Jesus Calms the Storm -
From The Elevated Perspective
MATTHEW 8 23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. 24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm
27 The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!”
I'm going to challenge you to take a look at the the story of Jesus calming the storm from a different perspective. We are going to look at this from the perspective of a Son/Daughter, not from someone who is unsure of their identity. Most (if not all) of the time that I hear this story told, it is told from the perspective of the disciples. When the boat began to rock and water began to fill the boat, they began to run around in a panic because they didn’t yet understand who they were, or who Jesus was for that matter... but Jesus was able to sleep through the storm because He knew who He was. He knew He was a Son and knew that He had the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of Him.
We too often live life without this powerful realization. We have the very same Spirit living inside of us that raised Jesus from the dead. The same Spirit y’all. Not a similar spirit, not a spirit kinda like the one Jesus had, but the SAME Spirit. This is exactly why Jesus said we would do even greater things than He did. When we settle it in our hearts that we have this same Spirit dwelling inside of us, it’s a game-changer.
The Bible doesn’t tell us the names of who was on the boat with Jesus during this storm. We can assume that at least a couple of the disciples who used to be fisherman may have been on the boat at this time. During this storm, they reverted back to what the world told them they were, not who they were in Christ. Matter of fact, they couldn’t have fully understood who He was quite yet. Their fear and distress was a direct result of their lack of identity. They didn’t know who they were and they allowed the atmosphere to control them because of that.
When they came to Jesus for help, He was asleep in the boat. Upon awakening He got up, spoke to the wind and the waves, and the storm stopped. He knew who He was and He knew the power of the Spirit that was living inside of Him…. and when a Son or a Daughter is secure in their identity and is walking with the realization that the Holy Spirit is active inside of them, they can sleep during storms. They can speak to the winds and waves of life and calm the atmosphere.
Sons and daughters change the atmosphere, the atmosphere does not change them.
Recently I heard the song "Carrier" by Nathan Isaacs and the lyrics are as follows (paraphrased):
I call this viewpoint the elevated perspective - as opposed to the whiny, defeated, “poor pitiful me” Christian perspective that seems to constantly fill my facebook feed. Sons and Daughters who are secure in who they are don’t allow the atmosphere to change them. Sons and Daughters who are secure in who they are speak to the atmosphere and things change. Sons and Daughters aren’t what the world tells them they are. Sons and Daughters carry Father’s authority. The identity of a Son or Daughter isn’t wrapped up in what they used to be… Their identity is secure in who God says they are. Be a Son. Be a Daughter. Sleep unphased during your storm. Speak to your storm. Speak to someone else’s storm.
“And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
2 Corinthians 6:18
One of the most used metaphors of transformation is the caterpillar and the butterfly. What seems truly fantastic on the outside is actually a gruesome process. As God’s perfect creation, we are no different. Transformation is painful. Our old-self must die so that a new life can come forth.
What stage of metamorphosis are you in? Are you the hungry caterpillar, gorging on things that The Father will reject? Are you are the goo; spiritually dead on the inside? Or perhaps you are the butterfly, using your wings and talents for your God-given purpose.
Change is inevitable, either good or bad, and the price of spiritual transformation is high. Our sinful nature battles with The Holy Spirit that lives in us to do what is right and what is good. The things of this world wants to distract us: family, friends, busy calendars, sports, social media, cellphones, work… But, we can’t lose focus. Our life no longer belongs to us. It belongs to Him, the Great I Am. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” –Galatians 2:20.
While an earthbound caterpillar can never know the heights of a soaring butterfly, an unbeliever can never know the full beauty and love of The Father if they haven’t died spiritually and been given new life.
In the end, where will you stand with Christ, the maker of the original cocoon? “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” –Jeremiah 1:5
- Bridgette Brashear
John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same way that Christ was with God and a part of God, so were we. He knew us before he even created us on this earth.
Jeremiah 1:5 - Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
He created us with a purpose and destiny to live out here on earth. If we seek Him first He will show us how to activate the blessings and joys of kingdom living now. We are sons and daughters of the King and have access to all that He has.
As a potter sits down to create a masterpiece, I believe he first contemplates what he will create. Does he sit down to create something then decide what it could be used for? Or does he knowingly sit down with a predetermined notion that in order to make a cup he knows every step and angle he must take in order for the clay to be molded into a useful vessel in from which he could drink.
