When you feel like you’re suddenly thrust into the frontline of battle, or you’re facing a storm of life that came up on you so suddenly, you didn’t even see see where it came from, it’s easy to be thrown off balance. In fact, in moments like that it can feel like your whole world has been turned upside down and you’re completely losing control.
This is the exact time we need someone to stand up, take authority over the situation, and make it all stop!
We know Jesus’ disciples faced a time like this when they were onboard a fishing boat with Jesus, on the Sea of Galilee. They were on route to a region that was notorious for harbouring a demonised man, possessed by a legion of demons.
Jesus knew His mission was to get to the other side of the sea, deal with the demons that were oppressing this man, and see him set free and made whole. For far too long the devil held the people in that area hostage with fear. The entire coastland knew about this dangerous, mad man who would rant and rave, and live like a tormented animal amongst the caves.
No one deserves to live this way, and Jesus had set out to do exactly what His Father wanted Him to do - destroy the devil’s work and bring freedom and dignity to those who were bound and suffering. 1 John 3:8 says, “...The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done].”
The devil knew that if Jesus crossed the sea that night, when He reached the other side, He would cast those demons out and end his reign of terror.
So, as Jesus and the disciples were crossing over the sea, the Bible says a great, violent, and destructive wind seemed to come up from nowhere. Mark 4:37 (AMPC) says, “And a furious storm of wind [of hurricane proportions] arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled.”
Now, it’s important to note that the word arose used here, in the original Greek text describes something that happens unexpectedly or catches you off guard. Obviously, the disciples, who were skilled fishermen, didn’t expect this kind of ferocious windstorm that night. The event took them completely by surprise.
Of course, I took full advantage of using my Sparkling Gems From the Greek by Rick Renner to help bring out the richness of the text and give us a clear and detailed picture of what took place that night. When we begin to dig a little deeper using this knowledge of the Greek, it opens up such wonderful truth for us to hold onto and learn from.
Back to the storm...the Bible explains how the wind that came up that night was no ordinary wind. One translation says it literally picked up the waves and threw them against the boat. The Greek translation uses the words ballo (to throw), and epi (against). It describes how this invisible force continuously hurled giant, angry waves against the boat, beating against it continuously, one after the other, filling their boat until it began to sink into the ferocious, terrifying black waves.
No wonder the disciples were frightened out of their wits! No wonder they shook Jesus awake, and in their panicked terror asked Him why He didn’t even care that they were perishing! In the Greek, the word perish here actually describes being undone, unravelled, or broken in pieces. What an accurate description of these terrified men.
We can certainly understand their confusion, they were doing nothing wrong, in fact they were doing exactly what Jesus had instructed them to do. They were on a God inspired mission, with the Son of God in their boat no less. They were almost there, and out of nowhere, this ferocious wind launched an all out attack on them, manipulating the sea to rage its fury against them. They were helpless against its power. The boat was filling up and they were about to drown. And where was Jesus in all this? He was peacefully sleeping through it all!
If you ever find yourself in a situation where out of nowhere you are confronted with trouble of such great proportion, you simply don’t know how to respond - understand the source of your problem is more than likely not what you see or hear happening around you in the natural. Your enemy, the devil could very well be manipulating circumstances around you to distract you from what God is about to do through you, unravel your emotions, and cripple your faith.
Just like the devil orchestrated the unseen force of the wind that night, to manipulate the waves and prevent Jesus from accomplishing His purpose; the devil is constantly lurking behind the scenes trying to catch us off guard and prevent us from living out our faith for the Lord.
I want to remind you of what Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.”.
The good news is Christ in us has already overcome the enemy that’s against us, and given us the authority to rebuke him and bring his evil plans to nought!
In this series we will come to understand how the fight we are in is not against natural things, and that God has already given us victory over it! You will learn how to stand up and use your voice, and God given authority to stop the devil in his tracks, and see the whole situation turn around for His glory!
In the next letter we will see exactly how Jesus responded to the enemy’s attack, and how the circumstances immediately changed as a result.