Sunday 20th sept '09: HANDLING THE STORMS OF LIFE
Every opposition you encounter is an opportunity for God to show up in your life. Psalm 46:1-5 reads: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early."The consciousness of your God is the beginning of your victory in life. Be conscious that you have a God that is there for you.
Take a look at this incidence in Mark 4:35-41:"And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? The creation can never resist the voice of the creator. Your God, the one that created you is in control of everything. He said I created the waster to destroy (Isa. 54:16) so don’t fear them. Whatever is out to destroy you is being spoken to by God right now in Jesus Name.
Every opposition to your advancement in life is an opportunity for your God to show up. When we are conscious of Him, when we know who we are and whose we are, we can be sure he will always show up to bring us victory. He said be still and know that I am God (Ps. 46:10), I am still in charge, says the Lord. You have heard God speak to you, He has promised you certain things but it seems as if they are not forthcoming, God has told you, take steps, do this or that and when you began to move, you met opposition and resistances. A great door has been opened unto you but there are many adversaries but God is saying I will deal with the adversaries. The adversaries of your soul; your destiny, your God will deal with them in Jesus Name. One word from God is enough to stop every storm of life. The storms of life are not permitted to stop us. They are not strong enough to hinder us from fulfilling God’s mandate upon our lives. Your God ordained destiny shall be fulfilled in spite of the storms in Jesus Name.
Storms are designed to move us up if we have a correct perspective of who and whose we are – who your Father is. "This I know that God is for me" says David in Ps. 56:9. David had a proper perspective of God and he never lost a battle. You won’t loose any battle again in your life in Jesus Name. The last battle you lost is the last one you will ever loose. The storms of life are real but our dominion over the storms is much more real. Here was Israel before the red sea and behind them were the Egyptians. They were edged in. But Moses – the one that had an understanding of God heard God say look at those Egyptians, this is the last time you are going to see them (Exodus 14:13). God said concerning the one in front, move on, I’ll take care of it and for the one behind, I’ll deal with it. The red sea gave way and God in the midst of His people caused it to happen. Moses together with the whole of Israel passed in the midst of the red sea on dry land and the Egyptians were covered by the same red sea. What is out to swallow you, you will swallow them in Jesus Name. The intention of storm is to swallow but the intention of God for allowing that storm is to showcase Himself. Hence, no matter the storm, it can be handled. There is no storm that can not be handled except the one that is yet to be created. Be rest assured that that situation of yours will be handled. The intention of storms is to hinder you from getting to your place in destiny but God has declared that in spite of that storm, you will get there. I see every storm against your destiny giving way for you now in Jesus Name. That storm raging against your success bows to you now in Jesus Name.
The wind bowed at the declaration of peace by the master. The amplified version described the wind as being furious. Vs. 37-38 of Mark 4 (amplified version), says "…and a furious storm of wind [of hurricane proportions] arose…" i.e. the wind was out to carry and swallow them "…and the waves kept beating into the boat so that it was already becoming filled but He [Himself] was in the stern [of the boat] asleep on the [leather] cushion and they awoke Him and said to Him, Master, do You not care that we are perishing?…" This must have got Jesus wondering: if only you guys knew I am actually in charge of everything, you won’t panic or be afraid. I am right here in the midst of you. Jesus must have looked at the wind and said to it ‘why should you allow Satan to use you against me?’ Satan uses elements you can see to come against you but if you have an understanding that behind every storm is Satan, you will be able to deal with it. Behind every resistance to your success is Satan and behind everything impeding your movement is Satan. Even the economic downturn is a satanic strategy. But it is God’s will that we prosper even as our souls prosper (III John 3:2). When your soul prospers, you live beyond the economic circumstances. No matter the storm, it will bow to you in Jesus Name. God told Moses in Ex. 14:15: "…Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward…" You have all it takes to handle that storm and you will get to your destination in Jesus Name. There is no door that God opens for you that can be shut by anyone if you don’t shut it by yourself. The same way Satan rose up against Jesus, he can rise up and the same way He was stopped, He can be stopped. Hence, no matter how far the devil has gone in your life, he can be stopped. My definition of a storm is anything hindering your progress. Jesus said let us go over to the other side and that settles it. The word of God is settled forever. If he has spoken, he has spoken. God speaks to the future and goes ahead to wait for us there.
