We read Mark’s gospel and John’s gospel, but in Matthew as well, it states that after the feeding of the 5,000, the lord [told] his disciples to get into a ship and pass over to the other side, and the language of those gospel narratives [expresses an] unwillingness on the part of the disciples. They were hesitant in obeying his instructions … He told them to go, but they were slow [in] doing so. They were unwilling to do so. So he had to command them: “Look, I said go on over on the boat, don’t worry about me. Y’all go on over there.”
John’s gospel, which does not mention the constraint, John surprised us with the meaning of it because the previous miracle, John said, had worked up the excitement of the crowd to a dangerous point until the crowd that had eaten the loaves and fishes … threatened to become a mob because they told themselves that a prophet that could make bread and multiply fish at will was the kind of prophet that we want. Much like today, the prophet that can release increase is the prophet that people want. They don’t want the thus-sayeth-the-lord-you’d-better-live-right prophet. They want the you’re-gonna-get-a-new-house-you’re-gonna-get-a-new-car-you’re-gonna-get-some-money prophet.
So, it says in John’s gospel that they determined to force him into proclaiming himself king … So the Bible says Jesus went up … onto a mountain. He went up to a higher level, amen. He went up onto a mountain in order to get away from the crowd while the disciples journeyed across the sea to the other side. And it wasn’t a great distance away, amen. Maybe about five or six miles. They were going on what should have been a very short trip, a short journey that should only take a couple of hours at the most on the peaceful, tranquil sea. However, they drifted along on their journey, and the Bible said that it was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
And then it says, “And while it was dark, a great wind blew, and the sea rose up.”
Think about this now. They were almost over to the other side. They were almost there where they were told to go, but a great wind came up and pushed them back out into the middle of the sea – pushed them back away from their destination.
And in the gospel narratives, you can understand the fact that these disciples had been in a storm like this before. They were experienced seamen – they were experienced fishermen, but the storm in the gospel narratives that they had been a part of before had been [during] the daytime, and Jesus had been on board. Even though he was asleep, he was still on board. But now, here they were in the middle of a stormy sea in the dark without Jesus.
Is there anybody here that understands the severity of that situation, amen? Because how many of you know that daylight storms are still [navigable] because even though you’re in the storm, you’re still able to see where you’re trying to go? You’re able to see your way through in a daylight storm, especially if you know that the lord is in there with you. But is there anybody here on this holiday weekend morning that’s ever experienced a nighttime storm? Is there anybody here that’s ever been in a late midnight hour storm? You’re in the middle of an I-can’t-see-any-way-out-of-this-mess storm. You’re in the middle of a Jesus-is-nowhere-to-be-found storm. Talk back to me, somebody. I’ll talk about myself. I’ve been there, done that, bought the T-shirt on a journey that should not have taken this long.
Is there anybody here that’s ever said, I know where you’re at right there, pastor? I’m on a journey that should not have taken this long. I should’ve been on the other side by now. I should’ve reached my goal by now, I should’ve made it by now, I should’ve been prosperous by now, I should’ve been married by now, I should’ve been blessed by now, I should’ve been successful by now, but a storm wind came that pushed me away from my goal, pushed me away from my purpose, pushed me away from my destination, pushed me away from my hope, pushed me away from my dreams, and here I am in the middle of a situation and a circumstance that I cannot see my way out of. Talk back to me.
Everything around them is dark, everything around them is bleak, everything around them is dismal. There’s no end in sight of the storm they were in. The wind is too great, the sea is too rough for me to make it through on my own. Is there anybody that knows what I’m talking about? The problems are too big. The troubles are too much for me to overcome. I’m trying to maintain the best that I can. I’m trying to make it through this situation that I’m in, but it’s getting darker and darker, and the lord still hasn’t shown up.
The more I try to make it to my destination, the more the storm pushes me in the opposite direction. I’m trying to have faith. Is there anybody here that’ll say, ”Lord, I’m trying to have faith the best that I can, but the faith that I have is rooted in the awareness of your presence.” I have faith in the lord when I know he’s by my side. I have faith in the lord when I can hear his voice talking to me. I have faith in the lord when I can see him in my struggle, but right now, I’m in a situation where I cannot see him at all.
Is there anybody here that knows what it is to be in a situation where you can’t see God? You can’t hear his voice. You can’t sense his touches, but in spite of it all – look at somebody and tell them, “In spite of it all, I’m still rowing. I’m still rowing. I’m still pressing. I’m still trying. I’m still struggling. I’m still laboring, I’m still trying my best. I’m still trying to make it. No matter how dark it gets, no matter how hard it is, I’m still trying to make it to the other side.”
