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Standing in the Storms of Life (1 of 2)

Mike Connell

Page 3 of 8
Okay, so those are a couple of storms, different kinds of storms. When a storm comes, you're in turmoil. Now there's four different kinds of storms - there may be others, these are four that I'm aware of, four that I've had. I've gone through every one of these storms, so I know a little bit about storms. The first storm is the storm of your own making; the storm of your own making. In other words, you brought it on yourself. Now that is a storm, let me just give you a simple example. If you spend more than you have coming in, a financial storm is about to arise. It's only a matter of how long, then it arises, then you complain: ooh, the devil's attacking me, my finances are down, God's not coming through. Listen, you goofed up! It's just as simple as that. You just goofed up, and mismanaged; and now you're reaping what you sowed. It's just simple like that, so a storm of our own making means: there's stuff we did, and now we're getting the consequences of it; or there's stuff we didn't do, and now we're getting the consequences of it.

So husbands, if you neglect to love your wives... I was just talking to a guy recently, and I remember trying to help him out a little while ago, and now he's a very, very lonely person, and his marriage has broken up. His wife left him, and I said: did you learn anything from it? He said: yes, I did. He said: I realised I neglected her. I didn't want to say: we came and talked to you about that - it just wouldn't be appropriate in the middle of a storm. People are really needing help; not to sink. They don't need us to help point out they got there, but the thing was that he was reaping the consequences. Now the problem with this is, that you don't always see the connection between: your actions; and the current storm. Sometimes there's a bit of time takes place before finally you start to reap the consequences of your actions; and your inner storm, whether it be in your marriage, in your family, in your finances, in your personal life, in your work life; and actually it's the result of neglect, or the result of poor choices.

Now one of the hardest things is to connect that. You go to someone, like a Pastor or a leader, and they talk with you, and they'll ask you the questions, and help you link the storm you're facing now, to what you actually did or didn't do. That's one of the things of having someone external helping you in the middle of a storm. My observation over many years, is often in the middle of a storm, you can't see one thing from another. You're just fearful, and you want to survive; and you can't connect where you failed with what you're experiencing. Sometimes we just need someone to help us in that; so the key questions to think about here: what has been my contribution to this storm? Has there been any contribution by me to this storm? Now the financial one's an obvious one. If there's more going out than coming in, then you've absolutely been messing up. You've actually made some bad judgement calls, and you're going to have to not just pray about it, and blame the devil on it. You've actually got to own and take full responsibility; you only have power over the storm, if you own responsibility. So the first question then you ask is: what's my part in this? Then the key response is: will you acknowledge, and repent, and make the practical changes?

So some storms, they're not really spiritual. Demons will use them to torment, and trouble, and harass you; but they're basically not a demonic storm. They're just a storm of consequences. How many have had one of those? Probably that's the one that brought you to Christ. [Laughs] I think of the one that got me to Christ. Yeah, it was a storm, and it was horrendous, and in the end I came to the Lord. There was nowhere else to go. How many knew there was nowhere else to go, that's why you came to the Lord? Yeah, well that's good and honest. That's where most people are, so you'll find people who are in a storm, a lot of people you meet in life, their problems - yes, there's demons around it. Yes, there's kinds of issues around it, but the core of it is: they're messing up. There's sin, there's irresponsibility, and that's why they've got the problem. Many marriages break down because of neglect, not because of actually consciously doing bad things. They've just neglected the marriage over so many years, that in the end there's nothing left, it just ran out when the kids left home.