Jim Maxim

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. —Luke 19:10

Jesus stepped into the boat that day on the Sea of Galilee know- ing there was a storm just ahead. “And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling” (Mark 4:37). Reading the events from the fourth chapter of Mark, the Lord impressed upon me that Jesus was what I like to call a storm chaser. That’s someone who is willing to face the storms in any situation in order to get to the other side and follow God’s plan. A storm chaser surrenders to God’s will and is excited to get in the boat with Jesus to see what’s on the other side, even if storms lie ahead.

Through Jesus’s example in the gospel of Mark, we just saw how a storm chaser uses the seed of God’s Word to totally transform a life! “For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Everything that happened during Jesus’s extraordinary day came about because a lost soul was crying out to God for help, and God sent His only Son personally to heal him and set him free from all that hell could throw at him. Now the disciples understood the reason Jesus wanted them to go over to the other side in the first place. They understood that if they were going to hang around with Jesus, they had better get used to rocky waves, dark clouds, and fearful moments in order to come to the rescue of people who need the love and redemption of God.

In His spirit, Jesus had heard this man’s cry from the other side of the lake and even though a storm was brewing, Jesus would not be denied. He had an agenda for the disciples to see God’s love and Word in action; He had a plan for this man, the demoniac, to be set free and healed. This lost man was marked for God’s purposes from the beginning of time to become a son of the Most High God! (See Mark 5:18–20.)

God had ordained this trip across the lake to show the world that nobody is beyond the reach of His love.

God had ordained this trip across the lake to show the world that nobody is beyond the reach of His love. Jesus wanted to teach the dis- ciples and the church that the kingdom of God could be manifested right before our very eyes, that God did send “His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 nkjv) and live with Him forever and ever. Jesus wanted to teach the disciples that they were chosen—just like you and me—to become storm chasers to extend the hand of God’s love to everyone He brings into our lives.

Jesus calls us to become His agents on earth to dispense His love to those around us. He wants to flow through us in such a way that others realize that God’s reservoir of love is always completely full. He reminds us that whatever need we are facing, Jesus Christ has the pro- vision to meet it. Jesus longs for us to get in the boat with Him and has promised us that “with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37 nkjv).

God will still gently push me today, saying, “Come on, Jim, get in the boat and let’s go over to the other side,” even though I don’t know exactly what awaits me. He reminds me that it is time to take the step of faith and just get in the boat and begin moving in the direction of what I sense He is saying in my heart, even if I don’t understand it completely.

Jesus takes great pleasure when He sees us taking a step of faith in His name towards a storm we see in someone else’s life. He knows that once we get out and take that step of faith into uncharted waters, fear, doubt, and unbelief are going to meet us. I am convinced that He is like the parent who tells a child to jump into the swimming pool because the child will certainly be caught. Jesus gets excited when we will stare fear right in the face and jump anyway.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  (2 Timothy 1:7 nkjv)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

There are storms that come up very fast on the water and we shouldn’t be surprised how big and nasty they can get! But when you’re following the leading of the Holy Spirit, Jesus inside of you has all the power in the universe to speak to the storms and command them to be still. God Almighty wants you to trust Him and allow Him to equip you with the faith and power that are necessary to calm the storms in your life and in the lives around you.

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Jesus knows the fear we are feeling and the thoughts of insecurity and lack of ability we are fighting against. That’s the reason it’s called faith in the first place! Hebrews 11:1 (kjv) says, “Now faith is the sub- stance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is the actual evidence we have within us; we just can’t see it with our natural eyes. We have to use the eyes of faith that Jesus gave us when He picked us up in our sin and washed us off with the blood He shed on Calvary. That’s one of the reasons He sacrificed for us in the first place.

Remember, the storms we face are the fertilizers that activate the seed in us. When our hearts are filled with fear, doubt, and unbelief, that’s the exact time God is just standing there cheering us on as our Father, saying, “Come on, this is the moment that I have designed for you! You can do it because I said you can, and I have placed within you the seed of heaven that thrives in this type of weather!”

Jesus always knows what storms are coming, and He would never allow them to come into our lives without first giving us the power to overcome them. We need to understand that becoming a storm chaser is really our first calling—because when we overcome those storms, we realize how much God loves us.

What about you, storm chaser? You have been handpicked by God; He has placed the supernatural seed of His Word in you and given you the good soil to receive it so that you can go into a lost and dying world and demonstrate the power of the gospel in very practical ways to everyone God places in your path.

You have received the privilege of giving away the unending reser- voir of God’s love that He deposited in you the day you asked Jesus to cleanse you and forgive you. Even though you didn’t know that Jesus would say to you, “Let us go across to the other side” (Mark 4:35), this was His plan all along for you and all those who call themselves Christians. You are a storm chaser because the hurt and lost in this world need you.

Remember the description that the mob gave to those early dis- ciples, “These men who have turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6)? Those disciples had become storm chasers…will you? Will you get in the boat with Jesus and take the risk of becoming a storm chaser for His eternal glory?

Today we will pray to the God and Father who calls us to rescue those who are in need even through the storm.

Excerpted from “21 Days of Deeper Prayer: Discover an Extraordinary Life in God” by Jim Maxim with Daniel Henderson, © 2020 by Jim Maxim. Published by Whitaker House, New Kensington, PA. Used with permission. All rights reserved. www.whitakerhouse.com.

Free audio prayers found here: www.acts413.net/deeperprayer