Did the church pass or fail the test of 2020?
We are finally in a new year, but I'm not sure we are on the other side of the storm.
In the first four chapters of Mark, Jesus lays out kingdom instructions. In Mark 4:35-40, it's time for a kingdom test:
That same day, when the evening came, He said to them, "Let us go cross to the other side." When they had sent the crowd away, they took Him in the boat just as He was. There were also other little boats with Him. A great wind storm arose, and the waves splashed into the boat, so that it was now filling the boat. He was in the stern asleep on a pillow. They woke Him and said, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" He rose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" Then the wind ceased and there was a great calm. He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is that you have no faith?"
This passage comes right after Jesus ministered to a large crowd. His momentum was multiplying! Hope and excitement rustled through the group. The moment was not so different than the feeling of January 2020.
Even with all of the hype and fuel of Jesus ministering, we find out that the disciples could not apply kingdom principles in a storm.
At this moment, we see a very flesh reaction to a problem. We see worry.
Worry is a tale as old as time, and we are not immune to it now. The spirit of anxiety and fear has infected the lives of believers in America. To me, anxiety is a spirit of fear that leaves no room for a solution to the problem. It is the result of rumination. Where has our faith gone?
The disciples receive a word from Jesus, "Let's go to the other side," but trouble showed up the same day. We often see the pattern of everything looking good, followed by a Word from God and then a storm. We have two options in these moments, to worry or to stand. So, I ask you, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?'"
1. A storm is no respecter of persons; storms are equal opportunists. Trouble comes to both the wise and the unwise. Scary situations can even come when Jesus is on board. Paul faced storms.
2. A storm is anything negative that carries the ability to keep you from the potential of what God says in His Word. Storms are severe disturbances that come to distract, distort and deceive with the intent to destroy.
The Word is given to establish God's character in our lives. His Word always begins in seasons of instruction and is followed by a season of sequence and then substance.
You possess power that is greater than the problem that confronts you.
Obedience is the place where God is for us. God is with us. God is in us. Do not be surprised or fearful that opposition comes with obedience. God will use your resistance to take you to greater heights. Your crisis is what is going to qualify you for your next level.
Identify who sent the storm. Jonah was in his storm because of disobedience. The disciples were in the storm because of obedience, but they did not pass their test because of fear. Jesus rebuked the storm in Mark 4, and you can do the same. Remember, God is not your storm; He does not rebuke Himself.
We must cry out for fresh Holy Spirit vision. His vision will establish the ability to be the salt and light we have been called to be. His vision will give you the courage to persevere.
Remember, what he has done, His word, His will and His way.
Remember what He has done for you. You have come through the test; you have a testimony.
Remember, somebody's deliverance is waiting for you.
You are beautiful; I see Jesus in you. Have an awesome week.
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the Book of Hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. He considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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