If you try to use a cup as a plate you may be able to force it to work for some instances, but everything will be all jumbled together. You may not even be able to tell the contents apart once they have been mushed together, most likely creating a mess and ruining the meal. If you try to use a cup as a vase you may be able to make it work for some flowers. Most likely, you have to settle for very small flowers and cut them short as to not turn over the cup, still making it work as a “vase” even though you could never put fully bloomed large beautiful flowers in it like you could a vase. So the cup could work, it would just be very inadequate and never live up to what a vase could do, but if a cup is used to hold a liquid for drinking, its purpose is fulfilled. The liquid will flow in and out perfectly. There is no friction, no need to force it because the cup was made for that very purpose alone. It gets to fully embrace what it was created to do.
You often hear you must seek “out” what God has in store for your life and what purpose He has created for you. In that instance we hear the word out, our carnal understanding of the word will automatically go to looking outward. We will look at those closest to us first, then on to anyone and everything our flesh hopes to be. Am I supposed to be a preacher? A teacher? A missionary? We see all over TV of crusades and revivals or hear of new churches being formed or reformation of old. How about something even more worldly powerful, a celebrity, a sports star, a governor, a senator, or even the president of the “free” world? As long as the enemy can convince us to keep looking outward, we will never discover our true purpose or destiny and often never realize all of the blessings God has in store for us. Instead, we tend to stay in a constant state of condemnation by never being able to live up to what our flesh sees others doing. (Their purpose and destiny is not your purpose and destiny.)
Just like the cup, our potter made us for a purpose and destiny to live out here on this earth. He knew us before He even made us. His plan is to prosper us and richly bless us so we can follow out His plan in our lives. Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
During the days of the disciples, they had Jesus with them for 3 years and each of them had to look outward to learn from him. Once you come to know that Jesus died on the cross, rose again on the third day and took ALL of our transgression upon Him on that cross so that we may have LIFE not only more abundantly but eternally as well, you have the guidance the disciples had, only it’s a constant dwelling inside of you. When we come to fully believe that statement, we are born again and become a new creature, not new in the way of creation but we get a new mind and new nature, one that can hear the father's plan and how that plan coincides with our dreams, aspirations, and the things that give us the most joy. We think that for some reason if we just never make that confession or fully surrender our life, we may still be able to hold onto those dreams we have, or that “fun” person we think that God doesn't see or know. Sometimes the hardest part to realize is that he made those dreams inside you, he made you with that personality, he made you with that skill-set, and he made you purposefully to use all of those traits in order to walk out His plan for your life. The reason we struggle without Him is we have all of the tools already created inside us to walk out our destiny, but he has the blueprint. An architect can't build your dream house with tools alone, he must first have your pre-planned blueprint on what you want it to be.... when the tools and plan come together.
When we realize that he sent us the holy spirit to dwell on the inside to truly disciple us, we can take our focus off of man, and focus on a relationship with a three part God, that each, individually, will disciple us and unlock our purpose and destiny as we walk in that inward relationship. Proverbs 20:5 - The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out. If you can grasp that, you no longer need to get mad, upset, or discouraged if a pastor, preacher, or person of longtime faith doesn’t come alongside you to pour into or disciple you. Just the same, you don’t have to rely on someone to establish that relationship for you. You don’t have someone every Wednesday and Sunday teaching you about your family and friends; you know them each through a personal relationship. Once you have made the confession of faith that Christ is who He says He is and done what He says He done, start looking inward to him for that development, let the renewal of your mind connect with the spirit to lead you to unlock your destiny and purpose as you start a beautiful ever growing relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- Scott Robinson (contact Scott @ firstname.lastname@example.org)
Today is the first day of Spring and with it brings a renewal of life. The grass transforms from brown and lifeless to green and luscious. The trees bloom and soon we see bright, vibrant colors of red, pink, white, yellow, and light green. Each year the colors are just as bright, fresh and new as they were the year before. We look forward to planting flowers, raising gardens, and lots of sunshine. We have the expectation and desire to see things grow. Spring brings a sense of hope, a renewal of life, and an end to the dreary, dark, cold days of winter. Spring is the embodiment of Hope.
By definition, hope means having a desire and expectation for something to happen. God reveals this to all of us with the season of spring. The expectation of life comes to the dull and lifeless vegetation that surrounds us. We don’t really think about it. We expect the redbuds to bloom each year, we expect the peas we plant to grow and we expect to mow grass every week and complain about it. We have hope that it will happen, without even realizing it.
But how does that compare to our personal lives? As Christians our Hope is in Him and in His word. Without Christ we to were dull, lifeless, and without Hope. Christ is our Hope. He renews our lives, our spirit, and He gives us Hope. Life in Christ should be lived with constant hope, love, faith, and mercy. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”
Are you living each day so someone will ask you why you have Hope? Has your own life been transformed from winter into spring?
