ESTHER’S WARRIORS MINISTRY
Blessings on this last Sunday in February! Can you believe we are already entering the month of March? Time moves forward seemingly more rapidly in some seasons than others. We talked last week about taking 40 days to reflect, meditate, pray, fast if you feel led as we press toward Resurrection Sunday. How are you doing? I find when I commit to setting aside extra time for spiritual matters I am often challenged with unexpected issues and circumstances. How about you? The good news is we have an extra day this month as it is leap year. Make the most of it!
God is moving us forward to new assignments and new horizons. As with any change there is often an element of fear. Even when we embrace transformation there can still be at least a twinge of discomfort. A young prophet that I know said something very fitting last week. “Do not be afraid of anything when Jesus is the King of your heart.” Although challenged with autism, Nicholas continually speaks such wisdom. It is always a heart issue and he is so right that if Jesus is the King of your heart you really have nothing to fear.
Whatever the situation you find yourself in do not let fear color your vision or block what God has for you. Fear can literally cripple you and keep you
stuck when God says “Go.” Fear does not come from God so know that if you are afraid that is not His plan for you. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Read that over a few times very slowly and let it sink deep into your spirit.
While reading Mark 4:35-41 this week I was most struck by the situation. Jesus says in verse 35, “Let us cross over to the other side.” His intention was to ‘cross over’ the water ‘to the other side.’ His plan all along was to keep moving until the destination was reached. There is no indication that anything would deter the final purpose. However, to get to the other side required action on the part of the disciples. We won’t ‘get to the other side’ if we don’t take action.
Verse 36 says, “Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was….” The disciples left the crowds, ‘the majority’ and took Jesus into the boat ‘as He was.’ I never really noticed the last part of that sentence before. If they took Him ‘as He was’ then surely they knew who He was as they had walked with Him and witnessed many miracles. They also knew that if they continued on with Him there was a cost to pay. There is always a cost of discipleship.
If we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior ‘as He is’ as Lord of lords and King of kings and take Him along in the boat of our life then we also incur a cost. That cost may include leaving ‘the crowd’ and following Him in a boat that may be challenged by storms but will reach the ‘other side.’
In verses 37-38 a fierce storm arises and the disciples panic, wake Jesus up and ask Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Life is not easy and how often when challenged do we frantically go to God assuming He is asleep in the stern and unaware of what is going on at that moment? We have all been there but as we grow in our relationship with Him the intensity of our frenzied approach to Him will diminish. Faith will get stronger and we will know that whatever is going on around us is ultimately under His control just as the raging storm was in the parable.
In verses 39-40 Jesus rebukes the wind and says, “Peace, be still!” To His disciples (which would be us if we follow Him) He says, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
Finally after all this in verse 41 we read, “And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!’” Remember, in the beginning of this story they let Him into the boat ‘as He was.’ If you let Him in then know that He will arise sometimes in what seems to be the midnight hour and bring a great calm to a raging storm. Know that, expect that and do not be surprised by what the Lord will do for you!
God is only limited by what we believe. Too often we put God in a very small box defined by the situation we are in or the challenge we are facing. He can do exceedingly and abundantly above all we can think or imagine. Reread that. If you are struggling with fear take this week to really seek the Lord and be open to what He will show you. Let Him in the boat ‘as He is’ for only He can get you ‘to the other side.’
Please join us this week as we ‘pray the states’ toward the 2012 Presidential election. This week please cover Maryland, admitted to the Union April 28, 1788, in prayer. We are praying for each state in the order of admission to the Union. Pray for wisdom and discernment for the political leaders, pastors and church leaders, the people residing in Maryland and for all in our Nation. These are our United States. Let us pray that we will arise united ‘for such a time as this.’ Please repost
Each state is important in forming our United States of America. We commit to pray for a different state each week so we not only provide a prayer cover but also to make us each aware that our country is bigger than the space we personally occupy in it.
Thank you for your continued faithfulness to pray. Keep our servicemen and women and their families in prayer for salvation and safety. They are our front line of defense. May God richly bless you and meet you exactly where you are this week to carry you ‘to the other side.’