Thursday, August 30, 2007

In the midst of the storm

I am sitting in the sanctuary as I write this blog and the song that is playing is “Jesus, there is just something about that Name.” Wow! What a powerful song! Let me write down the lyrics for you:

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. There's just something about that name. Master, Savior, Jesus-Like the fragrance after the rain. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Let all heaven and earth proclaim. Kings and kingdoms shall all pass away. But there's something about that name.

This song was written by Bill and Gloria Gaither. This is one of the most powerful songs ever written. When they recorded the song, Gloria spoke the following anointed words on the recording:

Jesus, the mere mention of His name can calm the storm, heal the broken, raise the dead. At the name of Jesus, I've seen sin-hardened men melted, derelicts transformed, the lights of hope put back into the eyes of a hopeless child... At the name of Jesus, hatred and bitterness turned to love and forgiveness, arguments cease. I've heard a mother softly breathe His name at the bedside of a child delirious with fever, and I've watched that little body grow quiet and the fevered brow cool. I've sat beside a dying saint, her body racked with pain, who in those final fleeting seconds summoned her last ounce of ebbing strength to whisper earth's sweetest name--Jesus, Jesus... Emperors have tried to destroy it; philosophies have tried to stamp it out. Tyrants have tried to wash it from the face of the earth with the very blood of those who claimed it. Yet still it stands. And there shall be that final day when every voice that has ever uttered a sound--every voice of Adam's race shall raise in one great mighty chorus to proclaim the name of Jesus--for in that day "every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!!!" Ah--so you see--it was not mere chance that caused the angel one night long ago to say to a virgin maiden, "His name shall be called Jesus." Jesus--Jesus--Jesus. You know, there is something about that name...

My friends, there really is something about the name of Jesus. I am so thankful that regardless what you are facing today you can just whisper the name of JESUS…JESUS, and all of heaven stands at attention. I have linked a video of the Gaither’s singing this powerful song, and Gloria Gaither reciting what I shared with you above. If you want to be blessed today in a powerful way, play that video and just sense the presence of God as you hear that name mentioned…Jesus!

I want to share something with you that God spoke into my life this morning.

Mark 4:37, 39 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And He [Jesus] arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

In this verse, Jesus was crossing the Sea of Galillee on his way to deliver the demoniac of Gadara from the demons that held him in bondage. This demon-possessed man was an important weapon in Satan’s arsenal. Through the actions of the demoniac of Gadara, the devil had held the countryside hostage with fear for a very long time. The demoniac was so legendary that people throughout the entire coastland region knew of him. The devil knew that if Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee that night and reached the other side, He would cast the demons out of that man. When that happened, Satan would lose the weapon he had long used to terrorize the whole countryside.

So as Jesus and His disciples crossed the Sea of Galilee that night, violent and destructive winds seemed to come from out of nowhere to try and capsize Jesus’ boat and drown Him and His disciples in the middle of the sea. Mark 4:37 says, “And there arose a great storm of wind.”

I love Rick Renner, a pastor and author, has a great devotional book entitled "Sparking gems from the Greek." When discussing this verse, he points out that the phrase “there arose” is taken from the Greek word ginomai, which in this case describes something that happens unexpectedly or something that catches one off-guard. This plainly tells us that Jesus and His disciples did not expect bad weather that night. The Greek word ginomai emphatically means that this event completely took the disciples by surprise.

To let us know the size of this storm, Mark uses the Greek word mega, which denotes something of massive proportions. It is where we get the idea of mega-bills, mega-work, and megaphone. Because Mark uses the word mega, it alerts us to the fact that this was a mega-storm with mega-winds! The word “wind” is the Greek word lalaipsi, which means this was a turbulent or terribly violent wind. This word can also be translated hurricane, cyclone, tempest, gale, windstorm, a furious tempest, or a fierce squall. Therefore, we know the storm that came against Jesus that night was no small breeze. It was a formidable, crushing, overpowering type of storm.

One very important fact must be pointed out: This was a windstorm. There is no mention of rain at all because this was a storm of wind. Jesus and His disciples could feel its effects as the wind blew against them and their boat. They could see the raging waves that were tossed to and fro by this violent wind. However, the windstorm that had come to overturn their boat in the middle of Sea of Galilee and to kill them before they reached the other side was invisible.
Here was Jesus — on the brink of one of the greatest miracles of His ministry. At the same time, there was the devil, fearing that he was about to lose one of his most highly prized weapons of terrorism. It was at this exact moment that this violent, destructive turbulence came down upon Jesus and His disciples.

