Sunday, October 22, 2017

October 23, 2017

"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 knowledge that Jesus is praying for you, interceding for you to do God's will!

Lake Lesson #2 - Jesus prays for you while you steer the boat!

October 22, 2017

"Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd." Matthew 14:22

Much of life is spent between the storms. If you are not in a storm now, you will be. I am not being pessimistic, I am just being real!

In this portion of Scripture, the disciples were headed for a storm. Through this week in my posts on this blog, I am going to share with you some Lessons on the Lake, truths that they learned while in the storm on the lake.

A storm is a terrible thing to waste. If you have to weather a storm, you had best learn from it! I want to help you by sharing these daily lessons from the lake.

The first lesson is seen in verse 22 where Jesus put them into a boat and sent them off on the lake. That sets the stage for the first lake lesson:

LAKE LESSON #1 - When You Are In A Storm It Helps To Know You Are In His Boat

For the purposes of this lesson we are going to imply that the boat represents the will of God. I think that is a safe assumption since it was Jesus Who put them in the boat.

If you are in the midst of a storm right now, let me ask you, "Do you know that you are in the right boat?" If you are in a storm and you are in the will of God, that makes ALL the difference! If you are between storms in your life or if you see the storm clouds forming on the horizon, it would be a great time to stop and make sure you get in the right boat!

There are those who would claim that if you are in His boat then you will never be in a storm. They believe that it is God's responsibility to keep you safe, warm and dry and the only boat He would give you would be a yacht! Their theology states that God's responsibility to His people is make sure they have smooth sailing.

That theology just doesn't track with life nor does it mesh with this Scriptural account. The disciples were in the boat by the will of God and set sail in obedience to Him.

Lake lesson number assures us that when we are in the storm by His will, we can be sure of his protection! 

Do you believe that? 

Faith floats!