Heal The Land Daily Devotional Archives

Devotionals By The Heal The Land Ministry

Archive for the ‘STORMY WATERS’ Category

STORMY WATERS

Posted by Job on March 1, 2007

Matthew 14:29,30,31 – And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

One of the reasons why Jesus Christ was such an effective teacher was His use of parables. Such parables using common everyday things and situations allowed complex spiritual matters to be easily explained to all who had a heart to hear and understand no matter their intellect or educational background. The people were shocked to hear a man teach such as this, for they were used to how the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees spoke only in a manner designed to conceal the real meanings of the Scriptures … and also to hide the fact that they themselves did not know or believe in the meanings of the Scriptures. So, all their lives they were used to people who were ignorant and hateful and desired everyone else to be ignorant and hateful using all of these big words and long sentences to impress people with their intellect rather than explaining the Word of God to them. But here comes Jesus Christ, who knew The Word for He WAS and IS the Word, and not only knew it as the religious leaders of the day did not, but wanted to share it to all that would hear. Even if the religious leaders knew it – and they did not – they would not have shared it anyway. They would have kept it for themselves; hoarding God’s love, knowledge, and power for themselves for they did not love God or man, and they proved that by allowing God’s temple to be defiled. And yes, Christians have been doing the same. We have been hoarding God’s Word – or hiding that we do not understand or believe – by trying to make things too hard for certain people to understand. After all, realize that it was once illegal to translate the Bible from Latin into common language, and it was CHRISTIANS who made it illegal and killed all who broke the law, including William Tyndale. But Jesus did not teach as the Jewish religious leaders, nor did He teach after the Christians who would after a shockingly short while would take their place. No, Jesus Christ taught with authority, and not as the scribes! His authority came from God, and it was the authority of one who WANTED to teach and WANTED to promote understanding, and not one who wanted to conceal the meaning and promote fear and confusion for the purposes of increasing one’s own standing in this world. Unlike the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees, Christ taught in a manner to threaten and ultimately give up His position – His very life – in this world so that He and others thereby could take their place in the next with God.

But realize that the Bible does not only say that Christ SPAKE in parables; it also says that Christ TAUGHT in parables. There were instances where Christ placed the disciples in situations to see how they would act, and Christ would treat them and speak to them according to their actions. In doing this Christ not only saw whether or not they had actually taken to heart any of His verbal teachings, but whether they would actually apply them. Christ was not giving them intellectual or theoretical knowledge to help themselves, but practical knowledge – things that they should use every day – to help others. And yes, Christ’s “living parables” taught them things that his verbal ones did not, or at the very least drove the point of His verbal teachings home. We are to look in the Bible for examples of Christ’s “living parables”; to look at the miracles that He did and pray to God for a revelation of a deeper meaning. One of the better “living parables” was when Christ walked on the water.

During this time, Christ told the Twelve to row Him to the shore while He went to go pray. Though the subject of His prayers are not given, it can be presumed that Christ was praying for God to spiritually develop His disciples so that they would be able to carry on The Faith once Christ ascended into Heaven. So, as a test of their faith, God allowed a storm to come upon the seas, and the disciples immediately lost their faith and became scared. So, Jesus Christ, becoming aware of their fears, walked upon the waters to the boat rescue them from their fears. Even upon seeing Christ, they did not lose their fears! All of the disciples were still scared to get out of the boat even after looking upon Christ but Peter, and though Peter got out of the boat when he saw the raging seas he sank and Christ had to physically rescue them.

Think about what this represents. They had been with the Son of God all this time. The Son of God had blessed them and chosen them, and they were with Him constantly as He worked all these miracles. Yet they refused to accept that they were in God’s Hands and became afraid during the storm. It is not so much that they should have necessarily known that God was going to preserve each of their lives. No, they should have known that even HAD they perished that they STILL would have been all right … in the bosom of God. They were supposed to “love not their lives unto death” (Revelations 12:11). God never said “Trust in me and bad things will not ever happen to you.” The proof of that was Jesus Christ Himself … was Christ not betrayed and crucified? So yes, we must suffer many things, including but not limited to our physical body dying (those of us who will be raptured notwithstanding). But if we love God and trust in Him, He will be with us through the bad things and we will be with Him in Heaven where no bad things will happen! The Twelve forgot that they were not on their own time. They were on God’s time. They were with the Son of God, and the Son of God told them to drop him off on the shore while He went to go pray, and to wait on Him. Even if they did not have faith that God was going to preserve them for the mere purpose of giving Jesus a ride, they should have had faith that had they perished while doing what Jesus told them to do that they would perish in the course of doing what God told them to do, and hence would be fine. But their minds were on the temporal, the flesh, and not on the eternal spiritual things as Christ had told them.

