Yesterday, 30th April, I was drawn to this article which I first released in 2009. I was astonished at the relevance on this very day in which we find ourselves – and its correlation to the word I received ‘Safely Ashore’!. Remember it is wisdom to take out of one’s treasure box both the old and the new to get full revelation of what He is saying. May you be blessed, strengthened and encouraged. The other shore is coming!
Sanity in the Coming Storm
(Audio of this message is available HERE)
Recently, I was drawn to the following account:
Mar 4:35 And evening having come, He said to them on that day, Let us pass over to the other side. Mar 4:36 And when they had sent away the crowd, they took Him with them as He was in the boat. And there were also other little boats with Him. Mar 4:37 And there arose a windstorm, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was now full. Mar 4:38 And He was in the stern of the boat, asleep on a headrest. And they awakened Him and said to Him, Master, do You not care that we perish? Mar 4:39 And He awakened and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace! Be still! And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
There have been any sermons on subject of lack of faith around this story. However my eyes were opened to see that this is also a prophetic picture of the scene that is about to unfold around the world. Just before this story begins, Jesus has been teaching on the kingdom of God and then the day draws to a close and evening approaches. Jesus announces it is time for his disciples to cross over to the other side of the stretch of water.
We who live on planet earth have come to the end of an age as we know it and events are rapidly unfolding on the world stage to bring about a one world government and to lay the platform for the antichrist to be revealed. The end of one day has come and evening of the next is fast approaching. Remember God’s day begins at night (in Genesis 1 it says that evening and morning were the first day) There is an approaching night; a time of darkness; a time when we will no longer be able to walk by natural light. We see the global financial crisis, the unleashing of the plague, the mounting tensions in the Middle Eastern region – it is getting darker and just as in the story in Mark 4, during the approaching darkness, something very significant happens. A separation occurs amongst those who are listening to the teachings of Jesus.
During the day both the crowd and His disciples have been absorbing His teachings on the kingdom of God. Then the mixed multitude is sent away and only the disciples are instructed by Jesus as to His intention for them. He says, “come, let us go to the other side.” So we see that with the rapidly approaching darkness there occurs a SEPARATION between the MIXED MULTITUDE and TRUE DISCIPLES. Jesus Himself said:
Luk 9:23 If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
True disciples lay down their lives and their own plans,
die to self and follow where He leads.
The multitudes had heard the words of Jesus, experienced His miracles but had never surrendered fully to Him. At close of this day or age as we know it, those who are just part of the crowd will be sent away . Hear the words of Jesus on this subject:
Luk 13:24 Strive to enter in at the narrow gate. For I say to you, many will seek to enter in and shall not be able. Luk 13:25 And once the Master of the house has risen up and has shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us, and He shall answer and say to you, I do not know you; from where are you; Luk 13:26 then you shall begin to say, We ate and drank in Your presence, and You have taught in our streets. Luk 13:27 But He shall say, I tell you, I do not know you; from where you are. Depart from Me, all workers of unrighteousness!
In the time we are rapidly entering, it is not enough to have eaten and drunk in His presence or listened to His teachings. You must be a true disciple – otherwise you and Jesus are going to part ways! Paul speaks of a great falling away which occurs at the time when the man of sin is revealed (2 Thess 3). As darkness falls on the earth, the mixed multitude and Jesus part company and Jesus has instructions for his disciples only. Jesus has been teaching the crowd using parables but the portion of His disciples is explanation and revelation.
Mar 4:33 And with many such parables spoke he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. Mar 4:34 But without a parable spoke he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.
In this narrative of the story, we are told ‘when they had sent away the crowd, they took Him with them as He was in the boat’. The Greek word for ‘take’ means ’embrace’. Beloved, as His disciples, we have to EMBRACE Jesus as He is – not as we would like Him to be. It is time to fully embrace the WHOLE Word, not just the portions we like! The Living Word, in His glorious entirety is coming with His disciples into the next season; the season of darkness when we need to walk by faith and not by sight.
As the separation and falling away occurs, remember that Jesus has issued a decree over our lives.
LET US GO OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE!!
This may have sounded like a simple suggestion on His part but it is important to take note of what Jesus has said. Why? Because Jesus has foreknowledge of what lies ahead – He deliberately speaks a word outlining His express intention and purpose for all those who have taken up their crosses and followed Him. HIS WORD DOES NOT RETURN VOID. He declares the end from the beginning.
Why is this important?? Because the strength of the storm that is about to be unleashed on the earth is so great that there is a danger of His disciples losing sight of God’s plans and heart toward them. Realize this – THE BOAT IS GOING TO FILL WITH WATER! All signs in the natural may look like you are about to be wiped out BUT Jesus said we are going to the other side!!
So there are some keys to sanity in the coming storm:
1) Take Jesus into your boat.
We are told in Mark 4, ‘And there were also other little boats with Him’. We hear no more of those boats after the crossing. If Jesus is not in your boat, you are going down with the storm. You may be trying to imitate the movements of the true disciples, going through the motions, but unless you have embraced Jesus and taken up your cross, you are not going to make it in this coming tempest.
