…. Now, I want to clarify that “the other side” is not about dying, but it’s about really living the life we were meant to live!
Mark 4:35 “On that day, when evening came, He *said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” v36 Leaving the crowd, they *took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; (that’s another sermon right there, “Come as you are”…. and other boats were with Him. v37 And there *arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. v38 Jesus Himself 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?” v39 And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. v40 And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? O you of little faith?” v41 For they were very much in awe and wonder, and said to one another, “Who is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”
I have heard a lot of sermons about the storm which the disciples were caught in, which threatened to sink their boat. I have preached a few myself. Jesus is asleep in the boat, which is amazing, when you consider the violence of the storm. But today I want to consider, right up front, the reason they were in the storm in the first place….
They were there, because they were doing what the Lord told them to do. He said, “Let’s go over to the other side”…. And right on cue, there was a fierce storm that arose between them and the other side”…
The scripture tells us that Jesus rebuked them because they gave the storm more authority than they gave to the word of the Lord. Instead of waking Jesus up to tell Him how big their storm was, they should have been telling the storm how big the word was that He had deposited inside of them!!!
The Lord has told some of you to go to the other side where there’s healing….but you’ve hit some storms.. For some of you, the others side meansfamily members, saved and serving the Lord…. The other side for others is a Christian home and marriage…. Perhaps on the other side lies freedom from some form of toxic life pattern or wrong thinking and that freedom is waiting for you…..Or maybe it’s the next step in the fulfillment of a dream or a goal which you have been striving for. For others the other side means “Prove me now says the lord that I will pour you out a blessing such as you cannot contain”….
So you’re in some fierce storms, and you aren’t hearing any clear direction,now that you have launched out on some uncharted waters.
What are you doing, Jesus, sleeping while we’re drowning… (ARE YOU FOR REAL JESUS) I’m going through all this, and I’m bailing like crazy to keep the ocean out of the boat, and you’re SLEEPING! WHAT’S WITH THAT, JESUS!! (Of course, no one here has EVER QUESTIONED JESUS….EVER, RIGHT! I want to tell you here…IT’S OK TO QUESTION GOD! He won’t get nervous.. He said “ask, and it shall be given, seek and you will find, knock and the door shall open”….
You see Jesus isn’t at all nervous about his spoken word coming to pass….
Psalm 68:8 “The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even the mountains of Sinai were moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel”.
Psalm 46:6 “Nations will shake with fear and kingdoms will fall at the voice of the lord and His word makes the earth to yield.”.
This is the same voice which said “Let us go over to the other side”….
I believe Jesus is allowing them to come up against all the old boundaries which have stopped them before. He is showing them in a dramatic way, the limits which fear and intimidation had placed in front of them and which wanted to end their amazing destiny before it began.
So, this wasn’t about the storm, it was about breaking the back of any and all powers which would prevent them from hearing and obeying the voice of God.That would cause them to come short in operating in their God given authority.
Comedian George Carlin nailed it when he wrote the following item about what happens when we fail to rise up to the next level that is waiting for us.
“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, and yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life, not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We’ve conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush around, but we have not learned to wait”.
Look at what Jesus told them in Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Grab your neighbor by the hand and say, “You are designed for greatness. Don’t live beneath your privilege. As a Christian, you have tremendousauthority”. The storm that was sent to break you is going to be what God uses to make you!!
It’s time to flash your Luke 10:19 badge at the storm. When a policeman knocks on a door, the first thing he does is show his badge. He displays his authority.
It’s time to raise your hands over the situation and say, according to my boss, I have received power and authority over your power, Devil!!
Flash your badge over your marriage and declare “My marriage is strong, secure, and blessed”!!! The storm that tried to break you, only served to make you!
Flash your badge over that physical condition and declare “Body, body, get in line, nothing missing, nothing broken, everything working fine”!!!
Write the scripture address of the promise, on the bottom of your shoe, because the only place the Devil belongs is under your feet!!! That’s Winnie’s thing, she puts the scriptures for that storm in her shoe and walks on it… Didn’t scripture tell us that “Every place on which your feet shell tread, I have given it to you”?
