Thursday, June 22, 2017
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The Lakota Sioux call them the Paha Sapa. We call them the Black Hills. The people who live in Keystone, South Dakota, call them their backyard. If you have ever visited Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills, you probably drove by or through Keystone. But the Keystone you drive through now isn't where Keystone used to be – not since the flood of 1972. It was devastating. Back then, Keystone was in the valley by a lazy little creek which suddenly became a raging flood one day in '72, roaring through that valley, destroying the town, and claiming many lives in the area. Well, it was then that the folks of Keystone decided to make a change. When they rebuilt their business district and many of their homes, it wasn't on the ground they had always been on. No, the flood changed all that. They moved up the mountain to higher ground.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Moving To Higher Ground."
Life's floods come in many forms; those major crises or disasters that carry away a lot of what we had been depending on. An illness, or maybe a death can do that, a divorce can do it, a disaster, a broken relationship, the loss of your job. There are a lot of upheavals that come rushing in and they change the landscape forever. And they make you think, maybe for the first time, about where is the best place to build the rest of my life.
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Psalm 46, "God is our refuge and strength; an ever present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea; (Here come the floods.) though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging" (vs. 1-3). We're talking here about life's major upheavals; everything you used to count on getting washed away.
But remember, "God is our refuge and strength.", so we don't have to fear those things. Why? Because when you've lost everything, you haven't lost everything! Not if you have a deep, personal love relationship with the God who never leaves, never lets go of those who belong to Him.
The Psalm goes on to say, "The Lord Almighty is with us, come and see the works of the Lord." (vs. 7-8) And then a simple statement that may explain the reason the flood was allowed to happen, so you would finally, "Be still and know that I am God." (vs. 10) Maybe, for all practical purposes, you've been "God" in your life. You've been controlling things; you've been living life your way. And you've been building your life around someone or something here on earth – something or someone that the flood may be washing away, or maybe it already has.
God's message to you through all of your stress and your pain is, "It's time to move to higher ground." Having seen how fragile, how losable all your earth stuff is, are you ready to build on something you can never lose, no matter what hits you? You were created to build your life on the One who gave you your life – God Himself. But the Bible says we've built it on ourselves. And it took the brutal death of God's Son, Jesus on the cross, to pay the death penalty for all of our "I'll be God" choices.
The folks in Keystone, South Dakota, would never have considered moving to higher ground until that flood hit. And maybe you would have never considered turning your life over to Jesus Christ, but now the floods have hit. And you now know that nothing earth can offer you will give you what your heart is so hungry for. Isn't it time to move up the hill? It's the hill where Jesus died for you so you could finally have something that's called "ever-lasting"?
If that's what you want, would you tell Jesus you're done running your life and you want to put your trust in the One who died for your sin? Our website is there to help you take that journey, make that commitment, and know you've gone to higher ground and you are safe forever. The website's ANewStory.com where your new story can begin today.
The flood has done its damage, and maybe it's sent its message. The ground you've been on is not where you were meant to live. It's time to move to the higher ground that you were made for. And, Jesus is the higher ground where you will be safe...forever.