One day Jesus and his disciples had to cross a lake to do ministry at the other side. While crossing, a furious storm met them and was about to sink the boat they were in. Where do you think would a Kingdom person be found in such emergency?
With other believers praying really hard?
Agreeing to Panic
Praying is good, more so with other believers who’d agree with you. Prayer in agreement is powerful, says the bible. But gathering to agree in fear is different, and often that is what we actually do in our “prayer meetings” during tough times. Ostensibly we gather “to agree in prayer”—we may even utter prayers that sound powerful to the human ear and claim bible verses in the process—but really, in the spirit, all we do is enforce one another’s fears.
Look at what the disciples did. They went to Jesus to “pray.” I mean, they asked Jesus to save them, didn’t they? Isn’t that praying? But in the spirit, all they did was express their fears together. That’s what Jesus saw. He asked them later, “Why are you so afraid?”
They went to Jesus in prayer but they were “so afraid.”
So Jesus showed them what a genuine Kingdom person would do during a desperate, dangerous situation—sleep! I thought about it a lot, why Jesus slept while the storm raged on. And they were in a dangerously weak sea craft at that. Why didn’t he stand up and pray? Why didn’t he gather his disciples to ask God’s protection together? That’s what most of us would do.
But not a Kingdom person.
Then it dawned on me. Indeed, it was better to sleep than gather together “in prayer” pretentiously when actually we just magnify our fears together. In fact, Jesus would never had waken up all through the storm if the disciples hadn’t disturbed his sleep. It actually makes Kingdom sense to sleep than pray during a fierce storm. Have you done that? It’s according to sound Jesus doctrine.
A lot of prayers are nothing but expressions of panic. Worse, lots of prayers are actually expressions of faithlessness. One time, a pastor and his church members went to pray for a dying person. The pastor prayed for “total healing,” claiming that the Lord heals diseases and claiming other fine-sounding promises in the bible. It sounded so powerful.
After they left the place, his members commented one by one how they were sure the patient would die because of his sickly and deathly appearance. “He looked as good as dead,” they said. “He’d die any day now.” Imagine if you have companions like that in a sinking ship and they ask you to pray with them. If you’re a Kingdom person, you’d rather sleep. I’m serious.
This is why most times, people don’t see me praying much. Or if they do see me, they often see me praying extremely short prayers. Then they conclude that I’m not a prayerful person. To them, “prayerful” is when a guy keeps praying long, poetic prayers in public. Frankly, sleeping is much better (and more powerful) than that.
Don’t get me wrong. Corporate prayers are good and powerful—if they are said in genuine faith. But if folks around you are just panicking religiously (or trying to see if prayer would work), it’s better to pray silently alone. God appreciates a fearless and daring prayer, full of faith. Right after praying, what do you feel and what do you often think about? Do you expect positive results or do you wonder if your “wishes” would come true?
There’s no place for earthly fear in the Kingdom. This is what we should pray to possess—radical and fearless faith in prayer. Some people’s prayers are full of fears. It’s more of expressing their personal opinions and apologetics to God rather than boldly claiming God’s promises. It’s more of reciting prayers (or doing extemporaneous speech) with carefully select, fine-sounding words rather than personally asking God to perform his mighty works.
A Furious Storm While Doing God’s Will
A lot of folks say that if you’re doing God’s will nothing will go wrong. Well, Jesus was in the middle of God’s will when a storm “suddenly” happened without warning. I’ve heard a lot of pastors and church leaders comment how a guy is not doing God’s will (or doing a wrong ministry) if something serious goes wrong. They even say your ministry is not in God’s will if you have no money.
The storm that met Jesus was even about to sink the ship he was in. That was serious. And I can imagine how some pastors would panic at the sight of a big storm about to topple their ministries. Their number one fear is to lose their ministry and that’s where the devil often attacks them successfully. Pastors panic so easily.
The important thing here is to see how your faith would behave, NOT how you would solve the problem and get everything back in order.
You see that?
God is not interested about how you can save the ministry or make it grow or make it mega. He allows storms to see how your faith would behave. A lot of pastors think it’s the visible achievements (material things) they produce that matters—church buildings here and there, big church memberships, big church incomes, cars and church vehicles, etc. God doesn’t care about them.