Jesus is inviting us to “go over to the other side of understanding our authority”….
Own it, don’t just confess it. You can confess something without possessing it.It’s one thing to say something but quite another thing to really take it as your own.
There are many people who are going to miss heaven by about 18 inches (that’s the distance between their head and their heart). They have head knowledge but their will has not been surrendered to His will and they’re heart does not truly submit to him as the rightful lord and ruler of their life.
Some day when scientists discover the center of the universe, many people are going to be disappointed to find out that it isn't them. Many folks can talk the walk but they cannot walk the talk…. Some children were learning about the Good Samaritan. To make the story vivid to the children, the teacher really got into detail, describing how the Samaritan was beaten, robbed, cut and bleedingand then left for dead. Then she asked the class what they would do if they saw someone on the side of the road, beaten and all bloody. One little girl raised her hand and said, "I think I'd throw up."
God has a great plan for all of us, but it’s obvious that He's not done with most of us yet!! But He won’t quit, if we just don’t give up….and we push beyond the nausea….
Hebrews, chapter 3 and verse 1. "Wherefore holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus."
The word profession is interchangeable with the word confession here, but profession goes much further, because it deals not only what you say, but it declares that what you say comes out of who you are and who you have become.
Paul wants us to consider, to pause and ponder the depth of what he has just said. He's talking to every believer in Jesus Christ and calls upon us to understand the power of our words, spoken under the direction of our High priest, Jesus, who is the great apostle of the church.
The High priest is our covering and our mediator with the Father and His Apostleship stirs us up, sets us in our calling and releases the Spirit’s power within us.
Now I want you to think for just a moment about the fact that we live in a power filled universe. We are told that there is enough unharnessed power that is contained in one cubic foot of air to blow the largest city in the world off the face of the earth. We know that we pass through billions of atoms every moment but when scientist discovered how to split just one atom, its power was released and the atomic bomb came into being. There is an endless supply of water in the air all around us every moment, and it would be more than enough water to irrigate every desert region and supply all the people in it, and never run out. We are surrounded by power that is waiting to be directed and harnessed. When missionary Hudson Taylor went to China, he made the voyage on a sailing vessel. As it neared the island of Sumatra, the missionary heard an urgent knock on his door. He opened it, and there stood the captain of the ship. "Mr. Taylor," he said, "we have no wind. We are drifting toward an island where the people are heathen, and I believe they are cannibals." "What would you have me do?" asked Taylor. "I understand that you believe in God. I want you to pray for wind." "All right, Captain, I will, but you must do something first, raise the sails." "Why that's ridiculous! There's not even the slightest breeze. Besides, the crew will think I'm crazy." But finally, because of Taylor's insistence, he agreed. Just minutes later he returned and found the missionary still on his knees. "You can stop praying now," said the captain. "We've got so much wind it’s about to rip the sails!"
Hudson Taylor understood Dunamus.. (power over power or the ability to harness power). That there is unreleased and untapped power all around usThat power was intended by God for man's blessing and for God's glory. All of that power was set in motion by words and that power can be controlled by words if we learn the secret of the power of the spoken word.
Jesus is inviting us to “go over to other side” and tap into power…. In John 4:13 Jesus said to the woman at the well “Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up (endlessly) forever”.
Some have thought, “If I could just go to a Benny Hinn meeting” I could get my healing… If I could just get to someone with the gift of miracles… then my miracle would be released…. They’re running around with their bucket, looking for someone to fill it…. But listen to Jesus’ words to the woman at the well… and throw your bucket away…. If you have the Holy Spirit within you, then you have a well springing up with a full supply.
Here’s the great miracle Jesus has come to give you… an abundance of resources within you, so that you can thrive, not just survive. Jesus says, “If you will believe, I will put in you that well, so you can continually draw upon it and enjoy it and drink deeply from it, and it will never run out!
In another place Jesus repeats it at the Passover, in John 7:37 “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. v38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” v39 Andthis He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive.”