- by Deanna Muncy
God has been speaking to me about His breath for a couple weeks... Here is what He says!
God says that since the very beginning, the moment His breath entered the atmosphere, LIGHT began (Genesis 1:3).
It is a beautiful bright light that can never be extinguished. This light defeats all darkness (John 1:5) and is the source of all true HOPE (Hebrews 6:19).
Then, just like with Adam, when His breath mixes with our flesh, LIFE occurs (Genesis 2:7). instantaneously, abundantly, and eternally . He says that once this simple, yet extravagant mixture takes place, it can NEVER be undone (Romans 8:38-39).
There comes a point where His breath is our breath & our breath is His breath, completely indistinguishable.
When God breathed Jesus into Mary's womb, He impregnated her with the ONE (Jesus, aka God in the flesh) who would go on to change the trajectory of the world forever (Luke 1:26-38).
Jesus said that we will do even greater things than Him (John 14:12-14). So what God said to me was, I have impregnated each of you with the One (the Holy Spirit, aka God inside of me) who can change the world. Every follower of Christ gets God's breath injected into their DNA and every follower of Christ has the ONE who can and will and does change the world. And every follower, just as Mary surely did, wonders if they are worthy, if they are capable, if they can handle it.... And God, the Creator, the Equipper, the Comforter, says YES!!!
Now go change the world. Do even greater things! God says He isn't just with us.... He is inside of us, inseparable from us, and our amazing journey on this side of breathing oxygen is getting to be along for the ride, becoming more and more like Him.
He says keep breathing my Sons and Daughters, keep breathing. It's your nourishment, your protection, your comfort.
- Matt Brown (email@example.com)
A wish says maybe, HOPE says definitely,
A wish says orphan, HOPE says son.
A wish says dead, HOPE says alive,
A wish says do better, HOPE says done.
A wish says broken, HOPE says whole,
A wish says strive, HOPE says rest.
A wish says tomorrow, HOPE says today,
A wish says not good enough, HOPE says best.
A wish says judged, HOPE says justified,
A wish says dirty, HOPE says clean.
A wish says "I love you if,".... HOPE says "I love you always"
A wish says me, me, me.... HOPE says Him, Him, Him.
In order to stay focused on HOPE, we must have a foundational understanding of what true biblical HOPE is...HOPE is the unconditional assurance that Father's goodness prevails. No matter what our current circumstances may "feel" like, God always has our best interest in mind.
We can continue to press on in the face adversity because we live from a position of HOPE. We are not those trying to reach victory, we are living in the present reality of victory. HOPE is right here, right now... not off in the future somewhere and only achievable if maybe, just maybe, we behave well enough, pray enough, and ask for forgiveness enough...
Too often, we find ourselves focusing on the seen and not the unseen, the temporal and not the eternal. Let’s take a look at 2 Corinthians 17-18.
"For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever."
Paul is telling us to place our focus off of our troubles of today as they are fleeting. What we take as serious in our present lives will mean nothing whatever in the light of the eternal glory that lays ahead.
Just like the Samaritan woman at the well in John chapter 4.
Jesus said to her, “everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that i will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that i will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Too often we are controlled by what we think brings us relief, even if it is incorrect, even if it’s temporary relief. Our HOPE lies in the water that quenches all thirst. I heard a recovering alcoholic say “I didn’t stop drinking, I just changed wells.” Which well are you drinking from? Are you drinking from a well that still leaves you thirsty? Which well are you offering people water from?
Finally, we are a tri-part being, with our outer-shell being the flesh, the middle area is our soul which is made up of our mind, will, and emotions, and most finally (and most awesomely) the inner court made of the Spirit. If you can hear it like this… We are a spirit, we have a soul, we live in a body.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 says “And the very GOD of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray GOD your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
When we face adversity or temptation we remind ourself that we are not controlled by our flesh or our soul (our mind, will, or emotions) because these are all temporary things that will go whichever way the wind blows. Your flesh and soul is up and down like a roller coaster, but the spirit is steady. THE SPIRIT IS LIKE AN ANCHOR, STEADY AT ALL TIMES.
When we are able to see life from this perspective, we should stop and thank God for giving us the ability to recognize that we are not controlled by our flesh or our soul, but we are controlled by a steady, anchored Spirit.
May you enjoy living out HOPE and bask in the victory that was created for us before the foundation of the world!!!
- Matt Brown, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org