I am not saying that we should go out and jump in front of a bus so that we can go and be with Jesus in Heaven. Why kill yourself to go be with Jesus Christ and God in Heaven when the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are with us now? We are already in the Kingdom of Heaven; if you have heard and understood the Scriptures you would understand that we are already with God. That is why one of the names of Jesus Christ is Emmanuel, meaning “God WITH us.” God gave us our lives, and as any gift from God we are to love our lives, cherish them, and use them as God wants us to. But we are not to love our lives more than we are to love the GIVER of our lives, which is God Himself. Our lives are to be lived for God and to be given back to God, but in the time, place, and manner of God’s choosing, not because we have lost our faith and gotten selfish and decided that this life is so hard that we are ready to live our next one now. Do not believe in any doctrine that tells you that it is OK to end or risk your life on your own accord or at the urging of any other person or spirit but that of God Himself.

Realize that the seas represented the troubles of this world. Further, realize that the boat represents the false sense of security that people get from the things of this world. It may be money, sex, education, fame, economic or political systems, cultures, religions, family members, pastors, guns, etc. The disciples thought that as long as they were in the boat that they were safe from harm. Foolish notion, for not only could the boat have capsized at any time, not only could they have been struck by lightning, but their hearts could have just stopped beating for no discernible reason other than God commanding it. Don’t shrug that off for it happens all the time, including to people like young healthy athletes.

The disciples thought that because they were in the boat that they were not in the sea. They were wrong. The real reason why they were not in the sea was not because they were physically in the boat, but because they were spiritually with Jesus, the Son of God. And because they had accepted and were following Jesus, they were spiritually connected to God through Jesus whether Jesus was physically with them or not. In reality, just like Jesus – and Peter – they should have been able to walk on the water. Why? Because the troubles of this world are of the world, and they are not of the world and therefore have no part and portion in the world’s troubles. Instead, in God through Christ Jesus they – and we – have dominion over those troubles. We can literally walk over them and not be affected by them. No matter what happens to or around us, we should be able to retain our peace, our joy, and our power. No matter what happens, our mission remains unchanged. The way that we live our lives are unchanged. Our lives, our faith, our worship, our submission and obedience is not a function of the world. Our doctrine should not change as our surroundings change; as our very bodies change. We should not go from preaching and believing “God is good all the time” to “God is good sometimes” or “God is good to some people.” No matter what the sea throws at us, we should remain steadfast and immovable in God through Christ Jesus for we are not in the sea, we are above it, and we are going to walk on it. We should give the sea no consideration for it is of the world, therefore it is our enemy, and through Christ God made our enemies our footstool. And yes, after a time, it will be subdued, be destroyed, and pass away as will all enemies of God, and just like Abraham all friends of God will still be left standing.

It is the people who are of the world, the people who are not saved through Christ, that need to be afraid. It is those people who are actually in the stormy sea. They are in the world and of the world. They experience all the hate, fear, lust, envy, malice, greed, and destruction in the world with no protection that they would have if they would only give their lives to God. It could be said that they THINK that they are in the boat when they are really in the sea. It would be more accurate to say that though they are in the boat, they have no protection and hence have a sense of security that is false. See, Christians put their faith in the boat when God is really protecting them. They are still fine and protected, they simply do not know why. But the unsaved put their faith in the boat when they have no protection at all! They would be better off totally deprived of the boat and in the sea! Perhaps then they would be so frightened and aware of their imminent danger that they would cry out to God and be saved. So, the people of God should pray that these people would be cast out of their boats so that they would be saved. We think that we love them and are being their friends by praying for them and desiring that they have happy stable lives with healthy bodies, happy kids, safe neighborhoods, nice churches, and good jobs and schools, and we think that if God provides them with all that eventually they will come around. Why should they if they think that they have everything that they could ever want and need; if they think that if they ever get in trouble they can just call the government (whom the policeman represents) and be delivered? Better for them to be cast out into the boat so they will have no choice but to call upon God.