He’s inviting us to go over to the other side…. The place of abundance, of wholeness, the place of miracles!
Believe Him, if He said you can go there, don’t let your storms cause you to believe it’s not possible. Don’t let the storm have more authority in your life than His words of promise and power.
God’s word will always work but we always have to work it…. Our destination is determined, but we must be determined to get there, and know that what He has said, He will do!
So, go on over to the other side!
Good sailors are never the results of calm seas. Good sailors have come through some storms and applied the knowledge, skills and wisdom which is the result of that.
I was counseling with a young lady who was burdened down with a number of things in her life. As I was speaking to her, she stared at me and said, “you council out of your own brokenness, don’t you Pastor”… Folks, we are broken people who bring hope to others from our own brokenness. Because through our brokenness we have tapped into the well within, which is a boundless supply, and a river with no end. Let’s pour out the river on some folks that are dry and are wandering in a spiritual desert.
Tuesday night at the training session, I heard Steve share this, and it meant so much to me, because I remembered that we had the same experience. When our son David was a wee thing, he loved the small porcelain figurines that Winnie cherished. They were collector’s items and valuable. He wanted to hold them in his chubby little hands. So he would hold out his hands and Winnie would tell him that he needed to be very careful, because they would break easily and they were very important to her. She would put it in his hands but hold on to it. Again she would say, “now be very careful”…. He would almost be tremblingat this point, eagerly waiting. She would say, “are you ready?” and he would nod eagerly.. “Are you sure you’re ready”.
Then she would let go and he would stand there, savoring the moment, as she hovered close by, to catch it if it should slip.
That’s how we should feel about the word of God and the gift of God that has been entrusted to us… it’s the sacred word, the God breathed word, the powerof His presence, that we have been given….
It’s the word, breathed by the Spirit that will take us to the other side!!!.
God desires that our spirit be the living, breathing, worshiping, praising, serving, Holy of Holies, where His glory rests upon the mercy seat. 1Corinthians 6:16 “ We are the temple of the living God, as God has said, I will dwell in them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people”. If we are His temple, then His glory fills and flows out of His living temples. We are the epi-center here on the earth, where His glory is manifested and revealed.
Begin your thinking and your planning and your choosing from the point of Jesus’ fullness in your life. Always begin with the abundance of God! Face life from the place of all you have in Christ. Never face life from the place of your problems and your troubles and your needs. But come at your life from the river of His abundance and endless supply.
The storm will always focus on everything that wants to sink your boat, but the river that flows out of your inner most being, will carry you through the storm and into the fulfillment of His promise.
Last, I want us to see that in order for the disciples to get to the other side, they had to leave the safety of the shore… they had to leave something behind.Hey, you can’t walk away and stay there at the same time….You can’t eat you cake and have it
Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to his disciples, If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me”.
The disciples had to launch out into the deep and uncharted waters. They had often fished these waters, but now conditions had changed, the weather had changed, what they were facing in areas they thought they knew so well, were all different now.
One day, you’re healthy and vital, and the next, you’re struggling. One day you’re cruising at 50 knots and the next, your motor has frozen up. One day everyone is your friend, the next, they’re the windshield and you’re the bug! How things can change in a day….
I remember, when David graduated, he wasn’t sure he wanted to go to college and study for the ministry. He was struggling with what direction he needed to go with his future. Overnight, he was launched into the worst week of his life, to the point that his very life was threatened. The storm had descended. He came to us and said, “How quick can you get me to college!?”
Sometimes you have to leave the comfort of the familiar, leave some friends and old patterns, leave behind your idea of how it is supposed to be, and push off to what you’ve never done and where you’ve never been.
His call has reached you, “Go on over to the other side”….
4 weeks before the kick off meeting for the Franklin Graham crusade, (I had not heard about it at this point). I had a dream that a man in a blue striped shirt came up to me and when I woke up, I told Winnie, that I was going to be approached by a man in a blue striped shirt, and it would be important, and very significant. A week later I heard about the Crusade and the kick off meeting, which was on the Monday the 4th.
