March 04, 2015
Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out. But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger.
They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?” (Luke 8:22-24)
God has one primary operating system with man, and He needs only one. The Garden led man to independence; God's whole agenda is to bring us back to dependence. To faith.
At each and every turn of our lives this is the issue. Ten thousand times He is asking us, ""Where is your faith? Are you going to believe me or not? Depend upon Me or your human logic and meager resources? Trust in My promises or wallow in self-pity and anxiety?”
This question was extremely individual for every man in the storm. They had to answer for themselves. If twelve individuals believed, it would have lead to great strength in the whole. But still, each man had to look into the gracious, clear eyes of Jesus and answer His question: ""Where is your faith?""
Those eyes look inside our soul every day. With a burden to build us up, they search the depths of our heart to see the level of our trust. Jesus looks for increasing maturity in our dependence.
This is why the tests come at increasing levels. He intends us to become larger conduits for His glory and also greater knowers of Him. Each step of faith (and His corresponding faithfulness) make us not only more useful, but more passionate.
Like the twelve that Jesus was training for leadership, if you are a leader He knows that your role must be uniquely characterized by faith. You are to lead the way in dependence and passion and so His tests and training for you may be more rigorous. Don’t resist this as a hindrance, but welcome it as a friend.
IN THE MIDST
If you are troubled right now, or anxious, or besieged with doubts and fears, or feeling strangely out of sorts, the remedy is not the release from your storm. Jesus was sleeping in the midst of the turmoil. He was illustrating that rest comes from confidence in the Father. He knew that God had Him and that there was a path for His life that would not be thwarted by a mere earthly disturbance. Faith gave Him rest.
In reality, faith is most beautiful in the midst. Like a light that takes on extraordinary brilliance in the darkest room, faith is most useful and most visible in troubled seasons.
If you are fearful or worried right now, anxious about this or that, check your faith. You will find that lurking unbelief is always the culprit, sneaking in to rob you of your rest.
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June 08, 2019
June 07, 2019
… with most of us modern Christians is that we are stoppable. A little discomfort, a turn from our desired daily routine, or a little resistance from those to whom we’re witnessing throws us off. We have not settled the issue that our greatest joy and highest purpose comes from our witness, and so we are unwilling to push through in sharing Christ with others every day, even in the mildest environments. Even when persecution is not present.
June 03, 2019
These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14)
Prayer is the foundation for all of life. Imagine the emotions and sense of fear and expectancy when Christ had been resurrected, appeared to His disciples, and then ascended. They were instructed to merely wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit who would endue them with power to be witnesses to Christ all across the world (Acts 1:8).
So, what did they do?