WHY AM I IN THIS STORM?

(Perhaps to see another side of Jesus)

BY:  TROY NICHOLS

ext: Mark 4:35-41

Mk 4:35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.

  • Note it was in the evening when the Lord said, “Let us pass over unto the other side.”  The evening speaks of darkness. 
  • One English rendering of darkness is to be UN-informed. 
  • UN is a prefix, which denotes to deprive of a thing. 
  • To inform simply means to make aware of something. 
  • With the above insight, we could say this speaks in principle of those times where the Lord will have us to do something without informing us of what lies ahead.  For the truth be known, many being made aware of what lies ahead would not even move.   
  • I think it interesting to point out that Jesus said, “Let US pass over unto the other side.”  This lets me see that though I may come up against things I was not informed about, the Lord will be right there with me to face whatever comes my way.
  • Let us pass over is the Greek word “dee-er’-khom-ahee”.  It comes from the Greek word “dia” which denotes the channel of an act and “er’-khom-ahee” which speaks metaphorically of coming into a state of being or mind. 
  • Other side is the Greek word “per’-an” and it means to pierce.  One English rendering of pierce is to pass through as if by overcoming resistance (a force that tends to oppose or retard motion).
  • With the above insight, I submit the following principle.  We will enter into a peaceful state of mind when we can see ourselves with Jesus passing through every resistance that stands before us as we press on towards our God given DESTINY. 
  • Isa 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”  Simply put, even when resistance comes to you in the form of storms, you must keep your mind upon Jesus in order to enter into and maintain your peaceful state of being. 

Mk 4:36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.

  • Note the three groups of followers here.  The multitude, which speaks in principle in one sense of many typical Sunday morning churchgoers.  Note they were sent away and thus we can see that they in fact walked away from where Jesus was.  It is quite common for these individuals to leave service and the Lord behind until next Sunday rolls around.  We can see a picture of this in Luke 2:43 where Joseph and Mary left Jesus behind in Jerusalem and didn’t know it.
  • The second group of followers here are those with him in the little ships.  Ships speak in principle in one sense of small assemblies.  Note that these little ships were WITH Jesus.  The word with here is the Greek word “met-ah” and is rendered in one sense of casual accompaniment.  Note some of the English renderings for the word casual; not being close or intimate, one that appears or serves at irregular intervals.  This group speaks in principle of those that keep a certain distance between them and the Lord.  These type individuals can’t be depended on for they are not consistent in their walk with the Lord nor are they consistent in fellowshipping with other believers.
  • The third group of followers is those that take Jesus as he is into their ship.  As is happens to be an English idiom that means just the way it is, with no changes or modifications.  This group of followers therefore speaks of those that have come to a place where they accept the word for just what it says.  They don’t change the word to fit their way of thinking; they change their way of thinking to fit the word.
  • Note that the multitude walked away from the word.  The smaller ships kept a distance between them and the word.  The minority possessed the word!  Those that possess the word in this hour will be noticeable in that they will be the ones that will pass over unto the other side.  Simply put, they will be the ones that will overcome all those obstacles that have been placed in their paths.  

Mk 4:37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

  • I want to point out here that the scripture emphasizes that the storm beat into THE SHIP, not the multitude or the other little ships.
  • Did you ever wonder why those that aren’t really committed or just casually walk with the Lord don’t seem to face some of the extreme hardships you do?  We can find one answer in Rev 1:9 where it reads, “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”  Another translation reads, “I was on the isle of Patmos, exiled there for preaching the Word of God and for telling what I knew about Jesus Christ
  • I think it interesting to note that Patmos according to the Thayer’s Lexicon means, “MY KILLING”!  The truth being, the Living Word of God will cause the death of SELF!
  • One English rendering of storm is to express rage or bitterness, fly off the handle, raise the roof and to lose one’s temper.
  • I want to point out that this storm did not rise until the disciples received the Word into their SHIP.
  • Note that the WIND caused the WAVES to BEAT into the ship.  The wind speaks metaphorically in one sense of a spirit in the bible.  Waves according to Thayer’s Lexicon speak metaphorically of restless men, tossed to and for by their raging passions.  The word beat in this verse is also translated thought in Mk 14:72 where it reads, “And when he thought thereon, he wept.”
  • With the insight above, we can say in principle that the moment you decide to receive the Living Word into your life, there will come a spirit upon those around you whose passions are elsewhere, that will set out to raise your roof.  Have you ever gone home from a service all excited and begin to share the word with your spouse and they flew off the handle?  See how quick the storm came.  See how the waves beat against your ship and filled it with carnal thoughts.
  • Note that the ship was full.  This word in the Greek means to be filled to the degree that it swelled out.  Things swell as a result of some type of internal pressure.  With that said, how many of you have been in a situation where you swelled to the point of exploding?

