Outside the Boat

In Matthew 14:26, the Disciples were afraid they’d seen a ghost when Jesus comes walking on the water. Outside the confines of that boat there is a very important principle to be understood. There was no ghost, no apparition, it was the Master of the sea who knows how to calm storm driven waters for those who follow Him. In times of trouble our eyes play tricks on us and make us vulnerable to attack. In God’s economy, the life that lives outside the boat represents the place of greatest safety. In financial terms it would be the place of greatest return. With Jesus, in that moment of trouble, the resources of God’s power are only fully available outside the boat. The disciples were caught up with their fear amid the storm waters, but stand as testimony to the fear that would hinder us walking with Jesus because of unbelief. Peter’s request to leave the boat was a wise and proper one, and so Jesus said come. Jesus treads on the water of our troubles and calls us out by name saying, ‘come beyond your belief to the place of real faith that refuses to see ghosts, or to find comfort in the seat of fear’. You and I daily have the choice to rise up with Jesus or be left to the counsel of our own fears. The boat is a picture of a false hope which cannot deliver and its fearful contents can never produce faith. No, faith comes only to those who see Jesus as the ‘only way out’ with their cries being met by His voice. The word I read says, ‘God makes a way where none existed and He speaks to say, do not fear, believe God, also believe and trust Me, for My words are life, they are true, clear and enlightening, and they are powerfully charged to liberate and navigate your troubled waters. Stop seeing ghosts and start looking and living for Me!’

Garments of Glory

This is a word to disciples; disciples are wise servants of the kingdom who have been cleared for glory. They are those who have an understanding of their kingdom position making wise use of what has been given to them to produce garments of praise.   Be careful in your journey or you could be missing the way to into the kingdom. In Luke 17:11, there is an important message about faith.  You will remember the story of the 10 lepers Jesus cleansed. When they ask Jesus for help from their torment, He responded by telling them to show themselves to the priest for a testimony. The word indicates they believed Jesus in faith by doing as He said.  It was in the going they realized they had been cleansed of their condition.  However, only one realized his healing was more than an outward cleansing by turning back to give glory to God.  The literal rendering of the greek words here indicate two distinct events, one which left a mere outward cleansing fit to satisfy the ceremony the law required; the other, a deeper healing that could make a man whole.  All the lepers who were cleansed believed Jesus in faith, but only one found the deeper healing on his face with a loud voice of praise. Jesus would note this man’s faith made him whole, saved him and rescued his life.  When Jesus asked where were the other nine, they were getting their life back by showing themselves to the priest who could then certify they were clean to return to society. The Spirit of Christ would say to you if you want to be His disciples in these days, you must find yourself in pursuit of His glory and accept your place there on the fringe of His garments. They are garments worthy of glory and most deserving of your praise.  These garments are meant to make you distinct as His disciple, so much so that you begin to fill out your proper role as His agent managing well all the resources spiritual and otherwise that He has endowed you with. He says, ‘display a faith that comes to my glory and settles for nothing less, so that you will be careful not to squander the things I give you by touching lives now for eternity.’ ‘Comfort others with the comfort that you have been comforted with–that is not mere cleansing, but in a healing that goes deeper than skin to touch the heart and change the condition of men’s souls.’ He says, ‘My return is immanent; don’t squander my glory on yourself, come to me and I will produce a splendor that will surely touch souls for my kingdom.’

Here’s the take away for you today:  Is your faith cleansing you e.g.g., making you ceremonially fit, religiously clean, just so you can get your life back, or is your faith making you whole by giving you a garment that affects your worship bringing you to find your life of glory facedown at His feet?

Beyond the Baggage

Remember the word given to Saul? Namely this, that he would would be changed into another man and would be numbered among the prophets.  There was however with Saul an uncertainty that left him timid and restrained from doing God’s will. With all of us, God seeks to do a new thing, but the timid of spirit can’t see it–its view is clouded by all the baggage.  Get it!  God says ‘you will be endued with mighty power and with the mind to receive what I would do on your behalf; you will be changed by a heart touched by my love and declare My word to men.’ The word says as much in 2 Timothy 1:7 when it says, ‘God has not given us a spirit of fear or timidity but one of power and love and sound judgement.’ Samuel declared of the Lord’s chosen, ‘see there is none like him in all the land’.  The New Testament says we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood and yet we too easily miss His mighty acts because we all too often dwell with the timid and not the humble. Saul’s royal life was haunted by that timid spirit, and he never got rid of the baggage he was hiding behind.  Timidity will keep you in “Yourself” while humility will take you beyond yourself to behold what God will do just because He said so.  Humility will give you a front row seat to God’s glory, but timidity leaves you blocked off with a very realistic view of yourself and no faith to see beyond the strength of your own hand. I recently found myself frustrated and angry because I could not change a particular situation that I was facing.  God revealed my frustration was borne of a timid spirit causing me a place of grief instead of seeing the way of victory. The timid never go past the frustration, but continue with a passive approach that leaves them disappointed and missing the full plan of God. He showed my need to dwell with the broken not the timid. In that moment of anxiety God revealed this: the timid fail to see His move because of many reasons all driven by fear, but the broken humbly take a seat of rest by a window of recovery to behold what God says and moreover what He would do. Saul became King, but failed to possess all God had intended because he was slave to his own thinking. It left him angry and disappointed not full–timid but not broken. And the end of his life was spent still trying to change the situation by His own methods missing God by a half a step. What about you…want to be angry for the way things are turning out? The timid spirit will keep you there–mad but unable to really do anything about it. That is why it is so frustrating because there is really nothing “you” can do there behind all that baggage hiding from God’s favor. God says, ‘why don’t you look to the word that I’ve given to you as sons?’ ‘I have not given you a spirit of fear and slavery, but I give a Spirit of love so your heart becomes mine. I give a Spirit of power–an unction moving your life from uncertainty to possess the things I have said on your behalf, because son, there is to be none like you, so that I might declare my life through yours. I have given you a Spirit of discipline to think with sound judgement so you can work my plan not your own with the unlimited ability of my resources to accomplish the word I will send before you. I offer you today sound judgment enabling you to think like sons not slaves. Today, which will you be?’ He further says, ‘kindle afresh the gift of God by the Spirit I have given to you, which is powerfully appointed to enable you to focus and to act as sons.’