Updated: Oct 14, 2019
I do not know about you, but if there is a huge storm, I want to be awake! There is no way I would be doing what Jesus was doing ... sleeping. Let's have a look a bit closer into what happened a bit earlier.
In Matthew 8:18 Jesus teaches the disciples about the cost of discipleship. He saw the multitudes and gave a command to depart to the other side. Then Jesus responded to two people. The first person said he would follow Jesus wherever He would go. Jesus responded in verse 20 “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Following Jesus was not going to lead to a place of comfort or worldly security. The second man wanted to go back and bury his father. It appears that he would follow Jesus after his father had died and he had security through his inheritance. Jesus again replied, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” Being a disciple did not mean worldly security, but it meant giving up everything and even to a world of uncertainty.
Then Jesus got into the boat and his disciples followed Him. He was then going to demonstrate the principle that He just taught to the people and the disciples. Jesus led them into a storm that scared the disciples. They were experienced sailors, but they were convinced that this storm was going to sink the boat and drown them all. The NKJB version says "The boat was covered with the waves". Not sure about you, but that sounds quite frightening. What was Jesus doing? Sleeping!
We read that the disciples had to go to Jesus and wake him up! The disciples were petrified and Jesus was asleep and had to be woken up. To me, that would be an incredibly hard thing to get my head around. They said "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" The response of Jesus was very interesting. He said, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" To me, that comment was more powerful than Jesus rebuking the wind and the seas causing it to be a great calm.
Why was Jesus asleep? Spend some time meditating on the following Bible verses and then let us look at why Jesus slept.
For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back? (Isaiah 14:27).
Then Job answered the LORD and said, “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).
“There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD” (Proverbs 21:30).
“The Lord foils the plans of the nations [the wicked]; He thwarts the purposes of the [wicked] peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations” (Ps. 33:10,11).
”O Lord, God of our fathers, are You not the God who is in Heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand You” (2 Chron. 20:6).
”Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Prov. 19:21).
”The Lord works out everything for His own ends –even the wicked for a day of disaster” (Prov. 16:4).
”The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good man rewarded for his” (Prov. 14:14).
Anyone who fights against God’s will, even if he perceives himself to be making headway, is ultimately fighting a brick wall (Ps. Ch. 2).
Anyone who thinks he can obstruct, prevent, or defeat God’s plan is only going to injure himself (Exodus 15:7; 1 Sam. 2:10; Ps. 68:1, 2).
Those who are faithful, God helps, but the arrogant, the greedy, and even those who align themselves with rebels, will incur upon themselves disaster, distress, and pain from God’s hand (2 Chron. 19:2 // Luke 1:50-53 // Eph. 5:6).
From our understanding of God, there is nothing Satan can do to stop the plans God has for you. Jesus could sleep because He knew the reason He came to earth could not be stopped by Satan. Even the huge waves and wind was not something Jesus was frightened of because He knew He would do what God sent Him to earth for.. to die on the cross and deal with sin once and for all. Satan could not stop this. Jesus demonstrated that in the middle of the biggest storm we can be calm and trust that God will cause us to be victorious and His plans for us WILL HAPPEN. Satan cannot stop God's plans! What a comforting thing this is.
After Jesus calmed the storm in verse 28 we read the account of Jesus delivering 2 demon-possessed men. Not only was Jesus teaching them through this encounter that nothing Satan could do to stop God's will happen, but He also demonstrated that when we walk in the plans of God, instead of ministering to crowds where we look most effective He does something different. He often leads us to just one or two people. In this story, the whole region was impacted through the demonstration of the power of Jesus over the demonic. We are most successful in God's kingdom when we follow His direction even when we are called from time of huge crowds to just minister to the one.
In Acts 12 we read the story of Peter in prison. Herod had enjoyed harassing the church and had just killed James, the brother of John, with a sword. He then arrested Peter and kept him and had four squads of soldiers ensuring that he would not escape. It appeared the next day would be his last on earth. What a huge storm! The church was praying constantly and then the night before it looked like Peter was going to get his head cut off he did something very interesting. In verse 6 we read "that night Peter was sleeping bound with two chains between two soldiers, and the guards before the door were keeping the prison". This would have had the soldiers scratching their heads. Like Jesus sleeping in the bottom of the boat in a huge storm, Peter was doing something totaly against human wisdom. Peter was so confident that God's plans for him could not be changed or altered by God... he slept!
For James, God's plan was to bring him home to Him. For Peter, God had more work for him to do. God put the soldiers to sleep, opened all the doors and Peter walked out free. Wow! Peter knew that no matter what was going around him, his destiny was in God's hands and he could sleep and trust God.
I want to encourage you today that like the disciples, God leads you into the storm. He then teaches you in the storm that His plans will happen. Just relax, sleep and trust Him. Remember Joseph, Ruth, Peter, Jesus, David, Noah and the list goes on. Each person went through the storm and achieved the destiny God had for them.
My storm is huge. It appears impossible for it to work out and I could be anxious and fearful but I choose not to. I encourage you that in your storm pray, trust your God to achieve His plans for your life and the situation and then sleep! God is working!
To read more have a look at the article titled " POSITIVE LIVING: NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO – GOD’S PLANS CANNOT BE ABORTED!" It will look at this topic more deeply.