What is a sea?
The expanse of salt water that covers most of the earth’s surface and surrounds its land masses; oceans; a relatively large landlocked body of fresh water.
Figuratively, a sea can be something that is so vast and difficult to cross; a large barrier or a huge obstacle that makes movement and traversing difficult; a storm of life.
We know about RMS Titanic; a British passenger liner operated by the White Star Line that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early morning hours of 15 April 1912, after striking an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Of the estimated 2,224 passengers and crew aboard, more than 1,500 died (with about 724 survivors), The ship was split in two and sank to a depth of 12,415 feet underneath the ocean bed.
The reason that happened is because a huge mass of water (the Atlantic Ocean) completely divides Europe/Africa and the Americas, otherwise the people could have just drove across or enter a train easily. Even now that when people go mainly by flight; the flight over the sea is still about the most dangerous part of the journey.
In Geography, we learn that the waters are about 71% of the earth surface, while land is about 29%. Of that 71% of water, seas and oceans takes about 97%; such that the waters on our planet Earth can engulf twice the size of the land and every other things on earth; if God had not given the waters a strict order (Gen. 1: 9-10). 9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
So therefore, even though the seas have many benefits for Mankind; they are equally a threat to our existence as well. I always shake my head in disapproval when I see men trying to claim more land from the sea by sand-filling or pouring concrete. It’s just a matter of time; the sea will reclaim it back.
So also in life, there are figurative ‘seas’ that pose huge barriers and obstacles to our easy movement and traversing from point A to point B in life and in destiny; we want to pray that we shall cross such seas and get to the other side where God has prepared and predestined for us in Jesus name.
The Bible tells us how the Children of Israel were been led from Egypt by Moses to the Promised Land; and as they got to the Red Sea; they had to camp there as the sea became an impediment to them. For their journey to continue; God miraculously parted the Red Sea for them; they walked on dry ground and they were able to cross to the other side; they were saved from their captors and oppressors; and they began to dance and celebrate (Ex. 15:1).
Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
Text: Mark 4: 35-41 – 35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. 36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
I have gathered from the scriptures that there are 3 reasons why a child of God can be in, or found himself in the midst of a ‘sea’ or storm:
- He has sinned (Jonah) – Jonah 1:1-4 Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord 4 But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
To cross the sea to the other side in this first category i.e. of someone who has sinned is quite easy. All that is needed is confession and repentance. At forgiveness from God, the person will obtain mercy for freedom to cross over (Jonah 2: 1-10).
So if you belong to this first group; you are going through a sea situation because of your personal sins; I will ask you to humble yourself before God; make necessary repentance and may God show you mercy to cross to the other side in Jesus name.
David – by taking Uriah’s wife and arranging Uriah’s death. Nathan, I have sinned…
Samson – by disobeying his Nazarite instructions (not touch dead things; no fruit juice, wine/strong drink; locks of his head – Num 6: 2-21). Pleaded with God to restore his power.
Prayers: Father, if I’m in any storm due to my mistake, please forgive me and bring me out.
- He is suffering because of the sin of others (Apostle Paul) – Acts 27:10-14. 10 And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. 11 Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul. 12 And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west. 13 And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. 14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.
Sadly, to cross the sea to the other side in this second category i.e. someone caught up with the sin of others is not that easy at all. It’s more dreadful; especially when those involved in the sins refused to confess, repent and restitute their ways. It can only take the intercession of the saints and the special mercies of God to avert loss of lives (Acts 27: 21-26).
If you are going through any sea situation because of the sins of other people; may God show you great grace and great mercies; may God rescue you from the tempest that have arisen because of their sins; and take you to the other side in Jesus name.
David sin – conducting a census. 70,000 deaths. Saints have to intercede…
Achan sin – 36 deaths. Assembly had to be cleansed. Saints have to intercede…
Ophni & Pheneas – many deaths, the whole Israel sent to captivity. Saints interceded…
Titanic owner – even God cannot sink this ship. It sank on it’s maiden voyage. Lives lost.
Israelites have a proverb that says, ‘parents have eaten sour grapes; and the mouth of children are set on edge’.
Prayer: Father, if I’m in any storm because of the sin of other people; please let Your special mercies bring me out.
Father, excuse me from any storm caused by the sins of my ancestors and my predecessors.
- He is been tried/ he is going through a trial – Jesus Apostles – Mk. 4: 40 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? Jesus made them to know it was a test. It was all staged. But you failed. Even when I’m here? I have healed the sick. I have just fed thousands. Can I not save you from this also? They failed. You shall not fail in Jesus name.
