Summary: The Christian life cannot be lived apart from Christ!
Keeping Your Head Above Water
I. Leaving Without Jesus - v. 16
V. 15 says that "he departed again into a mountain himself alone."
Yet v. 16 says that the disciples left in the boat by themselves.
Matt. 14:22-23 - Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
A. Life is downhill without Jesus Christ
1. The disciples went down
v. 16 - the disciples "went down unto the sea..."
2. Jonah went down
Jonah 1:3 - he "went down to Joppa", bought a boat ticket, and "went down into it".
B. The Christian life cannot be lived without Christ
• Ever make a decision without consulting Him?
- buying a house or car
- entering into a contract
• Ever go on a trip without asking for His protection?
- Day trip
• Ever make a life-changing decision without asking His advice?
- getting a new job
- getting or refusing medical treatment
I know what you’re thinking....it’s not that hard to buy a car; to plan a vacation; to decide whether to get a new job or move!!
But think about this---these disciples knew these waters, and they certainly knew how to sail a boat!
Note - they left without praying; He stayed to pray...
Let’s see who’s better off after that...
II. Problems Without Jesus - v. 5-7
A storm arose after the disciples left on their own--and it got dark
John 6:18 - And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew.
Mark 6:47-48 - And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.
And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them:
A. A Christian life without Christ is a stormy one
Storms can rise even for a faithful Christian, but a life lived without Christ is like sailing without a lifeboat; flying without a parachute; driving without a seatbelt; a tightwire without a net
We need Christ when the storms arise...
• storms against our children
• storms against our marriage
• storms against our health
• storms against our finances
B.A Christian life without Christ is in opposition to Him
Mark 6:48 - ...for the wind was contrary unto them:
In other words, they could not use their sails, because the wind was coming from directly ahead of them. They had to row!
And rowing directly into the wind is the hardest kind of rowing!
And what does the wind represent? The Holy Spirit!
John 3:8 - The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Illustration: Jonah 1:3-4 - But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
III. Rising Above the Problems - v. 8-9
A. Let God handle the problem!
Illustration: "In Times of Storm" - Isaiah 36:18ff
King Hezekiah and his people are facing annihilation from the Assyrian army. The Assyrian king adminishes Hezekiah not to trust in God, because the Assyrians have destroyed every enemy so far. Yet Hezekiah takes this problem before the Lord, Who assures him that He will handle it! How? He doesn’t say. Yet we read a little later that the angel of the Lord came to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 of them!
B. Let God give you strength and grace to get through the storm!
Look what happens as Matthew describes this incident:
Matt. 14:23-33 - (Read)
Note that Jesus bids Peter to come to Him---on the water!
The Lord wasn’t setting him up for failure; it was possible to do!
Peter actually walked on water!.......UNTIL....
Poem: All the water in the world, no matter how it tried,
Could never, never sink a ship---unless it got inside.
All the evil in the world---the blackest kind of sin;
Could never hurt you one least bit---unless you let it in!
Instead of complaining about problems, give it to God and let it go!
Illustration: "He’d Rather Holler"
There’s an Ozark story about a hound sitting in a country store and howling as hounds do. In comes a stranger who says to the storekeeper, “What’s the matter with the dog?”