Matthew 8:23-27 23And after He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. 24And suddenly, behold, there arose a violent storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered up by the waves; but He was sleeping. 25And they went and awakened Him, saying, Lord, rescue and preserve us! We are perishing! 26And He said to them, Why are you timid and afraid, O you of little faith? Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great and wonderful calm (a perfect peaceableness). 27And the men were stunned with bewildered wonder and marveled, saying, What kind of Man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!
There are so many things we can learn from this passage. Let’s start at the beginning. The disciples and Jesus were traveling by boat, when a great storm rose up. It says here the waves were so big they were even covering the boat! Quite a few of those disciples had been professional fishermen, so I am pretty sure they had seen a storm or two in their time. This particular storm however, was big enough that the disciples were afraid that they were going to die. Where was Jesus in the midst of this? He was sleeping, not affected by what was going on around Him. The disciples had to go wake Him up. When He woke up He wasn’t concerned about the storm, He just wondered why the disciples were afraid. He stood up and told the waves to be quiet and the wind to stop and it says there was a great and wonderful calm.
I wonder why Jesus wasn’t afraid. Did He just know that He had authority over things in the natural? Was it because He knew that the storm would have to obey Him? These things are true, but unless the disciples woke Him up, would He have even known there was a storm going on at all? Or would He have continued sleeping as if nothing was happening? Jesus was unaffected by the natural circumstances going on around Him. He knew that whatever came along, He had dominion and authority over it so it wasn’t even an issue for Him. Mark chapter 4 tells this same story, it says in verses 39-40 39And He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush now! Be still (muzzled)! And the wind ceased (sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was [immediately] a great calm (a perfect peacefulness). 40He said to them, Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no firmly relying trust)?
We can learn from Jesus. When we trust that He lives in us, we have dominion and authority over anything that comes into our lives too. The storms that come against us might not be thunderstorms. They might be financial pressures, problems in our homes, or stress at work. Instead of allowing the storms of life to affect us, we can stand up and say, “Hush now, be still” to our situations and see that great and wonderful calm, that perfect peacefulness to come to our circumstances too.
Matthew 7:28-29 28When Jesus had finished these sayings [the Sermon on the Mount], the crowds were astonished and overwhelmed with bewildered wonder at His teaching, 29For He was teaching as One Who had [and was] authority, and not as [did] the scribes.
I have read this verse before, but it didn’t really stick out to me until a couple of weeks ago. Jesus finished teaching the people and it says the crowds were astonished and overwhelmed at His teaching because he taught as One having authority and not like the scribes. The scribes were professional teachers. I imagine that they were eloquent, skilled in what they did, and able to communicate very well. Yet the people were amazed by Jesus not because of His ability to speak, but by the authority He possessed in His words. Have you ever felt prompted to speak to someone but you hesitated because you weren’t sure if you had the right words to say? Guess what? We were given the same power and authority Jesus had. We don’t have to worry about being articulate we just have to make sure our words carry the power and anointing of God. If we are speaking His words, they will contain that authority.
In Luke 9:1-2 1THEN JESUS called together the Twelve [apostles] and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases, 2And He sent them out to announce and preach the kingdom of God and to bring healing. That same power and authority that Jesus had He then gave to His disciples. In Mark 9:15-20 15And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]. 16He who believes [who adheres to and trusts in and relies on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] and is baptized will be saved [from the penalty of eternal death]; but he who does not believe [who does not adhere to and trust in and rely on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] will be condemned. 17And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; 18They will pick up serpents; and [even] if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well. As believers we have a responsibility to preach the Gospel. If we speak His word, God will always back us up. Look what it says here in verse 20- 20And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord kept working with them and confirming the message by the attesting signs and miracles that closely accompanied [it]. Amen (so be it). The next time you feel led to speak the Word over someone’s life, don’t hesitate. Remember there is power in your words; The power of God that has the ability to deliver people from bondage, destroy every stronghold in their lives, to bring healing and life and peace. Your words contain authority, and with that authority comes the miraculous power of God to set people free. Put your confidence in Him rather than you, and His words through your mouth will bring the breakthrough for the people you come into contact with.
‘ve interrupted our study of the Lord’s prayer for this very important inspiration. Let’s just be honest, if you look at the things going on around us in the natural, you might be feeling a little discouraged. The economy is wacked, financial institutions are going bankrupt, unemployment is up, gas is $4 a gallon, the stock market doesn’t look too great etc, etc, etc….. Guess what? I’ve looked around me, and decided I don’t really care! Let me explain myself. I do care that people I know and love are struggling to pay their bills. I do care that I have dear friends who have lost everything they have. I do care that we have members in our church who are wondering what to do next. What I don’t care about is what it looks like. My Bible tells me in Philippians 4:19 19And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. My Bible tells me in Matthew 14 that Jesus took five loaves of bread and two fish and fed thousands of people, not only supplying their immediate need, but leaving them with an abundance of twelve basketfuls left over. My Bible tells me that the lilies of the field and the birds of the air take no thought of what they will wear and what they will eat, our Heavenly Father has taken care of them and doesn’t He love us more? My Bible tells me in Genesis 22 that He is Jehovah Jireh- The Lord who provides. My Bible tells me a lot, but your Bible tells you the exact same things. The question is, will you choose to believe what the Word says, or will you continue to look at the circumstances of life to tell you what you believe?
In Ephesians 6:12-13 it says 12For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. 13Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Once we understand that our fight is not in the natural it’s in the spirit we will be better equipped to stand our ground. Sometimes we have to fight with everything we have, but the great news is-He always causes us to triumph. I am going to include an excerpt from an email I received yesterday from one of our ministry directors- We can’t control the economy or the powers that be but we can control the prayers, worship and intercession that goes up. The devil can’t stop that although he is desperately trying. It feels like the devil has us in a chokehold anxiously awaiting us to “Tapout” but I am tired of living without. I have been blessed , I have overcome, I am an heir to the throne of God , I am a royal priesthood , I am a peculiar people , I am more than a conqueror, I could go on but you get the picture. I am fighter, I am a warrior for the kingdom of God and if we are in the ring with the devil I say lets ” take the gloves off ” he is not going to fight fair so why should we? Let’s encourage each other thru this time. Let’s fight with one hand and build with the other. Nehemiah did it so can we. Now is not a time to hide but to rise up and fight. I know it is not easy but we still have to believe in the promise of God. He is our source. God is faithful and he has proven faithful. The fight is on don’t “Tapout” God is about to give us a second wind. Take the gloves off and stand your ground.
I would like to invite you to join us next week, beginning Sunday, September 21 at the International Miracle Center Church in Daytona Beach, as we wage war on lack. We will be meeting nightly at 7:00pm. If you can’t be there in person you can still be a part via our webcast at imcchurch.org. Keep standing strong. You are more than a conqueror!