As the people of God assemble around the family table or the TV or the computer screen, may they know that they have not been left nor forsaken (Heb.13:5) but their heavenly Father is drawing near to them as they are drawing near to Him (Js.4:8). May they go right straight through shutdowns and crisis knowing they are mandated and that for such a time as this, “they are it!”. The people of God have been gifted and appointed “for the saving of many” in this time of crisis — we are it (Gen.50:20; Jn.20:21). There will be purging of character (Ps.105:19) but out of it will come refined gold that will save a nation — no one else is coming — we are it. (Compare Ps.105:37, 44-45) Joseph and Moses and Jesus and Holy Spirit have already come — now it’s our turn to apply what they brought us: example and covenant and power and the authority to use it.
Benjamin Franklin said, “A good example is the best sermon”. Growing up, I heard a lady tell her children on several occasions, “Do as I say, not as I do.” She required her children to be good people but gave herself extra latitude of conduct. But how many know that her saying one thing and doing another was about as effective as a screen door in a submarine? Jesus speaking to the Father: (Jn.17:6, Msg) “I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me. (v.9) I pray for them. (v.10) And my life is on display in them. They’ll continue in the world.” We are praying you discover daily that you are finding the list of people growing who watch you and speak well of you. (Marty’s Daily Discovery as heard on the internet radio station: TEXAS PRAISE RADIO at the bottom of the hour 24hrs/day.)
Wow, what a way to begin an announcement: “Hey, guys, I have something very important to say here but first I must ask you to not be troubled of heart.” (Hint to the wise: this has something to do with the fact that things are not going to stay the same as they have been.) Jesus addresses His disciples at a momentous time, on a very important occasion to communicate to them the launching of a new era that was immediately upon them and in which they would take the lead. “DO NOT let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me.” (Jn.14:1, Amp) Jesus announces His transitioning to another level and their transitioning to total dependency upon Holy Spirit to do what He has been doing while with them. Suddenly they realize their Lord’s necessary urging to not let their heart be troubled. Everything was changing and would never go back to being the way it was. They were launching upon a new era in their individual lives, a new era in the ministry of the disciples (the church-“ekklesia” Mt.16:18) and they were doing it with pressure from every side under Roman domination and increasing resistance to their belief system. But the cocoon they had been in was being exposed to current events and the current events were helping the cocoon to expose/present what was on the inside. Jesus’ shifting to His next stage of fulfillment in Father’s plan was propelling them forward so that the ekklesia could be realized for what it was actually meant to be in current events, and that involved their stepping out and relying on Holy Spirit to enable them to be “christianous” (Acts 11:26) or Christians — the followers of Christ who were, in fact, like the Christ, who were little ones like the big one. The inference is that those of the same name could be expected to be and do what the One is and does for Whom they are named. As they rolled with current events, Holy Spirit put them in places and circumstances to impact and influence current events. (Compare 1Jn.2:20 – “But you [plural] have an unction” (a divine enablement]) Circumstances are prime for cocoons (and old wineskins) to give way to what is inside being exposed for the impacting of current events for the advancing of the purposes of Father to glorify His Son.
“When Jesus came walking on the viruses and shortages and shutdowns”… oops! (**That’s from the CEC Version: Current Events Comparison Version ©Martin Gabler March 26,2020, 2:00am CDT— that I am thinking about writing as we go through 2020!) Try this: When Jesus came walking on the water (ruling over the very crisis threatening the disciples), “they screamed out with fright” (Matt.14:26, Amp). They could not conceive, in present circumstances, the possibility of Jesus being able to walk on top of life-endangering components that were scientifically considered incapable of holding His weight. There isn’t even any evidence that the boys are attempting to bale water out of the boat. They are now operating on fore-gone conclusions and it has left them in nonproductive panic. The miracle of provision they had just witnessed (feeding of 5,000+ with a boy’s lunch and 12 baskets of leftovers just five verses earlier) was forgotten with their focus on the present negative factors. Their hearts are very troubled and they are very unproductive. Is it more difficult for Jesus to calm wind and waves than it is to multiply a little boy’s lunch to feed 5,000+? Is it more difficult to walk on 300 foot deep water than to walk on 3 foot deep water? Has the Master of the Storm stopped working miracles because “this is now and that was then”? The same faith-authority-power applied to loaves and fishes gets the same results when applied to wind and waves and viruses and shutdowns!
When Jesus told His disciples to go to the other side of the lake, the hard facts the disciples focused on, once out on the water in the storm, were (Matt.14:22-27): 1.) it was night-dark 2.) they were a great distance from land 3.) the boat was beaten by waves 4.) the wind was against them—blowing the opposite direction they were supposed to go. We must beware of reaching a point that we are merely dwelling on just the facts. These may be the present facts but they are not the conclusion of the matter. In the Bible, present facts (threatening and impossible) and final conclusions always looked very different from one another.
The disciples confronted the storm on the lake but Jesus contradicted it with peace. When Jesus said to His disciples that He had been given all authority in heaven and on earth and then commissioned them to disciple nations, that was the announcement that believers had now become the embodiment of the Kingdom like He was. We have the same authority and power to contradict danger and crisis. The very least we can do is stop rehearsing the obvious and speak and declare the opposite — the known will of God which may be readily found in the Bible: life (Jn.10:10), health (3Jn.1:2), provision (2Cor.9:8), safety (Ps.46:1), peace (Jn.14:27).