Sunday service, dr Albu van Eeden, 16 Jul 2017
Luke 8:22 -25
22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.
24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
We don’t read when this storm arose that the disciples started arguing among each other and criticising each other.
A person who has experienced God working in revival power in his life is a soft and pleasant person to get along with. He is not harsh on everybody around him. How do you treat the next person? When things go wrong, how do you react to the next person.
We read that they met up with a storm as they crossed the sea. The boat started filling. So too when we want to follow the Lord, there are many storms we will face in life. There are personal storms that each one of us will face individually. If you’ve come to Christ, and you want to follow the Lord, and you’ve brought your ship full of water the first time to Christ, acknowledging that your sins made you sink, He will forgive you and restore you.
Have you ever come to Christ and been cleansed? Or are you just attending church, read your Bible, pray now and then, but you’ve never brought your whole ship full of water to Christ, and asked Him to cleanse you and be with you in the boat. That He go with you.
Now, if you’ve taken that first step, and you’re born again, you enter into a new life. But this new life is also full of storms. Why? Because God wants to keep you as His possession. That is what Christianity is all about. It’s not about keeping certain rules and regulations, but belonging to the Lord. That’s what the devil hates, that you belong to someone else and not to him.
We read in Deut 4:34, “Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?”
Paul never glamorised the gospel. Because the moment you belong to Christ the battle will start where satan will wage war against you. This is where many people abandon God after deciding to follow Him. Blessed is the person who doesn’t give up when he experiences this struggle.
The normal Christian life is actually that no water enter your ship. But if it happens and this battle rages in your and my heart, water will spill into our ship. Maybe it’s small incidents where you get irritable, angry, lust, lie or pride etc. How should you deal with it? Don’t wait until your boat is full before you come to God. Bring it to the Lord. Go to a child of God to pray with you, because if you leave it, it will fill your boat and it will sink. You will become blunt spiritually.
These storms do not only happen to you individually but also together with other children of the Lord. How do you react then? Are you one with God’s children to resist the onslaught of the devil, or do you withdraw yourself?
One of the biggest reasons for Christians to become blunt spiritually, is pride. Pride makes you blind. We read in 1Sam 25 of Nabal, who was a successful businessman. But when David sent his men to ask for help, he answered them harshly, not even knowing to whom he was speaking, the anointed of the Lord. Pride made him oblivious to what God was doing.
Many times God is working miraculously, while certain people who became proud, don’t see it at all but simply quarrel and cause strife and look for trouble. People can sit in church every evening and Sunday here, while they are totally blind and unaware of how God is working. Around you people are revived and spiritual corpses become alive, while you are totally unaware of that and only busy with your own things. But see how different Nabal’s wife was. She was discerning and realised what God was doing and rushed to meet David with a gift. She even took guilt upon her which wasn’t her fault, because of her love for the Lord and His work.
Let us look at what the disciples did when they realised that their boat was filling up and cry out to the Lord, “save us we are perishing!”
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