Mk 4:38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

  • Note that Jesus was in the hinder part of the ship or simply the back part of the ship and after the ship was FULL, they cried out to Him to save them.  Note that the disciples were in front and the word was behind them.  When one puts the word behind them instead of in front of them, they will be taken over before they realize it.  Many relationships could be spared, many local assemblies could prevent splits if they would only keep the Word up front in their lives and assemblies and deal with the problem as soon as it rises.  Don’t wait till things spin out of control.
  • Note they didn’t cry out for help till the ship was full.  How long does it take for you to realize there is a problem?  Spouses are shocked today when suddenly their husband or wife of many years wants a divorce.  The first thing many say is WHY, I thought we were getting along great.  The truth being, the problem has been building for some time.
  • Note they asked Jesus, “carest thou not that we perish.”  It is hard to grasp the fact that Jesus cares for you when you place the Word behind you.  Selah

Mk 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

  • With the insight we have gathered so far, we could say the following; Jesus arose, rebuked the spirit and said unto the people, Peace, be still and the spirit ceased, and the people were calm.  We can use this verse as a great ministry tool.  Simply being, when you find yourself in a storm like this, do the following. 
  • 1) Arise, take your place. 
  • 2) Rebuke the spirit; you are not fighting against flesh and blood. 
  • grievous (harsh words) words stir up anger (Pr 15:1). 
  • 4) Be still, simply put, lets sat down and think about what has happened here to cause this problem.   

Mk 4:40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?

  • Note the question, “Why are ye so fearful?”  I Jn 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”  God is love according to (1 Jn 4:8)
  • With this insight, we could say the following, “There is no fear in God; but God casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.  He that feareth is not made perfect in God.
  • The first time fear shows up in the bible is in Genesis 3:10 where it reads, “And he (Adam) said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 
  • Note that FEAR CAME when man hid from LOVE.  Aren’t you glad that God loves you enough to seek you out?
  • I want to point out also that man after the fall covered himself out of fear that God would not accept him as he was.    

Mk 4:41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

  • Note here that they simply saw a part of Jesus they had not saw before.  We have seen the Lord do many things in our lives, however, let it be understood that we have just scratched the surface of what He is capable of doing on our behalf.
  • This is also a very humbling experience for those that think they have the Lord all figured out. 

Why am I in this storm?  Perhaps to see another side of Jesus!

WHY AM I IN THIS STORM?

(Perhaps to test your foundation)

Luke 6:46-49 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?  Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.  But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

Matt 7:24-27 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 

  • Note that there are many today that call Jesus Lord, but one can readily see that He isn’t really Lord in their life.  We can see a picture of what Lordship is about in Luke 7:8 where it reads, “For I (centurion) also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers (50-100), and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.”
  • Many want to know Jesus as Savior, but few there be that want to know Him as Lord.  We can see a picture of these two groups of people in Luke 23:39-43.

Luke 23:39-43 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.  But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?  And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.  And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

  • Note the first thief, “If thou be Christ, save thyself and US.”  This individual has no intention of serving the Lord; they just want to be delivered out of the mess they have got themselves into.  These individuals if delivered will usually end right back in the same place.
  • The word Christ means anointed one.  This thief wanted to take advantage of the anointing that was upon Jesus.
  • The second thief accepted his punishment and sought no escape from it.  He acknowledged Jesus as Lord and demonstrated that he was more concerned with life in the Spirit than life in this world.    

I want to point your attention now back to our texts in Luke 6:46-49 and Matthew 7:24-27.  The Lord gives us some wonderful principles concerning the foundation of our spiritual house.  Every time you hear the word, your response to it determines your foundation.  Simply put, if you hear the word and then apply it in your life, you are building your life upon a solid rock.  However, if you hear the word and fail to apply it in your life, you are building your life upon the sand.

