Steadfast – Immovable

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Transcript

Good morning Church, it’s a pleasure to be with you today. We’re going to carry on looking at 1 Corinthians 15:57-58, but before we go into that portion, just before the bit we are looking at is one of my most favourite bits of exciting scripture. I love the bit in 1 Corinthians 15:55

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”1 Corinthians 15:55 NIV

Maybe for me it’s more powerful because of some of the work I do (in funerals). I get this sense that whatever happens, God has the victory. The first week of the year, we were looking with Tim at Victory and how we have the victory, this is a winning year. The second week, we looked at Stand Firm and then this week we’re going to be looking at Immovable.

Immovable
The best thing that I can come up with, I’m not going to do a dictionary definition, is that everyone has seen a toddler who is immovable. I think that is a more powerful definition of what the term immovable is. I had two very powerful immovable objects as toddlers. One, particularly one, could “starfish” when getting into the car in such a way that you couldn’t get him into the car. There was this one time where my youngest son decided he was not getting into the car after pre-school and so after a couple of rounds of yes you are, I’m going to bend your body and he was doing the starfish, which you’ve all seen, and refusing to bend, I got him in the car seat. I just thought that this was a winning day. I then drove to get my other child from school, so we’re talking a few years ago now, back when you sent your children to school, those crazy heady days we used to have! I went to pick my eldest son up from school and the youngest son wouldn’t get out of his car seat, he’s now immovable in that as well. So I locked the door, like every good Mum or Dad does, and ran to the school gates and I picked up my eldest and ran back. At that moment I got back to the car, I couldn’t see my son anywhere and I, in that moment, can remember the sheer panic outside as I had thought my son had been kidnapped. I actually said “I think my child has been kidnapped”. It took me less than two minutes realise that #1 if he had been kidnapped they had also managed to move an immovable object and I would probably have heard it and #2 there is not a person in the land or in the universe who has enough mayonnaise to keep my child happy. So it wasn’t very long before I realised that he was not, in fact, kidnapped. Oh no, my immovable object child had in fact unclipped his seatbelt and decided to lie in the footwell under some coats and be immovable there. After a few moments of deep breathing exercises and almost having a heart attack at the side of the road, chaos was resumed as both sons were then in the car and we carried on with our journey.

We’re going to talk about being immovable. There’s this old spiritual song that we hear very often in protests. It says “we shall not be moved”. We will have heard it throughout the years as “we shall not, we shall not be moved, we shall not, we shall not be moved”. Do you know what’s really interesting Church? The next line from that is actually about being planted. But before we get to that, let’s look at the scripture for today, it says this:

56 The sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God!
He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you.
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord,
because you know that
your labour in the Lord is not in vain 1 Corinthians 15:55-58 NIV

This thing – being immovable, we shall not be moved. It was a chant that they would use, it’s an old slave song. We shall not be moved from this, we shall see our freedom for the civil rights movement. Actually the line carries on and it’s from Psalm 1 and I want to share this with you today, it says:

1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:1-3 NIV

We shall not be moved. We should be like the tree planted by streams of water – immovable. When you think of an immovable object, you tend to think of huge trees, you tend to think of rocks, you tend to think of men or women who can climb mountains. We saw last week the imagery was up of Luke, my husband, climbing. Notice I’ve never been photographed climbing because I am the one from the staff team who can fall down a set of stairs in their house, so I am not necessarily an immovable physical object, I can fall over air, but in myself I am immovable on so many things. Maybe today you are like me, actually you could trip up over thin air in one sense, you’re not like a rock, you’ll fall over the rock rather than be the rock, but actually inside you there is a resolute sense of “I will not be moved on this issue”.

I grew up in Church and one of the things we would sing often when I was in Sunday school, when I was four or five or maybe even six was:

The foolish man built his house upon the sand
The foolish man built his house upon the sand
The foolish man built his house upon the sand
and the waves came down, the floods went whoosh

My favourite bit because we’d always raise our arms and go a bit crazy. You then got to:

The wise man built his house upon the rock
The wise man built his house upon the rock
The wise man built his house upon the rock
And the house on the rock stood firm

It stood firm. And that’s a story found in Matthew 7 and it goes on and Jesus talked about if you build your life on God’s word, you are that house built on rock. But if we build our lives on other stuff, on sand, things will shift. We know that more than ever right now. I don’t know about you but 2 and half weeks ago I was planning for my kids to go back to school, I had a plan – 2020 was an experience and I am not naturally a home-school mother – but I planned for my children to go back to school. Then a day into the school term, my youngest was at home again, that was not my plan, that was a sand shift. It felt like something moved beneath me because I had these plans, I had these things that I so wanted to do and I had to sit back and relax and have a night of going “this is just ridiculous” before I again gathered my thoughts, gathered myself and go “do you know, I’ve built my life on God and on Christ the solid rock I stand”. Because of that He knows what’s going to happen and I can carry on. God will make it all work for me right where I am. The house on the rock stood firm.

I’ve built my life on God and on Christ the solid rock I stand, He knows what’s going to happen and I can carry on. The house on the rock stood firm. Click To Tweet

I don’t know where you are today, I don’t know where you are on your journey of faith, I don’t know how long you’ve been in church, maybe you’re a “seasoned professional” like me – I was in church 9 months before I was born – I’ve been there, bought the t-shirt, got the video, the lot! I know for some of us, we come and we look at this simple scripture of building our lives on solid rock and we go “we’ve heard this before”. But what about if during the year 2020 and these past few weeks, your life was built on rock but actually you’ve just built an extension on to shifting sands. Or maybe this morning, you’ve come and your house is built on sand, it’s built on what other people say, on what other people are saying what’s going to happen. You know, it’s so easy right now to build our lives on sand, to build on what we see being said on the TV every evening, to see our work being challenged, suddenly we’re working from home and we’re not sure if we’ll have a job, maybe we’re looking financially and we’re seeing this it just isn’t going to work. It can be so easy in the moment we are in, in the day and generation that we are in, to build our lives on sands that shift. And things just seem unstable, it can be so easy to do that. We have to stop ourselves don’t we, “come on God you’re more than this, you’re bigger than this!”.

