There are many times in scripture when we see the phrase "fear not". On analysis, it is often a command!
Fear can attract the very thing we fear. Job's problem was that the very thing he feared most was what happened to him.
Ponder over it for a moment. This is why we are often told, "Do not fear".
Jesus has already won, so join the winning team and continue fighting the good fight of faith.
Jesus could sleep in that storm,because He was resting in God. There is a place by God whereby we can enter into His rest. I did a little word study on that and it is part of our covenant promise. God rested on the 7th day after His labor, not because he got tired from hard work, but because He had competed His task. This does not mean that He has stopped doing things. On the contrary, His “work” is ongoing, but we are now part of it. If His work is already completed, we do not have to stress out, struggle and strive, trying to do things for the Lord, but co-laboring together with Him as the burden bearer.
I’m not talking about laziness or such things.
I am talking about taking His light and easy yoke that is not burdensome on us.
How does this work in everyday modern life?
I like to give practical illustrations. Before I was saved, I was a heavy smoker. I tried so many times to quit it was not funny. I did this and did that but nothing worked and I was hooked. After I was saved, I was sitting in my home one evening reading my new bible and had a cigarette in my hand. I just decided that I did not need the stuff any longer and told the Lord, “I will quit for you.” No one in the church told me to quit! The Lord never said a word. It was my own decision and because “I” decided it, “I” wanted to do it. The Lord never said a word so it was my decision. Sometimes we need to do such things, but for the right motives. On this occasion, yours truly was going to be a great guy and say, “Look what I did for you.”
After several weeks of unsuccessful attempts, failures, reverting to old habits, I reached the position whereby I knew that it was now all or nothing.
I told Him, “Lord. I’ve tried and I can’t do it. It is your problem. I give it to you. Please help me and take it from me” and so on. Some time later, He told me a truth I have never forgotten. It was, “whey yo learn to let go, My power will flow.”
The change was instantaneous. I never touched cigarettes again. The reason was that I had tried to carry a load myself without involving Him. You see, it is an exchange of lives that matters.
The bible says that when Jesus died, I died with Him and when God raised Him from the dead, I was raised with Him.
I had to learn that I was a dead man.
When you are a dead man, things do not affect you!
I hope you see this secret.
Jesus was dead to everything the world offered Him, but was alive to God.
By living on this earth as a dead man, He was able to rest in the provision, protection and stability of the Father’s way of doing things.
When those waves smashed into the boat, not one drop fell on Him.
This stuff works folks. I’ve proved it many times. So have many other believers who can share testimony after testimony to this effect.
As far as He was concerned, He was going to step out of the boat onto the beach on the distant shore, because that was where the Father had sent Him.
If God has despatched you on a specific assignment, He can do the same for you. I say it again. It has to be a God assignment and not a man made assignment.
Jesus was sleeping so peacefully and soundly , they had to shake Him awake, saying something very negative. They asked Him, “Don’t you care?”
Only a few hours beforehand, He had revealed the secrets of the universe to them and only a short while before that healed many sick people and cast out demons. How quickly did they forget, but aren’t we like that too?
“Jesus. Jesus. Wake up. We are all going to drown. We are all going to die. Don’t you care?” They had forgotten that He said we are all going over to the other side.
I’m bringing this to a head now.
Let us first look at something else He said.
It is about prayer. Let us go to Mark 11. Here Jesus had cursed the fig tree. How? By speaking to it in passing.
When Peter commented on it later, Jesus said-
He told us to have the God kind of faith. He said “Whosoever”. This means that whosoever can have the God kind of faith. He said that the whosoever’s shall (not might be able) speak to the mountain (whatever your mountain is) and get results.
This is where most people fall down. They walk into trouble and start asking God to help them. So we should of course, but there are times when God expects us to deal with it ourselves. The reason is that He has given us the ability and authority to do so.
He did not tell us to talk to others about your problems, although there are times we can and should share with others for mutual help and encouragement.
You see, the problem is that people turn to God or pray as a last resort. Put Him first. Get His mind on the situation. Get a word about it and then start saying that word! Speak that word to that mountain.
Jesus also said not to doubt in our hearts. Doubts are like cancers. Doubts can become words that when spoken become a creative force.
Jesus did not tell us to believe. He told us to believe that we receive when we pray. I emphasized the word them, because it does not appear in the original language.
