MIRACLE ON THE BERING SEA!
1 Timothy 1:18-19 This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.
I have suffered a few of those along the journey. Shipwrecks that is. Both figuratively in the spirit and literally. Let me explain first by taking a look at 1 Timothy 1:18-19.Paul adjures Timothy not to reject the prophetic Word that was previously imparted to him lest he suffers shipwreck in the faith. When I first read that passage, I was immediately struck within my spirit by this implication, rejecting the prophetic Word imparted would be likened unto a shipwreck, something I can relate to. I have an intimate knowledge and understanding of shipwrecks. On September 14th 1991, I was on the F/V Wil Haul Too, a 98 ft. freight barge when it sank in 20 ft. seas off the coast of Pilot Point in Bristol Bay Alaska and survived. That experience changed my perspective about the Lord and is a large part of the reason I chose the song “The Journey.”
I chose to produce and record “The Journey” by Todd Ayers because the words resonated with my years as a commercial fisherman and the lessons I learned from time spent in the Pacific, Gulf of Alaska, Bristol Bay and the Bering Sea. The lesson, the Lord’s promise to watch over His Word to perform it on our behalf and those He has ordained that we would have divine appointments with along the journey. His promises, I have learned, are yes and amen for those who believe. Proof that I am called according to His purpose is wrapped up within the knowledge of His faithfulness. He has burned that lesson indelibly into my mind and my spirit.
I found out about Todd Ayer through his cousin Skeeter while he was running a Fish House Charter boat in Seward Alaska on the Resurrection Bay. I had booked a day with my friend Brian. It was his first time fishing for salmon on a charter. From the very beginning something was up. All the others who joined our group that day turned out to be prison chaplains just like myself or had connections to prison ministry. What are the chances that everyone on the charter would be connected in some way to prison or prison ministry? It wasn’t long after we got under way that we were talking about Jesus and what we did in the ministry. That’s when Skeeter, realizing I was prison chaplain and a recording artist, began telling me about Todd Ayer. He went on about the hundreds of songs Todd had written for the Lord during his 16-yr. incarceration. While Skeeter talked about his cousin, I heard the Lord say to me, “you are going to record one of his songs on your new album.” When we were done that day, Skeeter put me in touch with Todd and the rest is history. Hear the song “The Journey” at this link.
It is on the album “I Am a Son.” You can find the album here.
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
My journey through life, in particular the commercial fishing industry, has taught me that Jesus is present within the prophetic Word He has imparted to us during times of trial and testing and no storm or threat of being lost at sea can stop Him from performing His Word on our behalf. Jesus never did or said anything He didn’t hear His Father saying. He never departed from the Word. That is why it is critical to retreat to the Word of God spoken over you in the storm. If you have a Word that was imparted to you prophetically with or without the laying on of hands and the Word proceeded from the mouth of the Father then it is absolute and Has all the power of Heaven within it to see it through.
Failure to believe and trust that He is an ever-present help in time of trouble and need is the only thing that can cause you to suffer shipwreck in the faith. Forgetting in the midst of the storm the imparted prophetic Word and the promises of God over your life will provide the scaffold for catastrophic thinking to sink the ship of faith that apprehends destiny! Defaulting to catastrophic thinking is not what the ‘good fight’ looks like. Operating in fear that the Lord is not within the prophetic Word provides the breeding ground for the believer to fall short! How frustrating it must have been for Jesus to be confronted with catastrophic thinking among those whom He had consistently performed miracles in front of. If I had not recognized that God was with me during those times at sea, I would have found myself another statistic and name on a memorial in some fishing town.
Psalms 37:23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way.
Like I said previously, on September 14th 1991, I was a deckhand on the M/V Wil Haul Too, a 98 ft. lightering barge. We were heading out of Ugashik Bay, off the coast of Pilot Point, Alaska, when we began taking on water two miles out past the swing buoy in 20 ft. seas. We were delivering a deck load of frozen processed salmon and roe from the floating processer the F/V Nushagak. The delivery was to be made outside of Ugashik Bay to a Korean freighter waiting for us in Bristol Bay’s deeper waters. There we would be able to unload without the freighter going aground. This was a load we would never deliver.
I had been working my way to Seattle on the Nushagak vessel and was to meet the F/V Quintessence, a crab vessel from Ballard outside of Seattle Washington, and reconnect with my former Captain Al Krug of the F/V Marcy J. I formerly had worked the crab waters of the Bering Sea on this vessel owned by Harold and Marcy Jones of Kodiak Alaska. Al had gotten me my start in crabbing and longlining. I met Al after arriving in Kodiak after I walked off another boat, the F/V Liberty, because I didn’t like the “feeling” I had about her. I later found out through folks at Alaska Fresh Seafoods that she sank in the Gulf of Alaska two weeks later. When he heard the story of how I had gotten off of the Liberty because I felt something was not right, he inquired about me and gave me an offer to work on the historical F/V Kinge & Winge. This was a once in a life time opportunity as I soon realized that deckhands from all over the world came around to inquire about having the chance to work the deck of this boat. A real relic. The ship was a 100-year-old 98 ft. wooden halibut schooner that was considered the pride of the fleet in Kodiak. Originally built a steam powered sail assist vessel, although it had a modern Cummings 3408 powering it, it was still close to the original. This boat had been written about in the archives of maritime history as having taken part in the largest maritime peace time loss of life at sea. The knowledge of this boat’s particular history always comes back to remind me just how fragile life is.