What does it take to handle the storms of life?
1. STOP BLAMING OTHERS FOR YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES.
They are not the reason. Don’t place the blame on anybody, look for the root of the storm and deal with it. The disciples said to Jesus in Mark 4:38 "…carest thou not that we perish?" Man is always playing the blame game. The Israelites said Moses in Ex. 14:11: "...Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?" However,God speaking through the Prophet Isaiah in Isa. 54:15 said: "Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake" I sense God saying here: don’t point any accusing finger at me I am not the cause, it’s the devil. Recently I was facing a financial challenge and the devil said look at you, you have been preaching prosperity and now, you don’t even have money to pay your children’s school fees. I was driving home and the devil was bombarding my mind with all sorts of thoughts. At a point I said well, it’s another opportunity to prove God’s faithfulness. A week later, the devil came up once more to trouble my mind. I went to God and He told me that He has buried my past and will yet show me His love and fill me with His treasures and that He is going to help me if I just praise him and that where I put him is where he puts me. He said: relegate me, and I will relegate you; put Me first and I will put you first. By 10:00am that morning, my son’s school fess was paid. I did not make a single phone call to anyone. But the one God has chosen called.
The storms of life are real but our dominion over the storms are much more real. Don’t blame others for your circumstances, put God first, believe that God is available and face the issue. Surely they shall gather says the Lord but it is not of me. Some have even said that their problems started when they started paying their tithes. This is not true, when you go to a doctor with a sore, the nurse first cleans the putrefying sore until blood comes out of the wound and then they can administer treatment. The same thing happens when God begins to work in your life. He goes to deal with the issues, He begins to clear the way for your victory and dominion. Jesus looked at the issue and addressed it. Don’t pass the blame, fix the problem. The storm wants to make you go back; to retreat don’t allow it to. Jesus performed some great miracles when he eventually got to the other side. You are heading for an appointment; you will never be disappointed in Jesus Name.
2. REFUSE TO FEAR.
The bible says in Phil. 1:28: "And in nothing terrified by your adversaries…" Don’t fear but have absolute trust in God and in the ever abiding presence of God. Have absolute trust that God is there for you. Isa 43: 1-4: "But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life." What is out to bury you is buried in your place in Jesus Name. Whatever has been concluded against you that look as if it cannot be reversed, the plotters will go for it in Jesus Name. If God could go to the extent of sending His Son to redeem us, He will go to any length to free us from our adversaries. You are free and delivered in Jesus Name. This is enough reason for you not to fear. In other words, relax, I will undertake for you, says the Lord.
Faith is all the storm needs to bow and fear is all the storm needs to thrive. As long as the disciples were fearful, the storm kept coming, but when the storm came face to face with the fearless and with faith, it bowed. In nothing, be terrified, refuse to fear, do not give room to fear in your life. Fear has torment, it is from the devil, it is from without but faith is from within. Don’t fear what they fear, for God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (II Tim 1:7) to know what to do in the midst of the situation. What the devil sets out to do is to confuse you so you that you don’t know what to do again. But we have the mind of Christ – the sound mind of Christ.
3. ANALYZE THE PROBLEM.
When your mind is sound and you don’t give room to fear, you are able to clearly analyze the problem. Take stock of the situation. Identify the problem and predict what the problem will cause when you don’t do anything about it. The bible says in Pro. 26:4-5: "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit." Why? There is a time to talk and a time not to talk. There is a time to reply and a time not to reply. If you reply before the right time there is a tendency that you’ll miss it. Remember the story of the lepers in II kings 7? They said it is forbidden for lepers to enter Samaria but we are hungry and if we stay here, we will die, if we go to Samaria, we die but if we go to Syria, we don’t know their law but it is better to die in action. And as they began to take steps, the Lord magnified their voices and the Syrians disappeared and left plenty of food for them and they became saviours (read II Kings 7). Samson came across a lion that was going to hinder him from where he was going and he dealt with it. And out of the eater came something sweet (Judges 14).God said I will bring water out of the dry ground (Ps. 107:35). Those same places where you have not been enjoying the goodness of God, you will begin enjoy it in Jesus Name.