Did you ever wonder why there are some that are able to stand up under all types of pressures while others are blown away by the least little things?  Those that stand decided at some point in their life to make an investment in their future.  Their investment was simply to obey every word that the Lord spoke to them and as a result, they are now manifesting to those around them that they have built their life upon the ROCK.

I think it important to point out that sand is pieces of the rock.  There are those that choose to accept pieces of the word, the pieces that please them and don’t challenge them to grow up.

No one is exempt from the rain, floods and wind that are coming upon these houses to test their foundation.  With this said, let us now see what this rain, flood and wind speaks of in the scriptures so we will better recognize this type of storm when it comes upon us.

  • Rain: Hoses 6:3 lets us see that Jesus will come to us as the RAIN.
  • Flood: Psalms 29:10 says the Lord sitteth upon the FLOOD.
  • Wind: Psalms 107:25 says that the Lord commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind. 
  • I trust you understand now that this is the Lord coming with different methods into our life to test our foundation.  With that said, let us now break each one of these down and see what else is being tested.

1)  Jesus is coming as the rain to test our roof to see if there are any leaks in it.  The roof speaks in principle of that which is over us.

  • The rain will reveal if you are submitted to Christ who is head of the church (Eph 5:23)
  • The rain will reveal if you are submitted to the leadership He has placed you under.  Heb 13:17 says to obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
  • The rain will reveal if you are submitted to your employer.  For example, did your employer ever tell you a certain way he wanted something done and you wanted to do it another way?  That action revealed there was a leak in your roof.  Did your employer tell you to be at work at a certain time and you continue to come in late?  That action reveals that there is a leak in your roof.
  • The rain will reveal if the children are submitted to their parents.  Have you ever heard a parent tell their child to do something over and over and the child still refuse to do it?  Parents, if the roof is leaking in your child’s life, fix it now before they get older, for it will be much harder to repair.
  • The rain will reveal if the wife is submitted to her husband as her spiritual leader.  Eph 5:22-25 says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”
  • I know many wives cringe at the above scriptures but that is only because many of them have not been properly taught what these scriptures are saying and how they were given to bless and not dominate her.  For example, there are some that have been told to submit to their husbands in everything according to Eph 5:24.  And, if your husband tells you not to go to church, you should submit to his desires.  And with that said, the wife stays home and enters into a life of misery due to not being able to fellowship with the Body of Christ. 
  • There is something here in this text that I am convinced many have failed to see.  You will note that it says in verse 25 for the husbands to love their wives as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it.  My question is; how can a husband who is an unbeliever have spiritual insight into the love of Christ.  I am persuaded that Paul was talking to believing husbands.  In fact, he said in 1 Corinthians 6:14 to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. 
  • If that isn’t enough to convince you, how about this?  1 Cor 2:11-14 says, “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”  With this said, how could an unbelieving husband understand the love of Christ?
  • Now to answer the wives who say, I am married to an unbeliever, am I supposed to do whatever he says?  I would answer, in every lawful thing, you should obey, but if he sets out to lead you away from God, the Word or the Body of Christ, you must obey God and not man (See Acts 5:29).
  • For the sake of husband and wife, young people who are dating, those that are contemplating marriage, I want to give you God’s pattern of a marriage made in heaven.  We can see it in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2.  Simply being, in verse 7 God formed man and in verse 8, He placed man in the Garden.  In verse 15 God gave man purpose, which was to dress and to keep the garden.  In verse 16-17, God gave man instructions as to what he could and could not eat.  In verse 18, God said it was not good for man to be alone and that He was going to make a help meet for him.  In verse 22, God made woman and brought her to man.  With this insight, lets look at the following principles.
  • Note the order, God, Man, Woman.  1 Cor 11:3 shows this order where it reads, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”  When we walk according to this order, there is protection all the way down the line even to the children.
  • I can show you another picture of this order in the marriage ceremony.  You will note that the Father of the bride will lift her veil off from her face.  In doing so, he is telling the husband to be that he is no longer head over his daughter.  Simply put, the Father is giving his daughter away to come under the head (covering and protection) of another man. 
