Friday, October 21, 2005

Speak to the Storm

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11:3)
All of heaven and earth were created by the Word of God. Since it all consists of the Word, it must therefore be obedient and respond to the Word. We see in the Creation account that God has authorized man to speak His Word over the earth:
  • God created man in His own image (Genesis 1:27). That is, man was made to represent the image of God on earth.
  • God puffed His Spirit — the Spirit of Life — into his nostrils (Genesis 2). This is paralleled in the New Testament when Jesus puffed on His disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22).
  • God commanded man to fill the earth and subdue it, and to exercise dominion over it (Genesis 1:28).
  • The first assignment God gave Adam was to have dominion over the animals by naming them. Whatever Adam called each animal, that is what they were named (Genesis 2:19).
All who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ, the Second Adam, are authorized to speak in His name and with His authority. We are authorized to speak His Word, and when we speak it in faith, it will not return void but will accomplish the purpose and pleasure of God.

All creation, which was framed by the Word of God, is groaning together with birth pangs, waiting for the revelation of the sons of God (Romans 8:19-22). It is earnestly expecting, even longing for us to arise and speak the Word of God which will restore order. We are authorized to subdue nature with the Word of God.

In Mark 11, after Jesus spoke to the fig tree and caused it to wither, He spoke to the disciples most solemnly:
Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. (Mark 11:22-23)
Now, about speaking to the storm — when a storm arose on the Sea of Galilee, as Jesus and the disciples were crossing to the other side, the disciples feared because their little boat was being swamped. Jesus was peacefully asleep in the stern when they came to Him and said, “Teacher, don’t You care that we are perishing?”

Notice carefully what Jesus did: “He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still.’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39). Jesus arose and spoke the Word of God to it. He was not quoting a particular Scripture, but He was speaking the character and purpose of God that is revealed in Scripture — for the LORD IS Peace (Joshua 6:24), and He calls us all to “be still and know” that He is God (Psalm 46:10).

But it takes faith, not fear. After calming the wind and the waves, Jesus turned to His disciples and said, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (v. 40).

Many people, even many Christians, have been full of worry and fear about the many storms of this hurricane season. But Jesus would have us let His love cast out our fear, and exercise faith, just as He did on that stormy sea.

What is a hurricane but a mountain of weather? And Jesus has told us how to deal with mountains — speak to them in faith. It is not enough to just speak to them, we must have faith to believe that it will be done for us. And it is not enough to simply have faith, we must open our mouths and speak in agreement with our faith. It is in this way, Jesus says, that mountains will move.

That is exactly what Jesus did when He spoke to the storm. He believed in His heart that what He said would be done — and it was. When Jesus asked the disciples about their faith, I do not think He was simply saying, “Why don’t you trust me?” I believe He was challenging them to learn how to use their faith, just as He used His.

All of creation is groaning, waiting in expectation for the body of Christ to arise, just as Jesus arose in the boat, and set things in proper order by speaking the Word of God to it.

With the recent hurricanes, and the havoc they have brought, many Christians would ask, “Why did God allow this to happen?” But I believe that God would ask of the Church, “Why have you allowed this to happen?” For He has given us His Word, and the authority to use it.

Instead of wringing our hands and simply beseeching God to do for us what He has already given us faith and authority to do, it is time for us to rise up as the Church and say to the storms, “Peace, be still.” Tell hurricane Wilma to go jump in the ocean.