Monday, November 23, 2015
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A team member who served on our radio team for a number of years loved to go white water rafting. His white water was on the Chattooga River, in South Carolina. He loved to take his youth group on white water kayaking trips and that's where he learned about a river phenomenon called hydraulics.
According to their guide a hydraulic is a place in the rapids where the water goes over a rock, drops down, and then circles back up over the rock, then down again, circles back up and down again, and so on. It's sort of a vertical whirlpool. The guide told my friend and his group that it is very difficult to get out of a hydraulic if you happen to fall out of the boat and get caught in one. In fact, there is basically only one way out. Take off your life jacket. Now, can you think of anything you'd feel less like doing than taking off your life jacket in a moment like that?
You'd never do it otherwise and you don't want to, but it's a problem if you're in a hydraulic because your life jacket makes you keep rising with the water and going back down with it. If you take it off, you've got a chance to go down when the water goes down and then swim out of it. But believe me the last thing you feel like doing is getting rid of what's been holding you up! Right? Except if that's what's trapping you.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Hanging On to What Will Sink You."
Our word for today from the Word of God, Hebrews 12:1, God tells us to get rid of some things, to get out of some things; things that may have been supporting us. Listen, "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Now, it's not a river here, it is a race, but the principle is the same. If something is keeping you from where you need to be you've got to throw it off, whatever it is, even if it's something you've been depending on to hold you up, even if it's been your life jacket.
It could be that you're stuck in a whirlpool right now because there's something or someone in your life that you feel you've got to have. Like a guy in the river refusing to take off his life jacket. Maybe there is a man you are romantically involved with, or a woman, and you feel you just cannot leave. That person is holding you back from what God wants you to be and what God wants you to do. It might be your friend or a group of friends who are holding you in the whirlpool.
It could be a drug, a drink, or a habit that you feel you just can't do without. It could be an addiction to pornography. Actually, you can never go any farther until you take that risk! It could be that you've been hesitating to move onto a new frontier with God and He's calling you to it. But you're comfortable and safe right now. You don't want to risk leaving your comfort zone. The best way to miss God's will is to be addicted to your comfort zone.
God's people in the Old Testament missed the Promised Land that way. It seems risky. After all, this life jacket that's been supporting you for a long time, right? But, what once supported you is now holding you back; it's got you trapped in a whirlpool. It's sinking you! There are some incredible adventures, some exciting scenery up there, but you're never going to see what's down river if you stay trapped in the place where you are.
It is time, now, to do what the Bible says. And maybe now you know what God's talking about when He says, "Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles." In other words, it's time to lose your life jacket so you don't sink any more.