If you recall in Mathew, Mark or Luke, Jesus was sleeping in a boat when a furious storm came upon Jesus and the disciples, and water was literally filling the boat (Luke 8:23). Despite the dangerous situation they were in, they had to wake Jesus from His sleep and the disciples asked Jesus “Master, carest thou not that we parish”? Jesus arose and told the storm “Peace, be still”, and then there was a “great calm” (Mark 4:39 KJV). Then Jesus asked them why they were so fearful, and why don’t they have faith.
This is one of my favorite pictures of intimacy with God. So many times we think, directly or indirectly, that God does not “carest” about what is going on in our life, or the small details. We think that He is too busy with the bigger problems of the world, or that we as an individual are too insignificant to think that God cares about all the details in our life. He does care. This is shown in Proverbs:
Proverbs 5:21 (KJV): For a man’s ways are in full view of the Lord, and He examines all his paths.
Proverbs 20:24 (KJV): Man’s goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?
Clearly God is in the details, the intimate details if your life. He examines ALL your paths. Why? So He can be sure to guide you and direct you into his will and purpose for your life where His promises await. In Proverbs 20:24, the Hebrew word for “goings” is “mits`ad”, and means steps. Your steps are directed by the Lord. That’s STEPS. How many steps do you take in a day? This is intimacy. Intimacy is being familiar. God is so intimate with you that he examines each step you take and the path you are on to provide you guidance into his healing, blessings, and security. He desires to guide you to be in His rest, just like the Israelites, which results in a “great calm” over your life.
This state of peace that is characteristic of God’s rest was also evident in the story. Jesus was in God’s rest. He was so peaceful He was able to sleep during a storm that was so turbulent water was filling the boat. When you are in God’s rest, what is happening around you has no affect on your internal state WHEN you are fulfilling God’s will and purpose for your life. It is actually the inverse, your inner state of peace will effect what is happening around you. Your internal state will determine your perception of reality, and even reality itself. Jesus was in a state of peace, and His internal state of peace enabled that peace to transcend into His environment by calming what was around Him. Being in God’s rest enabled Jesus to remain peaceful, and not manifest fear as the disciples did. This will be evident in your life. When things are hectic around you, the inner “calmness” that you have in God’s rest will manifest itself into the environment that you are in and rather than experiencing the hectic environment, you will experience God’s peace.
Now, one point that I am feeling urged to address is that just because you are in God’s rest and fulfilling His purpose for your life, doesn’t mean that trouble will not find you. I am saying this to you because sometimes, especially for me, trouble can have a tendency to suck the feeling of intimacy or state of peace we have when we are in God’s rest out of us if we are not guarded. This is the same tendency we have of doing this backwards by waiting for direction from a peaceful feeling when we should constantly be in a state of peace and using unrest as direction. Rather than focusing on the trouble and having the feeling of intimacy and peace we have from being in God’s rest taken, it should do the opposite and strengthen our state of being in God’s rest because we are confident and bold in our belief of Christ! But too many times we panic; we think that we did something wrong because trouble has come upon us. This is inaccurate, and we will speak more about this when we talk about Belief and the character of God. But for now, we see this in Job:
Job 5:19 (KJV): He shall deliver thee in six troubles; yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.
It is apparent that trouble will come; it is simply the nature of living in a fallen and sinful world. I would define the storm that Jesus encountered as trouble. Another example of Jesus facing trouble is in Luke 4:29, when a crowd was so furious with Jesus that they tried to throw Him off a cliff! But Jesus, in His state of peace and confidence simply walked through the crowd and left. Jesus was perfect in action and faith, yet He still encountered trouble! The difference in dealing with trouble is that when you are in God’s rest the troubles that do come upon you will not overtake you. When you are overtaken by trouble, when you panic it is because you have succumbed to fear; this is evil “touching thee”. This is when fear has a hold on you, when it has control over you because it impacts your decision-making process. Whenever you make decisions based on fear, they are most likely wrong choices that will create more problems for you later. You will be fearless in the midst of trouble when your belief is rooted in the protection and provision of God. This is you having faith in God, the confident expectation of good from Him. When you have faith in Him and surrender every aspect of your life to Him, He will command His blessings and promises down upon you. You will have His presence, anointing, protection, abundance, provision and healing; you will have LIFE! This my friend, is intimacy with God.