Look at somebody and say, “I’m in a storm right now, but I refuse to quit. I’m in a storm right now, but I will not give up. I’m in a storm right now, but I’m gonna keep on trying, I’m gonna keep on fighting, I’m gonna keep on digging, I’m gonna keep on scratching, I’m gonna keep on clawing, I’m gonna keep on!”
Here they were, in the midst of the sea, while Jesus is up on the mountain. And Mark’s gospel says Jesus saw them toiling. He saw them trying to row their way out. He saw them laboring and struggling and trying the entire time from his vantage point. He went up on a mountain overlooking the sea, and he saw them the entire time. Even though they could not see him, he was watching them the entire time. Watching them trying to go where he told them to go, watching them trying to do what he told them to do, watching them trying to trust him in spite of their issues, trying to believe him in spite of all their troubles, trying to obey him in spite of the storm.
But it caused them to realize that without him on board, they could not make any progress. Without him on board, they couldn’t reach their destination, they didn’t know which way to go – without the lord, they couldn’t be successful. Without the lord, they couldn’t get anywhere.
Look at somebody and say, “Unless God is going with you, baby, you ain’t goin’ nowhere.”
You’ve got to understand that many people have the mistaken idea that if they are endeavoring to obey the lord, they’re going to enjoy smooth sailing. They have the mistaken idea that [if they’re] obeying the lord, they’re gonna have a problem-free journey, not understanding that the enemy will try to hinder you in any way that he can. Consequently – and I know I’m telling the truth, and I know you’re gonna agree with me – at times, you think it’s nearly impossible for you to reach your goals, to fulfill your ambitions, amen, or realize the manifestation of your vision. But look at somebody and tell them, “The devil is a liar.”
Look at somebody else and tell ’em, “And he’s defeated, too.”
Look at somebody and say, “You are gonna make it. You are gonna succeed.” Come on and prophesy to that person next to you. Tell them, “You are an overcomer, you will not be defeated, you will not be destroyed. You may be delayed, but you will not be denied.”
Look at somebody next to you and tell ’em, “I am determined, no matter how dark it is.” Look at somebody and say, “I am determined, no matter how rough it gets. I am determined that I’m gonna make it. I’m gonna make it to my destination, to my goal. My dream will come true, my vision will come to pass. I don’t care how hard it is.”
Look at somebody and say, “I’m gonna make it. I might be in a bad way, but I’m gonna make it. The storm might be severe, the problem might be big, but I’m gonna keep on keepin’ on until my change comes.”
Touch somebody and say, “I’m not gonna fake it. I’m in a dark [place]. I’m all messed up. I can’t see my way out. I don’t have a solution. I do have some problems. But I’m not gonna roll over. I’m not gonna play dead. I’m not gonna fall apart. I’m gonna make it.”
[Tell] somebody, “I’m on a ship and I’m in a storm, but I’m gonna keep on rowin’, I’m gonna keep on tryin’, I’m gonna keep on shouting until I make it.”
Tell somebody, “If I don’t make it, it won’t be for lack of trying, if I don’t make it, it won’t be because I quit, if I don’t make it –“
There they are, in the middle of the night – it’s the middle of the night on a stormy sea. No starlight. No moonlight, no nothing but blackness. Here they are, in the midst of a storm, exhausted, weak, weary, nervous, fearful, uncertain, apprehensive – the wind is whipping, the storm is raging, the rain is pouring. And in the midst of this chaos, all of a sudden, they see Jesus. Walking on the sea. Walking through the storm. They see Jesus coming through their storm in the midst of their turmoil, in the midst of the mess, in the midst of the trouble, in the midst of the storm. All of a sudden.
But notice something: they’re in the midst of a storm, it’s pitch black outside, the wind is blowing real hard … and all of a sudden, they see Jesus coming through the storm. But he did not look the way they expected him to look. He did not appear the way they thought he would appear.
Look at that person next to you and tell them, “The next thing you’ll see coming through your storm will be Jesus.”
He might not appear the way you expect him to appear, he might not look the way you thought he would look, but the next thing you will see coming through your storm is going to be Jesus.
Look at somebody and say, “Here he comes, here he comes, here he comes. He’s walking on water. Here he comes through your storm, here he comes, moving in your problems, moving in your mess, moving in your situation, moving in your foreclosure, moving in your eviction, moving in your repossession. Here he comes.”
The Bible says they saw Jesus walking on the sea, coming near to their ship. They were so messed up at first they didn’t know who it was.
