The first hurricane I was in made me think of the Three Little Pigs story. It also made me think of the wolf, “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.” We were on vacation with our family at the time, and the hurricane was moving into where we were on the coast. We moved downstairs from our upstairs bedroom. We listened to the local station go off air because the water was coming into the station. We tried to sleep but the wind was howling and the rain was pummeling the house. Well the next morning we went out and we surveyed what had happened. The power was out. The trees and wires were down. There was like wreckage everywhere. We had to actually wash and flush using the water that we had wisely stored in the bathtub before the hurricane hit. We ate by candlelight. We changed all our plans, but we were safe. See the storm had beaten up everything around us and it sure affected our lifestyle. But the things that really mattered – they were safe.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about “The Core is What Counts.”
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from wonderful promises from the Lord in Psalms 91:1. “He who dwells in the shelter of The Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” It goes on then to say in verse 4, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, or the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.” Verses 9 and 10: “If you make The Most High your dwelling – even the Lord, who is my refuge – then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent, for he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”
Okay, the hurricane is blowing against your life. There’s the night terror, the flying arrows, the stalking pestilence, but God says very clearly it will not come near you. He says, “If you make The Most High your dwelling, it will not befall you. No disaster will come near you.” It sounds like our night in a hurricane. Everything around us was getting blown around but the core was safe.
My wife and I have been through hurricane times in our life like everybody. We were actually discussing the deaths of several people close to us at one point and a really tough financial situation. We had converging problems with cars, with equipment, a lot of struggles with people close to us; a lot of pressures. You say, “Hey, man, come on. I have my own list.” I know, I’m sure you do. But I said, “Honey, thank God the core is okay.”
The core – it’s your relationship with God, your relationship with your family, and your central mission – your ministry. The wind outside may be doing tons of damage. The devil is nibbling all around the core. But maybe you can say as we did, “Lord thank you for protecting the core.” It’s important during a hurricane to see the difference between the core and I guess I call it non-core things in your life.
You pray for the protection of the blood of Jesus on the core of your life. Don’t over-react to your hurricane because it’s blowing everything around. It’s tough, but it will pass. Guard carefully the priorities that keep the core things healthy. Don’t let the hurricane take you out of those priorities. And praise the Lord while the pressure is on that you can’t lose what really counts.
You say, “Ron, the devil got into the core already.” Then, man, drop everything and fight for what he’s trying to take. Remember that no one can touch the center core of your unloseable relationship with Jesus Christ. You’ve got that forever. Paul said in 2 Timothy 1:12, “I am persuaded that He is able to guard what I have committed to Him until that day.”
Let the wind blow. It will do damage around you. It may affect your lifestyle, but pray for the core. Fight for the core. Thank God if the core is safe. You see, if the core is okay, you’re doing okay.