Blog In Audio:
There are many styles of churches and ministries. The style of church we lead, or the style of ministry we lead, is simply a vehicle to carry the presence of God for the purposes of God. I liken the expressions of churches and ministries to boats that contain the presence of Jesus.
We sometimes make the miracles of God our focus and we miss seeing the presence and purpose of God in our lives. Sometimes we make ministry structure and style our focus and we miss seeing the presence and purpose of God. The presence of Jesus in our lives empowers us in supernatural ways, but those supernatural experiences only testify of our need for Jesus to fulfill God’s purposes in our ministries.
In the gospels, there is a story of Jesus walking on water. Jesus walked on water to the disciples in the boat in the midst of a storm (Mt. 14:22–33; Mk. 6:45-52; Jn. 6:15–21). I believe that this story depicts our need for Jesus in all that we are and do. Peter could step out of the boat because Jesus bid him to come. When Peter was distracted by the waves of the sea, he began to sink, but Jesus took his hand and led him back to the boat. The storm was tossing the boat but Jesus in the boat calmed the sea and boat was able to continue to its destination, where many people were healed and touched by the supernatural love of God.
God used a boat with Noah in the days of world change (Gen. 6:13-15). God shut Noah in the boat (Gen. 7:16). I don’t believe that God merely sealed the boat tightly. I believe that God’s presence was with Noah and his family while they were in the boat and that God’s presence sealed the boat from the flood waters of destruction. God’s presence surrounded the boat and empowered it to move forward into the purposes of God for the earth. This was Old Covenant testimony but in the New Covenant God’s presence is in the boat.
There is one story of Jesus walking on water, but there are numerous times where Jesus needed a boat. The boat was not a boat of human purpose. It was always a boat for the presence of Jesus and the purposes of God in the earth. Peter, James, and John had to leave a boat to follow Jesus because the presence of Jesus was more important than merely a boat (Mt. 4:21-22).
Jesus was asleep in a boat when a storm arose because God always rests in what carries His purpose in the earth (Mt. 8:23-27; Mk. 4:35-39). When Jesus awoke, He demonstrated that His presence in the boat is stronger than any storm that resists the purpose of the boat. The boat then carried Jesus to the other side to bring freedom to the Gadarenian demoniac (Mk. 5:1-4).
Jesus used a boat to cross over to the other side to heal a paralytic (Mt. 9:1-2). He used a boat to cross over and heal a woman with an issue of blood and to raise the daughter of Jairus from the dead (Mk. 5:21-23). Jesus used a boat so the crowd could see Him and hear Him speak (Mt. 13:1-2; Mk. 4:1; Mk. 6:34-45). He used a boat to get to a secluded place a to pray (Mt. 14:13; Mk. 6:30-33). Jesus used a boat to minister to the sick (Mk. 6:53-54) and He used a boat to get to the region of Magdala (Mt. 15:39). Jesus used a small boat to escape from being crushed by the crowd (Mk. 3:9-10). Jesus used a boat to demonstrate God’s supernatural provision for Peter (Lk. 5:3-7) and He also used a boat to demonstrate who He was to Peter after His resurrection (Jn. 21:6-8).
I think the story of Jesus walking on water illustrates our need for Jesus in our boat. We need a boat to fulfill the purposes of God, but any boat that God instructs us to get, or build, must be for the presence of Jesus and the will of God. Without the presence of Jesus we cannot fulfill His purpose, but we also need a boat. We must never dispute with other ministries over the structure of their boat and the structure of ours. We must only look to see the presence of Jesus in the boat.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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House of Bread Ministry
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