We are in an amazing hour of transition. I believe it’s for the better. Even though our economy approaches a cliff, as are many personal accounts, something new is being birthed in the hearts of Kingdom people. We should see it and cooperate with it. On a good day I can rise up in faith and take authority over the wind and the waves. There are others days when we can only ask Jesus if he cares that we drown. Notice Jesus’ response.
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Mark 4:35-41 NIV
Do you care that we drown? – When we sign up for the Kingdom of God, we also take on a level of relationship with Jesus that is much more powerful and personal than a teacher. Jesus had just come from teaching about the Kingdom in parables (the sower, the lamp stand, growing seed, and the mustard seed). Each parable describes a key principle in the Kingdom. Jesus then tells his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” It’s a very prophetic statement for Kings right now. Jesus is inviting us to the other side, from parables to something much more practical and powerful. To get there, we have to see Jesus as more than a teacher and His Kingdom as more than parables. The Kingdom is not just talk and words; it’s power (1Cor 4:20).
Why Storms? – The trauma of bouncing through a storm, miles into the middle of Lake Galilee in a swamping boat, is analogous to some of the trials that he takes us through. Why? We can’t “teach” our way out of a storm. It takes a relationship with a King to get that kind of authority. Jesus expected them to do the same signs and wonders and calm the same storms…. “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” If Jesus says we’re going to the other side, it shouldn’t be that hard to believe Him and have the faith that He was developing in the disciples. Storms are the only thing that really convert teachers into listeners and Kings who understand power and authority, who can put the parables into practice.
Where faith comes from – God took some pretty good people to the end of their rope where they could only respond the same way the disciples did: “Don’t you care if we drown?” Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, David, etc. all had their fair share of weak moments, too. Yet, they managed to gain God’s approval and come out on top. The Key is faith. We know that’s the answer. We just don’t always know where to get it.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Rom 10:17 NASU
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval. Heb 11:1-2 NASU
One ingredient of faith is simply seeing that Jesus is taking us to the other side of the lake. It’s knowing what the Father is doing. Some characterize this aspect of faith as obedience. That’s only part of the answer. The second aspect is the assurance of things hoped for in our hearts and the conviction of things not seen. The second ingredient of faith is that God has put something in our hearts that we want to do. The two ingredients of faith are that it’s something we’re convinced that both we and God have in our hearts. Both God and I want the same thing.
Our tradition as servants is that we sign up for things we believe God wants to do, but that we really don’t want to do. That’s religion, and it just doesn’t work in the long run. You can’t operate outside your own heart for a life time and keep your spiritual vitality. We have to love the Father and the assignment from our hearts, and have a vision for the fruit it will bear. Even if it’s hard, it’s fun and rewarding to work with the Father.
Authority – When we get on the same page with the Father and work on what is in both our heart and His… watch out! That’s when we can tap into Kingdom authority and calm the wind and the waves. That’s why the Lord invites us to put the Kingdom first. The most powerful leverage we have in life to gain authority over storms is simply leveraging the Kingdom. Work on and believe for what is already in your heart and God’s heart. Then you can just “ask.” If it doesn’t happen right away, we just keep on asking and believing in faith. God opens doors, we make mid-course corrections; it’s not necessarily easy or fast, but we learn to hear (and have faith and authority) from the things that are painful to us.
Although he was a son, he learned obedience (to hear or hearken) from what he suffered (painful sensations or impressions). Heb 5:8-9 NIV
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Heb 6:10-12 NIV
If you’re in a storm, wake up and rebuke the wind and the waves and tell them to be still. Jesus is in you Jn 14:20). The Kingdom of God is within you (Lu 17:21).
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 1 Cor 3:16-17 NIV
To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations. Rev 2:26 NIV