Jesus Calms the Storm
35That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"
39He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
41They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
So I was watching a DVD last night- Francis Chan's new series, Basic. The first one is Fear God.
He talks about how a lot of preachers and teachers and believers in general have kind of watered down the passages about fearing God, explaining it as a more socially acceptable "good healthy respect" of God.
Well. I have to agree with Chan that when the many different writers of the Bible talk about fearing God, they mean FEAR. Terrified. Scared senseless.
As illustrated in my Bible reading today. The disciples, Jesus' home-boys, saw his power and were terrified. Picture that. You are out on Lake Ontario in a down rigger and a huge storm comes up, with 20 foot white caps. You know in your head, "We're all gonna die!" And then your spiritual mentor wakes up and says, "All right, calm down, that's enough." And the storm stops. The water becomes as still and smooth as glass. The sound of the wind disappears completely. Quiet. Dark, eery quiet.
I think terrified is a good word to describe how I would feel.
Now, that Jesus in the boat is the same Jesus to whom we pray. Or whom we ignore because we are too distracted or tired to pray. Or whose commands we ignore because they seem like too much- he couldn't have meant it LITERALLY that we should love our neghbor as much as we love ourselves.
Now, when I pray, I picture myself entering the presence of the almighty God. I see myself crawling on my belly before him, nose to the ground, thanking Jesus over and over that His blood covers my stains. That He washed me white as snow so that I can crawl before my Maker and worship Him without being incinerated like a moth approaching the sun. And then I talk to God. And my prayers do not bounce off the ceiling.
Fear God. It is the beginning of wisdom. It is the beginning of every real relationship anyone has ever had with God the all powerful Creator of the universe.