Lessons Of A Lifetime

Crossing Over Faith
Or
Boat Shaking Faith
March 1, 2020

Scripture To Consider:
“Now it happened, on a certain day, that Jesus got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.’ And they launched out. But as they sailed Jesus fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in jeopardy.”

“And they came to Jesus 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. But He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, ‘Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!’”                                                                                                              Luke 8.22-25

Something To Consider:
The disciples and Jesus were in a boat together on a certain day. It is a difficult and dangerous day when Jesus is not in our boat on the sea of life. And yet, His being safely on board and securely in control of our hearts, does not exclude us from difficult or dangerous days. Of all people to learn that lesson of life, it was these disciples on this day.

The disciples heard the command, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” So, they set sail not knowing of the destructive gale force winds that awaited them while Jesus fell fast asleep. Matthew records the same incident and states that a great tempest arose in the Sea of Galilee that day and a windstorm filled the boat with water. Matthew added their prayer, “Lord save us, we are perishing.”

Have we ever availed ourselves of this short six-word prayer? Have we ever been engulfed in the rising waters of affliction, danger, disease, or disillusioned to the point of crying out, “Lord, save us, we are perishing?” If you have been following Jesus for any length of time, your answer more than likely is a resounding YES!

The Word of God is sprinkled with instruction concerning faith. In Proverbs 3.5 we are admonished; “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Trusting in the Lord is never about our always understanding the reason or the why of every situation and or circumstance that occurs in our lives. If so, why call it a walk of faith!

The disciples surely did not understand how Jesus could be sleeping while in their human understanding they thought they were perishing. And yet, they had enough spiritual understanding to go to Jesus for their source of help they so desperately needed. How quick are we to go to Jesus the Word of God or to Jesus our Lord in prayer when life becomes overwhelming?

The prophet Nahum proclaimed in Nahum 1.7; “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.” In other words, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Crossing over faith does not come without difficulties! Crossing over faith does not come without heartache and faith producing trials and tribulations! Are we experiencing crossing over faith or boat shaking faith today, or both?

Something Else To Consider:
Luke in his gospel, reduces their prayer for help by one word, “Master, Master, we are perishing.” These were well seasoned veteran fishermen who made their rugged living fishing these same waters. And in one moment of wind driven panic, each man’s faith was reduced to that of acknowledging their need for last rights. In their eyes there was no hope of coming out of this storm alive!

No doubt they had come to the end of their own feeble attempts to ride out the storm, but to no avail. The only thing in sight for these terrified down for the count distraught disciples was their miserable ill-timed death by drowning. So, finally they threw in the towel. Finally, they did what we should do first and foremost; they went to Jesus.

And in going to Jesus the gale force winds of adversity and the constant raging of the flood waters of life’s very existence were stilled and calmed by the Word of Jesus! As mentioned earlier, crossing over faith comes often because of boat shaking faith. Very little in life is easy. Much of life is a struggle with or without Jesus. But with Jesus there is always an end in sight to that struggle!

After being spiritually born again, this new life in Christ becomes a spiritual battlefield. To attempt to avoid that truth is to attempt to escape the reality of the Word of God. The apostle Paul, speaking of the spiritual war that faces every true believer, declared in 2 Corinthians 10.4; “For the weapons of our warfare [spiritual battle] are not carnal [are not humanly fashioned weapons] but mighty in God for the pulling down strongholds.”

Therefore, Paul admonishes all faithful Christian soldiers in Ephesians 6.11; “Put on the whole armor of God, that you [and me] may be able to stand against the wiles [schemes, battle plans] of the devil.” How goes the battle? How goes the daily struggle of life? How goes our attempt to cross over to the other side of eternal life? We cannot achieve our spiritual goal of gaining eternal life if we break the rules pertaining to the Word of God and refuse to endure to the end.

Something More To Consider:
The great tempest wind arose in a matter of seconds. But Jesus arose to the seemingly overwhelming occasion in time to rebuke the wind and the raging of the water. And in the twinkling of an eye, there was a great calm that settled over the sea as well as over the hearts and minds of every man on board. But Jesus asked of those once frightened and now amazed disciples, “Where is your faith?”

Jesus could have asked the same question before embarking on this danger-stricken mission, but His question would not have carried with it nearly as strong of a correcting conviction. Jesus continues to bring those who truly believe in Him to a place of crossing over faith, and sometimes His methods are by way of boat shaking circumstances. Therefore, Jesus faithfully allows boat shaking faith to bring about crossing over faith in our earthly but godly journey to and with Jesus!

So, how goes the journey? How goes the spiritual warfare and biblical wrestling match against principalities, against demonic powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual hosts or fallen one-time angelic beings of wickedness in heavenly places? Again, Paul persists as would a military commander of his troops in Ephesians 6.13, by stating; “Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you [and me] may be able to withstand [endure to the end] in the evil day, and having done all [having endured to the end] to stand.”

A Few Final Words:
Crossing over faith often comes at a great sacrifice and with a high price of being willing to endure to the end, even if it means to the end of this life! These early disciples learned that biblical lesson of a lifetime that day and due to many other difficult days when the hurricane force winds of opposition and the flood waters of hardship rose to almost overwhelming levels while vehemently beating upon the boat of their lives, they did not depart from their boat shaking faith that had become a crossing over faith.

The same is so true in our own lives if we have truly answered the call to deny ourselves and are taking up our own cross and following Jesus in this sin infected 21st century society. Therefore, we must be found by Jesus having girded our waist with the truth of the Word of God. We must be found having put on the breastplate of righteousness, while having our feet protected with the preparation of the true gospel of peace.

And above all, let us take the shield of crossing over faith in one hand, and the helmet of true born-again wise virgin-like salvation upon our head, while wielding the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God in our other hand! Crossing over faith for spiritual leaders and or leaders in training increases the odds against spiritual shipwreck, and keeps one on course to land safely on the other side of eternal life and crossing over faith in Jesus Christ!

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, teach us the importance of Jesus being in our boat at all times. Grant to us crossing over faith in and through every storm of life. In Him Always, Amen!

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