Message delivered 2/2/14
Good morning my friends and family and welcome to part two of this message overcoming situations that we may go through. We will be basing this message around Mark chapter 4, if you want to please turn there.
I have heard so many people this week giving the devil so much credit for things going on in this world and in their lives. I think we give that slime-bag too much credit. We have choices, and sometimes our free-will choices get us into trouble. When we know what God’s Word says and we purposely go about things that we should or should not do according to what it says, how can we blame the enemy for that? Not that I want to brag any of his doings up, or try to convince you to let up your guard when it comes to Satan.
Let's look at some other situations that we might need to overcome. Amen? I feel with all my being that things are going to change drastically here in the US and it is going to happen so very soon. I have had many conversations this week from those who say that gay life-style is okay and who cares that our children and grandchildren are going to be taught that it is okay for Tom to marry Bruce, or Cindy is marrying Mary. That it is okay to murder babies. It is okay to smoke weed in many states, (catch this) for recreational purposes. Wow!!!
As I said last week, God is in control, but when we look at the things that will happen in the last days, it isn’t pretty. Now I am not trying to scare people into thinking that tomorrow will be the battle of Armageddon, but we do need to prepare ourselves. We need to prepare our hearts and learn how to overcome some of the storms that we may have going on in our lives and those about to come. I believe this message is from the Lord and if we get this into our hearts and act on it, it will make a big difference in your life. Where I am trying to go with all these messages is to build our faith. Amen?
This week I want to look at storms that may keep you from God’s promises, blessings, and maybe even your destiny. Have I got everyone’s attention now? Please turn to the book of Mark, chapter 4.
Mark 4:35-41 KJV And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. (36) And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. (37) And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. (38) And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? (39) 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. (40) And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? (41) And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
How many off you have been through a major storm in your life? Do you remember how that storm ended? Maybe it is still going on today. We are going to look at many verses that I hope prepares each of us when those storms come.
I want you to know that Satan hates you. He hates your spouse, your children, grandchildren, finances, home, and everything that you have. He wants to destroy everything you have including you life. Satan will do everything he can to steer you away from God’s promises. Does everyone get that? That is the Gospel truth my friends, and I could show you these facts starting from Genesis all the way through. The enemy hates everything about you.
Let's get back to these verses. Notice the disciples were obeying the Lord and yet they were in a storm. Jesus said, "Let’s cross over to the other side,” and they gladly and promptly obeyed. They were doing what the Lord had requested, and they were in a storm. Just because you are experiencing a storm in your life doesn't mean you are somehow out of the will of God. If that was true, the Apostle Paul never was in the will of God, because he experienced storm after storm. Amen? Do we all have a remembrance of some of the things Paul went through? You can be doing exactly what God told you to do and it can seem like everything is going wrong and everything is against you. The circumstances that attack you from every direction, or the winds and waves that come into your life are not a sign that you are out of the will or the plan of God.
We read that a great windstorm arose. It literally means a furious gale. It was not a normal storm that they were in. Some of Jesus' disciples were fishermen who had spent their lives on the Sea of Galilee. They were certain they were going to die. It was beyond their skill or ability to handle. I have used this story so many times because it is a life lesson for all of us. What did the King of kings say to them before they got into the boat? He did not say, "Let’s go halfway across the lake and sink." He said, "Let us pass over to the other side." That was the word of the Lord to them. When God gives us a promise, it's never at the mercy of a storm. Friends, I struggle with this at at times. Storms or awful circumstances cannot overpower the potential of His promises. When God gives a promise, it is, Let’s pass over from lack into ample supply, from sickness into health, and from instability into stability and soundness. Amen? Amen!! Glory to God!
God’s word to you will always be challenged. Between receiving a promise from God and the fulfillment of that promise, there are usually storms. The Holy Spirit may have spoken something to your heart at some time or another, or a promise from the Word had come alive to you. Your heart was encouraged, and then you found yourself in a storm. That is normal. Been there!! And I will be there again and so will you.
Jesus was tired. Before this, He had been dealing with the multitudes for some time. How many times does the Bible say he was being thronged? How many times does it say that there were great multitudes of people? That is thousands of people wanting Jesus and wanting healing. Wanting to be near the Messiah. Wanting to see miracles, because that is how we are. Amen? They had been crowding around Him and pressing Him. Finally Jesus and the disciples had gotten away from the multitudes for a bit.
