Walking on Water: Part 2
May 31, 2006
One of the unusual features of the story in Matthew 14 is the fact that Jesus did not calm the storm until after He was in the boat with the disciples. If most of us had been in His place (with our current mindset), we would have rebuked the storm or even prevented it from coming in the first place.
But Jesus did not do this. Jesus recognized that tribulation, which the storm represents, was a necessary component of the Father's plan. Was it "evil"? Yes, it was evil, as our dualistic minds calculate and understand things. But in Isaiah 45:7 God makes the extraordinary claim,
"I form the light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil; I the Lord do all these things."
This does not mean that God sins. Sin and evil, though they can be related, are two different things. Sin is the failure to reach a particular goal, or to "miss the mark." Romans 3:23 says, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." In other words, we have all failed to reach the goal of God's glory. But God has no such problem. He uses evil for good purposes. He will always succeed in reaching His goal, expressed in Num. 14:21,
"But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord."
If God were to fail in reaching this goal, He would then be a sinner, a failure. But God will never fail. Evil cannot thwart His plan. Man cannot prevent it, no matter how hard he may try and (as the context shows) no matter how many Israelites refuse to enter the Kingdom. In the end God wins. In the interim, God creates His own opposition which we call "evil."
I would rather that God create evil than have someone else create it. A creator owns what he creates, and a creator is always greater than the creation. If God creates evil, then we know that it is no problem for Him to deal with it.
When Jesus walked on the water, He did so, not by the power of the soulish mind but by the power of the spiritual mind. We all have both minds within ourselves, but we tend to allow our soulish minds to dominate, rather than to yield to the greater mind.
Our soulish (carnal, natural) mind thinks dualistically, for that is the extent of its capability. It can understand things only by their contrast. The spiritual mind thinks of all things in terms of the unified plan of God, for it is the mind of the Spirit that operates within us.
When Jesus walked on the water, He did not think of the storm as "evil," but rather embraced it as part of the plan of God that works all things together for good. In other words, even the storm was "good," if we may apply such a dualistic term to the thought process of the spiritual mind.
Led by such a spiritual mindset, Jesus walked on the water and was not bounced around with the waves. All was calm to Him. And when He finally got into the boat with the disciples, their spiritual minds were opened, and a great calm came to them as well. Jesus did not calm the storm, because He wanted the disciples to do it. The storm died down because it immediately reacted to the command of the spirit that emanated from them.
In Mark 4:35-39 Jesus and the disciples had crossed the same lake on an earlier occasion, and Jesus had been asleep in the boat. A storm hit, and the disciples had to waken Him so that He would do something, saying, "Do you not care that we are perishing?" Verse 39 says,
"And He arose and rebuked the wind and said unto the sea, 'Peace, be still.' And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And He said to them, 'Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith'?"
Two chapters later, Jesus sent the disciples out into the lake to learn how to command the seas for themselves by the power of the Spirit. It is significant that neither Matthew, Mark, nor John give credit to Jesus for rebuking the wind and waves this time. They all modestly tell us that the winds simply ceased when Jesus got into the boat.
In my view, Jesus was training them to be led by the Spirit. He wanted them to know that the same power lay within each of them to command the elements by the authority of the Holy Spirit resident in their human spirits. Thus, we read the astounding statement given in Mark 6:48, that He "would have passed them by."
Did Jesus not care what happened to them? Was He daydreaming as He crossed the stormy sea? How could He have been so cruel, one might ask?
No, He was giving them a lesson in faith, putting them into an "evil" situation in order to show them a fantastic truth that they too had authority to command the elements by faith. This is how all miracles are done--not by the carnal mind commanding things out of fear, but by the spiritual mind commanding things out of faith.
How often I have seen people react in fear, rather than act by faith.
I recall an incident where I was caught up in the spirit on July 26, 1985. It was as if I were looking down upon America, and as I looked toward the Atlantic Ocean, I could see a dark round mass form and move across the ocean. It then turned north and came into Washington D.C.
I pondered this, and the old revelation, "July is like September" came to mind. I made a note to watch September 26, 1985. I was ready to begin teaching a local group about spiritual warfare, and God told us to put a wall ("prayer block") in front of the city to prevent this thing from entering Washington D.C.
Then in August someone else had a revelation of a hurricane, and I realized that what I had seen was a hurricane, and Washington D.C. was in potential danger--except for the intercession that we had done earlier, of course.
Well, a hurricane did form in mid-September, came across the Atlantic Ocean, and then turned north, heading directly for Washington D.C. As it approached, many Christians were called out to pray and rebuke the hurricane. They did so out of panic and fear, not by faith. Suddenly, the hurricane hit the prayer block and bounced back out to sea. It went around Washington D.C. and hit New York instead. The date was Sept. 26, 1985, precisely the date that had been revealed two months earlier.
The point is this: We prayed with 35 people two months earlier, before the hurricane had even formed. We were reacting to the Word of the Lord, and faith comes by hearing. We had no fear and no panic, because there was nothing for the carnal mind to fear yet. In fact, the carnal mind did not yet know that it was a hurricane.
When one commands by faith through the spiritual mind, while the natural mind does not understand, it takes only a few to command the wind and the waves, and they obey. But if one waits until the wind and waves are evident, panic and fear set in, and it is much more difficult.
When we learn to submit our carnal minds to the mind of the spirit that is within each of us, and through which the Holy Spirit works, then we will learn to command the wind and the seas. All such commands will be in harmony with the perfect will and plan of God. We will see that all adversity is for our benefit, to teach and train us to grow up into Christ, so that we walk as He walked and do as He does.
This is the key to walking on water.
This is the final part of a series titled "Walking on Water." To view all parts, click the link below.