John 8:28 “Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.”
In John 5, Jesus healed the blind man. He put mud on a man’s eyes, creating eyes in the natural. What do you need God to do in your life that is outside of your power or anybody else’s? Grab ahold of a vision. What is God doing in the Spirit? Then, act it out in the natural.
A familial bondage is being broken. Relationships are being restored and healed. God will bring strength and hope and healing. Because of the prayers of families, other families will be blessed and healed. The curse will be broken in Jesus’ name.
There are healings and miracles that will happen today. The way it happens will be as a confirmation to the Word. Jesus confirms the Word with signs following.
God will give us clarity as to where we are as a church.
Mat 14:22-32 “And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.”
Jesus sent the disciples on. Read the whole story. They had just come from seeing miracles, impossible miracles. They had just come from seeing the mighty power of God, and then they were sent into a storm.
It was not the devil that was trying to kill them. It was not circumstance. You don’t catch Jesus by surprise. He always knows what’s going on. It was Jesus who sent them into the storm. He sent them before Himself.
He also sent everybody else away. He sent all the fringe people away. He sent all the people who weren’t really committed away.
Jesus sent the most committed people into the storm.
Sometimes, when you start to see a falling away and then the storm, it’s things falling into place according to God’s will.
People will fall away because they are not committed. When you start to see them fall away, there might be a storm coming. The reason Jesus sends them away is because they wouldn’t make it.
Jesus says to the ones left, ‘You are who I want to test and strengthen and build my church upon.’
There is no such thing as an excuse for not spending time with God. Everybody is busy, but God is the priority. Don’t just ‘play church.’ Do more than show up.
Get into God’s face and know Him. Know Him. Spend time with Him. Enjoy time with Him. It’s okay to kick things out and spend time with the One we love.
Jesus is the very one who sent them into the storm. It was a contrary storm.
We love to quote the fun parts of Scripture. We love to misquote Scripture! ‘The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord.’ Righteous doesn’t mean ‘perfect.’ It means ‘in right standing.’ Either God orders our steps, or He doesn’t. Sometimes, God will lead you into a brick wall. It doesn’t matter where we’re walking, we’ve got to have a predetermined faith that says, ‘I believe that God is leading me, no matter what.’ Through the valley, onto the mountain, it doesn’t matter. He is still leading. Either He’s God or He’s a liar and I believe He’s God.
He will take you through that crazy wall! When you don’t understand Him, choose to trust Him.
Sometimes within just a few months of walking in your calling, you will be stripped of everything except your calling.
God leads you into the storm. Your faith will be tested. Will you trust even when you don’t understand?
God will provide even in the darkest times.
Don’t let temporary circumstance trick you. Temporary circumstances will disguise themselves as a result. The circumstance is not a result. Don’t you let circumstance trick you into believing God doesn’t approve of you. Good things happening don’t equal God’s approval. Bad things happening don’t equal God’s disapproval either.
When we understand, that’s great, but when we don’t, we still walk in faith. Even the bad works for my good.
Rom 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
The Bible says it was the 4th watch when they saw Jesus, not at the beginning of the storm, or the second watch, or even the third. Just because you’ve tried something one or two times, doesn’t mean it’s over. Keep going. Don’t give up. Keep doing what you’ve been called to do. In the middle of their uncertainty, Jesus walked onto the scene.
Sometimes, Jesus likes to mess with us. Why didn’t Jesus appear in the boat with them? Instead, He chose to be mysterious and walk on water! Couldn’t He make it easy for once?
Jesus likes to take things that are impossible to prove to everybody that He’s real. Jesus puts the impossible there simply to say, ‘I am God.’
The crazy circumstances we go through is to show us that He is God.
The disciples didn’t recognize Jesus. They thought He was a spirit walking on the water. They had to have faith in His voice, not in what they saw. There was no evidence in Scripture that He looked any different. Why didn’t they recognize Him? It was raining.
When you’re in the midst of the storm, you can’t see right, you can’t think right. Don’t make decisions based on your storm. Make decisions based on what Jesus is telling you in prayer.
Don’t justify stuff because you’re struggling with it.
Predetermined faith will keep you during the storm.
Don’t wait until stuff happens to start praying. When things are good, pray for the good. Build your faith when things are good.
Sick people will make crazy decisions. When your kids are messed up, it’s harder to trust God. When things are hurting and your heart is tried, you’ve got to have faith. You are blinded by circumstance. Don’t think you know everything! Get Scripture into your spirit during the good times. Don’t operate in feeling or flesh. Operate in Bible and God’s principles.
Don’t wait till the rain comes to start figuring out who Jesus is, what your calling is, and/or what His will is for you.
