Spiritual Rumination by Julia Phillips

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

2 Corinthians 4:7

When Jesus was on the boat, crossing the Sea of Galilee, He was on His way to cast a legion of demons out of the demoniac of Gadara. This demon-possessed man was used often as a tool in the enemy's arsenal. Through him the devil held the countryside hostage with fear for a very long time.

The demoniac was so legendary that people throughout the entire coast land region knew of him, with no iPhone or newspaper. So as Jesus and His disciples crossed the Sea of Galilee that night, violent and destructive winds seemed to come out of nowhere to capsize Jesus' boat and drown them all in the middle of the sea.

Now, we know Jesus could have called 10,000 angels. He need only speak the word. But He wanted the disciples to discover the power and authority He had for them through His Name. 

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

The phrase “there arose” is taken from the Greek word “ginomai,” which describes “something that happens unexpectedly or something and catches a person off-guard.” In Greek, it plainly tells us they were not expecting the storm.

To let us know the size of the storm, Mark uses the Greek word “mega,” which denotes something of massive proportions.

The word “wind” is the Greek word “lalaipsi,” which means this was a “terribly violent and turbulent wind.” It is also translated as “hurricane, cyclone, tempest, gale, or fierce squall.”

We know the storm that night was no joke. It was crushing and over-powering.

Here was Jesus, on the brink of one of the greatest miracles of His ministry. The occurrence of the storm at this exact moment was no accident.

I am confident the devil didn't want Jesus to reclaim one of his most prized captives.

Even if this was a preemptive strike of the devil to undo the work of God, that night in the midst of the storm, Jesus arose and took authority over the situation.

“And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:39

In doing this, Jesus demonstrated that He was the Lord of the wind and the waves. This potentially deadly situation provided a great opportunity for the disciples to learn that Jesus Christ is truly Lord overall.

Rest assured. Uninvited and unwanted foes will try to attack you with unexpected turbulence from time to time. The attacks against you will probably escalate whenever you're right on the edge of a breakthrough, as was the case with Jesus that night. But just as that event provided an opportunity for Jesus to demonstrate His power and authority, you and I need to see each attack against us as an opportunity to rise up, take authority, and demonstrate who we are in Christ Jesus. And Jesus did all out of love.

Jesus had been teaching His disciples the Word, and now He was giving them an opportunity to test where their faith was.

After all, Romans 10:17 says, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God,” and faith must be tested.

It's not enough for us to just sit and listen to sermons week after week. It's not even enough for us to repeat a teaching — just as it wasn't enough for the disciples that day.

“Think it not strange, the fiery trials that are about to try your faith, as if some strange thing were happening to you.” 1 Peter 4:12.

Our faith is tried and tested for our own benefit. And it's of much greater value than gold or silver.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

The greatest treasure in heaven and earth resides in you. And “the excellency of the power” belongs to God.

When you and I grasp the amazing truth that the power and authority of God is available to us, we will see answers to prayers and situations reverse in our lives. Is there a “storm” in your life today? Is your anchor secure? Securely attached?

We need to be on the lookout to shine our light in the darkness of each storm we endure. It does not mean our trials won’t be painful. At times you can feel like you won’t make it. Keep your eyes stayed upon Him.

Not a single tear will fall unseen. God has a purpose in each trial. He does not cause all these bad things to happen, but He is sovereign. Even during times when it seems your life is spiraling, He promises to not give us more than we can bear. God wants to turn what the devil meant for evil into good as we witness in His Word.

The very next verse, 2 Corinthians 4:8-11, describes the type of personal storm Paul himself was dealing with. “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering (tests and trials), our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger and trials, because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus might be displayed through us; So, death is at work in us, but life in you.”

Be encouraged today. We are servants of Jesus Christ, ministers of the Gospel to those who are perishing. We have a job to do. Hope! We are to take authority over the works of darkness and set creation free.

Spread the Good News. To everyone. That includes friends, family, and beyond. We are vessels that contain the very Spirit of God. Jesus intercedes for us before the throne day after day, His Spirit equipping us with all we require. He wants us to put into practice all the gifts He has placed within us, and not just practice a dead, powerless religion.

Get into the Word today. He is your provider, Jehovah Jireh. He is the Head of the Body — His church. 

You may not face a man such as the demoniac of Gadara, but I guarantee you will meet friends, family, and strangers who desperately need the help, the prayers, the love, and the demonstration of the power and authority of God that resides in you. If you want to be a fisher of men successfully, you need to launch out.

Tighten any slack in your anchor — your relationship to our Lord Jesus Christ. Draw near to God and He promises to draw near to you. Let the Word dwell in you richly and keep your eyes on Him so you don’t get tangled in a cord.

Immanuel. God is with us.

Ruminate on that.