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Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 124

The Gifts Part 29

Miracles continued...

Although any of the previously mentioned miracles would be worthy of exploration and further contemplation, I want to focus on one particular miracle that stunned even the Disciples of Christ. The reason this particular miracle so impressed me was not only its magnitude but the ease with which Christ performed it, as well as His disciples’ reaction to having seen it firsthand.

Matthew 8:23-27, “Now when H got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea. And there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, ‘Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’”

As I heard an older preacher say once, ‘it’s one thing to turn water into wine, it’s quite another to rebuke the wind and for it to suddenly stop’. At this point we could readily say a miracle is a miracle regardless of its magnitude, but truthfully speaking, yes I would be more awed by seeing a storm being calmed by a few words, than seeing water transform into wine.

Although both of these miracles suspended natural law, although both of these miracles were inexplicable by the laws of nature, it was upon seeing the sea being calmed and the winds die down that the men who were with Jesus, namely His disciples, asked ‘who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’

Keep in mind this was no small wind, these were not just a few rogue waves rocking the boat a bit too violently, the men who were with Jesus were fishermen by trade, and they knew the sea, they knew winds, they knew storms, and I would venture to assume that it took allot to scare men such as this. If it were a land dweller, or someone unaccustomed to the water I too would have my doubts concerning the veracity of a statement such as ‘Lord save us! We are perishing!’ but since the men who believed they were about to perish grew up on the water, and had been on the sea since early youth, one comes to understand that this storm was indeed something they had never seen before. It takes allot to scare a fisherman, and by reading the Word we realize that all and not just one were scared believing they were about to perish.

What astounds me each time I read this passage is that through this entire ordeal, Jesus slept. The boat was being covered with waves, the wind was howling, and Jesus slept.

Those who have never been called into ministry will have a difficult time understanding the following, but ministry takes allot out of you. Whether you are called to preach, to minister, or to comfort, at the end of the day you feel as though every last ounce of vigor and strength has been drained from you. I am less exhausted after a day’s worth of physical activity than I am after an hour’s worth of preaching. Anyone who has ever ministered or preached knows how Jesus was able to sleep through the crashing waves and the piercing winds.

Scared as His disciples were, upon waking Him, Jesus did not attempt to soothe their fears, He did not go into a protracted explanation of why nothing would happen to them since He was the Son of God, and He would not perish in the storm nor would they, instead He rebuked them for being fearful and not having sufficient faith, then turned to the wind and spoke to it.

We all know that wind is the perceptible movement of the air, and that if you attempt to stand in the wind’s path, it will just go around you. You cannot stop the wind by standing in its way, nor can you speak to it since it is but air, nor can you speak to the sea, for it is water and does not perceive. The natural law of wind is to blow; the natural law of a wave is to continue on its course until it reaches the shore.

It must have been strange for the disciples to watch Jesus as He rebuked the wind as well as the sea, since logic would dictate that try as one might to convince or sway the wind or the sea to do what they desire it to do, it will not bow to men’s will. There was as much of a miracle in the fact that Jesus rebuked the wind and the sea, as there was in the fact that they became still once He rebuked them.

For man such an act would be impossible, even unimaginable, but for God all things are possible. It is so natural for God to be supernatural, that bending the laws of nature to His will is neither difficult nor cumbersome.

‘Well brother Mike, but that was Jesus, of course He could command the wind to stop in its tracks and the sea to keep still.’

True, it was Jesus who commanded the wind and the sea to be still, but the more I read this passage the more I come to believe that the reason Jesus was displeased with His disciples was because if they had possessed enough faith, they could have done likewise, they too could have calmed the sea.

Joshua possessed enough faith to pray and see the sun stand still and the moon stopped, Peter possessed enough faith, if only for a while to walk on water, taking a few steps before his mind began to reason that because he was doing what he had always perceived as impossible, it must in fact be impossible, and so began to sink, and I would submit to you that the reason we are not seeing as many miracles as we ought today is because we will not allow ourselves to believe that they are possible. Remember, the gift of faith is a passive gift, a gift that facilitates the manifestation and operation of other gifts, and if the disciples had possessed the requisite faith, they too could have stilled the wind and the sea.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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