Church, picture this..... Jesus was tired. He fell asleep on a cushion in the back of a boat. He was not awakened by the storm. The waves, pounding against the side of their boat, lifting them up, and crashing them down and it did not wake Him up. The howling winds and the creaking timbers did not awaken Him. As soon as they touched Him and said, "Teacher", He was aroused. It shows you something of the heart of the Lord. It is like a mother. She can sleep through noisy traffic sounds and train wrecks; but the moment her baby sighs, she is aroused. For the mothers hearing this, or reading, do you get this? Some dads, too? Jesus said in Luke 13:34 KJV O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! The Lord not only has the heart of a father, He also has the heart of a mother. He does hear your cry, and He does know what is going on with you. Praise Jesus! Do we understand this my friends?
Jesus arose, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still". In the Greek language what He said was, "Shut up and be nuzzled". I can't imagine Jesus getting angry at the wind, but when you study that phrase and those words, it is the exact same statement Jesus would make to demons.
I think it is a revelation as to the source of the storm. The Bible refers in one place to our adversary, the devil, as the prince of the power of the air. In the Book of Job, a great storm came and caused the house to cave in and all of Job’s children were killed, and raiders came and stole his wealth and killed his servants. We read in the beginning of the Book of Job that Satan was behind it all. We read this last week.
Here in Mark, Jesus was angry because of the source of the storm, and He rebuked the wind as He would a demon. Then He turned, and to me it was like He scolded His disciples, asking, "Why are you afraid? How is it that you have no faith?" It may be easier for God to calm a storm on the sea than it is for Him to calm a storm in a person’s soul. I think God has a far greater challenge with us in our interior worlds than He does dealing with the elements of the exterior world.
We read in verse 41 that they feared exceedingly. Literally, they feared with a great fear. That fear was not produced by the storm, but by the calm. They only greatly feared after the storm ceased, and they said, "Who can this be? Even the elements obey Him". They asked, "Lord, aren’t You concerned?" He was not. He knew they would get to the other side. When they said, "Teacher, don’t You care? Aren’t You concerned?" It was not a request for help. They were actually astonished that He was able to stop the storm. They did not know at this point that He could do things like that. Then suddenly He rebuked the wind and the waves stopped.
Here is what we all need to understand. When God has given you a promise that you will pass over to the other side (whatever the promise is), you may go through a storm. The enemy may send all things against you. He may stir up the elements, circumstances, the evil hearts of men and women, or the passions of the world to stop the promises and plans God has given you. Be encouraged, my friends. They cannot stop the program of God. They cannot nullify the promise of God. It doesn't matter what happens. When these hearts of ours get all panicky, we need to remember that. That was why Jesus reproved the disciples and asked, "Why are you so fearful? Why don’t you have any faith?" We need to remember, even in the midst of a storm, who gave us the promise and who is in our boat.
Jesus was the Son of God, yet by choice He had become Himself to a body of flesh. The Book of Philippians says that He emptied Himself of His divine rights and privileges and was found in the fashion of a man. Friends, this is so good. In your boat with you, you have the One that rolls the heavens out like a scroll and measures it with the palm of His hand, and He calls the stars by name. He measures the dust of the hills in His balance. He is the Creator of heaven and earth, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. He is the One who parts the Red Sea and causes water to come out of a rock to quench the thirst of millions. He is the Prince of peace, the everlasting Father, the King of glory, and the captain of our salvation. He is the One who defeated principalities and powers, triumphing over them through the cross. He is the One who poured out His own precious blood on the cross and was raised from the dead on the third day, who ascended into heaven, and who sat down at the right hand of God on high. He is the Savior, the Healer, and the Deliverer. He is the Son of the living God. Glory be to Jesus!! Praise His Holy name.
The disciples had Jesus in their boat as a man. We have Him in our boat as the Savior of the world. The next time your little heart wants to panic in the middle of the storm, you need to say, "Wait a minute. Who told me I was going over to the other side? Who is in this boat? Who is it that lives in me and dwells in me by His Spirit? I am not going to go halfway and sink. Jesus is along for the ride and He is faithful. Praise You Jesus!!!"
