I'm sure you have all seen the post being shared on social media about being in the same storm but that we are not all in the same boat. The gist is that some are in dire situations and some are just fine right now in this time of worldwide chaos. I understand the original posters intentions however I want to share what I felt the Lord speaking to me through this. I am not trying to discredit the compassion that we need to have toward those who have lost jobs, are struggling with being quarantined, those who have gotten sick and those who have lost loved ones in this time, those struggling to pay their bills or keep a business afloat, etc... I do however want to provide some perspective and encouragement for the church.
On March 25th I shared a message to the church. This was a word the Lord gave me for the time we are in. One of the things I shared was that God is shaking the church and this shaking is a sifting. He is separating the light from the dark. He is pulling those who love Him and are focused on Him into unity like most of us have never experienced. Another way of saying it is he is pulling us into the same boat.
When I first read the original post I thought of Matthew 8:23-27 that says, "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 am also reminded of Mark 6:45-52 that says, "45 Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. 46 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. 47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. 49 And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 51 Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. 52 For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.
We most certainly are not all in the same boat. There are those who are in the boat without Jesus, some because they aren't looking for Him and others because they aren't seeing Him. Their focus is on keeping their boat afloat in the storm. They are focused on the wind and the waves and Jesus is walking right past and they are completely missing it. Some of these are those who have rejected Christ and some are those who claim to be believers but perhaps have not entered into a personal intimacy with Him where they see Him as their source.
The other boat I see is that of Matthew 8:23-27. Believers who in words will say they love and trust the Lord but when the storm comes their faith turns to fear and panic. Again they set their focus on the wind and the waves and the boat and completely forget who is in the boat with them, or who is living IN them and has promised to never leave or forsake us. Or maybe like the disciples they remember who is in the boat and are crying out in fear and panic begging the Lord to save them. They feel like this is it, this is the end. They cannot see anyway through this storm unless Jesus wakes up and does something.
There is another boat though. This is the boat of rest. This is the boat where those onboard not only know who is there with them but have entered into rest with Him. The boat where there is no "new normal". This is the boat where praise is shouted up with every wave that crashes over because they remember the "loaves". These are the ones who have been transformed by the renewing of their mind in the word of God. The word has taken root and like Elisha in 2 Kings 6:15-17 their eyes are open to see not just the army or storm before them but the protection and provision round about them! Friends, this is the boat we are all invited into but the choice is ours.
In John 16:33 Jesus said, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." Storms, pandemics, chaos, tyranny are going to come because we are living in a fallen world BUT if we are in Christ we remain in His peace and are of good cheer. The world around us makes no difference because that is not where our peace comes from. The world is not where our hope, provision or protection come from. It is not the latest briefing, media broadcast, sitcom, financial statement, job numbers, etc... that we should be following but the living active word of the Most High that we should be focused on. You can be aware of the situation, I'm not saying we need to be ignorant but don't be so focused on the circumstances that you miss Jesus and become overtaken by fear.
I'd like to share a testimony. About 9 months ago my husband, Eric, got a call from his boss who informed him that the company was faced with having to make a million dollars in cuts and unfortunately he was going to have to be apart of that cut. He got off that call and immediately entered into praise. He didn't cry out blaming God or begging God. He didn't panic and start searching for a new job or file unemployment. He didn't tell me or pick up his phone to inform anyone else. He gave his Father praise because he knows that his job was not the source, God is his source. “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day."- Deut. 8:18 After He got his focus on the Lord and his heart in a place of peace and good cheer he came and told me. We were in the midst of traveling the U.S. (not easy to just find a work from home job especially when your home is mobile lol) but decided that we were not going to worry or get into fear but instead trust God. We had also previously planned to make some pretty big financial donations that month and had some other big expenses planned. We decided we weren't even going to worry about any of it and would continue with our financial plans and trust God. We prayed and thanked God together and then my sister and I went to finish up some shopping for a baby shower we were hosting. Probably an hour later my husband was contacted and offered a job! This new position offered him the same pay, same vacation time, same company shares and opened up a door for him to learn and grow in his profession. We literally walked out of that situation better off than if we would have just continued along the same path. Eric received a payout of unused vacation pay, his final check and a severance. This new position has been an awesome step for him. The Lords blessing has been all over this literally from the moment Eric first entered into praise until now and we know it is going to continue to be because that is what the word says. The storm nor the boat we were in were the focus or the source of our livelihood but Christ alone.
There are 2 ways we can deal with EVERY situation that arises, we can deal with it in the flesh or in the spirit. And the great news is that the Lord has already shown us the outcome of each. Romans 8:6-7 says, "6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." I'm going to leave you with one more scripture to meditate on, Deut. 30:19, "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;" Friends, this is a choice, choose life! Choose blessing, choose to enter the boat of rest. I will share more testimonies later but even in the midst of this pandemic my family has been unexplainably in the natural, abundantly blessed. God is no respecter of persons. What he does for us he desires to do for all. Turn off your T.V., close your laptop, set down your phone and pick up the Word that brings life. The word that brings peace and transforms your mind into the likeness of the Living God!
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. - 3 John 1:2 Your soul prospers in the living, active word of God. Be blessed today friends because that is who you are in Christ Jesus.