How the Bible Preps Us for the Future


Harrison Ross teaches us how to prepare for the future. He encourages us by telling us we do not need to know the future; rather, we need to know our Father. Through His word, God has left us our instructions, and through His Spirit, He has left us what we need for our future.

Harrison RossAug 9, 2015
Philippians 4:6-7

In This Series (12)
The Tree of Salvation and How to End on the Right Branch
Todd WagnerSep 13, 2015
How the Bible Preps Us for the Return, the Rapture and the Rupture: Setting Our Heart Not the Date
Todd WagnerAug 30, 2015
How the Bible Preps Us for THAT Day
Todd WagnerAug 23, 2015
How the Bible Preps Us for Loneliness
David PenuelAug 16, 2015
How the Bible Preps Us for Failure
David MarvinAug 16, 2015
How the Bible Preps Us for Doubt
Adam TarnowAug 16, 2015
How the Bible Preps Us for the Future
Harrison RossAug 9, 2015
How the Bible Preps Us for Spiritual Warfare
Blake HolmesAug 9, 2015
How the Bible Preps Us for Perseverance
Drew ZeilerAug 9, 2015
How the Bible Preps Us for Surprises
Rick SmithAug 2, 2015
How the Bible Preps Us for Pornography and Lust
Jonathan PokludaAug 2, 2015
How the Bible Preps Us for Addictions
John ElmoreAug 2, 2015

Hi, everybody. My name is Harrison Ross. I have the joy of being the junior high director here on staff, so I get to hang with many of your kids, have hung with your kids, or will hang with them in the future. I love it. It is awesome. I'm married to a beautiful woman who is my bride. Her name is Hunter.

The big thing in our life, the big change recently is we just had a baby eight weeks ago. His name is Abel. He's a precious, tiny, smiling little boy whom we love. He has brought so much joy to our lives and so much lack of sleep, so if I start slurring my words, you'll know why. Having a baby comes with having to bring a lot of preparation. Has anybody in here had a baby? You know what I'm talking about.

We have to prepare the room. We have to get ready. We have to start painting the walls and buying toys and buying furniture. We have to do what the women and my wife call nesting, what other men and I just call a lot of extra work to do. Naturally, when we need to buy furniture, where do we go? IKEA. Exactly. IKEA is the best place to go. We all love IKEA.

If there is a huge change in your life for a future event, you go to IKEA. You go to college, you go to IKEA. You move into a new house…IKEA. You get married…IKEA. You have your first kid, you go to IKEA. You have your sixth kid. It's time to get a church van. Let's be serious. If you just need some furniture with a random Swedish name and you have a hankering for meatballs, go to IKEA. That's your place.

IKEA is the only place where you will run to the manager and get on your knees and beg for the floor model crib that has scratches on it that some lady has put her baby in and walked around the store for an hour and he has peed in it, all because you don't want to go home and do the work yourself.

It's the only place where you go in with such joy on your face when so much frustration and anxiety lies ahead. We love the idea of IKEA, but IKEA takes work. Preparing for the future takes work. So we bought this dresser. We have it in my boy's room. I have everything I need. IKEA comes with everything I need in the box. I just have to get on my knees and do the work.

In the Christian life, a lot of us know what we need to do to prepare for the future. We just don't want to do the work. We know maybe what the future holds. Maybe it's uncertain. Maybe it's something in the future that you're excited about, that you're worried about, that you're anxious about. Maybe it's expected, maybe it's unexpected, but the future leaves us with a lot of questions, of unknowns and uncertainties and hopes and fears that lead us to worry, anxiety, and the hope in "someday."

What do we do when our future is so uncertain it steals us from the present? All of these questions leave us anxious and worrying and wanting, because we want to know our future. I want to tell you guys this morning that we don't need to know the future; we need to know our heavenly Father.

If you have your Bibles with you this morning, I'd love for you to open with me to Philippians, chapter 4. Philippians is in the New Testament. It's an epistle Paul wrote to the church at Philippi, and it's something that was useful to them thousands of years ago, and it is written directly to me and to you.

Philippians, chapter 4, verse 6. Here's what it says. "You can worry about the future if it's really, really important." Is that what yours says? That's what I believe a lot of times. That's what I want to believe. That's what I kind of find my hope in. "If I just try a little harder, maybe it'll come tomorrow." Let me tell you what this text says, and you can read it as well.

"Do not be anxious about anything…" Nothing. Don't worry about what lies ahead. Don't be fearful of what's coming. Don't get so excited that that becomes life for what lies ahead. "Don't be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication…" Yours might say petition. "…make your requests known to God." Don't worry about what lies ahead. Go to him.

When I open the box of my life, I have everything I need. Everything I need is right here. I just have to get on my knees and go to my Father. I know what I need to prepare. I may not know what lies ahead or what it looks like, but I know what I need to prepare. When I open up that box, right there inside are the instructions.

The first thing I see… When I open the instructions, it says, "Hey, you, dufus!" with a huge exclamation point. "Read these carefully. Look at them. Read them. Keep them for when you can refer to it in the future. You're going to want to know what's in here." Guys, these are your instructions right here. This is it: God's Word. This is your guide. This is what you need.