Those waves kept pounding into that ship, over and over again until it was full to the brim. Why didn’t it sink? That was the plan.
The Greek word is Gemizō that describes the state of being so full, you could not get another drop into it and that it was so full, the boat began to bulge and swell.
Jesus was sleeping like a baby in the stern.
How could He do that in the middle of all that chaos, howling wind and drenching waves pounding into the ship to fill it to overflowing? Even if the hind part of the boat had a raised platform, anyone there would be drenched.
We have to remember that everything Jesus did on the earth was as an ordinary human being. How, oh how, was He able to sleep?
Let us look again at the storm.
When they woke Jesus, He stood up in the stern and practiced what He preached. He Spoke! Look at it.
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Mark 4:39
The first thing He did was Diegeirō that means a little more than merely waking up from sleep.
Jesus woke up and jumped up, aroused, stirred up and immediately alert.
In our modern world we have to be very alert to things. The bible talks about waking up to those who slumber and it is not speaking about physical sleep.
Jesus told us of the ten virgins who all missed the boat because every one of them was asleep when the bridegroom arrived. The only person who was “with it” was the watchman. The church is a slumbering giant and a handful of watchmen are staying awake. I hope you see the importance of these things.
Jesus immediately knew what was happening and why and immediately sprang into action. He did not have to mutter a yawning. “What’s up?” He stood up and immediately dealt with the cause.
It is useless putting bandaid treatment on something without dealing with the thing that caused the problem. One dear lady in my church kept coming up for prayer for severe headaches. She would receive prayer and tell folk she was healed. People gave her attention.
When He rebuked the wind, Jesus dealt with the cause of the problem first.
The word is Epitimaō. It is a straight up rebuke. “Stop that!” It was a censure or admonishment. He forbade it from operating. He gave it little respect or value and it was like He said “Stop that. Behave yourself. Is that all you can do?” It was as if He mocked it.
Jesus then said something to the sea or the waves. It was a “Be quiet!” This word for peace in this text is Siōpaō.
You or I would probably tell it “Shut up!” He dealt with the cause and then dealt with the effect. He had stopped the wind from doing its stirring and agitation and now told the waves to be still and to be dumb. hold your peace, be silent, settle down. When He then told them to be still, it was an act of muzzling them. Constant yap, yap yap of dogs can be very annoying. Muzzle the things. Jesus muzzled the waves. That word is Phimoō.
This is where I got the title for the message. Shhhhh!
When Jesus told those waves to behave themselves it was like He said “Shhhh” and a great tranquility immediately fell over the water that became like a sheet of glass.
One of the words Mark used to tell us what happened is Kopazō and it means that the wind simply...ceased. Wind often takes a little time to slow down and stop , but this time the wind literally grew tired! It relaxed. It wore itself out. The wind wore itself out so quickly that a great calm came. Mark did not say that it became calm, but a great calm or tranquility came over the storm.
If you feel as if you have just had 15 rounds with Cassius Clay, then 15 with Joe Frazier and see Mohammad Ali waiting for you cheer up, you’ve got them on the ropes. Remember that TKO a little while ago? Postage stamp Christians might take a licking, but they reach their destination on the other side and there is a great calm ahead.
The Lord had said that He was going over to the other side of that sea and He got there.
Mark tells the story of the purpose for that journey in chapter 5 and I will not touch on that now.
What I want to do is to tell you that when storms come up as they sometimes do, several things need to be considered.
One is that if God has sent you on that journey, He fully intends you to get there. If you are encountering a storm on the way, it could be for a variety of reasons, some of which I have touched on.
In closing, please remember that storms do come and go and do not last forever.
If you are in one right now and are doing everything right before God and there is nothing to hinder your progress, get alone with the Lord and ask Him for the solution. Ask Him to reveal a specific word—for you, not what someone else did and then start seeing yourself stepping out of your boat on your distant shore. Speak to that mountain. If it is finances you need, don’t talk to God about them, but talk to them about God.
If it is a relationship issue, see that other person in the place where God says He wants him or her (not necessarily where you want them to be) and start talking to that issue, not the person about God. Don’t nag him or her. Pushing can have the reverse effect. Name this person before God in the process.
I could continue, but you know what I mean. I know, as I knew last time, that God is talking to specific people. He is on your case. He wants you to make it. He needs you to start telling that storm, “Shhhh”.
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