  • Question: Fathers if you took care of your daughter, met her every need, loved her unconditionally, why would you want to give her to a man that wasn’t going to treat her as good, if not better?  Selah. 
  • God placed man in the Garden.  God walked daily with man in the Garden and spoke to him.  A prime candidate for husband is one that is walking with God.
  • God gave man a purpose.  He was to dress and keep the garden.  The principle here in one sense is that the man has a JOB!  How many women do you know that have hooked up with men that would sat at home while the wife worked?  The wife would then get fed up and many times the marriage would end in divorce showing that it was built on the sand.
  • God told man what he could and could not eat.  A prime candidate for a husband is one who has an understanding of the word.  Note that God spoke the word to the man who was then responsible for ministering it to the wife when she came into the picture later.  We can see Paul picking up on this principle in 1 Corinthians 14:35 where he said, if the wives will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home.  I think it interesting to point out that when Eve walked out from under her head and received the word from another source (Gen 3), it brought death to her and her husband as well as the whole human race.  Oh that we might learn from this the dangers of getting out of our positions that the Lord has placed us in and how our decisions not only affect us but all those around us.
  • God said it was not good for man to be alone.  A prime candidate for a husband is one that does not realize that he needs a wife and therefore is not looking for one.  You must note here that Adam knew nothing about marriage at this point.  He was complete in his relationship with God.  I am reminded of hearing about a young man recently that said he didn’t desire marriage at this point in his life, that he wanted more of God.  That man is a prime candidate!
  • God made the woman.  Now that the man has been prepared, let us take a moment and see that God is also at work in the woman’s life.  The word made here in Genesis means to build and to establish. 
  • The woman that God works on will be established or simply be in a secure position.  You must know that at this point, the woman was not looking for a husband and didn’t even know what a husband was.  She like man was complete in God.
  • The woman that God prepares will first know Jesus as her husband and then she will be ready for the husband that God has prepared for her. 
  • When the woman knows Jesus as husband and finds herself complete in Him, she doesn’t have to go out looking for a man, for she is already content in the Lord as her husband.  I am reminded of Hosea 2:16 which reads, “And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, thou shalt call me Ishi, which is simply, my man or my husband.
  • God brought the woman to the man.  Note the man wasn’t looking for a woman; the woman wasn’t looking for a man.  Now they are ready for marriage and so the Lord brings the woman to the man and gives her to him.  In doing so, He is placing her under a man that is under Him.
  • Note that there was a river in the garden (Gen 2:10).  The principle here is that God will bring the woman to a man who can minister life to her even as He has ministered life unto her.  Now, on the other hand, if the woman is looking for the man, don’t be surprised if she enters into a garden that hath no water (Isa 1:30).  That type marriage usually ends in disaster and ruin!
  • Note now that the man was to dress and keep the garden (Gen 2:15).  Before getting deeper here, I want to point out the fact that you put seeds in a garden.  Therefore, the garden is a type of the woman who likewise receives seed (from man). 
  • Man now has a responsibility to dress the woman.  The word dress here means to serve or to till. 
  • To serve the woman is to care for, feed, look after, minister to, maintain, support, and wait upon.  Wow, how many women could handle a husband like that?
  • To till the woman is to prepare her for seed.  If the woman gets a man like this, the man can tell the Father at the wedding, you have done a great job with your daughter, but wait till I get through with her, she is going to be more beautiful than ever, she shall be called a delightsome land, a land sparkling with happiness (See Mal 3:12).
  • Husbands, if your wives aren’t up to par as far as you are concerned, why not put some fertilizer on them?  In doing this you are making the soil fertile, which makes it capable of growing and developing and thereby able to come to maturity.
  • Finally, man has a responsibility to keep the woman.  The word keep here means to protect as if to hedge about with thorns.  And because she is protected so, the husband is able to keep her in a state of peace and joy. 
  • Can you see with this insight that many marriages fail because it they were built on sand and not the rock.  I know many young ladies that went looking for a husband and ignored all the warning signs and as a result, some are living in pure hell, a garden wherein there is no water.
  • Some women might say, how can I enjoy such benefits if I am not married?  My answer would have to be in Hosea 2:16 which reads, “And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, thou shalt call me Ishi, which is simply, my man or my husband. 
  • It’s never too late to get your house in order.  For those that say, I blew it, I married an unbeliever.  I give you the following scriptures in closing for you to hang on to. 

