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 the 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.”
In this passage is the promise of God’s presence, “Let us go,” Jesus said. In another passage of scripture Jesus had told them He would never leave them or forsake them. In fact, He promised them that he would go with them to the very ends of the earth. And so they hopped in the boat eagerly, and willingly. They pushed out from the shore with Jesus in the boat, their fellowship was sweet. It was all good, the weather was calm, the skies were blue, and the fellowship would have been incredible (After all they were with Jesus). Everything seemed to be perfect for a day of smooth sailing. Then Jesus decided to take a nap.
This is just like it is with us when everything is going good in our lives. The Holy Spirit never sleeps, but it is possible for His presence to become so unimportant to us, we all face the danger of treating the privilege of being spirit filled lightly, and if we are not careful the power of His presence can become dormant in our lives. I know, I am speaking from experience.
Notice that when we forget the importance of having His presence with us, and the storms come, fear replaces power. One of the first lessons we need to learn is that storms are a part of life. We are not going to get through this life without having to ride out some storms. For those who do not have the privilege of His presence fear is the natural response, its human nature. But those who have access to the throne room of God should respond to storms with power, with a supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and faith should replace fear. This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith: But there is no faith without God’s Holy Spirit.
How do we keep His presence fresh in our lives? We have got to be in the Word daily. It is one thing to admire the Word of God, to appreciate the Word of God, and even mentally assent to its validity, but it is another thing entirely when the Word of God is the only thing that stands between you and destruction.
Isa 53:1 KJV - Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
In every situation there are two reports, man’s report and God’s report.
It’s sad that many times, the Word doesn’t become important to us until it’s a matter of life or death, or you’re faced with losing your home, or your marriage is on the rocks. Storms come to everyone, no one is exempt from the storm. The Word says that it rains on the just and the unjust alike. The only question is how will you face them? Everything depends on your attitude toward the Word of God. Jesus said, “My mother and my brethren are they who hear the Word and do it.”
The lesson Jesus would have us all learn is, the Word works, but you have to work it. The disciples had seen Jesus, the living Word, heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out devils. But this day Jesus wanted them to learn how to do the work of the Word for themselves. To do the work the Word is to live beyond the dictates of circumstances, to work the Word is to act like you believe God’s report instead of man’s report. To act like you believe that God told the truth even when it looks like He didn’t. Working the word does not mean that we ignore the circumstances, it just means that we look beyond them and see His promises. Even if it looks like everything in the world is against us we simply claim the promises of His Word and live as though we have already received them (The substance of things hoped for).
Let us go over to the other side. If they had been working the Word, when the storm came they would have just lifted their hands and their voices to praise God and claimed His promise that they were going to the other side. Jesus said we’re going over and it’s settled, so the storm can either get out of the way, or we’ll just go through it, but one things settled: We’re going to the other side because He said so.
Today we need to practice His presence, to stir up His Word in our hearts, we need to read the Word, to confess the Word, and to praise God in our storms according to His Word.
Jesus arose and rebuked the wind and raging water and they ceased and there was a great calm. And then He asked them, “Where is your faith?” What Jesus was saying essentially was: I told you we were going over to the other side, you had everything you needed to deal with anything that got in your way. You had the privilege of my presence and you had my Word. If you had really believed me, you would have rebuked that storm yourself.
How about you, where is your faith? Is it in the weather? Is it in a man-made boat? Is it in your ability to navigate the storm? Is it in the people in the boat with you? Or is it in God?
Those who believe the Word are peculiar to the world, while the world is crying about “going under”, we are praising about “going over.” Our destination is determined, but we must be determined to reach our destination. I have decided, I will “go over to the other side.”