The disciples asked, "Who can this be?" I think that is so important for us to grasp. The more we get to know who Jesus is, the more our hearts will come to rest, and the less we will be inclined to panic in times of stress and difficulties. Draw close to the Savior. Find out who He is through prayer, reading His Word, and getting to know others who love Him. As you become acquainted with this wonderful Savior, who laid down His life for us and was raised from death, and who is going to return to bring us home. Friends, as we continue to dig into His Word and persistently be in prayer, you will find you will increase in faith.
Please turn to John 6:16-21 Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat and they were afraid. But He said to them, It is I, do not be afraid. Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.
Perhaps things are dark for you. You are in the middle of a storm, and you are thinking, "Where are You, Lord?" Anyone been there? They had rowed for three to four miles. I have been there before. In fact, thinking back, often. We need to realize there are some storms that we cannot row our way out of. We cannot escape them through human effort. I have found when I try to rely on myself to overvcome sitiuations, I fail. In fact I usually fail miserably. Trusting others in some situations, again, not always a good choice.
Jeremiah 17:5 Thus says the Lord: Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.
Psalm 146:3 Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
Here is where I try to teach people that we don’t have to accept bad news that we may receive. Leanna has a testimony that proves this. There are times when no amount of human intelligence, understanding, or skill can help you, such as when the doctor says, "Nothing more can be done. Get your house in order. There is no hope." Perhaps your financial advisers have said, “You are done. It's over." The circumstances scream out. Your flesh may even scream out. Things will never, ever change for you. You have been rowing and rowing, doing everything you can, and fighting against the wind and it seems like you are getting nowhere.
Jesus says He will never leave us nor forsake us. Friends, Jesus loves you. He wants what is best for you. He wants us to make right choices and is willing to guide us if we heed His voice.
We read in John 21 Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land. If we want divine help, we must willingly receive it. We have to get to the place where we admit that merely rowing in our own strength is not enough, we need to invite the Lord into our boat, and we need to receive help from God. Amen?
Apostle Paul shared his struggles and his difficulties. 2 Corinthians 1:8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.
Paul was saying that he did not have the wisdom or strength to cope with the difficulties. He despaired even of life.
1 Corinthians 1:9-10 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us.
They put their trust in God.
2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul writes his thoughts behind many of the difficulties that he experienced. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
There are so many lessons to be learned from the truths God shared with Paul, which became our New Testament. The message of salvation by grace, through faith, and not of works lest any man should boast.
Paul was planting churches and sharing the good news about Jesus Christ. People wanted to kill him, he got shipwrecked, he was beaten with rods, he was harassed and many other things came against him. The thorn in his side.
Mark 11:22 Jesus answered and said to them, Have faith in God. Faith is not faith in a principle, faith in yourself, or faith in faith. It is about faith in God. Only God is the One that can make things happen. :23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
Friends, the mountain represents a difficulty in your life that you cannot cope with on your own. It is too high to climb and too wide to go around it. God is the One who removes it, but we need to do our part in order for God to do His part. Faith has to do with cooperation with God.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” When you pray, believe you receive, and you will have. How many people are at the point in their lives who say, "When I have it, then I will believe I received it." Jesus says you have to believe you receive it, and then God will see that you have it. The Amplified Bible says, Believe it’s been granted to you when you pray, and you’ll get it.
Hebrews 11:1 So faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Things may not look different, but that does not have anything to do with it. This is about faith in God, the evidence of things not seen. I receive when I pray, and He will see that I get it.
Perhaps it's time for you to stop rowing and time to start receiving. Whatever your mountain is, it may be with your health, your kids, your marriage, your finances, oppression, a situation at work, or something else. God knows, and He cares. Remember, Jesus got a little bit angry because He knew the source of the storm. The Apostle Paul talked about the source behind many of his difficulties. Jesus was harsh when He dealt with it. Why don’t you speak to that mountain and tell it to be moved right now? Admit you can't row yourself out of this one. Invite Jesus into your boat. Talk to Him, and receive some help from God right now. Receive His help by faith. Believe it’s granted to you. You will see it. God is faithful. Amen?
Friends, family, those who may read or hear this at another time, I love you and I want to see storms that may be going on in your life to be calmed. Let's be encouragement to one another. Let’s pray for one another.Amen?