"After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone," Matthew 14:23
So, Jesus put the disciples into the boat and sent them off to cross the lake while He went to pray alone. Yesterday we mentioned that it helps to know that we are in Jesus' boat when the storm comes. That was Lake Lesson number one.
Today we will learn another Lake Lesson.
The information gathered from this verse tells us that both Jesus and the disciples were doing what they did best. Jesus was praying and the disciples were boating. That sets up the opportunity for this lesson.
We know that the disciples were in the boat by the will of Jesus. He put them there. But we do not know if He gave them instructions on where to go or if they just took off on their own. Obviously, they intended to get to the other side.
The point is, they were steering the boat. It was a job they were familiar with and were comfortable doing. That is good - and bad! That is so much like us. We find the will of God and then take over the controls and begin steering the boat. How many times has God made His will plain to you and you began to follow His will feeling confident in where you were headed? But then how many times did your confidence become independence and you began steering the boat?
Easy to do isn't it!?
When you steer the boat trusting in your own knowledge, experience or wisdom, we are headed for a storm. Have you ever steered the boat for any extended period of time and not ended in a storm? Now, we don't know if this storm was spread over the entire lake or if it was localized and they steered into it. But we do know they were steering the boat and it ended in a storm.
Here's a tip from a veteran of many storms, when Jesus puts you into a boat, trust Him to guide you as you steer it. If you steer it based on your own judgement, your own experience or your own wisdom, you will end up in a storm.
So, the disciples were in the boat and steered it into an awful storm. What was Jesus doing while they were steering into the storm?
He was praying! No doubt, He was praying for them. Probably He was praying for them because He knew that they were steering the boat and that they were headed for trouble.
That is the Lake Lesson for today: Jesus prays for us while we steer the boat.
One of the main roles Jesus plays is that of Intercessor. That means He prays for you - and me. Check out Hebrews 7 and Romans 8.
Isn't it good to know that as you try to navigate through the storms of life, Jesus is interceding for you?! Will you be encouraged by that knowledge? Would you seek His guidance and direction as you steer the ship? That way, if you steer into a storm you can know for sure that it is His will. Even better - invite Him into your boat and let Him steer it! BUT either way, you can rest in the confident knowledege that Jesus is praying for you, interceeding for you to do God's will!
Lake Lesson #2 - Jesus prays for you while you steer the boat!