Who’s In Your Boat?
Luke 8:22 “And Jesus got into a boat with his disciples and said, ‘Let’s go to the other side of the lake.’ “
Are you in the boat with Jesus? Has he asked or directed you to go somewhere or do something? I hope each of you reading this have responded to his invitation to get into the boat and give your heart and life to God. The next step then, is to respond to the invitation “Let’s go.” He will most definitely guide you, direct you and ask you to go and do. Are you listening? Are you open and trying to hear his voice? It might be as subtle as a fleeting thought or idea to call that friend or see that person who you learned is sick or going through a difficult time, maybe it is to invite that acquaintance to dinner and get to know them better or invite them to church. He is always prompting us to reach out to others and ask them “what’s going on in your world?” Just the other day I thought about going to see someone I had learned was in the hospital. I was tired and it was inconvenient timing so I didn’t. It keeps haunting me. I now know that it was a prompting from the Holy Spirit. I intend to follow through with that prompting! How about you? I challenge you to pay attention to the promptings. What is God leading you to do? Sometimes it is more than a gesture. Sometimes it’s a journey, a job, or a ministry. So If we agree “To go” then we know it was his idea and he is in the boat with us.
For a minute let’s think about what it was like to be one of the disciples of Jesus during his ministry here on earth. What a wild ride that was! They witnessed the blind being healed, leprosy disappearing before their eyes and even the dead coming back to life! Of course they also were there when he was arrested, tried, convicted, beaten, and crucified. That must have been confusing, heartbreaking, even frightening!
Luke 8:23 “So they set out, and as they sailed, he rested and fell asleep and a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger.”
Have you ever been in a situation or position in life that you know God led you to, then found yourself in the middle of a storm? I certainly have. Maybe you are in that situation right now. I definitely know what that is like! There have been times when I knew God lead me there, and even showed me in many ways that he was there with me. Then thunder would shake the walls around me. Lightening would strike too close for my comfort. Do you know what I mean? My heart would grip with fear, my emotions so strong, I felt overwhelmed. My faith would begin to falter. Have you ever felt that way?
Luke 8:24 “And they went and woke him saying, Master, Master, we are perishing!”
For a minute, let’s not look at our own situation, our own story, but look at what is being played out in Luke 8. The disciples find themselves in the boat WITH JESUS and they are worried about a storm. I can easily point my finger at them and judge them. I mean, they are worried about a storm when Jesus is LITERALLY WITH THEM in the boat! Do they really think God is not paying attention? It’s easy to judge them, isn’t it?
Now let’s step back into our own story. I KNOW I’m in the boat with Jesus. Do you? When the storms of life come, and the weather turns dark, it is unnerving. What does your storm look like? Maybe you lost your job, a relationship ended or you lost a loved one. Sometimes life can be very difficult. When the thunder, lightening and waves get so big and so strong, our emotions can begin to overwhelm us and we might focus on the problem and what we are feeling. Sometimes we are distracted by the problems and emotions and forget to THINK and remember that he is there….in the boat….with us. When despair knocks on the door of our heart, we have a choice of how we are going to respond.
Luke 8:24b-25 “He awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?”
God knows we are only human. He knows we are going to get focused on the storm from time to time and forget he’s in the boat with us. Nevertheless, he is calling us to look and see where and what we are putting our faith in? He is calling us to trust him more than our circumstances. This is my favorite miracle that Jesus performs in the Bible. It shows us that there is absolutely NOTHING, that is not subject to his authority. He is the Creator of the universe and everything in it. In the same chapter of Luke 8, in the verses that follow (Luke 8:26-32 & Ma. 8:32) Jesus encounters two demon possessed men. Before he even speaks, the demons know who he is and they beg him not to send them into the abyss. Scripture says he gives them permission to go into some nearby pigs and with one word “Go” he sends them. People…..what are we worried about??? When we find ourselves in the middle of a storm, we need to ask ourselves “Did God ask us to go here? We need to look around. Isn’t he with us? We need to ask ourselves “Where is our faith? Is it in our own abilities? Is it in the circumstances, or is it in God?
Food for thought:
It’s easy to judge others.
Don’t look at the storm instead of the One who has authority over it.
Is Jesus in your boat?
Are you willing “To go” wherever he wants to go?
Where is your faith?
He is in my boat but I often still try to stop the storm in my own power …. eventually I remember who is in control and who is with me.