I want to examine a phenomenon I see in the bible in a couple of places. There are probably more, but in the past few days I have been zeroing in on these two. The Holy Spirit has been speaking to me through them.
In Mark Chapter 4, Jesus told the disciples to get in a boat on the sea of Galilee and “go to the other side.” There was obviously a missional intent and a job to do, which we shall see later. The disciples were in training, so even though the command may have sounded small and insignificant, the order to “go to the other side” was not small and insignificant. They were Jesus’ words…the Jesus who said He “…only said what He heard the Father say…Selah (pause and think about that.)
So the word of God was SPOKEN aloud and the journey began. Jesus went to sleep. This fact never ceases to amaze me. He was asleep in the boat, fast asleep it would seem, because the STORM started and He was still sleeping. The disciples became full of fear because of the storm and had to awaken Him. Of course, He rebuked them because He had given them a command and now they were reacting to the storm. They were backing down from the order He had given because circumstances made them afraid.
The “storms of life” define us. Will we make our decisions based on what we see with our natural eyes? Or will we stay focused on God’s word, His command to us?
The storm came about for the purpose of hindering or stopping the plan that had been given to Jesus. It was to stop Him and the disciples from “going to the other side.” It was to CHALLENGE the words that He spoke. It had a purpose. And when you continue reading to find out what happened when they arrived on the other side, you get an idea why the storm was so huge. (A man full of demons was delivered. That’s a pretty big deal because after he was delivered, he then went and evangelized that area.)
I believe the “storm” we see today in our nation is very much related to words that God’s people are speaking in their prayers. We are watching a spiritual clash between good and evil as prophets have been speaking words from Heaven. The “storm,” or resistance, has come to challenge and to discourage believers from continuing their stand against the darkness.
Let’s look at another example of a “storm” arising to defeat the plan of God. Paul in the Book of Acts, chapter 27 embarked on a trip to Rome. He had been told by the Spirit of God that was the plan of God for him. Paul has confidence that he has heard correctly. But he also perceived that something would happen on that trip.
Paul was very well acquainted with the storms that accompany the word of God. He has experienced much resistance in his life as he preached the gospel. He warned the captain and crew of the ship that trouble lay ahead, but they ignored him. After the typhoon storm hit, it seemed that all would be lost.
An angel arrived to give Paul instructions, which Paul conveyed to the captain and the men. They were pretty desperate, so they agreed to do as Paul said. He told them to eat and then throw everything else overboard to lighten the load. He also told them the ship would be lost, but all their lives would be spared, which is exactly what happened. They shipwrecked on an island, a detour, because men did not listen. Paul’s knowledge of the plan of God helped him to hold on to faith. He knew what was ahead. He knew this was not the end because he was due to go before Caesar in Rome.
Fast forward to today…we are seeing an immense storm that threatens to swallow our republic and its people. Take courage, this is only the storm sent to destroy your confidence and cause you to fear. Refuse both. Take comfort that God is only good and that His plans are good for you and for the country. Read His word and you will find the comfort you need. His word is true; it cannot lie. Listen to His word, speak His word aloud and you will find peace and rest for your soul. We were created by Him and He cares for us more than we know. Trust His plan even if you don’t quite know how it will all work out. That’s what Paul did.
Dear Jesus, Storms are tough on us humans. We live so much by what we taste, see, feel and think, more than we live by Your eternal truth. For most of us, the storms may be sickness, children in trouble, financial worries, lack of things we need and currently, we are watching our country and our political leaders in turbulence and confusion. I turn to You as my source of peace and comfort in the midst of all the storms. “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” (Psalm 56:3) I worship and praise You for Your great love and protection for me and those I care for. Thank You for all that You have done, are doing and will do in the future. Bless our country and our people.