We lived near Wilmington, North Carolina for three years and during those years we came to know a little more about tides and currents. We even lived on Topsail Island for about a year and came to love the ocean and the beach. Living on the ocean gives you a deep appreciation for the sheer power of the water and it’s tides. We learned many lessons, by experience, and became what you might call “novice” ocean dwellers. One of those lessons came when we went swimming and boating with some friends near a place called Figure 8 Island. We would board a boat in the waterway and make our way out to the island through different channels and end up at the place where we were going to have some great water fun. It was always a great time for my family to spend time together in a totally different environment than we were used to. You see, our water fun was always on the lake or on a small river and lake water is much different than ocean water. One thing we noticed about where we swam on the island was that when the tide was in, the water was deep and the distance between Figure 8 Island and the other island across the way was wide and very tough to swim across. When the tide went out, it became so low that you could walk across it with ease and reach the other island. Tides are that way. They come and go with regular timing, but due to the motion of water, they change a little every time they go through their cycle. There are two different definitions for the word Tide. One is – a powerful surge of feeling or trend of events. The other is – a rising and falling of the sea twice a lunar day due to the attraction of the moon and the sun. Both well represent the word tide and help me illustrate a Biblical Truth from 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Why? Because our world is changing every day and those changes cause us to ask why and how. These changes do not catch Christians unaware and if we think about and see what is happening, then we will know how to understand and react to it. In the mentioned scripture Paul is writing to Timothy about how the world will be changing and how those changes need to be handled. He points to the “last days” and that refers to the time period from his writing until the Lord’s return. You may hear some talk about the “last days” and that we are in those last days right now. This is true…..just to settle a point! Paul points to some things that are going to take place in those last day. People will be self absorbed, money hungry, self promoting, stuck up, profane, crude, disobedient to parents, dog eat dog, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated wind bags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. That’s just the first four verses!!! So you may say, “That’s in our government, in our schools, in our homes, and even in our churches.” It’s a way of life that we have come to realize is just HERE! That is true. Which brings us to verse 5. Oh verse 5…The Message version of the Bible says it like this, “They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of those people.” Woh! I say, WOH!!! Here’s the result of “religion” in America. Wow, it’s makes me want to throw up. Think how it makes God feel! Things are changing for the bad so quickly it makes me realize that our faith, refined by fire, will actually be the only thing we can rely on. But that’s the way it should be and will be for those who truly know Christ. A word for what is happening right now where we live is Apostasy. Apostasy is the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief. So don’t be surprised when you see the tide turning before your very eyes. Like the guy said, “We’re making history here!” Oh, we’re making history alright! The things that used to be so far apart between Christianity and the World are now becoming more and more alike. The width and depth of the sea of conviction is growing more shallow and more narrow every day and the tide of concern to stop it is going out making the distance way too short between good and evil. Now the water is so shallow that both easily coexist together and not much difference is seen between the two. But what about verse 5? Verse 5 is the difference maker for us and those who are drinking the world’s koolaid. Why? Verse 5 says to recognize it and stay away from it! In other words, CLEAR THE AREA! We know the Apostasy exists and we know that it is wrong, but our acceptance of it also exits. Fighting it with worldly weapons will only making it stronger and stronger. In other words, evil begets evil. One of the only ways we can change the regular tide is with a Ripe Tide. A rip tide “rips” through the regular water and creates a division in the water that causes a synergetic force that actually catches the other tide by surprise and shakes up everything. I was caught in a rip tide twice while in NC and the first time I fought it and almost drowned. The second time I just let go and it shifted me to a safer place. I gave in to the force. We need a rip tide. We need God’s power to fall so strong on us, that we can’t resist it. How does that happen? By believers being truly consistent in prayer, ministry, Biblical understanding, true fellowship, and courage under pressure. The tide can turn! But only God can turn it. Oh yeah, down in verse 14 Paul tells Timothy, “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them.” In other words, know who you are serving and what He wants you to do. Don’t just assume! KNOW!!
Things are crazy right now and if you take a stand for Christ in our world, you will be pummelled. God’s says, “So!” Lambs to wolves……look it up. Keep in mind, they will never be able to defeat our Lord or us who live for Him. His promises, not mine!! The world should never affect how we live our lives for Christ, but we MUST live our lives for Christ first of all. Then you will see the tide change for the better. Have you been letting the changing tides get you off your game? Scrap that for a better plan. Find the Rip Tide and let er rip! When it happens we will ride that tide to victory for Christ. Christ is on the hillside looking ahead to the battle and looking back at you. When His eyes meet yours, will yours say, “let’s go?”
That’s what needs to happen. Make it happen!!
The Pilgrimage continues….