Yesterday as I was praying about everything that is going on in our world right now, Matthew 8 came to mind. So I picked up the word and began reading through Matthew 8. Two things jumped out at me. First was the word, "fearful". Let me share the scriptures around this word:
23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
I'm going to try to be gentle here but I am not going to sugar coat this. This word is for the church and right now in this moment I think we all need a little sharpening and building up.
You are a believer! When you believed on Jesus and confessed with your mouth that you believe he is the son of God and died for your sin and rose again you went through a new birth (John 1:12-13). You were born again, meaning your old, sinful spirit died and was resurrected as a new, clean, righteous man/ woman, reborn in the likeness of Jesus. You have been given the living, active word of God (Hebrews 4:12). By His word we know what is happening and going to happen to this world. This trouble, this storm, these labor pains should not be a surprise to us nor should they catch us off guard and cause fear in us. The only way they would is if you have been caught up in the affairs of the wrong kingdom (Mark 4:19). When you gave your life to Christ you were adopted into the kingdom of Heaven (James 2:5). You are no longer a citizen of this world, this kingdom. You are a citizen of Heaven. You are only here on mission to, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:15-18
14 "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world." John 17:14-18
As a believer you are to be the physical image of Jesus to the world (1 John 4:17). Think about that. Your body, your hands, your feet, your mouth and thoughts are literally the dwelling place of the Spirit of God. Are you allowing the Spirit to flow through you to bring peace to a perishing world in the midst of this storm? Are you allowing the Spirit to flow through your mouth to show love and truth to the lost? Are you allowing the Spirit to use your hands to heal the sick?
This is not the time for the church, the body of Christ to be just as the rest of the world. The world should be panicked, fearful and worried because they have no covenant with God. This perishing kingdom is all they have, they should be terrified. If they catch a virus and die they will spend eternity without the love of God, the protection and provision of the Father. They should be terrified and you should be moved with compassion for them just as Jesus was. I'm not suggesting you go lay your hands on those infected unless of course you have the faith and belief and understanding of who you are to see them healed. In that case go and heal the sick, raise the dead!! For the rest of you I am suggesting that you be a light in this darkness. I am suggesting that you pull yourself together and be of good cheer because for you Jesus has already overcome this trouble. Be responsible, be prepared but do not be fearful. You have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, and love and a sound mind! - 2 Tim. 1:7 How are you using that power, how are you showing love and how are you being an example of a sound mind?
If you are going to be different you first have to do different (Romans 12:2). So as the world is looking to CNN, NBC, FOX, CDC or FB for news and truth and instruction you should be looking to God in His word. Turn off your t.v. and your phones. This is a time of praise and worship! We should be excited because this storm means there is something amazing about to happen. Look at Matthew 8:26. Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea and there was A GREAT CALM! Not only that look what happens next!
28 When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. 29 And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”
30 Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. 31 So the demons begged Him, saying, “If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine.”
32 And He said to them, “Go.” So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water.
33 Then those who kept them fled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region.
Two men were set free! Do you think this moment is any different. People right now are searching for a savior. They are afraid. Are you going to perish with them in fear or are you going to light up their darkness and show them the way, the truth and the life, Jesus Christ (John 14:6)?
The other thing that stood out to me was that in that storm Jesus was at such peace that he slept. Do you know that Jesus has given you his peace (John 14:27)! The same peace that allowed him to sleep through the waves and roaring wind. When his disciples woke him he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea and they stopped. He had authority over them because he is the Son of God. John 1:1-4 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men." Jesus is the Word and He has authority over that which He created. He gave man freewill but the rest of creation is still under His authority. I want to go back to 1 Tim. 1:7 for a minute where it says you have been given power. Power to do what? Go to Luke 10:17-20 17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” This power and authority is the same authority by which He rebuked the winds and the sea and by which He cast out the demons. He gave this authority to His disciples who were to go out and spread the ministry of Jesus, creating more disciples to go out using this same authority to do the same (Mark 16:15-18). If you are a believer having and using this power and authority is one of the signs that is supposed to follow you becoming a disciple. You already have the power and authority, you need to learn how to use it. It is not your power but Christ's power working through you. Your instruction on using it comes from the Holy Spirit and His Word. If you reject or ignore the Spirit and don't read and meditate on the word you will never know or be able to walk in His power or authority.
Understanding this, how can you be fearful! You have authority over ALL THE POWER OF THE ENEMY! You have the authority to heal the sick and raise the dead. Where the world is powerless you are filled with the power of the living God! You have to understand who your God is and about the family you have been adopted into because you are now one of them. When you understand this you can't be fearful, fear has no place in you. You are not fearful because you are not of little faith.
Friends, I pray that as a church family we can come together to rejoice and in boldness shine bright before all men. I pray that this moment that the world is calling a pandemic, we will call an awakening of the church and a revival and a return of a lost people!
Will you take a minute to pray with me? Let's come into agreement and speak the Word over our nation.
Lord, we thank you for your living, active word. We thank you for truth that sets captives free. Wake up your church, Lord. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear and an understanding of who we are in you. Let us boldly stand in this day as a a light in this darkness. Give us a voice that is heard far and wide that we may carry out the ministry you began. Give us love for our neighbor. As long as your church is here this is still a Christian nation and this day we stand in agreement. Protect our leaders and give them wisdom. Coronavirus we cancel your assignment in Jesus name. We speak death to you. You must stop now in Jesus name. You return from where you came and come back here no more. We thwart all the plans of the enemy over this nation in Jesus name. Only the truth shall prevail here. Spirit of fear release these people. You have no more authority here. Holy Spirit thank you for your peace! Bring a calm over this land. A calm that draws us to you. Your name alone we praise!! -AMEN!
May you prosper and be in good health just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:2