1 Cor 7:12-16 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.  And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.  But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.  For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

  • I speak carefully to unbelieving husbands, you need to realize that the blessings that are upon you and your family is because your wife has come under the head of Christ and in doing so has brought the head of Christ upon your home.  The same holds true for the unbelieving wives.

WHY AM I IN THIS STORM?

(Perhaps to test the foundation – Cont)

Luke 6:46-49 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?  Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.  But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

Matt 7:24-27 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 

  • Rain: Hoses 6:3 lets us see that Jesus will come to us as the RAIN.
  • Flood: Psalms 29:10 says the Lord sitteth upon the FLOOD.
  • Wind: Psalms 107:25 says that the Lord commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind. 

2)  Jesus is coming as the flood to test not only the foundation (that which is under us), but also to reveal what is in the house.

  • I saw a house in the area that was sitting on blocks.  As I passed by I could imagine a flood coming and seeing it become a houseboat and being carried away.  The flood is going to come to test your foundation, to see if you’re a house or houseboat.
  • The flood is going to test your marriage, your family, your jobs, your church, your ministry, and your finances.  We can see the effects of this flood in our nation as marriages, families, jobs, churches, ministries and finances are going downstream. 
  • Think for a moment; are any of these things being carried away from you in this hour?  If so, now is the time to make an investment in your spiritual foundation.
  • We talked in part one about the roof and being submitted to those things over us.  Now we are looking at the foundation, which speaks in principle in one sense of that which is under us.  If Jesus is your foundation, you will not have to tell anyone, they will know when the storm comes, for you will be the one STANDING!
  • The foundation also speaks of that which is under us.  Eph 5:20-21 says, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”
  • The word submitting simply means to yield to ones admonition or advice.  Have you ever had someone that you felt like didn’t know much advise you in a situation?  Leaders, have you ever had one of your members advise you in a situation?  Husbands, has your wife ever given you advice in a situation?  Parents, has your children after being grown ever given you advice in a situation?  Employers, has your employees ever given you advice in a situation?  The flood is going to come to test us in the area of submitting to those under us. 
  • When the flood comes, the waters rise and when the waters rise, things start coming to the surface.  The flood will cause that which is deep within us to come to the surface.  Simply being, if you are built upon the rock, your behavior will surface in the form of peace and joy and all will know it.  However, if you are built upon the sand, your behavior will surface in the form of turmoil, unrest, depression, giving up, anger, bitterness, strife, contention, unforgiveness, doubt, frustration and those around you will know what your foundation really is.

2) Jesus is coming as the wind to test the walls and those around us with whom we have entered into relationship with. 

  • If you enter into relationships (friendships, ministers, churches, etc) with those that refuse to walk in obedience to the word, when the wind comes, be prepared to be hurt or let down as they seem to leave when you need them most.  The truth be known, it was most likely the wind revealing the foundation of that certain one.  Zech 13:6 says, “And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.”
  • People enter into marriage everyday not realizing the foundation of their soon to be spouse and are shocked when the wind comes and reveals there is trouble in the house.  And they say; if I knew that before, I would have never got married.  I wonder if perhaps many did know it as the wind came against their relationship while dating and some things popped up and they just shrugged it off.  I am persuaded that the Lord will always provide us with caution flags when we start to stray off course and if you would be honest, you could probably name a few that you disregarded.
  • The wind will also come to test the local assemblies in their relationships of giving.  For example, have you heard of churches folding because they didn’t have the finances to continue?  Well, if you don’t sow, you don’t reap. 
  • I realize there are some in this day that doesn’t believe in paying tithes.  That is fine and I don’t intend on debating with these.  However, I can give you a principle that if applied will cause a local assembly to be able to stand when others are folding due to a lack of finances.  1) Tithes go up to God revealing our personal relationship to God.  2) Offerings go in revealing our personal relationship to those in our midst.  3) Alms go out revealing our personal relationship to those in our community and abroad.  
  • Now, taking the principle of sowing and reaping, look at the return on such giving.  1) God is giving back to you.  2) Those in your local assembly are giving back to you.  3) Those in your community will give back to you and there will be more than enough.  Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
  • Somebody said; I don’t believe the Lord will blow on my finances.  For those that believe such, I give you Hag 1:9 which reads, “Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.”  I trust you see that the wind came and blew away what little they had.
  • The flip side of the coin is, when we do our part in giving up, giving in and giving out, when the wind comes, we will have much and the wind will not blow it away.  That should make you shout! 
  • Now that we have a better understanding of the rain, flood and wind, I want to point out that all three of these are apt to hit your house at the same time as can be seen in the life of Jonah.       

