An farmer advertised for a farm hand but for a long time no one applied for the job. Finally, a young man applied for the position but he was not much to look at. His skills were basic and when asked why he should be hired, the young man replied, “I can sleep when the wind blows.” The farmer did not understand the cryptic answer but hired the young man as there were no others to take the job.
For many days the young man did a fine job. One night, the farmer was awakened by a sudden storm. He rushed out the door before realizing he should wake up the young man to help him but, since the storm was very close, he continued rushing to the barn to prepare for the storm. When he ran to cover the straw but found that it was covered with a tarp and staked to the ground. In the barn he found the animals safely in the stall and though there was not threat of a storm that day, the young man prepared in case a storm arose. The farmer then understood the young man’s words, “I can sleep when the wind blows.” The young man knew how to prepare so that when difficult times arose, he was ready to face it. (story source unknown)
Those who are prepared can weather the spiritual storms of life.
A familiar story to Bible students is found in Luke 6:46-49 contrasting the wise and the foolish man. The wise man built the house on the rock, a good foundation, for stability whereas the foolish man just built on the sand with no thought to the consequences. When a flood came, the wise man’s house remained while the foolish man’s house was destroyed. They didn’t build the houses for the flood, they built the houses to live in. The wise man anticipated potential problems and built a strong foundation to protect the house no matter what would come. To build in this manner required more difficult and thoughtful preparation, harder work, and longer time. A strong foundation provided strength against destructive forces.
Christ built the church on himself, the strongest foundation, Ephesians 2:19-22. As Christians, we are built up on that foundation. We accomplish this by making sure we know the basics of the faith (Hebrews 5:11-6:2) and knowing the reasons for our faith (1 Peter 3:10-17). The knowledge of truth and the application in our life of that truth is the foundation upon which we can build our life.
Prepare for Opposition
In order to prepare for the storms in life that will come, we must build on the foundation of knowledge in practical ways.
Put on Spiritual Armor
The child of God must put on the armor of God describe in Ephesians 6:10-18. The child of God must be dressed to fight for truth and against evil. When dressed for battle, we must expect opposition, Matthew 5:10-12. Though we will be tried and suffer, if we trust God we will not be ashamed, 1 Peter 4:12-19. Though we will suffer for a little time in our battle for right, God will give us strength for the battles and will establish us – give us a good foundation, 1 Peter 5:6-11. Peter says that our sufferings are shared by our brethren around the world and that the devil is prowling around attacking so we must be on guard. If we stand firm, even though we face death, we will be protected by God and can have victory through the blood of Jesus, Revelation 12:10-11.
Conquer False Teaching
It is important to build our knowledge of God’s word so we can recognize, expose, oppose, and resist false teaching that will separate us from God. Even so called religious books can contain error. The Bible warns of people teaching destructive things in the name of Jesus, 2 Peter 2:2-3:
And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
Through their greed and and preference of sensual things, things that are felt, they will teach in ways that blaspheme the truth. Error can corrupt godly minds so that things can be taught as “Christian” but is worldliness instead. There can be great dangers in religious bookstores.
Since these dangers abound, we must strive to be holy and watch for the teaching of unstable and ignorant men who “twist the truth to their own destruction,” 2 Peter 3:14-18. We must build ourselves up in the faith to not only save ourselves, but to lead others away from false teaching, Jude 17-23. We should never forget that knowledge is the antidote to error, 2 Timothy 3:1-17.
Personal study is what is most needed. Study in the Bible. Take advantage of opportunities to grow in your Bible knowledge:
- Pay attention to the Bible teaching in the church
- Do your lessons for Bible class
- Be attentive to sermons, take notes to study and reference later
- Don’t feed yourself on spiritual “junk food” (false teaching that is empty of truth)
- Prioritize spiritual growth in your life
- Make specific goals for spiritual growth
There is a storm coming. False doctrines are growing. Idolatrous views of God are spreading so that some who think they are serving God are serving a false version of Him. So much “Christian” teaching mixes worldliness and spirituality and encourages too much love of sensual and material things of this world. Ignorance abounds even among Christians. Know God’s word and hold it dear in your heart and even when there is a storm of error, you can have peace.