The occurrence of the storm at this exact moment was no accident. The devil didn’t want Jesus to reclaim one of his most prized captives. This was a preemptive strike of the devil to undo the work of God.

I feel that there are people reading this blog that are facing a preemptive strike from the devil. He is attacking your family, marriage, finances, health, peace of mind, and for some, your employment. The enemy is doing anything he can to destroy God’s peace in your life by attacking your FAITH through FEAR. You see FAITH is trust and belief in God, FEAR is trust and belief in your problem. Why don’t you right now, whisper the name of Jesus, and tell Him that your faith is no longer going to be in your problem, but in YOUR GOD!

Back to the scripture that we are looking at today, that night in the midst of the storm, Jesus arose and took authority over the situation. The Bible says that when He exercised His authority over this unseen turbulence, “ the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39).

I love this verse in the Message version: Mark 4:39 Jesus said to the storm, "Quiet! Settle down!" The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass."

Think about that for a moment. The wind RAN OUT OF BREATH. I believe that as you continue to put your trust and your hope in Jesus, your storm is going to run out of breath or steam. This thing that you are facing will pass, and you will be victorious. Whether you see Him, or feel Him, please know that Jesus is IN THE MIDST of the storm with you. When Jesus calmed the storm He demonstrated that He was the Lord of the wind and the waves. This potentially deadly situation provided a great opportunity for the disciples to learn that Jesus Christ is truly Lord over all!

Rest assured — Satan will certainly try to attack you with unexpected turbulence from time to time. His attacks against you will probably escalate whenever you’re right on the edge of a breakthrough, as was the case with Jesus that night. But just as that event provided an opportunity for Jesus to demonstrate His power and authority, you need to see each demonic attack against you as an opportunity to rise up, take authority, and demonstrate who you are in Jesus Christ! Mentally and spiritually prepare yourself to deal with the devil’s attacks. Put on the whole armor of God. Rise up and take authority in Jesus’ name over the wind and the waves that come against you and your family. Never forget that this is your golden opportunity to see a demonstration of God’s power in your life!

I love you guys, and prayed for you this morning! Blessings!

Rejoicing (and spinning) in this wonderful day,

Pastor Rusty L. Blann


Treasure Seeker said...

God is more powerful than any storm I go through!
Mindy sent me this link today. I think it goes along with your blog post.

I believe everyone will be blessed by this visualization of our relationship with Christ.

If that doesn't work, I'll try it another way.

Have a blessed day!

Clayton and Laurie said...

Pastor Rusty,
Nice touch today with adding the video. That song always ministers to me, reminding me that there is NO other name but Jesus. No other God, No other Resource, No other way but J E S U S. Thanks for sharing.


Clayton and Laurie said...

Pastor Rusty,
Very cool touch you added today with the video. I love that song, everytime I hear it I am reminded that there is No other God, No other resource and No other way but J E S U S. Thanks for sharing.


Tina Barton said...

Pastor Rusty,

Today's blog really hit home with me. When I was a little girl, we lived in the country, and whenever bad weather came, we would all go stay in the storm sellar until it was safe to go back in the house. I remember sitting next to my Mom and feeling so comforted and safe as long as I was by her. I was thinking today how much more we as Christians should feel that way about God when we are facing life's "storms" that come our way. As long as we have him by our side, then we should have that comfort that he is going to take care of our storm.
I really look forward to reading your blogs each day. I can't tell you what a blessing they have been to me!

Churchchipmunk said...

Pastor...Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I sure needed this today. It is so easy to forget that the storm doesn't always begin in our personal can begin anywhere (Like our Job). It's so easy to allow the enemy to lure us into getting swept up into a whirlwind and before we know it...we are "in the midst of a storm". There really is something about That Name JESUS...Wonderful, Powerful, Comforting, Loving, Correcting, Peaceful, Safe and Secure. I love this song as much so that I now have it on my desk and will for sure have it at home, too. Thanks Pastor!!!
Resting in His Grace and Mercy,