WHEN THE DEVIL STIRS THE POT…
Immediately after powerful, miraculous times of God showing his glory through ministry in and through us, the devil comes in with his limited power to stir the pot. It happens to me and it happens to you. Satan plants seeds of doubt in our minds, convincing us what happened didn’t really happen. Satan’s desires our thoughts to stay human, weak and fallible. Satan wants us to “explain” God’s power and glorious work as coincidences or freaks of nature. If all that doesn’t work, evil and his demons plant ideas of self into the mix, causing us to take credit for all that just happened. Yikes!
Oh, Friends, avoid these thoughts at all costs through prayers for help from the Creator of the seas. Crashing waves of fear, anger, doubt, unrest, mistrust with tons of anxiety roll in like a storm causing sleepless nights of worry when we succumb to Satan’s limited tricks and manipulating lies. Feeling helpless and hopeless is exactly where the evil one wants us to be. Don’t fall for it, instead—walk on water with the Master of the Sea!
The disciples just helped Jesus feed over 5000 men and their families on the mountainside in a remote area. Every one of the twelve carried the weight of their own basket of leftovers, (good call, Jesus!) after feeding the crowd with only a few loaves of bread and a few fish. Jesus, still grieving the death of John the Baptist, showed compassion on the crowd that day while teaching His Twelve and important life lesson. Trust God. Do what God wants. God provides where He guides.
IMMEDIATELY after this miraculous ministry of compassion, Jesus sent the disciples back across the lake so He can finally slip away to pray to the Father who sent Him. I can only imagine the devil stirring the pot of lake waters into a surprising storm that challenged the pro fishermen’s abilities. The waves caused doubts and fear as they fought to keep their boat from being overturned or destroyed. But there is and always will be One who is more powerful and glorious and always wins over evil!
Jesus walks on water to their rescue. He invites Peter, who stills acts before he thinks, to walk with Him. Peter, bold enough to at least get out of the boat, demonstrates faith over fear, but then turns his eyes back to what made him afraid and begins to sink. Jesus pulls him up from the tossing sea and climbs into the boat with His Twelve. I imagine Jesus and Peter laughing as Peter is grabbing on to the side of the tossing boat, sputtering to gain composure, while spitting out lake water. Peace on the sea is the immediate result. “Why, did you doubt Me?”, says the Son of God, Jesus, the One and Only who has all power to rescue and save us for eternity.
Why, then do we doubt? Pause to pray.
Matthew—The Law Fulfilled
Matthew 14:22-36, NLT
Jesus Walks on Water
22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
34 After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed. 36 They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.
Abba, Father in Heaven,
You have proved to me over and over again the power and authority You have over all. You are in all. You are all we need! You come to our rescue when the evil one stirs the pot of our lives with attacks of fear, doubt and anxiety. You are God and we definitely are not. You are God and Satan is not and never will be. Jesus, you are our victory forever! Yes, all battles are fought with You as the Victor over our souls! You walk on stormy seas of restlessness that were meant by evil to bring us down! You are King of kings and Lord of lords! I will praise you along as I have breath on earth and then forevermore with you! I will praise you in the morning, noon and night. You are forever my Savior and my Lord. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Continue to steady my lifeboat as the storms come and go. All my life is in You. I really believe in what you say and do is really real!
In Jesus Name, Amen