Some might not be harsh on the disciples for getting scared while Jesus was gone and actually credit them for recovering from fear once they saw the Son of God return, and from that take example of how me must always look to and look on the Son of God for our deliverance. That is fine and fair in some contexts. But realize that the disciples still did not get out of the boat AFTER they saw Jesus! That represents how a lot of people love Jesus and are willing to wait on Him, but they are still holding onto that boat. To a lot of Christians that boat might be their church, their pastor, their religion, their family, their job or money, their nation, their political views, their lives or health, etc. We have to give up ALL of our worldly things, take up the cross, and follow God just as Christ did! And then there was Peter. He gets come credit for being willing to leave the false security behind. So yes, if you are willing to leave a church or pastor that teaches false doctrine or a job that you are putting ahead of your God behind, you get some credit. But Peter did not close the deal! Peter was supposed to walk until he reached Jesus, but he lost his faith, got scared, and Jesus had to come get him. So, what good does it do for you to leave one bad church or pastor and go running to another just because you feel that you need to be in a church? What good does it do to trade being addicted to one job for being addicted to another, or trading a work addiction for a sports addiction? You are supposed to realize that your salvation is not dependent on anything but your faith in Jesus Christ being the Son of God who died for your sins and was risen from the dead. If you do not truly believe that, then no church or religion is going to save you. Your pastor is not going to stand before God in your place or be your advocate on judgment day; Jesus is going to be your advocate on judgment day IF you have accepted Him and believe on Him. And if you love any job or hobby more than you love your God, how can you have truly believed in and accepted what Christ has done for you? How can you not trust that God will supply your needs? How can you put your trust in the income from your job? Do you not know that God can allow our economic system to collapse so all those numbers you have in the bank will become worthless? It happened before during the Great Depression, and it will happen again in the Great Tribulation, so you had better start putting your faith in God and not money or some carnal desire for stimulation and distraction.

God is our joy. God is our life. God is our peace. God is our everything. The disciples were able to remember that so long as they could take comfort in Christ’s physical presence. But even that was wrong! God is a spirit, and you must take comfort in God’s spirit alone. God uses physical bodies as His instruments. God used the physical body and existence of Jesus Christ to pay for Adam’s sin. In addition, God used the staff of Moses to work many great miracles! But it was all according to God’s plan. Remember when God told Moses to speak to the rock, and Moses lost patience and smote it with His staff? God wanted the children of Israel to worship GOD, not Moses or his staff, and thereby God punished MOSES. So if there is any physical thing that you are putting your faith in, it is an IDOL. You are practicing IDOLATRY. It is a sin! There is no mixing IDOLATRY and God! Do not lie to yourself or be lied to by religion into thinking that these statues, baubles, and trinkets can replace or represent God. Do not think that your exercises, sacraments, traditions, or what have you can replace or represent God. Do not think that the pastor or the church building can represent or replace God. Do not think that Mary, the angels, the earth or sky or trees or stars or planets, or the figures of the Bible can represent or replace God. God is a spirit and you must worship Him only! There is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! That is all! Nothing else! If you need anything else, then that means you have no faith.