To cross the sea to the other side in this third category i.e. someone going through a trial is also easy. All that is needed is for the person to demonstrate faith and trust in God. When God is please with such a faith; He then grant the person the grace to cross over (Ex. 14: 21-22) 21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
Daniel – he was envied by his contemporaries. They connived to send him into den of lions. He would have thought what have I done wrong? He only prayed to God and to be thrown into the den of lion. But it was a trial of his faith. He passed.
Job – he was boasted of to Satan by God. There was an agreement in the heavenlies as to what the devil should do to Job and where he should stop. Job, however, did not know that all he was going through was a test/trial. He would have thought it was his destiny. No wonder he cursed his birthday.
Elijah – he was used by God to do mighty works; only to be told that he was to die in 24 hours. He became fearful and ran away from town. That would not have given any glory to God. If he had known that it was a test, he would have stayed. As God’s plan for him was that he would not die as other men.
If you are going through a sea situation because of the trial of your faith; may God grant you the faith and courage to stand firm and be able to cross to the other side in Jesus name.
Prayer: Father, whenever I’m going through a storm as a trial of my faith, help me to demonstrate the required faith and trust in You to overcome it in Jesus name.
Briefly, I want to look a bit closer into the main text for this sermon – Mk. 4: 35-41. 6 lessons for a child of God to learn from that storm. From the passage it is evident that:
1.It is possible for a child of God to experience raging seas/stormy situations?
John 16: 33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
2.God does not abandon His children when they are experiencing raging seas/stormy situation?
Heb. 13: 5c Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee
Isaiah 43: 1-2 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. 2When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
3.There are different kinds of storm?
Great/Little; Sudden/Gradually builds up.
The sky was clear before they set sail from the West Coast. The Sea of Galilee was 13 miles long and 7.5 miles wide. With the condition of things, the apostles would have known whether to set sail or not. Based on their judgement, it was safe to go across; but alas the storm arose suddenly!
They were already in the middle of the sea; they could not go back. It would even be more dangerous to try and turn the boat around.
The sea was not only beating on the outside of the boat; but also splashing on the inside of the ship. There are storms that threatens around the believer; but there are other kinds of storms that seek to overwhelm the internal spirit of the believer.
Mt. 26: 36-38: 36Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
Heb. 9:14: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
4.The believer must not behave irrationally through the storm. It is easy to become overwhelmed with emotions when one is been threatened by or going through raging seas/storms. The only thing that is necessary however is only be strong and of a good courage.
Hezekiah (2 Kings 18: 13-17). 13 Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them. 14And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; return from me: that which thou puttest on me will I bear. And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king’s house. 16At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
17And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller’s field.
He later did the right thing in Chapter 19. God fought for him.
5.The antidote against raging seas/storm is faith and not fear.
Jonathan and his aide (I Sam. 14: 6-7).
6And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few. 7And his armourbearer said unto him, Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.
6.We must cry out to God for help. Do not blame Him. Do start telling stories. They might have wanted Jesus to give them a hand with draining out the water. They were shocked to see what Christ did.
Bartimeaus – Mk. 10: 46-52 – Jesus thou Son of David have mercy on me.
Mary and Martha – If you had been here, my brother would not have died….
John 5: 1-9 – Pool of Bethesda – I have no one to help me…
What are things that awaits you at the other side?
Power over spiritual forces
The reverse of the irreversible – no hope.
Daylight in place of darkness
Calmness in place of turbulence
Honour and respect from men and spirits in place of insults.
Birth of a destiny in place of shattered life.
There is someone listening to me now; you have experienced a rude shock before; God says He will give you another shock; this time it shall be pleasant and amazing.
There is another person, you have been through different kinds of storms before; they are new to you; but you are experiencing a different kind now that the magnitude and other parameters are peculiar. God will rescue you.
There is another person; God laid it in my heart to tell you that He has the power not to permit the storm; that He equally have the power to make you fly above it. But for your good;
He has permitted you to pass through it. He however said I should give you this good news; that He will go through it with you.
The storm may have rock your boat; it will not capsize. You will make it to the other side in Jesus name.
In the name of Jesus, I remove every barrier on my way to success and victory.
I cancel every boundary the enemy has set for me in Jesus’ name.
I remove any self-imposed stagnancy and limitations on my path of progress in the name of Jesus Christ.
I receive double speed in exchange for the delays I have suffered in life in Jesus’ name.
I break, in the name of Jesus Christ, every curse against my life, family and ministry.
I command every raging sea and storm against my life to become calm in Jesus name.
Sermon delivered on May 31, 2020.