‘the invincible will of God’

boatstormtossed

In the tempestuous seas of distress and hopelessness, God reveals Himself.  Mark 4:35-41  

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them to me is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and md my Father are one.” John 10: 27-30

Shortly after Jesus had ordained the twelve that they should be with Him and that He might send them forth to preach, He uses a very powerful life lesson to show them that though they meet grievous opposition in their endeavors they can stand fast knowing that they are invincible in His will.

The life lesson is found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, but for our consideration we will look at Mark’s account found in Mark 4:35-41.

The setting is in a city called Capernaum which is located along the west coast of the Sea of Galilee. After teaching four foundational parables concerning the propagation of this kingdom message, He instructs the twelve to enter into a ship and says…

 “let us pass over unto the other side”

Now before we get in to the detailed events that followed, we must understand that the divine will of God for these disciples is to…

 “pass over to the other side”.

For you or I to make such a statement would not carry the same element of certainty as that with which our Lord spoke. For our words are often laden with good intentions that never come to fruition, so we might be better served if we said “if the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that”. For we know not what shall be on the morrow and our life is but a vapor, it appears but for a little time and then it is gone.

On the other hand, understanding the sovereignty of God, and realizing that God not only knows the beginning from the end, but is in fact in control of everything, when He says…

“let us pass over unto the other side”

… this statement carries the absolute fact, no ifs, ands, or buts, that they will make it to the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee… the divine will of God. One thing to note… He did not say that it would be smooth sailing… just that, “they would pass over to the other side”.

 

Now in the midst of the journey, there arose a great storm of wind and the waves beat into the ship and it began to take on water as if it were to sink. Personally I can understand the fear of the disciples… thoughts of perishing… it is the fleshly way of thinking, to which I quite frequently participate.

Looking at the events from the human perspective:

The boat is rocking and a rolling and with hast they awake the Master…

“carest thou not that we perish?”

This is the way the mind works when it is faced with catastrophic uncertainties and the events are viewed as nothing more than coincidences. It is not that way at all. God is sovereign and in complete control of every situation and His people would do well to understand this, or maybe I should say remember this.

It is paramount for us also to understand that the storm did not take the Lord by surprise. If the disciples could have foreseen the turbulent storm they would most assuredly delayed the trip. Yet Christ knew the events that would take place in route to the eastern shore, in fact I can see His hand in it. In these early stages of calling His disciples, He wants them to understand that with their commission to carry this kingdom message, there will be tempestuous seas of distress and hopelessness, but they do not have to be fearful and overwhelmed with the circumstances, for they are ‘invincible in His will’. Consider this; If they are held in the hollow of God’s hand, what possible force is strong enough to remove them? NONE! NONE! NONE!Do we get it?

 

What can we learn from the events of the tempestuous ride across the Sea of Galilee?

1. What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him? He tells us He is much more than a man. The He and the Father are one. He being God in the flesh has total control of the elements, even they must obey His command. He not only is the God of the living, but the dead and they are at His very beckoning. Oh what a Savior. Oh what a God.

2. When we line ourselves up in the center of God’s will, we don’t have to be fearful. We can put our trust in The God that spoke this very creation into existence and it is at His control… It does not have a spirit of rebellion as man but does His perfect will. Remember His words of encouragement when you find yourself in the same.. “peace be still”.

I have attached an old Christian hymn that one might find a source of encouragement when sailing on these tempestuous seas of life……

‘Like A River Glorious’ Frances Havergal and John Mountain

1. Like a river glorious, is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth, fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth, deeper all the way.  
Refrain
Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

 

2. Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there. 
Refrain

3. Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do.
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true. 
Refrain

malachi

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2 Comments

  1. […] ‘the invincible will of God’ […]

  2. That was a good message, Brother Malachi. I would like to add a couple of things that I have learned from that verse.

    First of all, if Christ is in the boat with you, you can’t sink! The moment you accepted Christ into your heart, he came to live in you. Essentially, you are in the “boat” with him leading. You can be battered and tossed around by the unsaved world, but because of Christ, you can never be destroyed. The Master of the wind can bring peace in any cirucumstance in your life.

    Secondly, I am always amazed when I read that verse to see that Jesus was soundly sleeping despite being rocked wildly by the wind and the water and waves crashing in on the boat.! That can only come from the fact that he trusted the Father to take care of him. He knew his time had not yet come and nothing could take him down. So, why do I worry about the things in my life when God isn’t worried?

    Peace comes from knowing your God!! Bless you Malachi.


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