Your Bible is there for you to read. We take Communion as a ceremonial reminder, and those who take Holy Water and showbread should do it for the same, and the same should be viewed as those who observe the Passover, keep the Sabbath, and perform other regular observances to God. Preachers are there to serve others, and churches exist so that people may come to be saved. Baptism can be a public statement of faith and a personal moment between you and God. Crosses, steeples, stained glass windows, manger scenes, and other works of art are just that … to adorn buildings and bodies and even those should be in moderation. But you cannot worship God with any of that. You should not be leaning on any of those to increase your faith. The disciples were wrong to lean on Jesus Christ’s body. They should have been leaning on God’s spirit, and Jesus Christ used this parable to instruct them because Christ’s body was going to be taken from them and God’s spirit was all that they were going to have to rely on in the future. We Christians today are to be relying on the same, but we rely on everything but. We desperately seek and crave something tangible for we have allowed fear and insecurity to creep inside. Rather than just rebuke it and tell it to go in the name of Jesus Christ or even to view it as a thorn in the flesh, we try to satiate the craving with something tangible. But we never fill its hunger; it just grows and grows until finally our very faith in God Himself is on thin ice. So we throw ourselves ever deeper into our devotion to our boats – to our worldly things – thinking that we thereby show God that we still love and have faith in him when in truth we are doing the opposite.

We get so caught up into the routine thinking that the routine will save us. We need to do what Peter did: we need to get out of the boat! Even if for a time, we need to challenge or even leave behind the religion. It is not God that we are challenging or leaving behind, it is our earthly exercises! Put away some – or all – of the accoutrements of your faith. See if you can serve God without your checkbook. See if you can serve God without your nice suit on. See if you can serve God without the music or the ceremony and ritual or even the church building. See if you can stand on God’s Word without your pocket Bible handy; see if God’s Word is in your HEART. See if you can serve God the same way that a person living in a place where crosses, Bibles, and churches are illegal! If you can, then you ought to be able to go back to what you were doing before with renewed faith, strength, and purpose. But if you cannot, if you find yourself sinking and you think to yourself “Boy, I gotta get myself back to church before I backslide!” then you were never on solid foundation to begin with. All your trust is in the boat, and you have not accepted that through Jesus Christ you can subdue the storm. You have not accepted that God can use that storm in the sea to his glory and to your benefit. All that religion that you have and either you still do not have The Word in your heart or you do not know how to walk and live in The Word. And if you do not know now, you are never going to find out how in the boat. You are going to have to leave the boat behind and have faith that God will not let you, His Chosen and Anointed, sink and drown. You are going to have to leave the boat behind and learn to truly love and trust God. You are going to have to learn to follow God the way God wants you to and not the way you want to follow God or the way any man tells you to follow God.

You will not face what the disciples did, which was to have Jesus Christ taken from them. But what if there is a scandal at your church? What if you lose your job? What if you lose your health? What if you lose your family? And these are just everyday things, not the sort of global turmoil which we have seen in the past and further will see in the future the likes of which the world has never seen. If your faith is in anything of this world, what will happen to you if that thing is taken away? If you lose your health, will you follow anything that promises to restore it, even if it is some pagan healer? Or will you sink into a mire of bitterness and resentment and cease doing what God wants? Then think about what you would do if the whole world began to reject you – to even hunt you and seek your life – for your belief. Would you renounce it or hide it? What if clean air, water, food, and shelter all of a sudden became hard to come by. (Realize that many Hurricane Katrina refugees in this very United States suddenly experienced this!) Would you keep your faith? If your faith is in any way related to THINGS you will. And hence, perhaps it would be in your best interests if you did lose those things so that it would cause you to truly love and obey God. As a matter of fact, in both Psalm 14:7 and Psalm 53:6, the writer asks God to cause the children of Israel to go into captivity to cause them to worship God in earnest. The writer was willing for the children of Israel to lose their land, their nation, their possessions, their families, their armies, their kings, possibly their ability to worship God freely, and even their lives just so that which was truly important – their souls – would be saved. The psalmists wanted their people to get out of the boat, and we should hence want the same for ourselves and all of God’s people.

So renounce fear and all manners of worldliness. Start to truly love, worship, and trust God today.

Prayer:
Father God in the Name of Jesus Christ may I learn to put my trust in You and only You. In the name of Jesus Christ I renounce all fear. Lord please free me from whatever I have been worshipping in your place; in the name of Jesus Christ I renounce all idolatry. Lord, may I love you more than I love myself and all things of this world. Lord, help me to realize that I am in the world and not of it so I will not suffer destruction with the world but will be delivered by you. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Deliverance:The demons that operate in this area are religion, fear, worldliness, and idolatry. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

Posted in STORMY WATERS | Leave a Comment »