2) DONT LIVE IN THE PAST OR IN THE FUTURE, LIVE IN THE MOMENT IN CHRIST
I realized He was giving me a key to survival in a storm. Every storm we have ever faced has been a rehearsal and training time for the tempest of all tempests that is about to be unleashed. Just as an actor takes part in rehearsals and studies his script before the performance, so too, very crisis has been a time of training for the disciples of Jesus, equipping us with the necessary skills so that when the lights are dimmed and it is time to step out of the wings and take part in the opening night, we no longer have need of our written scripts. All we need will be written upon our hearts!
What do we, as human beings, USUALLY do when crisis hits us? We look back into the past and long for the days when all seemed peaceful. This is just like looking back at the shore, unmoving and safe in the past and wishing we had never stepped into the boat! Alternatively, we look at the opposite shore in the FUTURE and get overwhelmed by the distance we still have to go to safety. Consequently, REGRET AND FEAR overwhelm us!
Psa 16:11 You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
The disciples were in His presence in that boat – yet they were terrified! Where was the joy they were supposed to experience in His presence? Just a couple of verses back in psalm 16 lies the key:
Psa 16:8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
What had the disciples set before them? Their focus was on the wind, the height of the waves, the distance to both shores and the amount of water in the boat!
THE KEY TO SANITY IN ANY STORM AND PARTICULARLY THE TEMPEST FROM HELL THAT IS ABOUT TO BE UNLEASHED IN THE HOUR OF TRIAL IS THIS:
SET THE LORD BEFORE YOU ALWAYS,
THEN YOU WILL NOT BE MOVED
BY THE FEROCITY OF THE STORM!
DONT LIVE IN THE PAST OR IN THE FUTURE, LIVE IN THE MOMENT IN CHRIST, holding onto His Word over your life. Remember He said you are going over to the other side! HE WILL BRING TO PASS HIS PURPOSES FOR YOU AND SURELY COMPLETE THEM. HE WHO BEGAN A GOOD WORK IN YOU WILL BRING IT TO COMPLETION!
3) DON’T LIVE BEFORE THE CLOCK FACE, LIVE BEFORE MY FACE!
We, as people, are so bound to the clock and when we are in a crisis, all we can think about is getting out of it. We think ‘how long has this storm lasted, how many more days until it’s over??’ Jesus says to us,
LIVE BEFORE MY FACE.
Isa 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You; because he trusts in You.
Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith -LOOK AT JESUS, COMPLETELY AT REST in your boat. When God finished His creation, He rested. Rest is a sign of a finished work.
DURING THE TEMPEST, LIVE IN THE SETTLED KNOWLEDGE
OF THE FINISHED WORKS OF CHRIST
HE SAID ON THE CROSS ‘IT IS FINISHED’. He has done everything that needs doing to transition you safely through the storm. He is issuing a command as it grows darker, ‘let us go to the other side’ and those who are really His disciples will experience the manifestation of what He has spoken as they obey His instructions. He will keep you safe from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole earth if you have kept His word of patient endurance (Rev 3).The shaking is coming on the whole earth but He has promised to keep His faithful ones safe during this time.
4) The coming storm will reveal areas that need dealing with, like UNBELIEF AND FEAR.
You will come to the end of your own wisdom. God is going shake everything until what cannot be shaken remains. The only thing which cannot be shaken is the kingdom of God in you. Jesus Himself said this:
Luk 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Luk 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
The time of the storm and the darkness is the time you will abandon your own wisdom and cry out for the wisdom of God.
Psa 16:7 I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my HEART also instructs me in the night seasons.
Jesus deliberately issues an instruction that sends His disciples to a place of total dependence upon Him. There is no solid ground anywhere near them. He is their only place of refuge. Knowing the tempest is about to be unleashed He purposefully directs their path right into the center of a terrible shaking! To our human thinking, it would have been sensible to wait out the storm on the shore. However, it is the purpose of God to transition His disciples to another location in Him. Their understanding of who Christ really is needs to be raised considerably. Our narrow mindsets of His character and ability will never sustain us during the dark night ahead. God is intending to demonstrate His awesome power and ability on behalf of His disciples right in the middle of the storm, not on the opposite shore!
5) Remember: THE MIDST OF THE TEMPEST AND STORM IS THE PLACE DISCIPLES SEE THE MIRACULOUS BEFORE THEIR OWN EYES – WORKING IN THEIR OWN SITUATIONS!
So do not doubt that you heard right about stepping off the shore or think you have missed God because you find yourself being tossed about in a terrible storm. Know that this dark backdrop is the very scenario God is going to use to display His glory in your lives!
IF HE IS IN YOUR BOAT, BE AT PEACE,
IT WILL NOT SINK NO MATTER HOW
FULL OF WATER IT GETS!!
At the appointed time, He will arise and rebuke the stormy wind and bring you safely to your decreed destination in God.
So, in conclusion, the question we must ask ourselves is this-
“Am I a disciple or part of the multitude;
one of those who just eat and drink in His presence, then leave?”
As the darkness approaches at a rapid pace and the last rays of the light of the old day wane, we must ensure that we are part of the company that enters the darkest part of the night with Jesus in our boat. There is no other safe way to make it through the appointed hour of trial.
Just an announcement to end off with, the Lord has instructed me to begin making use of my twitter account to post some of the pithy things He says to me (usually in the middle of the night). So, in obedience, I will do so! These cheeps will not only be words included in the articles I post, but also other nuggets of wisdom He whispers.
For those who are interested in following, you may click on the following link: