself, come to Elijah? I believe it's to show Elijah His loving grace. I believe it's to remind us that while we were still sinners and alienated from God, that He sent His son for us. I believe it is a reminder that the Savior never leaves us and never leaves us alone. Even when we drift away? I think it is this understanding that He is being personal with us. And He says, I'm chasing after the one I'm leaving the 99 for you. I believe it's this understanding and assurance to Elijah and to us that we are the object of His love. And that He still has a plan and a purpose for us. I don't think He's approving of what Elijah is doing. I think he's just coming to Elijah and saying, get up, I got something for you still. But this is what the Holy Spirit does for us. God in us, Christ in you, is the hope of glory is what Colossians 1:27, says, if you are a Christ follower, if you are a person that claims and lives and is given your life to Jesus, then you have a hope that's inside of you that you can hold on to, that's going to when the tide starts coming in, when the things start happening when things start moving in directions that you don't quite understand. When things are not easy, and you feel like you're sinking that God says I got you because I live inside of you. Now get up, because I got plan. And the third thing is this; Hold on to the finished work of Jesus. If we're not going to shipwreck our faith, we need to hold on to the fact that Jesus has already brought us victory.

There's a man by the name of Octavius Winslow, he was a Baptist minister amongst Charles Spurgeon. A lot of us know than man Charles Spurgeon. A lot of us may not know the name Octavius Winslow, but he writes something that I wanted to share with you. He says, "The great truth, then, stands out like a constellation flaming in its own solitary orbit, that there never was but one man who could gaze with complacency upon his work, and with his expiring breath, exclaim, 'It is finished!' That man was God-Man, Mediator, who as the Son, and yet the Servant of the Father, relinquished his throne for a cross, that he might accomplish the redemption, work out the salvation of His church- the people given to Him of God, and who, on the eve of that redemption, and with all the certainty of an actual atonement, could thus breathe his intercessory petition to heaven, 'I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do."

We are deeply loved people, by God. God doesn't love me because I can produce. God loves me, because I'm a child of His. God loves me because He wants to. I want you understand, God doesn't need me to fulfill His mission. He could do it on His own without us. But God allows me to be a part of that. Because He's already brought the victory in the Gospel. And we have to hold on to that. You see, the gospel, it frees us from the illusion that we have to be impressive. The truth that God has given His life. Hey, that I can't do any better than that.

Our worth is not found in our work. But our worth is found in the name of Jesus. Our worth is not found in the things of this world, but our worth extending the victory of the gospel that is proclaimed because of what Jesus did for you and I on a cross. And so, we have to hold on to the victory that Jesus made over sin and death. When we feel like we're sinking when we feel like things are happening, when we step out of our normal preparation of life, if over the past seven plus years, you've been a part of this ministry, and you step out on a journey, and you feel like everything's falling apart. Or maybe you're just starting to chase some false truth, step back into those moments, and understand the victory that Christ has brought you. Don't forget about the fact that His gospel is the truth. Don't shipwreck your faith, live your faith more now than ever before. Let us all Walk in Faith daily. In the name of Jesus, daily.

Hey, I said something earlier. In the message about the Holy Spirit living inside of us as a believer. If you're not a believer here today, I would love to invite the opportunity for you to receive Christ and to have that same hope that us as believers have. Maybe you're here today, and you've never taken that step, you've never given your life to Jesus. And you feel like you're just thinking, Well, let me tell you something. God says I got you. Just coming here. So maybe you're here today, and you need to give your life to Christ. Maybe you're here today, and you are a believer, and you're saying, you know what, I haven't been living out my faith. There's been tragedy, there's been crazy, I can't sing, "It as Well" and feel like it's a good day. But today, I'm holding on to the victories of Jesus, because it is well in Him.

So maybe today, you just need to spend a moment with the Lord. Finding that hope, living in that moment. And we're going to sing, "It as Well" again, you get a chance just to have that moment, I'm going to be here on the side. If you're here today, and you need someone to pray with you, I'd love to have an opportunity with you. If you're here, Daniel asked questions about this whole faith thing. I'd love to talk with you. At 9:30 I had a young lady come up to me go, I just want to give my life to the Lord. I said, let's go. Let's do it. Maybe you're here today and that's what you need. You just need to surrender and say, I just need to give my life the Lord. Let's do it. Maybe you're like, Hey, I'm not comfortable yet with that. We have an amazing thing here called next steps. You can text this number up here on the screen. And I promise you a pastor is going to reach out to you and pray with you. They're going to talk with you. Like I spent some time with you. We'd love to know how we can partner with you. How we can pray with you and do ministry. But don't just sit there and do nothing. Let God move. It as well with my soul.

Let us pray. Father, we thank you for the truths that we find in your Scripture. We thank You that right after this journey that Elijah had had of running, that You redeemed him. That You allowed him to still be a part of ministry in an amazing and powerful way as we continue that Scripture. God we're praying the same thing here in this room. For some of us, we need that moment of redemption. We've been running in fear. And instead, we want to run in faith. God, may you allow us today just to get with You. Thank You for who You are and the gospel truth that You give us. May we not be ashamed of it, may we be proud of it. May we proclaim it with everything we've got, and as loud as we can, because it's about Your namesake. It's in Jesus name we pray. Amen.