What God cares about is how your faith grows.
These (trials) have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. [1 Peter 1.7]
Kingdom persons know that what matters in the spiritual realms is how your faith can result to Christ being revealed gloriously in you (it’s not you who live anymore but Christ who lives in you. Christ in you is the hope of glory). This is the only thing that matters, and only genuine Kingdom persons know this. Those who truly see in the Spirit pursue this with all their lives. And once you begin to really see this in your spirit, nothing can prevent you from pursuing Christ. You become fearless.
You even begin to defy (or destroy) long held traditions, especially the tradition of fear.
And when I say “fearless” I don’t mean you begin to fight or debate people who oppose your church or denominational doctrine. I mean you dare sleep soundly even if your ship is beginning to sink—that kind of fearlessness. Everyone’s panicking like crazy and you’re there sitting cool and comfortably in a chair enjoying a cup of coffee or relishing in your bible meditation. And they begin to wonder and gradually get pissed off that you don’t seem to care if you all perish.
“Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” [Mark 4.38]
When serious problems begin to besiege the church, church people will want the pastor to do something pronto (and disturb him in his “sleep”). And some pastors will be driven to do something desperate to solve it (because they fear losing their jobs). In other words, panic. When the church sees the pastor panicking, they love it. To them it means concern for the church. Then they have a panicking church pretending to pray hard for the situation. But it’s nothing but a fearful church.
The World is Alien to Rest
A Kingdom person will do differently, not for the sake of doing differently, but because it’s his nature to live and act oppositely to how the world operates. He will kindof “sleep” on the job. He will do this not because he’s sleepy or exhausted or lazy but because he wants to stay out of the fear mania in the church.
The churchy of this world will never understand a Kingdom person because they have never seen or entered the Kingdom yet. All they are familiar with is the world and will always mimic what they see in it.
The worldly church is alien to Kingdom concepts like rest and sleep. You can only truly rest and sleep if you have no fear—if you realize how God often prepares a delicious meal for you right in front of your enemies.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. [Psalm 23]
The idea is not to eat in fear of your enemies but to enjoy God’s banquet anywhere without fear of anything or anyone. Have you tried eating slowly and just enjoying your food while others around you eat fast and tense, always hurrying to make it on time for their next appointment? In the Spirit, Kingdom people’s main activity (in fact, their ministry) is to enjoy the food the Father prepared for them. Nothing more.
Mary (sister of Martha) knew that. She was a Kingdom person. Martha thought the Kingdom was about getting busy in ministry, while Mary just lazily sat there by Jesus feet, relaxing and enjoying her “food.” Often, we are forced to be busy for fear of being called lazy in church. Pastors fear being called lazy in ministry. So they work hard all day everyday, doing everything to avoid having their ships sinking.
Just think—if the devil can easily put fear in us with such simple strategies as having our boats sinking, what more if he starts scaring us with his brand of signs and wonders? If you can’t “sleep” soundly when the devil scares you with furious storms and strong waves and wind and sinking boats, you will never make it when real war breaks out.
If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan? [Jeremiah 12.5]
But imagine this. What if you can manage to sleep well even if the devil scares you with a sinking boat scenario—or any scary scenario for that matter? If you’re powerful in sleep, what more if you’re awake?
The weakness of God is stronger than human strength. [1 Corinthians 1.25]
Rebuking Wind and Waves
A genuine Kingdom person rebukes winds and waves, and they obey—literally or figuratively. This is why I don’t want just being a member of some church denomination who knows nothing about the Kingdom. I want to be a Kingdom person in Christ. Kingdom people rule and reign with Him. They sit where Christ sits in the heavenly realms. They exercise power and authority over creation, spirits and things. The spirit world knows them although Kingdom people stay low-profile, meek, and ordinary in the worldly realms, especially in the worldly church.
It’s joy unspeakable when you personally experience rebuking devils, spirits, the rain, the wind, and other creation—and they obey you—because they see Christ in you. I have not yet tried rebuking waves, but it is God who chooses the time, place and situation to do this. Remember, as you conquer more forms of fear, you gain authority over more territories and situations in the spirit realms.
Better yet, if you master “sleeping” over more fearful and deadlier situations (sleeping in the everlasting Arms), then the devil begins to recognize you as it recognizes Christ.