During the Inspiration Cruise to Alaska that Sharon and I were on last week, Dr. David Jeremiah was the headline speaker. Phillips, Craig, and Dean each had morning devotions, and Michael W. Smith and Nicole Nordemann also spoke. The theme or main topic seemed (for me) to be dealing with fear.
Dr. Jeremiah preached three times and each time spoke on fear: “What Are You Afraid Of?”, “Fear of Failure”, etc. Although I’m not the fearful type (at least I thought so), my ears were perked up the entire trip because I was anticipating hearing from God during the trip.
In one of the sessions, Dr. Jeremiah taught from Mark 4:35-41 where Jesus calms the storm. We’ve all heard the story plenty of times and we think we know it well. I know I did.
Then Dr. Jeremiah said something profound: “A perfect storm can follow perfect obedience. Just look at the disciples of Jesus. He said, ‘Let’s go to the other side.’ They followed. They were obedient. And a storm ensued.”
I had never thought of that.
Many times folks think that the perfect will of God is a safe place. While it’s true that God is with you while you walk in the perfect will of God and therefore, and you can trust Him fully, the perfect will of God may be a dangerous place. It may be a risky place. It may make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
In all likelihood, it will require sacrifice and huge steps of faith. And as Dr. Jeremiah points out, although a “perfect storm” may result, the words of Jesus and God Almighty ring true:
“Do not fear” (Exodus 20:20, Isaiah 35:4, 41:10)
“I am with you” “I will be with you” (Genesis 28:15, Exodus 3:12, Isaiah 41:10)
“Why are you still afraid?” (Mark 4:40)
“Be strong and courageous” (Deuteronomy 31:6-7, Joshua 1:6-7,9,18, 1 Corinthians 16:13)
“I will go before you and be your rear guard” (Isaiah 52:12)
“I will never leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6,8, Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5)
Although a perfect storm may follow perfect obedience, the answer is perfect love.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” (1 John 4:18)