Friday, August 1, 2014

Excitement in the Boat, part 11:

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. (Luke 8:24 NASB)

There is a lovely bit of truth left to glean from this verse, and we come to it at last!

  You will likely remember that Jesus was taking a nap in the back of the boat while his disciples (including several professional fishermen) were in the front of the boat. Suddenly, they encountered a terrible storm (essentially a hurricane) and the boat was about to sink from all the water it had taken on. Just in the nick of time, the disciples awakened Jesus, who commanded the storm to stop. As all nature is compelled to do, the storm instantly obeyed. It is what we should do in response to Christ's commands but, all too often, we do not. 

As soon as the storm stopped, a wonderful thing happened. 
Everything became calm. The sea. The boat. The disciples. 
Total calm was birthed by instant obedience. 
 Perhaps if we understood this truth a little better, we would be quicker to obey. 

Certainly, storms and calm are not generally considered a part of the same continuum, but it is clear from this that, as soon as the command of Christ was obeyed, peace came. Perhaps part of the reason is that instant obedience to God's command puts the responsibility for the outcome squarely in God's hands.   There is great comfort in having One who is filled with wisdom directing our steps. 

The word translated as "calm" is galēnē and it comes from a root word meaning "to smile".  How about that? When we obey instantly, it not only fills us with peace (and calm), but the calm of Christ is evident on our faces. When people look at us, they should be able to see the evidence of our obedience on our faces, and be drawn to it. 

What do people see when they look at our faces?  Worry or calm, confident peace?  Pray today that our faces would reflect the calm that comes from obedience in such a way that both our loved ones and all we encounter would be drawn to Jesus. 
Here's the link to last night's post. It's a guest blog I wrote for and worth the read (even if I did write it):
The terrorist prayer focus this week is Hamas. Pray that they will begin to value life, that their efforts at terror will not prosper, and that their social welfare programs will be more important to them than their costly efforts at destruction. Pray for the kind of Damascus road experience that turned a Saul into a Paul.