How to turn a mess into a message!
How to go from a mess to a message
There is a story in the bible about a tremendous storm called, Euraclydon. The Euroclydon in the book of Acts chapter 27 to be exact is called a tempestuous wind i.e., as literally rendered, a typhoon. The verse actually reads, “When the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their desire, putting out to sea they sailed close by Crete. But not long after, a tempestuous head wind arose, called Euroclydon. The Apostle Paul had previously warned the sailors that it probably wasn’t such a great time to set sail but they were not inclined to listen to him at the time.
Apostle Paul warned, this is going to be disastrous, but the owner of the ship didn’t listen to the minority which was Paul and listened to the majority and they set sail anyway. Soon afterward a warm breeze blew on the island and they thought, “We were right, no need to listen to the old man”, just then the storm hit, hard! The storm got so bad they had to throw the cargo overboard and throw the ship’s tackle overboard to reduce weight! It got really dark; everyone was losing hope, getting seasick, hungry and worse discouraged. The men lost confidence, courage and the trip had turned into a mess.
What do we do when life situation’s turn into a mess? Sometimes our first inclination is to have a nervous breakdown but that’s not a plan. First things first we need a word of hope and direction and as believers we know that comes from God! I have heard it said many times before, “Just one word from God can change your life.” Paul encouraged those on board, “But now I urge you to keep up your courage and be in good spirits because there will be no loss of life among you, but only the loss of the ship. “ He was able to share that word of encouragement because the night before God spoke to him through an angel and said, “Stop being afraid Paul. You must stand before Caesar and behold, God has given you the lives of all those who are sailing with you.” As Paul was encouraged, he reassured the others, “So dear friends take heart. I believe God will do exactly what he told me. But we are going to shipwreck on some island or other.” Paul preached a message of hope right in the middle of the mess.
Something that really sticks out here is God’s way of encouraging Paul; God said in essence, “You will not die here, like this, on a wayward ship. God was saying, Paul you still have a purpose to serve, an appointment with destiny if you will, you must stand before Caesar. The messenger was encouraged as well. So even though they would lose the ship they would not lose their lives! Life can get messy but we can always have the faith for a divine intervention, a change or simply a change in us. As believer’s the ultimate purpose of any trial is to bring us closer to the Lord and for his glory to be revealed. It’s His message of Good News that warrants being screamed from the mountain top! The Good News of love, salvation, freedom, deliverance, prosperity and the abundant life that is the inheritance of every child of God. God wants to show us that through Christ he is capable of cleaning up the most horrible of messes because He has already cleaned up the most significant mess of our sins. Jesus Christ can bring order out of our chaos and out of that order comes the best blessings. Our job is to be obedient to his instructions as Paul was because God cannot bless a mess. We have this treasure (the message) in earthen vessels; we are literally God’s receptacles for valuables!
Paul and the sailors made it to the other side of the storm and so can we if we are willing to obey our breakthrough strategies from God. So what does it take to turn a mess into a message anyway?
Realize life happens to us all. Sometimes we can get so comfortable we forget that we are all subject to change without notice. In addition, we can remedy our mistakes with wise counsel.
Have faith in God and hope in God. Hope in something bigger than yourself because we cannot fix or control everything. We might be struck down but never destroyed. The trial is so Jesus may be manifested in us and through us. Remember the message is not about us, it’s about proclaiming Jesus Christ. Power belongs to God!
We need a word from God-messiness can be overwhelming, daunting even to the point it will paralyze us with fear. We don’t have to live in fear or in our senses to the point we continue making unwise choices. But once we hear a word from God we can hope in that word, stand on that word and declare that word over the mess so the mess will line up and we will too. The word of God comes to change our perspective from victim to victor.
Be obedient to God’s instructions and remember He is with us. Even in the messiest of times we have the Great I AM with us, he will never leave us he is our stronghold in times of trouble. We have the best captain aboard with us Jesus Christ. He loves us and is for us, we are his prized possession and we can trust that he will get us to our destination.
I bet you are saying waht about the middle of the mess, what then? You will make it to the other side, have faith in God's promise. God always gets his people to other side when they remain in faith. Go ahead and thank God for bringing you out his way and in his time. Remember you are passing through the problem to get to the promise. Paul ended up shipwrecked on island; doesn’t sound like a great breakthrough does it? He got there and was even bitten by a snake! God was still in the midst of it all orchestrating Paul’s destiny. Paul didn’t look at people he kept looking to God. So it is with us, we should continue looking to God because sometimes people can be fickle. Sometimes they are shouting (as we go through trouble), “They are guilty of something, they must have sin in their life, too bad for them” and at other times they will proclaim, “Look at how God is blessing them.” Like I said, “Fickle” so keep your focus on Jesus and pray for wisdom. Because even on that little island of trouble Paul was able to bring glory to God by healing the sick because he stayed focused on the message not the mess. Boy could he have blamed, whined and complained and had every right to but didn’t take the opportunity. Which brings me to a question, “How focused are we on the mess instead of the message?”
Paul and the sailors spent three wonderful months on the island and were treated like royalty. I can imagine Pau’s witness spoke volumes to the sailors. When they got ready to leave the islanders blessed them with everything they needed for the trip to Rome. About two weeks later they landed safely in Rome. I believe we too will arrive safely at our destination because God promises to order our steps. So even through trouble we must remember our destination. If we have financial trouble the word says God is our provider so we understand our destination is prosperity because its Gods will. Just like if we are having a painful situation God is our healer so our destination is healing or freedom because we know this is God’s will. Having the understanding of God’s will for our lives will surely help us go from a mess to a message.
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