Storms and Strongholds

There is nothing like a little bit of turbulence to reveal what is happening in the heart. Imagine being in a boat with the Son of God, when suddenly a fierce windstorm starts to give it a little rock. Then it rocks a little more. Water starts seeping into your boat and you’re looking for Jesus. Where is He? We need a miracle here!

How do you respond?

“Teacher, do You not care that we are about to die?” (Mark 4:38) This is the reaction from the men that had been following Jesus for months on end. They had just spent the entire day, listening to them teach about the condition of their hearts. About the importance to allow the seed of the Word to grow deep roots. About how the birds of the air will come after the seed.

Jesus explained that the enemy also comes after the Word that is sown into our hearts. So there they are, moments after they received this incredible teaching and a storm breaks out. Coincidence? Hmm…

Before they woke Jesus up from His restful slumber, they had already decided the outcome: “we are about to die…” Wow! Perhaps they were tired or hungry or hangry, but that seems to be a little dramatic considering that the Son of God is in your boat. Then there’s also the accusation preceding that statement: “…do You not care…?”

How do you react when your boat is being rocked? What is your first response? Do you have a little trigger? That can often help us to identify if we are stuck in a stronghold of unbelief. Personally, I am in no place to judge the response of the disciples, because for so many years I defaulted to “…do You not care, Lord? Can you not see my struggle?”

I didn’t realise that my response (my trigger) was pointing me to the unbelief that was keeping me bound and confined. I was blaming God when all the while, His heart was for me to live free and limitless. A life where everything is possible with Him. A life where I can rise up in Christ and calm the storm with the authority I have been given in Him.

My stronghold was built over many years as the enemy used different experiences to show me that God wasn’t there for me; or if He was, He didn’t care. Why would He care about me, anyway? I wasn’t good enough. Lie upon lie, I built that tower until it felt impossible to believe that God would come through for me. I believed that God was able, but I couldn’t see that He was willing.

That is exactly where the enemy wants us. Have you often found that it is easy to believe that God is able to do all things for everyone, but when it comes to your problems, you find it difficult to believe? You can pray and have faith for others, but you feel awkward when you are praying for your own breakthrough? You might be dealing with a stronghold.

When we can align our hearts with the love of the Father, our faith is activated (Galatians 5:6 AMP). That is why the enemy benefits from us questioning God’s heart towards us. It disempowers us.

Dear friend, it’s time to realise that you are not waiting for Jesus to wake up to your struggle. He is not only with you in your boat, but His life-giving Spirit is alive in you (Romans 8:11). He has given you the authority over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19). It’s time for you to rise up and tell that storm to quiet down!

He cares. If you want your faith to be effective, you have to believe it.

Make this your meditation and declaration this week:

“I choose to cast all my cares, my worries, my anxiety, my fears on Him, because HE CARES FOR ME!” (1 Peter 5:7)

Shout it at the storm! It will quiet down. And your stronghold will start tumbling.

HeartPrint:

Today I hear the Father say: “Bold One! My heart delights as you take that hammer to the wall of unbelief. Let my Word break up all the hard places of your heart. With every blow of truth, my love will rush in to fill all the empty spaces. Let my powerful love for you ignite your faith. For you are like me, mighty child: Strong. Overcoming. Soaring. Let’s rise!” ❤

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