I spent much of the beginning of last week wrestling with whether or not to evacuate my family from our home in Jacksonville, Fl. Jacksonville was in the path of hurricane Irma. We watched as the massive hurricane continued to strengthen in the Caribbean, and the weather stations all had varying predictions as to where it would go. I finally came to the realization that even having all of the available information from the world renown experts would not enable me to make the right decision. They just could not predict where this storm was going. There was only one thing I could do: pray.
The Bible tells us very clearly that if we seek God’s will, He will reveal it to us and help us to walk in it.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” – Matthew 7: 7-8
Once we know God’s will there is always a second component, and that is obeying it.
As I prayed about the storm, I heard a very clear command from God. He told me to stay. At first, it seemed like an easy command to follow with the storm so far away, but then came all of the media reports. At first, most of the media outlets had this thing coming up the east coast of Florida, or right up the middle. That would have put Jacksonville right in its path. On top of that, they all kept talking about just how massive and powerful this storm was. After hearing all of that, my faith started to waiver a bit. I started to wonder if I had really heard God correctly.
As the storm got closer, I woke up early one morning to seek God’s will again. Once again, The Lord told me to stay. When I asked for affirmation, He prompted me to read Matthew 7, where I found the following verses:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practices like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” – Matthew 7: 24-25
That sealed the deal for me. Not only was I staying, but I was overcome by a sense of peace about it. Not long after I made the decision to stay, a couple of things happened:
1. The storm started shifting to the west.
2. We started receiving calls and text messages from friends and family who needed a place to stay during the hurricane.
The weekend ended up being incredible. We had a great time with everyone in our home. We kept power nearly the whole time during the storm. There was no damage to the home. Most importantly, there was all sorts of fruitful, God ordained conversations and prayers. I truly believe that eternity was impacted by the things that happened in our home this past weekend. God is so good!
I wish I could sit here and say that I have followed every command and promoting from God. Unfortunately, I cannot make that claim. However, I can say confidently that when I am obedient, God never disappoints! He consistently leaves me in awe. And every time I am obedient, He always fills me with peace. It does not matter the circumstances around me. Whether I am obedient in the still and quiet of my living room, or with a violent storm raging around me.