Posted on January 8, 2014
#36: 100% Power!
Many years ago, I was asked to sing at a Christmas Eve service. For weeks in advance I practiced a song I loved, excited at a chance to sing it. Then on the Sunday before Christmas, that song was sung by someone else. Disappointed, I began searching for a different song. I remembered an arrangement I’d learned the previous year and pulled it out, thinking, “It’s an unusual take on Christmas, but it might have to do.”
On Christmas Eve I sang my song, then took a seat as our minister began to speak to the large crowd packed into our building. Within seconds I understood: God had chosen the song He wanted me to sing. It fit the sermon like a glove, giving the service a cohesive message about Christ. I sat there in chills, knowing that God had been in the details, directing my choice. This may seem like a small thing to you, but I still feel the thrill of knowing God had used me.
Have you seen God move in an extremely personal way to show you His power, His involvement in your life, His desire to use you?
Take a few minutes to read Mark 6:45-52. Also check out the companion passages in Matthew 14:22-33 and John 6:16-21.
Jesus had just fed a huge crowd in a very public miracle witnessed by thousands. His next miracle would be quite different—a private miracle that would take place in the middle of the night, seen by only His twelve disciples.
After feeding the five-thousand, Jesus sent His disciples back across the Sea of Galilee while He stayed behind to dismiss the people. Then He went up into the hills to pray, spending several hours with His Father. The Twelve should have had ample time to get to the other side of the sea, but had made little progress against a strong headwind.
Sometime after 3:00 a.m. (the “fourth watch” was from 3:00 to 6:00 a.m.), Jesus walked out toward the disciples’ boat in the middle of the tossing sea. Here a fascinating little phrase appears: “He was about to pass by them . . . .” To go where? Was Jesus just out for a stroll on the water? We know that He could shed His human restrictions at will (making every moment He spent confined in human flesh a gift of love) and that He was bound by no natural laws. In the Old Testament book of Job, Job offered praise to the One who “treads on the waves of the sea” (Job 9:8b). Maybe this wasn’t a one-time walk—just the one time His disciples were privileged to see it!
Hearing their frightened cries, He called out to them. “Take courage. I AM. Have no fear.” Ego eimi—I AM, His powerful covenant name. Immediately the sea calmed and the wind ceased. Mark wrote, “They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.”
Why did He need those twelve men to see Him on the water that night? And what did this miracle have to do with the miraculous feeding that had taken place a few hours earlier?
The disciples had to understand that Jesus’ power was no sideshow. It wasn’t a bid for attention or fame. It was who He was. He literally had no boundaries. He could create food for a hungry crowd as easily as He created a world. He could walk on water (or on air!) as effortlessly as on land. He could pass through angry mobs (Lk. 4:29-30) as easily as through locked doors (Jn. 20:19, 26). He was and is omnipotent—all-powerful. No Achille’s heel. No krypton. No point of weakness.
Later, He would help these men escape locked prisons, heal the lame, raise the dead, order away satan’s minions, and more. In His power, there would be no impossibilities. But they had to be completely certain who they were aligning themselves with.
So do we. We’re in on the same epic calling, with the same cosmic consequences. Our faith cannot falter—and will not, if we clearly understand who our Almighty Lord is. Take time this week to be thrilled by His omnipotence! Do you believe that He is fully able? What does His 100% power mean to you?
© Diane McLoud 2013