The Devil whispered in my ear, “You’re not strong enough to withstand the storm.”
Today I whispered in the Devil’s ear, “I am the storm.”
What about the days, when you’re just not?
When you are really weak and you cant try anymore?
What about the times when the storm rages against you and you fling your fists in the air and make no headway?
What about the times when you are so beaten down and broken by fate that not even your Instagram account can fake it anymore?
Unbelievers often watch Christians and see us make statements of strength, but live lives that are just as shattered as theirs. Our failure to acknowledge our failure leads them to dismiss us, along with our gospel, as either crazy or untrustworthy. I think the reason we make claims like this and attribute them to our faith is because we have a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be strong in the Lord. This misunderstanding leads us to trade the truth of the Bible for the lies of the world.
Why is it that we as Christians settle for so much less than what God has promised us?
Why is it that we are so willing to allow Satan to deceive us into believing we are less than what we have been created to be?
Why would some of us rather be the storm, instead of Sons and Daughters of the Most High God?
Because they have no faith in the One who conquers all who oppose Him.
When I saw that one of my former students had posted this quote on his Facebook page, my first reaction to this quote was to comment, “That’s just silly,” but the more I saw this quote being shared, the more I realized that this was evidence of a real problem. I realized that for many Christians, the idea of being a champion or victor over the evil one is appealing, but they really don’t know what that means. It’s apparent that many assume that to be able to conquer the enemy, Christians have to be stronger than the enemy, but that’s not the case. Apparently, some believe that to win a fight against the Devil, they must embody the very thing that the devil is using to defeat us, but that’s even farther from the truth.
When Jesus was with his disciples, he made his nature and character clear to them on several occasions, and even though they didn’t always understand what he was saying, Jesus was patient with them as they learned. One such event occurred while on a boat with his disciples. The boat was about to be lost in a violent storm, but Jesus had another motive altogether.
23 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
It’s apparent that Jesus’ disciples could not withstand the storm that night. It’s also apparent that they tried and failed to the point that they could no longer try any more. Their only course of action was to ask Jesus to intervene. They asked this carpenter’s son what to do on the open sea. They asked a Rabbi what they should do when their ship was breaking up. They asked because they had run out of fight.
Jesus, half-asleep, scolds them by asking them why they had no faith…
I’d bet that at least one of these fellas was thinking, “What? Faith? We don’t need faith; we need to not drown tonight!”
Jesus got up out of bed and spoke to the storm like he knew it. He told it to be still, and it did. Jesus expended more energy getting out of his bed, than he did eliminating the very thing these fishermen couldn’t withstand.
The Devil didn’t have to whisper in their ear, “You aren’t strong enough to withstand the storm,” because they were acutely aware of that fact. They had struggled against it, and realized that truth for themselves. And honestly, there hasn’t been a follower of Jesus in history that could withstand the storm. But you don’t have to!
Jesus didn’t call his disciples because of their experience in withstanding storms, and Jesus didn’t ask them to withstand the storm. He asked them to have faith in the fact that He, and only He, could overcome the world.
The same is true for you and me. I don’t have to carry the weight of my church, or even my youth group on my shoulders, because I can’t even carry the weight of my own sin.
The reality is, Jesus already conquered sin and death. Satan’s fate has already been sealed, and we have been enlisted into the greatest mission that the world has ever seen. We have been called to tear down the gates of hell to redeem those who are still dead in their trespasses and sins.
God doesn’t want us to be the storm.