The Other Side

BreakthroughOvercoming

Who cares about the other side when your boat’s about to sink?  True, if you reach the shore you’ll be safe from the storm, but it is too far to swim, and the boat is quickly filling with water.  The wind has torn the sails, the waves have long since knocked the starch out of your shirt, and those around you have that terror-stricken look of defeat in their eyes.  It seems that your destiny is in danger.  You were told to go to the other side, but you are about to sink in the middle of the sea.  Reaching your destiny no longer seems possible.  Survival is your only thought, and that hope also seems to be fading quickly.  What do you do now?  You must do exactly what the disciples of Jesus did so long ago.  Remember Jesus!  The Master is on board the ship, He set the goal, and He will get you there!

Remember Jesus! The Master is on board the ship, He set the goal, and He will get you there! Click To Tweet

I love the way Mark describes this particular stormy night.  After a full day of teaching, preaching, and working miracles, Jesus says to the disciples, “Let us go cross to the other side.” [Mark 4:35] Physically exhausted from the intensity of ministry, Jesus reclines on a pillow in the back and sleeps.  The disciples calmly go about the business of sailing the Sea of Galilee, conversing with one another as they work.  Can you see it?  Can you put yourself in their sandals? You are content knowing you are pursuing the will of the Master and all is well.  Then out of nowhere, the storm arises.  A peaceful night quickly becomes a nightmare.

Four of these men are seasoned fishermen, veterans of Galilee’s frequent storms.  At first, they exude the confidence bred of experience.  Soon they realize that something is different about this night.  Within moments, the ferocity of the wind and waves beat these confident men into near basket cases.  The sails ripping apart by angry winds, and waves anxiously seeking to catch a ride on the ship.  With the water rapidly rising inside and not enough buckets to bail it out; the disciples lose hope.  Then someone remembers Jesus.  Perhaps it is John turning to Peter who says, “Wake Jesus!  We’re going to die unless He does something!” The Bible says, “He was in the stern asleep on a pillow. They woke Him and said, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” [Mark 4:38] I can almost hear the disciples’ thoughts: “How can He sleep through this storm? Doesn’t anything bother Him? He doesn’t even care that we’re going to die out here! “As they wake Him, Jesus simply stretches, yawns, steps to the bow of the ship and speaks three words: “Peace, be still!” [Mark 4:39] Instant obedience!  The wind and the waves recognize the voice of the Creator and humbly obey.  Suddenly!  There is a great calm, and the ship proceeds victoriously to the other side.

The Other Side –for the disciples on this particular night, the other side is the region known as the Gadarenes. It is a place of great deliverance for the demonized with the legion.  And he is the first fruit of significant breakthrough for the entire region. For you, the other side also represents a place of considerable advance, a place where your God-given vision becomes fulfilled. But don’t be naïve! Every move you make closer to the release of God’s plan for your life will be fought with increased intensity!

But don’t be naïve! Every move you make closer to the release of God’s plan for your life will be fought with increased intensity! Click To Tweet

God’s word of promise always meets with warfare from the enemy! But He promises that everything will work together for your good. [See Romans 8:26-29] One way it works for good, is that you discover your abilities, intelligence, strength, will-power, and experience are not enough to withstand every storm. The journey often highlights inadequacies and forces you to trust Jesus on new levels.

God’s word of promise always meets with warfare from the enemy! But He promises that everything will work together for your good. Click To Tweet

 You and I must learn to trust His word! Jesus has spoken!  Andre Crouch said it best, “Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God. Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.”  He charted the course, knowing the storm would come attempting to discourage, defeat and destroy you. Remember Jesus! He said, “Let us cross to the other side…”  HE HAS YOU even if it appears to you that He is asleep! He isn’t! He never sleeps! Psalm 121:3 proclaims, “He who keeps you will not slumber.”

The ferocious storms of life are not enough to defeat you!  Jesus is with you!  He has given you His purpose and His grace, which enables you to fulfill the mission.  [See 2 Timothy 1:9] You can overcome whatever you are facing.  If the season you’re in right now so highlights your weakness that you feel incapable of speaking to the storm yourself,  you can still call on Jesus! Even if He rebukes you for your lack of faith, know first that He will rebuke the storm that seeks to stop you! Call His name in prayer and watch Him move to the forefront of your life and speak the creative words, “Peace, be still!”  [Mark 4:39] GET READY FOR YOUR BREAKTHROUGH! It’s time!  Let’s go – to the other side!

 

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Stretch Your Faith

BreakthroughFaithHealing

Weakened to the point of exhaustion by years of loss, she sat hoping to regain strength. Few in the crowd glanced at her as they passed. Those who saw her either looked at her with pity or disgust. As she stood and began to shuffle forward, the words of the last doctor rung in her ears, “We have tried everything and with no improvement. Sorry, but you don’t have a month left to live.” The words had relieved her. For the past twelve years, she had spent her fortune searching for a cure. The things they had done to her and prescribed for her were more dreadful than the horrid disease that drained her of her blood. At least, now she knew. Weakened by illness and now by the pronounced death certificate, she headed for home. It was a long journey back to Cesarea Phillippi, but she determined to make it. She refused to die along the way. No! If she must die now, it will be in her home.