Don’t make decisions that are far reaching when visibility is low. Make ten year decisions based on ten years of faith. Don’t make decisions based on mental anguish. Make decisions when you can see right, based on faith, based on Jesus, based on His Word.
When you are worshipping, you can see clearly because Jesus is there. When you hear the voice of God, all doubt leaves.
When Peter heard Jesus’ voice, all fear and doubt left. He walked on water!
Take those decisions and bring them to the altar. Even ‘good opportunities’ need to be brought to the altar. What are the consequences? Will this heal you all the way? You’ve got to see in the distance to make big decisions.
Then, Jesus said to Peter after he sank into the water, ‘O thou of little faith…’
When you approach faith with reason, you sink.
Peter heard the voice of God. He jumped out of that boat and walked on water. His faith was high. Once he saw the circumstances, he got sidetracked.
We’ve got to stop ‘right now’ thinking.
You come up to the altar and you’re sick or broke and you feel better, you call it a miracle. Then, you walk away and think that’s the end. Peter was in the middle of his miracle. He was walking on water. In the middle of doing the impossible, he was dragged back into stark reality. He lost it by losing his focus on Jesus.
Just because you felt a touch at the altar doesn’t mean you’ve arrived. Even walking in the miraculous, you can still sink. Just because you’ve seen the activation of the miraculous, doesn’t mean you’ve arrived. When faith meets the will of God, the miraculous begins. But, it’s only the beginning. From there, you must learn to walk in the continual miraculous.
Peter took his eyes off Jesus and started walking in circumstance. Jesus didn’t rebuke Peter by saying, ‘O ye of little faith.’ It wasn’t a rebuke. He had just walked on water! Peter had faith, but it was immature. It was faith based on feeling.
Mature faith doesn’t need an extra sign. Mature faith keeps you all the way back to the boat. Jesus wants you to walk. You’ve seen some miracles and signs, now keep going. Commit to faith. What are you committed to? What have you vowed? What do you need to renew?
The mature person of faith can walk with Jesus no matter what life may bring. God is looking to grow mature faith in this church. He wants to grow you and to bring you into a new level of lasting faith.
We’re talking about God. Jesus could’ve just said, ‘Peace be still’ and the rain stopped.
After Peter saw what he thought was a spirit, heard God’s voice, walked on water, sank, got rescued, ‘and when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.’
Jesus ended that story after they got back into the boat. Peter fell in the water, and screamed for help, Jesus saved Him. After they came back to the boat, the wind ceased. The storm ended.
The miracle did not stop at Peter’s failure.
Peter still had to get back to the boat and the storm was still raging.
Jesus reached out after Peter sank and pulled him back into the miracle. Peter had his hand in Jesus’ hand. Together they walked back to the boat. Peter completed the miraculous. The wind did not stop when Peter was rescued from sinking.
Even when you know exactly what Jesus wants you to do and you do it, the wind might still rage on. Jesus didn’t take away the distraction. He taught Peter how to walk through it. Peter walked with Jesus. He got his focus back on Jesus—in the midst of the storm.
Jesus didn’t want Peter to know the hardships of sinking, He wanted to teach him how to walk on water, walking in the miraculous—in the midst of the wind and rain and low (no) visibility.
The miraculous power of God is in this church. There are miracles, signs and wonders that will follow this church. You will see miracles take place. You will see God’s miraculous power. But, it will not come without having to demonstrate in the middle of a storm.
We need a demonstration. But what is a demonstration? A science fair demonstration is simply putting two chemicals together and seeing the volcano erupt. It’s just showing everybody that the research is correct. We need the people of God to take this truth of Scripture and faith and show that it works. Just as the little child prays that his volcano will erupt, we’ve got to demonstrate anyway. Believe and push the button. Trust God as you put it all out on display.
Are you willing to be the one needing a miracle? Will you trust God in the storm? This is demonstrating. Are you willing to be the project? Will you have faith in the storm and walk back to the boat?
My faith and your sickness meet and let’s demonstrate. God will do what He wants to do.
More Questions for Personal or Group Study:
- What storms have you experienced in your life? How have you and the people around you handled those difficult circumstances?
- What in this sermon speaks to you and your situation right now? How does this new knowledge change you?
- Psalm 46:10 “Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God. I am the God above all the nations, and I will be exalted throughout the whole earth.” (TPT) “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (KJV) In the midst of a storm, how can you ‘be still’ and ‘surrender your anxiety’? How do you need to think in order to ‘be silent and stop your striving’ so ‘you will see that I am God’?
- How can you encourage someone with the things you’ve learned in this sermon?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Joe Guinta.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.