Be a Storm

Storms aren’t usually something we think positively about.  They are frightening.  They are unpredictable.  They go where they want and many times leave a path of destruction behind them.  They are accompanied by high winds which can be destructive.  They also bring lightning which can hurt and kill people.

A storm doesn’t seem like something we should model our life after.

So, imagine my surprise when I bought a new Cornerstone album (Cornerstone is an acapella group from Faulkner University) and it was named “Make Me a Storm.”  It also had a song of the same name on the album.  My initial thought was “What in the world could they be talking about?  Storms are bad.  I don’t want to be storm.”

Then I listened to it:

The wind and waves obey your voice
I want to be like that
Listening before each choice
I want to be like that

Chorus

Father, hear my humble plea
Help me to be
Like the ocean that is under your command
Help me be still, I want to do your will
Oh Lord, make me a storm

The raging sea did not think twice
I want to be like that
Following without a fight
I want to be like that

Chorus

Father, hear my humble plea
Help me to be
Like the ocean that is under your command
Help me be still, I want to do your will
Oh Lord, make me a storm

 

Wow!  I had never considered the story of Jesus calming the storm from the storm’s perspective before.  I had thought about it from the apostles’ perspective and also from Jesus’ perspective, but never the storm’s.  Not only is this song fantastic, it is also scriptural:

On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. 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. 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?” 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.  And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”  They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” – Mark 4:35-41

In our lives, we must become like the storm.  Our obedience is required, not optional.  We constantly mess this up because we try to force God to accept what we want to give.  We try to decide what God wants from us instead of listening to Him.  We try to get God to bend to our will instead of striving desperately to align our will to His.

We need to listen to Jesus the way the storm did.  In complete submission to His desires.  We don’t get to decide what He wants.  We can choose not to follow what He wants, but if we do that, we aren’t being like the storm.

Jesus tells us the things we need to do to be with Him.  All of the following passages are the words of Jesus.  You can choose to follow them or not.

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” – Luke 6:46-49

Jesus says that if we want to call Him “Lord” we must do the things he says to do.  We don’t get to claim Him as Lord and ignore the things He tells us to do.

Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.” – John 14:9-11

Jesus says that we must believe that He is God and that He is in control.

Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than allother Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” – Luke 13:1-5

Jesus says we must repent of our sins.

“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 10:32-33

Jesus says that we must confess His name before men.  We can’t be ashamed of Him.

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” – Mark 16:15-16

Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”  Jesus answered,”Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” – John 3:1-8

Jesus says that we must be baptized.  By being baptized, we imitate the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.  In other words, we follow the perfect example of our Lord.

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.” – John 14:23-24

Jesus says that we must remain faithful by keeping His words.

Now, some will look at this and say “No, no no, this is all wrong.  All you have to do is accept Jesus and make Him Lord of your life.”  I completely agree that we need to make Jesus Lord of our lives.  What I disagree with is the means by which we do that.

What most people mean when they say that is that all I have to do is say a prayer like “Oh, Jesus.  I beg you to come into my life.  I know I’m a sinner and I want you to take control.  Amen.”  But, I believe the words of Jesus when He said “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” (Matthew 7:21)  I do not become a Christian by just calling on Jesus.  I become a Christian by obedience to His word, by doing the things He has said to do whether I want to or not, by becoming like the storm.

John 14:6 says “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”  If you are trusting in anyone other than Jesus to get you to Heaven, you will fail.  No father, mother, sibling, friend, elder, deacon, preacher, or any other person can do for you what Jesus did.  If you are listening to the voice of any other, whether they are still on this earth or have gone on, instead of listening to the voice and commands of Jesus then you are loving that person more than Jesus.  You are gambling with your soul.  Your father didn’t die to save your soul.  Your mother didn’t die to save your soul.  Only Jesus died to save your soul.  Don’t put another person in the spot reserved for Him.  Obey only Him.

Be a storm.