Though she kept to herself as she traveled, she could not miss the buzz of excited talk about “the Jesus.” This was the term given to distinguish Jesus of Nazareth from a multiple of other men with the same name. They said this Jesus was a rabbi with extraordinary power. He taught as one with actual authority, and He exercised that authority over demons and diseases. She felt strangely warm on the inside as she listened from the edge of the crowd. One by one they spoke of the things they saw and the words they heard from Jesus. Someone loudly declared, “He is certainly a prophet! Like Elijah and Elisha of old.” Most in the crowd nodded their agreement. Others shook their heads in disbelief, but then another voice cut through the cacophony, “I am not sure who He is but this I know, I once was blind, but now I see!” Something leaped inside of her and as she listened hope gave birth to faith!

She began to speak to herself in a soft whisper what her heart was now saying, “If I can just touch His robe, I will be whole.” In her mind, she questioned the reality of such an idea. But she somehow believed it to be true! “If I can touch the symbol of the promise, the promise of Jehovah Rapha will become real in me!” The idea took root in her, and she began making her way to Capernaum where the crowd said Jesus made His home.

“Oh my! Heaven is smiling on me today!” She whispered to herself as slipped into the large crowd following the Rabbi. So many people pushing to keep up with Jesus made her feel like she would suffocate! Weakness washed over her like an unwelcome yet familiar guest. She said again and again to herself, and anyone who happened to hear, “If I can just touch him, I will be healed.” It would be so easy to give up. Only turn around and vanish into the day. Voices of reason, voices of religion, voices of doubt, voices of self-pity jumbled together in her mind until she almost stopped and sat down. But she kept talking to herself, “If I can just touch Jesus, I will be whole! She knew she must stretch for the change. She must stretch for her miracle, and so she determined to stretch to touch Jesus or die in the process!

She said again and again to herself, and anyone who happened to hear, “If I can just touch him, I will be healed.” Click To Tweet

A lady whose name we do not know identified to us only by the issue she struggled with in life. By an incredible act of faith, she becomes known to us by her miracle! She chose to believe and stretch her faith to touch Jesus. BOOM! Her faith released His power and His power rewrote her story! He is the same today as He was then. [Hebrews 13:8] When we touch Him in faith, He gladly helps us rewrite our story. To touch him we need to do what she did!

STRETCH BEYOND SCIENCE!

She had gone to “many physicians” and tried all they prescribed for her. In fact, the treatment proved to be more painful than the disease. She spent all the money she had, which must have been substantial since it lasted twelve years. She didn’t improve at all but only grew worse. The best of the best told her there was no medical cure for her. They sadly but “matter of factly” instructed her to go home and prepare to die. But when she heard the things concerning “the Jesus,” faith rose in her spirit to go beyond the scientific community and reach out in faith. While we are thankful for science and are not ignorant of it place in our lives, we must stretch our faith beyond the limits of science and dare to believe that God is greater and in the name of Jesus, “All things are possible to him who believes.” [Mark 9:23]

...we must stretch our faith beyond the limits of science and dare to believe that God is greater and in the name of Jesus... Click To Tweet

STRETCH BEYOND RELIGION!

To get her breakthrough, she had to break with the traditional understanding of the religious protocol. It was risky to stretch beyond the confines, and she knew it might result in harsh punishment but what did she have to lose? She is one of the few people in history who tried to steal a miracle from God. We must let God stretch us out of the box of our religious understanding. He will never move us beyond the boundaries of His truth, but far too often we confuse His truth with our flawed understanding. JESUS is the word of God made flesh. So although she seemed to be breaking the law, she did so reaching out to the One who fulfilled every letter of the law. When Jesus is truly your target, you won’t go wrong.

STRETCH BEYOND ISSUES!

Perhaps the most difficult thing she did was to stretch beyond her issue. To say she was weak would be a massive understatement! Twelve long years of blood loss plus the painful treatments had taken a tremendous toll on her body, her mind, and her emotions. All of her money gone in the process and not one little improvement to show for it all. If anyone ever had a valid reason to “sit this one out,” she did. If anyone could ever feel justified in thinking it must not be God’s will to heal her, she could. If anyone’s excuses were valid, her’s were. She chose to stretch beyond her issue and stretch her faith. STOP making excuses and STRETCH! If this unnamed lady can do it, so can we!

She chose to stretch beyond her issue and stretch her faith. STOP making excuses and STRETCH! Click To Tweet

STRETCH TO JESUS!

Our stretching is good but futile if the goal is anything or anyone less than Jesus! He must be the object of our faith! “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” [I John 5:4-5] She refused to stop short of Jesus. She pressed her way through the suffocating crowd. She pushed past everyone, including the great disciples, to touch the garment of Jesus. When her faith touched His character, the explosive power of God flowed out of Him and into her.  HEALED! FREE! WHOLE! Whatever you are facing today, stretch your faith to Jesus and receive Heaven’s best for your life!

Our stretching is good but futile if the goal is anything or anyone less than Jesus! Click To Tweet

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