When we got there at the meet and greet, someone introduced me to one of the team, and lo and behold, he had on a blue striped shirt with the official team logo on it.
This past Tuesday, the ministers were invited to a luncheon and the team leader had on a different blue striped shirt. The official shirt of the Billy Graham advance team, is a blue striped shirt!
Folks, I’m excited…. Jesus has shown us the other side, and I’m going over.
Something powerful is on the other side, something life changing is there, something that is transformative is on the other side. That’s where we are going….
Will some storms come up and try to sink this thing…. OH YES… Will there be distractions, and difficulties…. OH YES… But we’re not coming from the place of trouble, fear, stress, and problems, we’re coming by way of the river of God, by way of the well of endless blessing and supply!
We should be more afraid of not really living, than we are of dying!!!
I recall reading that the African impala can jump to a height of over 15 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet at a bound. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3-foot wall. They will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will land.
How many things have kept us from the other side, simply because we could not see where we would land….
Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see, and with faith we are freed from the flimsy enclosures of life where fear wants to keep us and prevent us from launching out from the safety of the shore. This does not eliminate the importance of Trying every spirit to see if it is of God….or looking before you leap!
I would like to call on our church, and I’ve posted this call to prayer on the internet….to find time to go over to the ampi-theater and the park, as often as possible in the weeks leading up to the crusade and just pray over that place, and those that will gather for the crusade. Pray over souls that need to come to Christ, from the local government officials, the business owners, the military, the tourists, the residents, the families and to all the whosoevers that the Holy Spirit is calling to receive Jesus at this season of harvest.
Jesus is calling the Christians and churches of Key West to come over to the other side, the place of renewed witnessing to our city, of leading others indiscipleship, and of connecting with those we meet every day with eternity in mind.
So, Let’s go forth with the well of his fullness in us, wherever He calls us, whatever we are doing. Mother, go home to your family with the well insideand fully know that there is nothing that is outside of your power to handle. Dad, go home with the well inside and know that as you lead your home for Jesus, the blessing of His fullness flows through you. Church, go into the work place with the river of endless supply, confident that there is no situation togreat for you through His power within. Let’s get our children to walk in this, at school and in their neighborhood.
We are going to the other side where we see revival, lost souls saved, marriages healed, enemies reconciled, love and forgiveness in place of hatred and anger…. Addicts delivered and set free… a turning back to God among young people, business people, government leaders, and the general population.
Let’s believe it and receive it…. Jesus is in this boat with us. Nothing can stop His plan and His agenda, if we will pray, go, love, and serve.
Let’s all be in agreement together, for the churches and those who are committed to seeing our God on the move in Key West, and the Keys….
Lord Jesus, we desire nothing greater than to see Your Glory revealed and that folks would come to know You better and for some, that they might know You for the first time. Prayer…… Lord Jesus, Open hearts that are still closed against you, and open their understanding that in knowing Your plan for them, lives would changed and spirits would be made open. Give me an understanding heart, that I may see the precious lives that you treasure all around me. Lord we cry out in behalf of the people, all around us, that their eyes may be open to Your truth so they might receive Your mercy and forgiveness. Help us, that as we walk in love, You would shine through us to dispel the darkness, so that all can run into Your transforming light. Bring our loved ones, friends and neighbors into Your saving grace.
Holy Spirit, bring conviction unto righteousness, and draw those who are away from you to faith and to repentance. We now take back everything the enemy has stolen from our lives and our community in the name of Jesus. We open ourselves to the fullness of Your wisdom and guidance. We receive the knowledge we need at this time in our lives that we might serve You and serve those around us. Our greatest desire is that we may bring glory to Your great Name. Lord, shine through us so they may see You, and may Your light never dim. Lord Jesus, as we lay aside all the weights that might hinder and distract us, may we join your multitude of reapers in this end time harvest, as we wait for Your appearing. Continue to move upon our hearts to mold and shape us more and more for Your honor and glory we ask. For it is all in Jesus’ name.