by Matt Brown
Founder of RISEaboveLouisa
MATTHEW 8 23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. 24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm
27 The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!”
I'm going to challenge you to take a look at the the story of Jesus calming the storm from a different perspective. We are going to look at this from the perspective of a Son/Daughter, not from someone who is unsure of their identity. Most (if not all) of the time that I hear this story told, it is told from the perspective of the disciples. When the boat began to rock and water began to fill the boat, they began to run around in a panic because they didn’t yet understand who they were, or who Jesus was for that matter... but Jesus was able to sleep through the storm because He knew who He was. He knew He was a Son and knew that He had the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of Him.
We too often live life without this powerful realization. We have the very same Spirit living inside of us that raised Jesus from the dead. The same Spirit y’all. Not a similar spirit, not a spirit kinda like the one Jesus had, but the SAME Spirit. This is exactly why Jesus said we would do even greater things than He did. When we settle it in our hearts that we have this same Spirit dwelling inside of us, it’s a game-changer.
The Bible doesn’t tell us the names of who was on the boat with Jesus during this storm. We can assume that at least a couple of the disciples who used to be fisherman may have been on the boat at this time. During this storm, they reverted back to what the world told them they were, not who they were in Christ. Matter of fact, they couldn’t have fully understood who He was quite yet. Their fear and distress was a direct result of their lack of identity. They didn’t know who they were and they allowed the atmosphere to control them because of that.
When they came to Jesus for help, He was asleep in the boat. Upon awakening He got up, spoke to the wind and the waves, and the storm stopped. He knew who He was and He knew the power of the Spirit that was living inside of Him…. and when a Son or a Daughter is secure in their identity and is walking with the realization that the Holy Spirit is active inside of them, they can sleep during storms. They can speak to the winds and waves of life and calm the atmosphere.
Sons and daughters change the atmosphere, the atmosphere does not change them.
Recently I heard the song "Carrier" by Nathan Isaacs and the lyrics are as follows (paraphrased):
I call this viewpoint the elevated perspective - as opposed to the whiny, defeated, “poor pitiful me” Christian perspective that seems to constantly fill my facebook feed. Sons and Daughters who are secure in who they are don’t allow the atmosphere to change them. Sons and Daughters who are secure in who they are speak to the atmosphere and things change. Sons and Daughters aren’t what the world tells them they are. Sons and Daughters carry Father’s authority. The identity of a Son or Daughter isn’t wrapped up in what they used to be… Their identity is secure in who God says they are. Be a Son. Be a Daughter. Sleep unphased during your storm. Speak to your storm. Speak to someone else’s storm.
“And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
2 Corinthians 6:18
by Matt Brown
Founder of RISEaboveLouisa
God has been speaking to me about His breath for a couple weeks... Here is what He says!
God says that since the very beginning, the moment His breath entered the atmosphere, LIGHT began (Genesis 1:3).
It is a beautiful bright light that can never be extinguished. This light defeats all darkness (John 1:5) and is the source of all true HOPE (Hebrews 6:19).
Then, just like with Adam, when His breath mixes with our flesh, LIFE occurs (Genesis 2:7). instantaneously, abundantly, and eternally . He says that once this simple, yet extravagant mixture takes place, it can NEVER be undone (Romans 8:38-39).
There comes a point where His breath is our breath & our breath is His breath, completely indistinguishable.
When God breathed Jesus into Mary's womb, He impregnated her with the ONE (Jesus, aka God in the flesh) who would go on to change the trajectory of the world forever (Luke 1:26-38).
Jesus said that we will do even greater things than Him (John 14:12-14). So what God said to me was, I have impregnated each of you with the One (the Holy Spirit, aka God inside of me) who can change the world. Every follower of Christ gets God's breath injected into their DNA and every follower of Christ has the ONE who can and will and does change the world. And every follower, just as Mary surely did, wonders if they are worthy, if they are capable, if they can handle it.... And God, the Creator, the Equipper, the Comforter, says YES!!!
Now go change the world. Do even greater things! God says He isn't just with us.... He is inside of us, inseparable from us, and our amazing journey on this side of breathing oxygen is getting to be along for the ride, becoming more and more like Him.
He says keep breathing my Sons and Daughters, keep breathing. It's your nourishment, your protection, your comfort.
by Matt Brown
Founder of RISEaboveLouisa
A wish says maybe, HOPE says definitely,
A wish says orphan, HOPE says son.
A wish says dead, HOPE says alive,
A wish says do better, HOPE says done.
A wish says broken, HOPE says whole,
A wish says strive, HOPE says rest.
A wish says tomorrow, HOPE says today,
A wish says not good enough, HOPE says best.
A wish says judged, HOPE says justified,
A wish says dirty, HOPE says clean.
A wish says "I love you if,".... HOPE says "I love you always"
A wish says me, me, me.... HOPE says Him, Him, Him.
In order to stay focused on HOPE, we must have a foundational understanding of what true biblical HOPE is...HOPE is the unconditional assurance that Father's goodness prevails. No matter what our current circumstances may "feel" like, God always has our best interest in mind.
We can continue to press on in the face adversity because we live from a position of HOPE. We are not those trying to reach victory, we are living in the present reality of victory. HOPE is right here, right now... not off in the future somewhere and only achievable if maybe, just maybe we behave well enough, pray enough, and ask for forgiveness enough...
Too often, we find ourselves focusing on the seen and not the unseen, the temporal and not the eternal. Let’s take a look at 2 Corinthians 17-18.
"For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever."
Paul is telling us to place our focus off of our troubles of today as they are fleeting. What we take as serious in our present lives will mean nothing whatever in the light of the eternal glory that lays ahead.
Just like the Samaritan woman at the well in John chapter 4.
Jesus said to her, “everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that i will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that i will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Too often we are controlled by what we think brings us relief, even if it is incorrect, even if it’s temporary relief. Our HOPE lies in the water that quenches all thirst. I heard a recovering alcoholic say “I didn’t stop drinking, I just changed wells.” Which well are you drinking from? Are you drinking from a well that still leaves you thirsty? Which well are you offering people water from?
Finally, we are a tri-part being, with our outer-shell being the flesh, the middle area is our soul which is made up of our mind, will, and emotions, and most finally (and most awesomely) the inner court made of the Spirit. If you can hear it like this… We are a spirit, we have a soul, we live in a body.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 says “And the very GOD of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray GOD your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
When we face adversity or temptation we remind ourself that we are not controlled by our flesh or our soul (our mind, will, or emotions) because these are all temporary things that will go whichever way the wind blows. Your flesh and soul is up and down like a roller coaster, but the spirit is steady. THE SPIRIT IS LIKE AN ANCHOR, STEADY AT ALL TIMES.
When we are able to see life from this perspective, we should stop and thank God for giving us the ability to recognize that we are not controlled by our flesh or our soul, but we are controlled by a steady, anchored Spirit.
May you enjoy living out HOPE and bask in the victory that was created for us before the foundation of the world!!!
Eric Reeder is joined by other leaders of RISEmovement to reveal the heartbeat of The HOPE-filled Gospel.