Look at somebody and tell them, “Sometimes I’m so messed up, I can’t recognize God when he does come.”
They saw Jesus in the storm, coming closer and closer. And they were afraid because he did not look, he did not appear, he did not move like they expected him. They thought he was a spirit, but he was moving in the natural. And he said – in the King James, he said, “It is I. Be not afraid.”
That translation is a shade imprecise because the literal Greek reads, “I am. Be not afraid.” He was telling the disciples he was the great I Am. I Am, be not afraid. He told me to tell somebody this morning: I Am, be not afraid. I Am a healer, be not afraid. I Am a deliverer, be not afraid. I Am a problem solver, be not afraid. I Am a need meeter, be not afraid. I Am Jehovah Rohi, the lord is your shepherd. … I Am Jehovah Shalom, the lord’s your peace. I Am Jehovah Shammah, the lord is present. I Am … your protector. I Am your fortress. I Am your strongtower. I Am your waymaker, I Am your need meeter. Tap somebody and say, “I Am!”
God said: I Am your marriage counselor. I Am your bill payer. I Am your financial planner. I Am your salvation. I Am. Be not afraid.
Once he gave them the revelation that he was the I Am, they recognized that it was him in the midst of the storm. And the Bible says, “They willingly received him into the ship.”
He didn’t look like they thought he was gonna look. He wasn’t moving the way they expected him to move, but once he opened up to them the revelation of who he was, they willingly received him.
Once you get the revelation of who he is, you can receive him into the midst of any storm that you might find yourself in. Even though he ain’t movin’ like you expect him to move, even though he’s not gonna send the money like you thought he’d send the money, even though he doesn’t heal you like you thought he would heal you … once you get the revelation of who he is, you will receive him into any storm that you find yourself in.
It says they willingly received him into the ship, and immediately the ship was at the land wither they went. They had been laboring all night long, trying to get where they were trying to go, but once they received Jesus in the midst of their storm, what had taken them a long time could now be accomplished in a moment. The destination – the goal that they were trying to reach could now be obtained immediately. And God told me to tell somebody this morning that their dream, that vision, that aim, that ambition, that goal, that objective that you’ve been struggling to obtain – God said it’s going to manifest immediately.
Touch somebody and tell ’em, “Get ready for an immediate blessing.”
God said, “I’m coming into your storm, I’m gonna make sure that you make it to your destination,” and he told me to tell you, “It’s not going to take a long time.” God told me to tell somebody, “Get ready for an immediate breakthrough. An immediate blessing. An immediate turnaround. Get ready for an immediate deliverance.”
Matthew and Mark state, in the gospels that bear their name, that when Jesus came on board, the wind ceased, and the storm stopped. But they don’t state that the journey was complete – Matthew and Mark don’t – or that they arrived at their destination.
John didn’t make mention of the storm stopping, but he said they reached their destination. So you have to realize that those two dynamics are cause and effect. And what he was saying is this: the stopping of the storm, the calming of the waters made the remainder of the journey swift and smooth. And God told me to tell somebody this morning before we stop, he told me to tell you –
Look at that person next to you and say, “You.”
He said, “The rest of your journey is gonna be smooth sailing.” He said, “The rest of your journey is gonna be smooth sailing because the worst part is over. The storm is over.” God told me to tell you, “The rough stretch is over. The rough patch is over. The chaos is over. The struggle is over, and the rest of the way is gonna be swift and smooth.”
He said, “The rest of the way is gonna be smooth. The rest of the way is gonna be straightforward, baby. The rest of the way is gonna be all right. The rest of the way –“ He said, “The rest of the way –”
Look at somebody, slap five with ’em and say, “The rest of the way is gonna be smooth. The rest of the way, it won’t be rough. The rest of the way — and you’re gonna make it. You are going to make it to the other side.”
[His wife] Belinda Scott: Look at somebody and tell them, “The rest of the way is going to be easy.” Say it to ’em. C’mon. Turn to somebody and say it to them. Look around the room. Say, “The rest of the way – that means from here. From here on out.”
Y’know, pastor, I love when God uses you that way. I love it.
I know you’re not gonna wanna hear this. I know we’re not gonna want to hear this. I don’t want to hear it. But we needed that storm — okay. I figured that. The storm moves you forward. ‘Cause you would’ve been comfortable, secure, and set in your ways, but the storm made us trust in something other than ourselves.
Touch somebody and say, “I trust in the lord always now.”
Air date: May 29, 2018
Monday through Friday, you can listen to Dr. Darrell Scott on radio1000.org at 8 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. EST. You can find more sermon transcriptions on my sermon notes page.