Luke 8: 22-25 Jesus Calms the Storm. One day Jesus said to his disciples “Let us go over to the other side of the lake. So, they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him saying, “Master, master we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” He asked his disciples. In fear and amazement, they asked one another “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
By the end of this article, I hope and pray that you will learn two things, who God is and How Great He is.
The Reality: There are some people who do not know of God and there are some people who have heard about God and there are others who forget who God is…
The Apostles here probably fell in the last two categories after all they were Hebrew Israelites and were children of the promise to Abraham. However, it could be said that at this point, maybe as new followers of Christ, they had not really understood that they were moving with God himself. It is possible they assumed that Jesus Christ was another great Prophet as often in Scripture some thought he was Moses or Elijah reincarnated, a wrong misconception. They had witnessed the miracles he performed, the authority He spoke with, His unique preaching style (In Parables), His ability to draw crowds, and of course Jesus’ overall uniqueness… but still had not grasped WHO HE REALLY WAS until this day of the storm. Jesus rebuked the wind and the raging waters, and they went “Whooaaaa!!!! Wait a minute… this is altogether mind-blowing this is amazing!!!!! How could he speak that way/ command them and they listen, just like that, No! this man, he is different, who is this man in the boat with us!?” I think that is the moment it began to occur to them that someone greater than any other prophet who had ever lived was amidst them.
But wait! Jesus still had A BIG QUESTION for them. “Where is your faith?” he asked. We demonstrate a great lack of faith when we do not know God or Who He is for that matter and because of that we become susceptible to panic, worry troubles, anxiety, and challenges simply because we do not know Him and how He is able to CALM our fears and take our troubles away.
Can you relate? Do you profess a religion or faith but do not know its power or are you running around trying to fix your life all by yourself, do you turn to worldly solutions as your measure to sort or deal with your troubles in times of need? In times of sorrow? Trauma? And as a result, what habits, reflexes, and addictions have you picked up? The enemy, the devil is always prowling around waiting to strike… and your low moments present the perfect opportunity to whisper appealing ideas that seem harmless in the beginning but eventually lead to your fall.
The Effect of little or no Faith: For me, it was escaping into a world of fiction and fantasy. I hid myself between the pages of novels and built a perfect world that I seemingly controlled. My mind was always busy and for some time I did not have to face how sad, disappointed, hurt or broken I was… and sometimes when that was not enough, or I didn’t want to think… I turned to music or any appealing distraction. While hobbies can be good sometimes if misused can become very dangerous to us. The reality was that I had just postponed the inevitable. Little did I know that I had just made myself vulnerable to the enemy attacks and traps. He had successfully managed to weaken my prayer life and replace my bible reading and fellowship time with the above habits or addictions. Honestly, I read novels more than anything and they took up a good portion of my day when I was not working. Some of the effects included being turned more to myself. I recall this one preacher when I joined my current prayer group saying “ you know you are under bondage because the devil turns them to themselves, they don’t look at others or at God even if they try” I could call it a type of wrong inward pride… that is so self-focused and doesn’t need anybody. I did not realize how short-tempered or reactive and defensive I had become until feedback from family or friends. Some people, like I previously did, expect that the only people that are under bondage are those that you can ‘see’ are demon-possessed. But the devil can hold you in different types of bondage/ dependencies/ sin and it never occurs to you that you are not okay. You can be paralyzed with fear, shame, guilt, sadness, disappointment, loneliness, or lovelessness. He knows that as longs as he can hold you in that space, you will be stuck and cannot progress in all areas of your life. And guess what? You will become more vulnerable to his attacks and thus beget even worse habits or addictions. If he can keep you burdened with worldly troubles, you are his.
The Adverse Effect: You become prey to the worst kind of predators and evil manipulators who lead you into deeper sin till you eventually become one of them? Why you wonder? Because you have at this point given into your “sinful nature” as Galatians 5:19 warns ” The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred , discord, jealousy, fits of rage , self-ambitions, dissensions, faction and envy: drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you as before , that those who are like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Dear Child of God, don’t you know your identity, that you have a maker, that you are loved, cared for, you matter… or have you forgotten?
