2023 seemed to come in like a storm.
As if the previous years had not been hard enough from both a personal stance and in the earth, this new year came in like a hornet’s nest that had just been knocked to the ground. And you know how violent hornets can be when disturbed.
Destruction buzzed furiously as it crept out of hiding.
I felt like it didn’t matter that the few years before seemed intolerable and unrealistic. This year’s relentless assaults appeared immediately and with such determination that the previous years seemed like a baby’s lullaby in comparison.
Just look around you at the disasters, the deaths, the political madness that have been shouting throughout the earth, not to mention the personal woes that may have been trying to knock on your door. I have heard them try to knock on mine.
BUT…..YES, there is a but to this story!
If ANYONE has read the stories from the Gospels, you will recall the story of Jesus sleeping in a boat during a raging storm on the Sea of Galilee, as the disciples reacted in fear.
“Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” Matthew 28:4-26
The words that seemed to slip off the page and into my spirit were: “he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”
Often we talk about we have little faith and/or how we must rest during a storm. These are great principles to live by. We should rise up in faith and rest in the Lord despite what we see, despite the storms raging in our midst.
But what was highlighted to me this time, was the concept to rise up and tell the winds and the waves – (the storms) – that are ravishing our lives: BE STILL.
How can we do that?
Jesus stated in John 14:12, “I can guarantee this truth: those who believe in me will do the things that I am doing. They will do even greater things because I am going to the Father.” (GWT)
So how can we do greater things? He said we’d do greater things because when he went to the Father the Holy Spirit would come to the earth and fill his followers (and that includes you and me) with his power. (Acts 1:8)
But like Jesus we can do nothing on our own. Jesus stated in John 5:19,20 that he could do nothing but what he sees his Father doing. He had spent a lot of quiet time, praying and learning to listen to his Father’s voice. (And we should follow that example. John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice…”)
With that in mind, each miracle of healing that Jesus performed was different. For some he only gave a word at a distance, others he touched, some he sought after, and in other circumstances people sought after him. Each event was directed by his Heavenly Father.
Like the healings, the seasons in his life differed, as well. While in the boat, during the storm, he rested. But in the garden before his crucifixion, he prayed and he asked his disciples, as they slumbered, “couldn’t you stay awake with me for an hour?” He later suffered unimaginably on the cross, though because of that, he triumphed in victory!
There were seasons to rest, seasons to war, seasons to suffer and seasons to conquer. He perceived the times and heard the Father.
I say all this to say that there are times and seasons for everything as Solomon had expressed in Ecclesiastes . God is always on the move. He is not stagnant. He is alive and his words are alive. There are times the Lord may ask you to pray for a particular person and other times he will want you to remain quiet.
In this season of time (at least in my life) I believe the Lord is saying: “Tell the raging storms that are surrounding you: BE STILL.”
So today, I thought about the storms in my life and in the lives of my loved ones, and said, with authority: BE STILL.
A calm and a peace has followed.
I believe there is great victory on the horizon for God’s people. That is why the darkness seems to be invading and why wickedness seems to prevail and why the voices of evil are screaming so violently.
It is the last screams of the dying giants that used to mock you. It is the last scream of the lies that tormented your soul. It is the last scream of defeat and hopelessness anxiously calling your name.
Don’t be afraid of what you hear or what you see because the Lord is saying to the giants in the land: BE STILL. He is encouraging each of us to slay the giants and quiet the storms that taunt us (and the God we serve) just as David did when he slayed Goliath. God has given each of us the authority in HIM to rise up in prayer and declare to the giants and say to the storms that rage war against our souls: BE STILL!
What are your storms? Rise up and tell your storms: BE STILL!
Storms will come
They can be strong and fierce
They scream and twirl
And like a sword, they can pierce
Where can you find freedom
From a storm that rages?
Is there a hidden place
From the war it wages?
There is a place of rest
In the one who spoke peace
Who with words of authority
Made that violent storm cease.
I pray for peace in your midst
During the storms you may face
But also for great victory
So stillness can take its place.
Be still and know that HE is God. God bless.