Foundations for the Storms of Life 10/8/00

JESUS CHRIST offers stability. Life has its storms, but Christ gives the believer a stable foundation amid the storm.

After a major hurricane had swept the Gulf of Mexico, I visited with a friend on an off-shore oil rig. I noticed it was supported by three massive shafts which were anchored on the floor of the Gulf. Those three columns represented three support factors in our Christian experience.

Consider Abraham as Exhibit “A” of the three factors supporting every believer.


When Abraham was called he obeyed. To understand the N.T. better, get to know Abraham better. He was the Father of the Jewish and Arab nations. As God called him, so He has called us.

A. He has called us to salvation. I Peter 5:10, “He has called us to His excellent glory.”

The Greek word translated “called” is KALEO, meaning “SUMMONSED.” A summons means cease and desist whatever you are doing and comply with the instruction of this summons. God has summonsed us to Heaven. If anyone doesn’t go they have refused to comply with His desire.

B. He has called us to sanctification.

I Thess. 4:3, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification…” The Greek root is HAGIOS. It is the word for HOLY. It sound almost spooky to say the word.

If you were to use a crayon to color holiness, what color would you choose? Some would select dull gray or dark black because “holiness” evokes drabness or dullness to many people. Some might choose white. Perhaps it them it means absolute purity – no strains or glitches. Perhaps there are those who would choose a combination of camouflage colors so as to disguise it. I would choose the colors of the rainbow because true holiness and sanctification convey the image of beauty and joy.

Actually, sanctification and holiness simply mean “set aside for God’s use.” II Timothy 2:20, 21 speaks of household vessels as an illustration. For example, a trumpet is sanctified, set aside, to be sued as a musical instrument. A cheerleader might try to use it as a megaphone, but it wouldn’t work. A person hard of hearing might try to use it as an aid for hearing, but it wouldn’t work. A home maker might try to use to as a vase, but it would leak. It fulfills is function as a musical instrument. That is what it is set aside for.

In Olympic competition athletes are sanctified. That is, each is set aside to do a certain thing. America thrilled to see Laura Wilkinson perform off the 10-meter diving platform. In winning the gold medal her radian was contagious. This 22 year old mastered her event and rejoiced to quote Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me.” She was a successful sanctified, set aside, for the 10-meter diving competition.

In yet another venue the young behemoth from Wyoming, Rulon Gardner, was winning his gold medal as the Super-Heavyweight Greco-Roman Wrestler by defeating the Russian Alexander Karelin. The 300 pound Rulon was set aside to wrestle.

Now, switch the two roles. Let Laura represent us in the Super-Heavyweight Greco-Roman wrestling. She would be a smash hit. “And now, ladies and gentlemen, on the 10-meter diving platform Rulon Gardner doing his specialty “the cannon ball.”

Each excelled in the role in which they were set aside to perform. However, in reversed roles they neither would have been successful.

No one is as beautiful as one in their role, the one for which they were set aside. As a Christian you are set aside to serve the Lord. In that role life is fulfilling. Apart from it you can never achieve what He has in mind for you.

C. He has set us aside for service.

Abraham could have used a variety of excuses that are used today. Excuses such as …

1. I am unworthy — that is not an excuse it is a confession.

At the time of the Lord calling him he wasn’t worthy. He has in a pagan country worshiping idols. Why did God call him?

Modern American mentality implies God calls persons because He just can’t do without them. He conceives of them as being so talented and possession such charisma, He just can’t do without them. Nothing could be further from the truth. He stated in Deut. 7: 7,8 – God called Abraham because “…the Lord loved you…” that is the only reason He calls anyone.

2. I don’t have enough faith. Abraham had no faith when called. His faith was not the cause of his calling, his calling was the occasion for his faith. God called him and Abraham believed God.

Faith is merely confidence in God’s character.

Faith is belief in facts.

You exercise faith every time you get on a plain or drive in the rain; make an appointment or keep a commitment; go on a date or get married; purchase or sell on credit. You have faith!

“If we received the witness of men, the witness of God is greater” (I John 5:9).

3. I can’t…I will falter. Of course you might. To refuse to try because you might fail is to fail. Abraham faltered. He was called from Ur to go to Canaan. He stopped in Haran and camped for seven years. God called again and Abraham responded faithfully.

Abraham was called to possess a territory for God.


In Genesis 15:1 God promised Abraham He would be his “shield…and reward.” This shows God’s power to perform.

Four kings had conquered the land. The spoils of battle went to them. They ignored Abraham. He was too insignificant. God commanded Abraham to attack. With God as his shield he defeated the four kings and recovered to spoils of battle. God performed.

In Robert Falconer, the author, George MacDonald, notes: “This is a sane, wholesome, practical, working faith: first, that it is a man’s business to do the will of God; second, that God takes on Himself the special care of that man; and third, that therefore, that man ought never to be afraid of anything.”

God will shield you against:

1. The Devil, “Resist…flee… (John 4:7).

2. Temptation, “NO temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man…” (I Cor. 10:13).

3. Bitterness. “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel” (Phil. 1:12).

God has the capacity to shield His own.

Approaching His crucifixion, Jesus said He could have called twelve legions, that’s 72,000 angels. In one O.T. incident, one angel killed 185,110 persons. That means at the moment Jesus had at His command the kill power of 1,332,000,000 (1 billion, 332 million).

God has the power to perform as your shield.


God promised to be Abraham’s reward. After garnering the spoils of war, Abraham paid a tithe to Melchizedek, King of Salem. He then gave the other nine-tenths to the Kings of Sodom. He had no reward for his effort. God was to be his reward. When this is true, you share all that is His.

To understand this, consider the names by which Abraham knew God.

JEHOVAH = “I Am,” This title spoke of His eternality.

JEHOVAH-JIREH = “The God who provides.”

EL ELYON = “The most High God.”

Abraham knew Him as the Eternal God, the most High God, who rewards.

Romans 8:17 says, “We are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.”

Suppose you and three individuals inherit acres. As heirs you would own an acre and each of them would own one. If you were joint heirs, you would co-equally own all four acres and they each would co-equally own all four. Joint heirs mutually possess all together.

Are you willing to give Him your all in salvation?

Are you willing to give Him your all in sanctification?

Are you willing to give Him your all in service?