Jonah 1:4 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.  (See other translation below for this verse)

Jonah 1:4 But as the ship was sailing along, suddenly the Lord flung a terrific wind over the sea, causing a great storm that threatened to send them to the bottom.

Jonah 2:3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.

I want to give you some truths and principles in the life of Jonah that I believe will be very beneficial in your walk with the Lord.

  • I want to point out first of all that Jonah is not your typical church going person.  He happens to be a prophet of God.  However, this storm in his life revealed that his foundation needed some work. 
  • We already learned that the one that hears the word and does it is likened to the wise man that built his house upon the rock.  While the one that hears the word and doesn’t apply it is likened to the foolish man who built his house upon the sand and when the storm came, his house was carried away.
  • With this insight, we can see that Jonah heard the word and didn’t do it, which made him a foolish man.  And, when the rain, flood and winds came, his house was carried away.
  • I want to give you a visual aid for future reference.  The next time you hear the word and decide not to obey it, I want you to picture pouring out 5 gallons of sand and standing in it.  And each time after that when you decide to disobey the word, pour five more gallons of sand around your feet.  Now, picture what will happen to the sand around your feet when the rain, flood and winds come.  It will vanish and you will be carried away. 
  • Now the flip side of the coin.  The next time you hear the word and decide to obey it, I want you to picture pouring out 5 gallons of concrete and standing in it.  And each time after that when you decide to obey the word, pour five more gallons of concrete around your feet.  Now, picture what will happen to the concrete around your feet when the rain, flood and winds come.  It will remain and you will stand. 
  • The word of the Lord had come to him in Jonah 1:1-2.  However, after hearing the word, he decided not to do it.  He outright refused to share the Word with the people the Lord wanted to send him to.  Jonah speaks here in principle in one sense of those that refuse to go outside their denomination or organization.  Jonah really could have cared less what happened to those in Nineveh, he was more concerned with himself and his desires.
  • Jonah decides to go to the Tarshish fellowship via Joppa.  So, he went DOWN to Joppa.  The principle here is that is the way all go who flees from the presence of the Lord.
  • Joppa means beautiful and was situated in the Province of Dan, which means judgment.  This was a place Jonah could fit right in, a place where they could freely judge others without anyone interfering.  Jesus said in John 12:47, “I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.  Jesus said in John 9:39, “For judgment I am come into this world.”  The truth here being, our motive in coming is not to judge you but save you.  However, when He appears, His Word will judge that which is contrary to His nature.
  • As Jonah arrives at Joppa, there just happens to be a ship that is going to Tarshish.  Don’t think because things seem to fall in place that you are in the will God.  I remember when the Lord told me to quit work and go full time in the ministry.  I decided I could work on cars at home and still be full time.  The cars kept coming and I would thank the Lord for bringing them.  However, my wife asked one day why would the Lord bring me cars to work on if He told you to quit working on them?  I kept working on cars until everyone I worked on started coming back on me and then I realized, I can’t do this no more.
  • Now that Jonah is onboard, the rain, flood and wind comes to get the attention of a certain (fellow)ship whose strength was in what they believed and could do.  Each one had their idea of what God was like.
  • Jonah had no idea that his selfish choice was affecting innocent people around him.  Do you realize that many of the problems in homes today are the results of choices made in days gone by?
  • Jonah was slow to admit that it was his fault that God’s plans seemed to be dragging.  It is a provoking thought to think you could be the reason that the blessings of God are being held up in others lives around you.
  • It took Jonah three days and three nights before he surrendered 100%.  How long will it take you?
  • It would be better for each of us to surrender 100% of our life to God now and die to self without any hell-like, whale-size circumstance to put pressure on us!

I trust you have been blessed by this 3-part teaching.  We have each one of these messages available to order on cassette for any size love offering.  Your financial support enables us to send our tapes around the world.

 

 

WHY AM I IN THIS STORM [Troy Nichols          1

 

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