Tuesday, May 20, 2008

“Daddy, I found you!”

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it! I hope you are as well. I apologize for taking a four day break from my blog. I didn't really intend to, but it just happened. Thanks for those who sent me an email, text, or phone call to let me know that you missed by blog. We had a great service this past weekend as Tonya Reeves shared her testimony of God's grace and mercy. She shared how she woke up one day and a light came on in her spirit. She just knew that she was going to make it, that she had turned the corner. That reminded me of a story I read recently, please allow me to share it with you.

In his book Jesus Among Other Gods, Ravi Zacharias tells a story about a girl who became hopelessly lost in a dark and dense forest. She called and screamed, but to no avail. Her alarmed parents and a group of volunteers searched frantically for her. When darkness fell, they had to give up for the night.

Early the next morning the girl's father reentered the forest to search for her and spied her fast asleep on a rock. He called her name and ran toward her. Startled awake, she threw her arms out to him. As he picked her up and hugged her, she repeated over and over, "Daddy, I found you!"

Applying this story to Mary Magdalene's search for Jesus in John 20, Zacharias comments: "Mary discovered the most startling truth of all when she came looking for the body of Jesus. She did not realize that the person she had found was the One who was risen, and that He had come looking for her."

We who believe on Jesus sometimes speak of "finding" Him. But why did we seek Him in the first place? Because, like the shepherd who went out into the darkness to find one lost sheep, God seeks us. He is waiting for us to realize our lostness and reach out to Him. He will pick us up, embrace us, and give us His peace. Aren't you glad that Jesus came looking for you? Please notice a few things from the following verse:

Matthew 14:22-27 (22) As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night. (24) Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. (25) At about four o'clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. (26) They were scared out of their wits. "A ghost!" they said, crying out in terror. (27) But Jesus was quick to comfort them. "Courage, it's me. Don't be afraid."

  • The Disciples were in the storm because Jesus INSISTED that they get into a boat (v.22) As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people.

Since He was Jesus, the Son of God, didn't He know that He was sending them into a storm? Why did He go into the mountain to pray, and send them away from Him? I am certain these are some of the questions that these men had. They are also some questions that some of you have. "Couldn't Jesus have kept me from this storm? Why do I have to face this situation?" Why the Disciples didn't know, that Jesus did…He was going to come TO THEM in a miraculous way…WALKING ON THE WATER. He will do the same for you as you continue to put your trust in Him.

  • The Disciples were in a storm that seemingly took them a long way from where Jesus was. (24) Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea

Jesus was back on shore and they kept drifting farther and farther from shore. With every gust of wind, they found themselves further into the chaos and fear of the storm. I'm certain they felt like Jesus was miles and miles away and couldn't do anything to help them in this storm. Just a few days earlier He had been on the boat with them during the storm. He had calmed the storm…but now what were they going to do? There are some reading this blog today and you feel with each passing moment you are drifting farther and farther from God's miraculous provision. "Why God? Why?" is the prevailing question in your mind and heart. I want you to know that God understands your frustrations, fears and questions.

  • They had gotten to the point where they were BATTERED by the storm. This word means that they were facing a HOSTILE situation, a very real adversary had come against them.

In the midst of your storm, maybe you are feeling battered today, maybe you even feel like giving up. You are tired emotionally, physically and spiritually, and just don't want to go on. You feel all alone and wonder if anyone cares for you. My friend, I have good news for you…JESUS CAME TO THEM and He will come TO YOU as well. The enemy wants you to quit, because he someone senses that you are on the brink of your breakthrough. I believe that the birth of a miracle is surrounded by spiritual warfare. Yes, the enemy will fight with everything that he has to keep you from victory, but you must determine to push on, to keep your faith in Jesus Christ! Notice the rest of the story…

  • Jesus came to them around 4 am in the morning, WALKING ON THE WATER.

The storm was in full force, they truly thought they were about to die, and just before they give up, they see what they believe is a GHOST coming towards them. Fishermen were very superstitious and had been taught that if you see a ghost while you were fishing, it was a sign that you were going to have a shipwreck. So, of course, their old way of thinking and living tried to surface because of fear. That is exactly what happens to so many of God's children in the midst of a storm. The enemy tries to get you to respond like you "used to" before you gave your life to Christ. "Why don't you try drugs, alcohol, sex, money, etc to bring you some hope and encouragement for this storm." The devil is a liar and destroyer. You rebuke his lies and continue to trust that Jesus is coming to you!

In our story, Simon Peter got out of the boat, at Jesus' command and went to Jesus. Peter began to sink, and Jesus came TO HIM and lifted him up and walked with him back to the boat. As soon as Jesus arrived at the boat, the wind ceased and the storm was over. My friends, TODAY realize that Jesus is coming TO YOU even if you don't feel like He is. The enemy will try to distort your view of Jesus, maybe even trying to get you to go back to your old way of life, but you rebuke the enemy and PRESS ON by faith knowing that Jesus PROMISED to NEVER leave you or forsake you.

I love you and want you to know that you are not alone in your storm! Blessings.

Pastor Rusty