He [Jesus] said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” —Mark 4:35
It is now early evening in Jesus’s extraordinary day. After He finishes explaining the story of the seed and the different kinds of soil, Jesus turns to His disciples and basically says, “All right, guys, let’s go across to the other side of the lake.”
I bet those disciples were feeling pretty good about themselves by then. Jesus had just taken them into His confidence, sharing the true meaning of His parable. I can imagine them giving each other high fives because they were going to the other side of the Sea of Galilee with Jesus while the crowd stayed behind. It’s a good day with the Teacher! Little do they know they are about to get a powerful life application of Jesus’s soil lesson.
How many times has this happened to us? We hear a great sermon or have an incredible time in devotions, but it doesn’t dawn on us that Jesus is preparing us to apply the principles of heaven to our lives. Jesus knew when the disciples got into that boat with Him that their lives would never be the same, and they would truly understand the importance of having roots that go deep into the soil of their hearts.
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:35–41)
The day has suddenly taken a turn for the worst! The disciples, many of them fishermen, are panic-stricken, terrified that they are about to die in the intense storm. They knew the lake; they knew what was happening around them. Why is the Master sleeping? Why doesn’t He even care? In fear and probably with some anger, the wave-drenched men cry out, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” If you care, why would you let this happen?
Good question. Why did Jesus let the storm happen and not stop it sooner?
Remember, the whole point of the soil and the seed was that Jesus wanted to take the boys over to the battlefield. It was time for them to personally experience the importance of the Word being firmly planted in the soil of their hearts. We know that God doesn’t do anything without a reason. I can tell you unequivocally that God never wastes anything in our lives! The disciples had to learn that storms play a vital role in going to the next level with Jesus.
The storms of life are the fertilizers that activate the seed of God’s Word in us.
The storms of life are the fertilizers that activate the seed of God’s Word in us, the seed of faith to believe that God is there for us. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). In spite of their fear and lack of faith, Jesus has the whole thing under control.
Brothers and sisters, I believe God has been working in you to bring you to this point—desiring to go to the other side with Jesus. Now is the time. Isn’t that what moving in the extraordinary with Christ is all about—going to the other side from where you are to where you really want to be? Changing and growing from the person you are to the person who is the real you? Getting to a deeper level in our walk with Jesus? It’s time to get in the boat with Jesus. It’s a change, and change can seem risky and scary.
God has placed a desire deep in our hearts that will never be truly satisfied until we accept His purpose for us—for His glory. If I know anything about God, it’s this: His love for His family, His children, is deeper, wider, longer, and bigger than anything we ever imagined. The apostle Paul prayed that we “being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that [we] may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17–19 niv).
When you realize the depth of God’s love for you and have confi- dence in it, then you will be able to truly trust Him for the next steps. Confidence in God can only come from being with Him in prayer; there
are no shortcuts to spending time with almighty God. God has a pur- pose for our lives, just as He did for the disciples. If we are willing to seek Him and ask Him for the wisdom to see that purpose, He will make it crystal clear to us. You are on the shore reading this today because Jesus is inviting you to get in the boat with Him. God will take you to a deeper level simply because you have decided to finally go to the other side with Jesus.
Join us in a time of prayer now as we go to the Lord for the faith to get in the boat with Jesus.
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