Sunday, April 24, 2011

Asleep in the Storm

Don't you love going to sleep to the sound of a quiet, calm rain hitting against your windows and falling softly outside? On the other hand, when it's lightning and the thunder is rolling and the wind is blowing so hard you think your roof's going to fly off, sleep doesn't come so easily.

Because of social media, namely, Facebook, I became friends with a wonderful pastor in Indonesia, whose name is Zac Loh. He posts the most profound thoughts which truly have been helping me grow in my faith. He posted this today:

Text: Matthew 8:23-27

“why are you fearful, O you of little faith?”

One wonders: "How could Jesus have made such a statement? Didn’t He know that the boat was covered with the waves?"

1. Hear And Obey

You and I would’ve been fearful being in that same boat. But if you and I had the faith like He had, we wouldn’t be fearful. How then can you and I have the faith to be asleep in the storm?

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

Faith comes by hearing. But faith takes control when you are obeying.

There is such a great power in faith. Jesus was sleeping at the resting place of faith. Faith was His sleeping bag. Faith was His cabin. No sea could swallow His faith. No water could drown His faith. Faith was His submarine.

How can you and I have the faith which Jesus had?

Let the turbulence do all it can. Let the waves roll as much as they want. You are resting and sleeping in the centre of God’s will. That’s the power. That’s the faith. Hear and obey.

2. Know Jesus, Look At Jesus

“Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

It’s obvious from the disciples’ remark that they didn’t know Jesus enough. They were looking at the waves of the sea, rather than looking at Jesus. They saw Jesus asleep. He was resting. Everything was in control. If only they knew full well Who Jesus was (is). If only they kept looking at Jesus, and fixed their eyes on Him, instead of the waves.

Peter had the same faith opportunity in another encounter (Matthew 14:25-31). It was another storm. Peter came out of the boat by Jesus' consent. He walked on water. Along the way, he sank, because he was afraid - having looked at the boisterous wind and he reasoned out within himself. He didn’t learn enough to fix his eyes on Jesus all the way looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

Jesus did more than walking on the water. Let us learn from His life on earth from the very beginning until the cross when He cried, “It is finished.” Let us emulate Him. Let us finish our marathon race of faith. For He was the One Who designed our faith. And He was the One who made our faith workable today.

3. More Faith, Less Fear

The opposite of faith is fear. Your level of faith is dependent on your level of fear and vice versa. The more faith you have, the less fear you have. The more fear you have, the less faith you have.

So it’s a matter of getting in more faith and getting out more fear. It’s a matter of accepting and embracing faith. And it’s a matter of rejecting and denying fear.

What is troubling you? What are you worrying about? Fix your eyes on Jesus. Fix your faith on Him. Jesus will take you to the journey's end. It is said that it is the arrival that matters. It is the destination. Paul was shipwrecked. Yet he fulfilled God’s purpose for his life. He was jailed. Yet the plan of God flourished.

Do not fix your eyes on the storm nor the waves. Jesus was asleep in the boat. Know that you can rest in faith. You can rest asleep in the boat of life. You can rest assured that the storm and the waves are in His control. He is not a mere man that He should lie. He was the Son of God in that boat. He is the Son of God today, tomorrow and forever. He changes not.

God is calling his true followers to build their faith; so His true followers must learn to live in obedience to His voice, His leading and follow His example in dying to ourselves. This is God's response to my prayer for Him to help me build my faith. He wants and expects His true followers to hear Him and obey.

May your walk with God this week be one where your obedience can be seen, felt and heard and your faith grows in leaps and bounds.

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