Summary: What to expect when obediently following Christ.
ATTEMPTING THE IMPOSSIBLE
So the disciples did what Jesus told them. They got into a boat and headed out across the lake. When they did, a storm caught them.
The story is told of two hunters came across a bear so big that they dropped their rifles and ran for cover. One man climbed a tree while the other hid in a nearby cave. The bear was in no hurry to eat, so he sat down between the tree and the cave to reflect upon his good fortune. Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, the hunter in the cave came rushing out, almost ran into the waiting bear, hesitated, and then dashed back in again. The same thing happened a second time. When he emerged for the third time, his companion in the tree frantically called out, “Woody, are you crazy? Stay in the cave till he leaves!” “Can’t,” panted Woody, “there’s another bear in there.”
Do you ever feel like the hunter in the cave, like every time you turn around there is another problem just waiting for you? Do you ever feel that no matter what you do you just can’t escape from your troubles? (Steven Dow, Sermon Central.com).
There are some who will tell you that if you encounter troubles, if you encounter difficulties, if you encounter storms, you must be out of God’s will. You must have messed up somewhere. My friend, I want you to know that, if you obey Jesus, you will encounter storms.
I. WHEN YOU OBEY JESUS, YOU WILL ENCOUNTER STORMS
Some people have the mistaken idea that if you encounter a storm, if you encounter a difficulty, if you encounter problems, you must be out of God’s will.
Nothing could be further from the truth. If you obey Jesus, you will encounter storms.
In chapter 14 we read that John the Baptist was beheaded. He is the one God used to announce the beginning of Jesus’ ministry! He is the one who had the privilege of baptizing Jesus. He is the one who pointed his own followers to Jesus. When some of his followers came complaining that people were beginning to follow Jesus instead of John, John replied, “I must decrease that He may increase.” John was right in the middle of God’s will, and he lost his head because of it!
We welcome the Cains back this morning and we remember the time, a number of years ago, when they were kidnapped and held hostage by gorillas in Colombia. Were they captured and held hostage because they were out of God’s will? No! They went through that because they were in the center of God’s will! The Dolash’s were threatened at gunpoint by gorillas in Colombia. Why? Because they were where God sent them, doing what God called them to do.
Why were the disciples in a boat, in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, in the midst of a storm? Because they were where Jesus told them to be, doing what Jesus told them to do. They had been in the boat for 6 hours or more, on a trip, which should have taken them only a couple of hours at the most. They were making no headway. They were making no progress toward they destination, but they were doing what God called them to do.
II. WHEN YOU OBEY JESUS, JESUS KEEPS WATCH
Where was Jesus while the disciples were struggling? Where was Jesus when His followers were going through the storm? What was Jesus doing while the disciples were laboring & worrying? Jesus was keeping watch and praying.
- vvs 22-24
The disciples were where Jesus told them to be. They were doing what Jesus told them to do. But they were not alone. Jesus was on the mountain, overlooking the Sea of Galilee and His disciples, and Jesus was praying.
In the midst of the storm, when it seemed that possible Jesus had abandoned them, or even that they may have misunderstood Jesus’ command and messed up, Jesus was watching over His disciples and praying for them.
> Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is always able to save those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Oh my friend, Jesus says He will never leave you nor forsake you. Even now, when you are going through the storms, when you are going through difficulties, Jesus keeps watch.
When you obey Jesus, you will encounter storms. When you obey Jesus, Jesus keeps watch. Third, when you obey Jesus, you will see things others never see.
III. WHEN YOU OBEY JESUS, YOU WILL SEE THINGS OTHERS NEVER SEE.
- vvs 25-27
Let me ask you this morning, “How many people got to see Jesus walk on water? How many people experienced the thrill of that event?” I count only those in the boat.