Are you lost to the symptoms? What are symptoms? When you have a cold, the symptoms can be the running nose, cough, lack of energy, achy body. The word symptom means “a sign of the existence of something, especially of an undesirable”.
Let us talk about the “existence of something”, I was listening to a teaching by Pastor Rick Renner and I want to share with you how it spoke to me. Today we will be in Mark 4, Jesus had been teaching and healing throughout the Galilean region and people were coming from all over. His disciples were with Him. This is important because they had every opportunity to absorb all that Jesus was teaching, at the very least the truth of who He was and who they were in God’s kingdom. Much like you and I we have the historical account and teaching, the whole truth. We should know without a doubt our position and authority, yet we let the “symptoms of life” stall and distract us.
In Mark 4 beginning in verse 35 Jesus says ”Let us go over to the other side.” Jesus knows He has an appointment, there is need and He must go and deliver an entire region from a demonic stronghold. No encounter and no where Jesus went was ever by accident or mishap. Every step, every word had purpose and is still affecting God’s Kingdom today and forever. So, they set out in a boat to cross over to Gerasene. It was a beautiful night, not a cloud in the sky as they left. They sailed into the night and Jesus in verse 38 was sleeping in the stern of the boat on a cushion. After a while scripture says, “there arose a fierce gale of wind”, this word “arose” in the Greek means something off guard, unexpected, by surprise. These were experienced fisherman, Jesus’ disciples and they would not have risked going out onto the lake if there was a storm brewing. In verse 37, the word used in the Greek to describe this “great wind” is a turbulence, invisible force, not natural and this wind caused waves to break over the boat so that it was all the disciples could do to keep water from filling and sinking the boat. It is so important to look at the Greek during this portion of scripture because the truth comes alive here…my Bible says breaking but the Greek the word is “beating” meaning by someone or some unforeseen force, entity, not natural. It is the devil that is attacking and trying to keep Jesus from crossing. Keep in your mind that the waves and water are the symptoms and the wind is the devil or the cause. Remember earlier I shared that Jesus had an appointment to break a demonic stronghold and free an entire region. Let’s go back to the storm for a moment, the disciples are frantic, Jesus is sleeping and they are at their wits end, not understanding what is truly happening, fear sets in, it’s hopeless, they look to Jesus and He is sleeping through all of it. Jesus is resting, knows the outcome because God has set Him on a mission. Finally, in verse 38 the disciples woke Him, once again my Bible says simply “woke Him” however the Greek says they resurrected Him, demanded and like whining children declared “Don’t you care?” “We are going to die!” This “don’t you care” is translated in Greek to say, we are unraveled, undone, life is coming apart. Don’t you care about our current situation?
Here it is…the true teaching in this scripture the deeper revelation God is showing us today. Jesus’ response…verse 39 “And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.” This word “rebuke” the wind holds the key…Jesus spoke first to the devil and the word rebuke in the Greek is to embarrass or humiliate. The devil is a prideful creature, so Jesus calls him out…with authority. He defeats the cause and then He hushes all the symptoms…the water. The disciples thought the problem was the water, that which they could see and touch but Jesus knew the truth, Ephesians 6:12 says we fight against the unseen. Jesus addressed the source, the devil and once that was accomplished all the symptoms subsided.
Here is the question we must answer daily and the one the disciples had difficulty answering. Verse 40 “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They had witnessed and heard His teaching firsthand, saw with their own eyes the miracles and yet when a spiritual attack came, they were unable to discern and act with authority over it. The disciples thought the problem was the water and waves, they were fighting the waves, bailing water, trying desperately to find their balance in the waves (symptoms) instead of going directly to the cause and saying “NOT today devil!, I claim the authority that Jesus has given me!”
So here it is…Jesus tells us to call to Him, use your faith, believe without hesitation, do not look at the physical, your circumstances, situation. Step out in faith and declare who you belong to… Notice that Jesus responded immediately to their request, He didn’t wait, He didn’t wait for them to gain understanding or to take action on their own…He did it! Jesus destroyed the devils attempt to gain a foothold and cause them to be further distracted from the mission in front of them. Your life is that mission, to represent and to present His truth! To walk in the authority and rebuke the devils attempts. We MUST learn to let our faith guide us. Whatever the devil does Jesus is going to go above and beyond. We must believe that once the unseen, the cause is dealt with the seen, our symptoms will be defeated, and peace will come. Do not let fear keep you distracted and unable from receiving and fulfilling your mission.