Summary: We’re not in this thing by ourselves. We have an obligation to those on this journey with us.
Other Little Ships
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Elton Woods Church of God
It is not my custom to preach a message more than once. I feel that if God gives me the message for a particular congregation, it is for them. This message wouldn’t necessarily apply under that criteria. I first preached this message at Elton Woods when I tried out. I listened to God, and said what He said to say then.
But, I was in a meeting this past Tuesday Night. It wasn’t even particularly what we were talking about… but my thoughts quickly shifted to this message that God had given me two years ago. And the voice of the Lord spoke to me… “Remember the first message you preached at Elton Woods?”
I began to think back to the first Sunday and what I preached… His voice rang back… “No, not your first Sunday; your first message.” “Ooooh!” And immediately I knew.
I thought, “But Lord, I can’t preach this message again. People will remember it, and fuss…” He said, “If you were a creative partner in the process I’m taking them through, you would have some say so as to the content of the message. But you’re not working in that capacity. I’ve called you to say everything, and do everything I tell you to say and do.”
“You speak what I tell you to speak.”
In this meeting, someone was speaking, and yet I’m having a dialogue with the Lord. “But, Lord… what about those who will be hearing this message again for the second time?”
“They need it again for the second time. And they are but a few. Most who were present in that meeting aren’t even in the church today.”
So I told Him, “I will do what you say…”
And even so, I come with fear and trepidation. I don’t know whether the message then was portentous of what would come in the two years following that day. But I know He plans for this to speak to us today.
35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
In my lifetime, I’ve heard about a thousand different sermons on this particular passage of scripture. I’ve heard perspectives on the subject my whole life. Some have preached that the whole thing was a lesson in faith… having Jesus in the boat of life with us. That’s all well and good. I’ve heard one perspective that at some points in our lives, God calms the storms… at other points in our lives, God calms His children. That’s a nice interpretation as well.
I’ve heard it said that the important thing in this matter is not the DESTINATION, on the shore at Gadara, but that the JOURNEY was what was important in these disciples. I can see that.
I’ve heard it preached well. I’ve heard it preached poorly. There has been rationale in EVERY SERMON that I have ever heard preached on this passage. But when I read the passage two years ago, the Lord birthed something into my spirit regarding this passage of scripture. Something you might have always seen, but it is something that I have NEVER BEFORE NOTICED. And when I saw it, it changed my life and changed my perspective – and I want to share it with you today.
We pick up the story with our precious Lord. Jesus had just spent the entire day preaching and sharing the heart of Father God from the side of a boat. The sea of Galilee drinking in His voice… no matter how much He projected. He was 100% God, but also, 100% man… so I’m sure He had a raspy throat from hours of teaching, and preaching, through parables, and stories.
I’m a preacher, and I’m ready to quit after a few hours… but my Lord, preached with the fire of heaven for the better part of His day. Through sweltering heat, and the exhaustion of projecting this message for hour, upon hour; He persevered with the Father’s message burning within Him. And finally the day was over with, and the sun was going down. Jesus told them, “Let’s go over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.”