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 More Faith in The Earth - 5/25/11

Gennesaret – When the Son of Man comes will He find faith on the earth?

This morning after I woke up and had my private and then corporate prayer time, I lay back down on my bed and began to seek God for insight and prioritization for today.  As I lay there, the Holy Spirit softly whispered this word to me… “Gennesaret” and then prompted me to get up quickly and look it up before I forgot or allowed it to get crowed out of my mind.  When I found it, He illuminated many things that He had been speaking into my spirit for several weeks now in my studies of the books of Luke and Romans, and my own life experiences.  Indeed God is showing this to us throughout all of His creation today… the importance and the need for FAITH.

When I looked up the word Gennesaret, I found that it is the name of the city or region on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus arrived in the boat with the 12 disciples after He had just commanded them to “go to the other side”[of the Sea of Galilee] – Matthew 14:22 and Mark 6:45.  As I studied this time period, God showed me how it is filled with examples of the kind of faith that He is looking to see and also speaks a lot to where His people are today.

Back in the boat, after experiencing the terrible storm and then later seeing and not recognizing Jesus as He walked on the water and approached them, fear gripped the disciples and they cried out and were sore afraid.  While they were still in the storm, Jesus called out to them and said “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

Remember that it was Jesus himself who sent the disciples out there in that boat across that lake.  Even though they may have felt like Jesus was physically absent (for He was not in the boat with them), He was in actuality always with them, even watching over them from the mountain on the shore as He prayed.  In that moment they forgot about all the many miracles, signs, and wonders that He been doing in their presence (demonstrating that He was the omnipotent God).  They even forgot that Jesus had commanded them that they would “go to the other side.”

In Matthew’s account, Peter calls out to Jesus and says “if it’s you, bid me to come unto you on the water.”  When Jesus called him, Peter had the faith to step off of that boat into that storming sea.  Notice that the storm did not stop, but Peter knew that Jesus was with him and had spoken, calling him to do this.  In faith he stepped off, but even though he was walking on the water, he took his mind and eyes off of Jesus and started to focus again on the storm and you know what happened next.

There are storms that all of us all going through today (storms both literal and figurative).  No matter where you are in that storm(s), ask yourself these things…

What has God already spoken to me about this situation?
Am I actively trying to hear what God is telling me or has told me?
Am I in this moment focusing more on this storm (situation) than on what God has said to and about me?
Do I believe in my heart that this situation is bigger than God or has somehow caught Him by surprise?
When He comes, is He going to find me with faith in Him that can move mountains or walk on water?

After the storm was calmed and they arrived at the shore at Gennesaret, the bible says that when the men of this region knew that Jesus had arrived, they sent word and went all about the region.  Knowing who Jesus was and demonstrating strong faith, they gathered all of the people who were sick or diseased and brought them to Him knowing that if they could just touch the hem of His garment, they would be healed.  Notice this in Matthew 14:36 that “as many as touched [the hem of His garment] were made perfectly whole.”  They were not just healed of their sickness; they were made whole in Jesus because of their faith and trust in Him.  That is a much better thing than simply being healed any day.  That’s what God wants for us and that’s what faith can do people.  Faith to trust Him no matter what the situation looks or feels like.  Trusting in what He has already said and in what He is trying to say to you right now.  Step off out of the boat and launch into the deep.  Faith is the key.

In John 4:23 Jesus says “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.  God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”  We are living in a very special time today when God is looking for such to worship Him.  This is worship that goes way beyond the boundaries that we usually place around worship.  He is looking for worshipers who will do so not only with their lips, but with their whole hearts… indeed with their whole lives.  This is tied directly to faith such as was seen in Gennesaret in that when this type of worship is embraced, you will find that it is Spirit-filled, it permeates your entire life, and it is not affected in any way by the storms of life.

Back in Matthew’s account at Gennesaret after Jesus had made whole all of the faithful, in chapter 15 the scribes and Pharisees approached Him pointing out how His disciples did not observe the traditions of the elders.  Jesus then had a lesson with them about worshiping in spirit and in truth in which He culminated with the following: 

7Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” – Matthew 15:7-9

Challenge for today:  I challenge each of you today to experience this wholeness that being complete with Jesus brings with it by considering the following prayer.  It is a simple yet dangerous prayer because it pushes everything you have and are into the center of the table and you never know how things might get re-arranged.  Yet even while it is dangerous, it is also a prayer that will bring an indescribable peace knowing that you are in the absolute best place that you can possibly be… in the center of God’s will.  Here is the prayer:

Father, I know that you have already purchased me with a price, the precious blood of Jesus.  Today and everyday I offer myself unconditionally to you and ask that you would have me go wherever you want me to go, to do whatever you want me to do, and to say whatever you want me to say in each and every area of my life.  I lay it all at your feet unconditionally and pray that you would have your way LORD.  When simplified to its basic form, my prayer to you is simply “YES” LORD.  I believe and trust you.

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© 2010 Gerald L. Prater

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