Predict the problem and begin to decide on your response. Analyzing the options and the alternatives helps you to come up with the solution that is most suitable for that situation. This happens as you take steps with the assurance that God is backing you based on scriptures.For there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.(Pro. 14:12). The bible says in I Cor. 10:13: "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." So there is no uncommon problem. God is saying that no matter the storm, when you settle with Me, you are able to deal with it. You will know the right thing to do or say because you have the right frame of mind. When you know what the word of God is saying concerning that situation you are not afraid because every problem bows to the authority of knowledge. Prov. 24:10: "If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small."and in Prov. 24:5: "A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength." Therefore, the more you know about God, the stronger you stand in the face of opposition. That is why every child of God must be Word-loaded. A Wordless Christian is a food for the devil. The reason why the disciples feared the storm at that time was because they didn’t know what they knew later on. They didn’t know much. The same Peter, we read in Acts 5:15 that his shadow began to heal the sick. Joshua knew God and knew what to do. He was the one that commanded the sun and the moon to stand still (Jos. 10:12-13).
4. TAKE ACTION – RELEASE YOUR FAITH.
Every problem will always bow to the authority of word-rooted faith. Word loaded faith will storm the storms of life. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent takes it by force (Matt. 11:12). The adversary is out to kill you and you are out to deal with it too so a battle line is drawn. Now what’s your strength? You have the Word, the Spirit, the blood and the Church backing you, the devil is in trouble! You will come our stronger in Jesus Name. When an eagle is taking off and it sees a storm coming,it will fly to some high spot and wait for the winds to come.
When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. The eagle has two sets of eyelids one against the storm which is the eye of faith, and while the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. The eagle does not escape the storm. It simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm. "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isa. 40:31).You are soaring above every storm in Jesus Name. The eagle flies towards the storm, it doesn’t run from it. So when the master eagle said: we are going over to the other side, no storm could stop Him.
You don’t build faith in the middle of the storm you build faith before the storms come. What the storm is out to do is to try you if you know or not. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge says the Lord through prophet Hosea in Hosea 4:6. You bring out what you have on your inside in the middle of storms. The eagle doesn’t need to go and prepare for storm to soar above it; it simply positions itself based on its potential, its endowment. Load yourself up, become a Word-loaded Christian. Jesus said in Mark 11:23: "For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith."i.e. whatever you say when you believe, whoever you are, you are going to have it if you have faith. There is power in the spoken word, that situation is waiting for a word from you, a word loaded utterance. Somebody said "God’s word spoken from the heart becomes the power of God to create the situation you desire". In other words, you can create your world by your word. Peace be still! said Jesus and what followed was a great calm. "Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven…" says Jesus in Matt. 18:18 i.e. what ever you allow or disallow on earth shall be allowed or disallowed in heaven. It is high time you began to allow good things into your life and resist what is not good. Friends, the audacity if faith is rooted in the Word of God! Jesus wasn’t babbling unnecessarily, He simply commanded the storm, and there was a great calm. Why? Because He is God; He is in charge and this same Jesus said of us in John 10:34-35: "…Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken…" in other words, we have the capacity to do the same things Jesus did. Jesus also said inJohn 20:21: "…Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you."
In conclusion, II Cor. 4:13 reads: "We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak…" believe and speak and victory shall be yours in Jesus Name. Go take control of your destiny; take charge; refuse to give up. God is on your side, taking you to your place in destiny. You will fulfil your glorious destiny in Jesus Name.