Sometimes I make suggestions. Why don’t we eat here tonight? Do you guys want to go see a movie? Let’s go outside and play football. Sometimes I/we follow thru and other times I/we do not. We make a mistake when we look at God’s Word as a suggestion.
Yes, we do have a choice to follow or not to follow…to believe or not to believe…to trust or not to trust. However, the only ‘good choice’ is to see it/hear it/read it and to trust and obey it. A neat thing happens when we trust and obey God’s Word. We begin and then build up a faith that once He speaks, it will come to pass. That comes in handy at times like this week’s text describes:
Mark 4: 35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's cross to the other side of the lake."36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed).37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water 38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher (Master/Lord), don't you care that we're going to drown?” 39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Silence! Be still!" Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.40 Then he asked them, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no (little) faith?” 41 The disciples were absolutely terrified. "Who is this man?" they asked each other. "Even the wind and waves obey him!”
Notice Jesus says these words to his disciples: “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake”. Notice that they were not yet in the boat when He said this to them. Here is Jesus speaking the Word of God to men. It sounds like a suggestion. It sounds like the disciples could have said ‘no thank you’. I suppose they could have…until they agreed to get in the boat with Jesus. Getting in the boat was a step of faith. It was a step to trust that Jesus wanted them on ‘the other side’.
Now, see that the storm comes up. The disciples stop thinking about the other side of the boat and begin thinking about swimming with the fishes. How quickly we can become distracted from God’s Word. How quickly we can forget that God’s Word is also God’s Promise. Jesus is God. He had told them they were going to the other side of the lake. A full trust in Jesus’ Word would have settled these men down during the storm. These men let a storm (that God could control) trump God’s Word. Before we look down our noses at them we must admit we have also done this before…at least I have.
That storm could be physical (originally from Arkansas, tornadoes are common), emotional (a struggle that I fought from within) or spiritual (there are two sides to the spiritual life - God’s side and the side of His enemy - they both speak). When we let a situation cloud over a promise of God then we have devalued the power of The Word. Let’s trust that when God has said it that it will come to pass…in His time and in His way.
Are there storms that are clouding out God’s promises in your life? Go back to the Word that put you in the boat and cling to it.