Not a step-by-step, play-by-play of God saying, "Hey, take this job" or "You're going to have kids on this day" or "You'll get married when you're this age," but this is how we know God. This is how we know our Creator. This is how we know our Father and our future. So, guys, open up the instructions.

There are a lot of us, men in particular, who open the box and go, "Nah. All right, let's get to work." You're trying to take these pieces and trying to figure it out. "How does this work together?" It's just going to leave you frustrated. It's just going to leave you angry, and you're thinking you don't have what you need. Read the instructions.

The second thing the instructions say is, "Hey, use the tools you already have." God gives us everything we need, and you can use the tools he has already provided. Every one of us has a hammer and a screwdriver at our house. That's all you need. The rest is given to you by the Lord. What gifts do you have that God is going to use? Who are the people around you? Where are the places that he has you? Use those things, and go to God. We have everything we need.

The next thing it says is "Hey, don't be this frustrated little man who looks weird when he's doing it by himself. Grab a buddy. Get somebody who can help you. Bring them around you, and you'll be happy." Look how joyful he is. That guy has a pencil. He has another tool that can help. We want to help you guys do this. In student ministry, we plug kids into small groups from sixth grade that go all the way through twelfth grade.

We want to teach them to have godly men and godly women who will surround them, that they can dig into God's Word together. They can understand the instructions. They can give each other a hand. They can help. Don't do it alone. You don't have to. If you have questions, just ask. If you don't know what to do, that is why we are here. We are the church, the body of Christ. Watermark wants to help.

You heard of some opportunities in the Watermark News to be equipped, to be shown how to interpret, how to understand the instructions in God's Word, and we want to help you. We know what we have to do to be prepared. We just don't want to do the work to get on our knees. We don't need to know our future; we need to know the Father.

We have a beautiful baby boy now, but that has not always been the case. My wife and I wanted a child so badly. We were so excited. We started trying, and we got so excited for when this day would come, and month after month it was "No, not this month. No, not this month." It was frustrating. It was disappointing. Then we finally found out we were pregnant. We were so excited, and we started telling family and friends, and then we found out we had a miscarriage. We lost our baby.

I was confused and angry and frustrated, because I was following the instructions. I was using the tools God had given me. I had people around me in community. I thought I was going the way I should go, but I'd put my hope in my future and what I expected my future to look like, what I wanted my future to look like, what I hoped my future would be, and not in knowing my heavenly Father.

Guys, when you're in the middle of a project… It's like you have all of the pieces dumped out and scattered around everywhere, and you're in the middle of it, and you're trying to look here, and you go, "Okay, I know there are 100 of these little screws. What am I supposed to do with that? I'm missing one. They didn't give me the right pieces. They didn't give me the right parts. No, that's not the next step. Surely that's not it. That doesn't make sense." And you're frustrated.

Maybe you start to yell out, "The guy who wrote these instructions doesn't know what he's talking about." That's a lot of the times that I live my spiritual life, because I hope for what I want, for what I think the next step is, what's easier. I'm tired of being on my knees. I'm tired of going to the Lord, but I know that I don't need to find my hope in my future; I need to know my Father.

So, guys, when the mess is scattered around and you don't know what to do, you need to know the only way to come to know your heavenly Father is through his Son Jesus Christ and that he will take the mess of your circumstance that seems scattered that you don't understand, and if you trust him and follow the instructions, if you trust the one who wrote the instructions, you will be amazed at what God creates.

Then use the tools in your toolbox and bring people around you. Be on your knees and in prayer, and let us know if we can help you, because we're going to need your help too. We can do it together. I'm going to ask you guys to do something that might seem weird, might be uncomfortable. We're going to build something from IKEA all together right here, right now. (Just kidding. We're not going to do that.)

I'm going to ask you, if you're comfortable, to get on your knees and pray with me. If you're new, if you're visiting, if that just seems really, really weird, you don't have to do it. We will not judge you. You're not going to be that one person. If you have really bad knees, we're not going to call you out. "Up in the back, I see you." That's not going to happen, but I'd love to encourage you and challenge you to get on your knees and pray with me.

I do this with my small group boys. They're in ninth grade. Why do I do this? Not because it makes me more spiritual, not because it makes God hear me more, not because it makes me closer to Jesus, but because it reminds me that he's God and I'm not. It reminds me that he holds my future in his hands and I can trust the one who wrote the instructions. Pray with me.

Heavenly Father, thank you that we don't have to work our way to you. There is nothing we can do for you to love us more and nothing we can do for you to love us less. We do not have to get on our knees and seek you and pray and do all of these things to earn salvation but to dive deeper into relationship with you.

Lord, we are broken and we need you. Even those who have been following Jesus for a long time, we need you and the truth of the gospel, and I thank you for your Son Jesus. Thank you for the way that you bring the brokenness of our pieces and make it your masterpiece. We love you, Lord. We pray that we will do it in your strength. It's in Jesus' name, amen.