A Timely Rebuke
Mat 8:23-27; Luke 8:23-25; Ps 106:9
In yesterday’s blog, one word that featured prominently was “rebuke“, when we talked about Jesus’s query and admonition to His disciples concerning their faithlessness.
We will start today’s meditation by looking at that word again, but this time from a different perspective.
And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. (Luke 8:24)
The use of the word “rebuke” is interesting and deserves a closer look — It means to admonish; to forbid or condemn.
It is used usually against things that ought not to be (such as the weak faith of the disciples).
But in our scripture text, it also gives us a clue that the storm, although only a storm, is a symptom of something else about nature; the operation and influence of the spirit of rebellion that seeks to act contrary to the will and design of God.
Christ treated the troubled winds and raging waters as an act of rebellion against the welfare of His disciples and thus rebuked the power behind the misbehaving elements, demanding their submission to the counsel of God.
A Calming Show of Power
The effect of Jesus’ powerful command was to calm the storm on the sea, but also to calm their fears.
By taking care of the troubling circumstances that distressed and endangered their lives, Jesus was able to take away their fears and build their faith in Him.
This becomes the powerful thrust of the passage to all subsequent believers.
Even though there are so many things in life that threaten our lives and cause us to fear, the more we know the Lord and His power, the less we will be afraid.
Our prayer for deliverance from our troubles will be less and less out of fear and desperation and more out of confidence in His ability and trust in His faithfulness.
Ps 18:15; Ps 76:5-9; Ps 106:7-12
What are the storms distressing you or the raging winds that have been howling against you?
What are those things happening in your life that ought not to be?
First start by rebuking the fears and the doubts that may have been plaguing your heart and your mind. Declare what you believe about God and what you are believing Him to do in your life / situation.
Arise like the Master did; take a stand of faith in the power of His Name and rebuke those things that are contrary to the will of God for your life!
In Jesus’s Name, forbid them from acting in rebellion against the will of God for your life. Command them to submit to the authority and power in the Name of Jesus.
Pastor Wale Ola
Where Is Your Faith?
Mat 8:23-27; Luke 8:23-25
Our two scriptures today give an account of the same event that was experienced by the disciples, captured from two slightly different perspectives.
The main details of the encounter were accurately reported the same in both accounts:
They were on a journey in a boat with Jesus.
There arose a great storm that threatened to capsize the boat.
Jesus was asleep seemingly unbothered about their security and well being.
They feared for their lives and doubted the word that Jesus had spoken to them: “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake”.
Jesus arose and rebuked the wind and the storm.
Order and peace restored.
The slight point of divergence in the reports however, is the emphasis of the two disciples on the response of Jesus or shall we say, His querying rebuke concerning their attitude to the adverse conditions they were encountering; which both work together to show us what may also be our own failure point in the face of life’s challenges:
In Luke’s account (Luke 8:25), the query was simply — “Where is your faith?”
Matthew gives us an expansion of the details of the rebuke in his own account (Matt 8:26) that somewhat provides the answer to the query of the rebuke — “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?“
The ultimate casualty of fear in any adverse situation is your faith!
As we also saw in yesterday’s scripture (Matt 14:31), at Peter’s failure point, Jesus directed a similar querying rebuke at him — “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Fear and doubt are two sides of the same coin that work together to rob you of your faith in Jesus!
They have no place in the life of a believer, if we are to survive the challenges and the adverse situations that we will face in life.
Satan’s strategy is to make sure you fix your eyes on the raging storms and fill your hearing with the howling winds and contrary and dissenting voices, to cause your heart to fear and your mind to doubt the integrity of the word that God had spoken to you.
Dear friend, let the word of the Lord be your confession today as you step into that boat to cross to the other side:
The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
You will safely get to the other side as Christ has commanded; you will take the territory that has been appointed for you.
You will walk upon your high places and arrive at your destined port in Jesus’s mighty Name.
Pastor Wale Ola
Doubt Your Doubts!
Mat 14:22-31; Mark 11:22-23
Sometime ago, I came across this quotation from one of the devotionals that Selwyn Hughes wrote, which will be the basis of our fasting and prayers this month:
“You have to learn to doubt your doubts and believe your beliefs…”
For someone reading this right now, this can either be a word of encouragement from God telling you to hold on to His word and to keep trusting Him in spite of what you have been or are going through, while for someone else, it may be an admonishment or indictment about the state of your heart or your attitude to His word at this time —
You are allowing your doubts to overcome your beliefs!
What Really Is Doubt?
To doubt is:
• To be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe.
• To distrust.
• To be undecided in opinion or belief.
What Causes Us To Doubt?
A possible reason for Doubt can be found in one of the dictionary definitions of the word:
A feeling of uncertainty about the truth, reality, or nature of something.
So from this definition of doubt, we can see a spiritual correlation with what Jesus said to His disciples in the scriptures we read today:
Every time we doubt God, it is because we are uncertain about the truth of His word, the reality of the promise that He had made to us or uncertain about the truth of who He is and His nature!
As Jesus points out in His admonition to Peter and the other disciples; to doubt is simply to not have faith.
Our doubts offend and belittle God; our doubts call the truth of His word into question and challenge His integrity. Our doubts question the reality of His promises and suggest that His nature is uncertain!
But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” Mat 14:30
As it happened with Peter, when you take your eyes off Jesus and look at the situation around you, fear will make you to doubt His word and cause you to sink!
When we are believing God for something and the answer to our prayers is delayed; when it appears as though the contrary winds are getting more boisterous and the storms are getting stronger; when it looks like help is far from us and the night is getting darker still; when it looks like time is running out and the deadline is imminent, we can become unwitting victims to doubt and unfortunate prisoners to fear!
And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Mat 14:31
But the good news is that Jesus did not allow Peter to go under!
When Peter cried out to Jesus, Jesus stretched out His hand to Peter and caught Him! Hallelujah!
What are you afraid of?
What are the doubts that the enemy has caused to plague your heart and your mind and rob you of your trust in God and your peace?
- Confess your struggles to God today and repent of your doubts, unbelief and your fears. You have doubted His word, doubted His promise to you or doubted the wisdom of His ways and the integrity of His actions!
- Cry out to God; reach out to Jesus like Peter did: Ask Jesus to stretch out His hand and catch you.
- Ask Him to save you from sinking and to calm the storms in your life.
Pastor Wale Ola