One of my favourite verses of the bible is found in Psalms and it’s this:

when my heart is overwhelmed…
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I Psalm 61:2 AMP

I don’t know this morning where you are building your life, or whether you have perhaps joined us for the first time and are thinking “building your life? I’m just doing what I want to do”, can I encourage you to build your life on the rock. The rock that does not move, be immovable on what you build your life on. Be like those trees planted by streams of living water, who flourish and prosper.

I find it amazing that in seasons where things change – like I’ve said before – for me what sticks out the most is the immovables of my life. It’s the Bible verses and the truth of the Bible that pours out of me. Some of you heard me say last week, “if I’d won a roller coaster, I’d start singing worship songs” because I grew up in an atmosphere of worship and it’s the bedrock of my life. Today I just want to challenge you on two points, and they won’t rhyme because if you know me, they just won’t! It would be a miracle if they ever did.

Choose where you will build – choose what you will build on
What are you building on? Seriously though, think right now “what am I actually building on?” Am I building what the newspapers are saying? Am I building on what my bank balance is saying? Am I building on what my school is saying? Am I building on what life is telling me? Or am I building on the Word of God? Am I building on something that never changes that is tested and tried and true? That holds fast? I love that the Word of God is so powerful in our lives. I love that I was brought up loving the Word of God and being found in huge chunks of the Bible that come out of me at times when I need them. My life was built, and is continuing to be built, on the rock that is God. Choose what you build on.

Choose what you are immovable on
We have to be immovable on the Word of God! It is true! It is tried! It is tested! We have to be immovable on the fact that we love God and we love others and we want to see them do well. We want to see during 2021 people come to know Him. Why? Because we know He is the true answer, He is the way, the truth and the life. Choose what you are immovable on.

There was a guy, one of the mighty men of 2 Samuel 23, his name is Shammah. Shammah decides that his immovable thing is a field of lentils. For you meat eaters out there, a field of lentils may not be much, but for us vegetarians that’s like “preach brother!”. Bags of lentils is what I live on, and vegetables obviously, part of my healthy diet. But a field of lentils! To Shammah, the field of lentils meant something. Can I challenge you to find things that you are immovable on that maybe other people might think “why are you arguing over a bag of lentils? why are you stood in the middle of a field of lentils with a sword?”. It says that his sword froze to his hand as he continued to fight because he knew it was worth something. Right now your field of lentils might be that you and your family are going to pray together once. Right now your field of lentils might be that you’re going to bless your neighbours. We as a group of four of us, we’ve decided to be encouragement to our neighbours in this season. We go out and do stuff, we’re always the ones first out clapping and making a noise. I chat to our neighbours and really want to be a person who actually controls the atmosphere. We can be immovable on the hope that is Jesus. In this season you can be immovable. Maybe it’s on Facebook, you could be the one that brings hope. Maybe it’s on social media, maybe it’s in your workplace, you have those “Tea and Toast” type things now and all sorts of different things. Choose what you are going to be immovable on. Make a real physical decision today, I’m going to be immovable on this thing.

We can be immovable on the hope that is Jesus. In this season you can be immovable. Click To Tweet

Those are my two points, what are you going to be immovable on? And also what are you building on this morning?

Are you building on the truth of God’s Word. If you’re not and want help, speak to a local pastor. We love to talk about the Word of God, it’s one of my favourite topics, it’s one of my favourite things to do. Give me a chance to find it and I know it’s in the Word of God, I know that I can find it in there.

In conclusion I want to say this, for a few years me and my family were really privileged to be based in Prestatyn. One of the things I would do at times when I wanted to think was to go and stand and look at the sea. I’d walk along the beach down by the Ffrith on the sand and by the sea. I’d try to stand in the sea with the tide coming in, as it’s coming in my feet are planted, but the sand underneath me is moving. I know today there are people watching and you really feel like that. You feel that in this moment you have planted your feet and you think that you have a steady grasp, you feel that you’re ok, your feet keep on moving but you want to brace, you want to be in the right place. Can I encourage you to come off the sand. Come off the sand and stand on the rock. It talks time and time and time again in the Bible about the rock. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. He is the rock. He is the one that we can build our life on. Maybe you’ve never said yes to Jesus. In a few moments there will be a little button that will come up to my left and maybe you need to click that and say yes. If it feels like sinking sand, if you feel like your feet are moving constantly, then say yes to Jesus. He is the way, He is the truth, He is the life. For whatever point of the journey, you are one, He is the one we choose to build our life on.

Come off the sand and stand on the rock. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. He is the rock. He is the one that we can build our life on. Click To Tweet

Church wherever you are right now, I pray that you are a person who builds your life on the rock and I pray that if you see people on sand you would be those who rescue. Let’s pray:

God, we thank you that you are the rock on which we stand. God, we thank you that we can stand in your work and we can be planted and found in you. God, we choose today in our homes, to be immovable, we choose to be those people of hope. Immovable in the season we are in and immovable in the fact that you are the way, the truth and the life. Jesus we love you and we honour you and we thank you for the lives that have been changed today. In your name, amen.

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