Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Jerome Ocampo, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 3 June 2018.
KEEPING YOUR BALANCE
There are always three kinds of people in the church:
1. In the midst of a storm
2. Coming out from the storm
3. Who don’t know that they are about to go into the storm
How do we handle the hard times, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when they were thrown into the pit of fire, or Daniel in the lion’s den? It is important to remember to keep your balance when facing a storm. Balance is very important for athletes and dancers. When you lose your balance, you lose your games. Life speaks about balance.
When God created us, He gave us two eyes, two ears, two legs, etc. - everything speaks about balance. In spiritual life, when you are hit by a storm or negative circumstances, stay in balance. In Matthew 22:29, Jesus was asked a tricky question. Jesus’ answer was, either you don’t know the Bible or you have no experience with the power of God. These two things bring balance in our spiritual life, so if you are doubting and thinking about things in your life, don’t panic, but keep your spiritual balance. You are not an untrained soldier who is sent to war. Whenever there’s a storm, even the construction of a building will be stopped, and it will continue after the storm. Build your faith before the storm begins, so that you will not be staggering during the storm but can face the storms of life.
Three practical ways to stay balanced -
1. Balance your spirituality with facts
Sometimes we try to be over-spiritual that we don’t know the facts. Faith is not pretending we don’t know. We pretend we are not sick nor have money. We don’t deny the facts, we balance our spirituality with facts. Romans 12 says be transformed with the renewal of our minds. Proverbs 18:13 tells he who answers a matter before he hears the facts, it is folly and shame to him.
When it comes to getting the facts, it is also critical to ask God what facts and principles work in that particular situation. When we are sick and check the symptoms on the Internet, we freak out. Hear what the doctor has to say; the facts on the Internet is true, but they may not apply to you. Understand the facts that are related to you. Do not exercise your faith foolishly.
2. Balance your vision with practical advice
Stupidity will not create miracles. Proverbs 11:14, tells us that practical advice and divine wisdom will help you make decisions successfully. One of the steps to financial freedom – listen to your wife.
3. Balance your passion with conviction
Passion without conviction is like a hot air balloon. Conviction is the backbone. Conviction is different with preference. You may have many preferences, but you don’t have conviction. If we don’t develop Biblical conviction, we will not have a conviction.
2 Chronicle 20:1, 20:3 – King Jehoshaphat’s passion and conviction led him in decision. Alarmed with the triple threat, the reaction of fear and panic will not disqualified you as a person of victory. If you are knocked off balance, you will make a wrong decision. Stop acting on a whim, but start behaving like a champion. Courage is not the absence of fear; courage is facing your fears with faith.
- Are you not?
Remember who God is during your storm. Learn to magnify who God is. When you do that, you balance the power of God with the Word of God. We often blindly say God will do this but we forget who God is.
- Did you not?
Did you not God do this before? Remind yourself of all the victories that God has granted you all these years in your life. Does your family, children and friends know what God has done in your life? When you remember these things, you will realize how great God was in your past, that He gave you the victory. Realize the big victories in your past, so that you can face this current storm. Recall all that what God has done in the past and compare them to what you face today.
- Will you not?
Lord you did it before, will you not do it again? If you are in the storm, remember that God is fixing the situation for a major breakthrough. In 2 Chronicles 20:12, King Jehoshaphat knew the facts, he didn’t know what to do and did not pretend to know what to do. He accepted the facts and faced his fear. He was truthful to himself, exercised a lot of faith and balanced it with what God could do. Then God gave the Word – the Word did not deny the facts and the reality, but stated how God was greater than the facts. For the battle is not yours, it is the Lord’s. After consulting the people, he put the worship team in front of the army – how unbalance was that? But see what God did after that, how the enemy killed each other, and Jehoshaphat went on to claim victory.
God has a great plan for you, God speaks to the future you that He has created. There’s no potential in your past, your potential is in your future. Every saint has a past, but every sinner has a future. Remember, when God looks at you, He looks at you as you in your destiny, and not as you in the past.
Remember these three things:
1. The basis of your faith will never change, while everything else will change.
2. Stubbornness will not work. If you do not listen to the Lord, it will never work.
3. Remember, Jesus is always right!