The Good News: This God who I am talking about… He is the Most High, the I AM – He was, is and always will be, His love and grace is unfailing; Jesus is no Ordinary prophet- He is the Son of God, He is the Good Shepherd- The great High Priest; The Holy Spirit- The breath of God – The seal of our Salvation- The Counselor.
I know, that is one long subheading but I needed every word in there, and here is where I explain to you how our Faith comes into play. WHY CHOOSE GOD, WHY BELIEVE IN HIM?
Make no mistake, God is Lord of all we see and cannot see, He has dominion over all the earth, the Universe. Period.( see Job 12:10, Job 41:11 and the whole book gives a good understanding of who God is) and his love is unfailing and he wants you back (Isaiah 55: Invitation to the thirsty) God is telling us today that He sees the darkness but He loves us the same. Isaiah 1:18-20 reads“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like Scarlet, they shall be white as snow, though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. “For the mouth of the Lord had spoken.”
You will see that’s God’s character is consistent in Jesus Christ. There is a standing invitation in Mathew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Isn’t this what you wanted in the first place? REST from the restlessness of pain, sorrow, disappointments, and inabilities? Yes? Then the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, The Son of God is here for you. Jesus came that you may have life and have it to the full, he is the good shepherd, the shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:1-21). He paid the price to bring you back to him. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3: 16)
In so doing Jesus Christ became the Great High Priest (Hebrews 4: 14-16) and then 5: 1-10). He became the perfect sacrifice for our sins, though there was no sin in Him, a perfect offering pleasing to the Lord for the forgiveness of our sins. In so doing reconciled us to The Father. We are therefore saved by his grace, a grace he gave freely, he paid the heavy price for our salvation. “He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated to the high priest in the order of Melchizedeck” (Hebrews 5: 9-10). Jesus rose from the dead!!!! Victorious over sin and is seated at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2: 1-40.) I wish I could explain this to you in the best way you can understand however, for now, I strongly encourage you to go deeper and verify the quoted scripture for yourself.
You will not be alone: The promise of the Holy Spirit, The Counselor, the Spirit of Truth. John 14:15-31. John 16: 5-16. This is the cherry on top of the package. The Holy Spirit works to complete the purpose and will of God in us, that we may bear fruit as explained in Ephesians 1:3-14. He is our seal of Salvation to arm you with knowledge, understanding, wisdom, courage, fortitude, good counsel, and fear of the Lord as you live out the purpose God created you for. Why all this you may wonder? It is because a Christian needs a whole different set of weaponry to live and fight. Our strategy is unique for we understand “that though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does; the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world “ (2 Corinthians 10: 3-5). Equipped with these gifts, graciously given, the promise of “light and easier” becomes true. Do you see the consistency still in His Holy Spirit? Awesome He is, right?
The Testimony: I end by testifying that my life changed once I heeded to the call of Christ, the good shepherd who came searching for me. He healed me, delivered me, freed me and my mind is at peace. I no longer depend on others or anything, He is the only Crutch I need, I depend on Him now… (and yes God works through people) I realize I do not have to figure out my life on my own. It does not mean difficult days do not come; they do but as He promised it is easier. I have watched as he peeled back the layers of lies, shame, guilt, pain, and replaced them with truth, esteem, innocence, comfort, peace, and solace through it all. What a joy it is. I remain optimistic and confident that I will run the race to finish with the strength that God gives me. The story of my journey to this place is a long one and for another day. So if you believe this message and believe in Jesus Christ, let’s pray together and begin your own journey.
Dear Father in Heaven, That I’m here today is no mistake. And having received your message and believed it, I know that you love me. Lord I thank you for your love and grace, that you gave your only Son Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for my sins, that I am saved by the blood he shed for me. I am sorry for my sins and as of this moment wish to turn from them. Please forgive me. I accept you as my Lord and Savior today. Heal me, deliver, and free me from all that binds me and prevents me from doing the Father’s will. I receive your peace, love, and your Holy Spirit to live and work in me to fulfill the Father’s purpose in me. AMEN.