Ultimately this testimony of the Lord’s divine providence in my life all points to the knowledge of the height, the depth, the width and the length of the Lords love for me. He has shown Himself to be literally an ever-present help in time of need in every aspect of my life. He has shown up to make a way where there seemed to be no way in so many scenarios that I am convinced beyond measure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 10:13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
My connection to Al Krug led to a job on the F/V Marcy J a 108 ft. steel hulled crabber which has since been converted to a full-time dragger. She was built by the Bender Corporation that crabbed using the trolley boom system. They don’t make trolley boom crabbers like that anymore. The experience on this boat was to say the least old school. It was while I was on the Marcy J that I experienced my first real supernatural intervention at sea. On the Bering Sea, while fishing for opilio crab, in the grounds south of the Pribilof Islands we were dumping baited 7 by 7 steel pyramid pots. These pots weighed individually at least 600 lbs. I had a coil of shot draped over my left forearm and was waiting for the pot to launch. I made the biggest mistake you can make while launching a baited pot.
It all happened so fast. The deck boss hit the hydro’s and before I knew what was happening the line had cinched up on my left forearm. It was the middle of January and I was going over the side with the pot in the middle of winter on the Bering Sea. I knew I would die if I did not get loose. I heard an audible voice say to me “drop to your knees!” I did. I was instantly slammed into the rail and separated my left bicep. Then I heard the voice say to me very clearly “call on the name of the Lord and be saved!” I cried out “Jesus!” as loud as I could. Then it was if time stood still. It was a miracle! The line instantly released me. It was completely cinched up on my arm but by the power of God’s merciful hand, the line simply went through my arm like Jesus walking through a wall! Everyone saw it! They were amazed and awestruck. No the line did not break. It literally went through my arm like Jesus walking through the wall while they were in the upper room! Al Krug came running down to the back deck from the wheelhouse. He was angry and crying but relieved. For the next hour he had me practicing the art of holding the shot with two hands and made me swear to never hold a shot of line like that again! Truly there is more than one way for Jesus to save. To this day I still have a separated bicep where I had slammed into the railing as a reminder of the Lord’s miraculous saving testimony in my life. It’s all part of the journey!
The Lord’s faithfulness to save, heal, deliver and protect me has stood the test of time. If He had allowed me to die the day the line had cinched up on me, the prophetic Word that had been spoken over me years before would have been nothing more than empty words that had fallen to the floor. Isaiah 55:11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. I know personally from real time life and death experience that my God is not a man that He could lie, (Numbers 23:19) and that He is watching over His Word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12)! I know in whom I have believed and to whom I owe my allegiance (2 Timothy 1:12,) and I am confident He is able to complete the good work He has begun in me! (Phil 1:6)
“O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted,
Behold, I will set your stones in antimony,
And your foundations I will lay in sapphires.”
It was while I was on my way back to meet Al Krug in Anacortes Washington that my next miracle at sea happened. I was looking for a way to rendezvous with Al when an old friend told me about a boat that needed some experienced hands to take over the last few weeks of work in Ugashik Bay off the coast of Pilot Point Alaska. We landed in Pilot Point after hopping a tail dragger from King Salmon where the larger airport was. There were no large airports in this small fishing village. You could see the M/V Nushagak sitting in the bay. It was an old-World War 2 oil tanker converted into a floating fish processer. Ugly but functional. I was with my high school buddy Mike Medley who I had talked into coming along with me for the adventure. He had no clue what he was getting into! After a week Mike and I had proven ourselves to be experienced hands and they began to give us topside responsibilities. I guess they had to test us to see if we were who we said we were, and we were. After another week the end of season was drawing near and the bosun asked me if I would take over the final deliveries on the F/V Wil Haul Too lightering barge. I was honored. To be given this level of responsibility meant that I had shown myself to be a seaman worthy of his salt.
But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
There were seven of us on board. Five of us were replacements for the original crew that had just gone home. I was given the privilege of the title ‘interim deck boss’ and had the authority to choose who came off the Nushagak to make this delivery. This was the last delivery of the season. Before we boarded the ship from the Nushagak the Lord impressed upon me to make sure that everyone had a survival suit. We were not to go anywhere without them. I had information that there was a storm coming and knew the load we were taking out would not be able to handle the journey. Years of experience had told me to know the vessel, know the weather and acquaint myself with the warnings that came from the VHF communications. I had everything correct except the condition of the vessel as we would soon learn. The captain of the vessel was from Taiwan and did not know the waters very well. Knowing we were in for a blow I spoke to the captain and told him that although his orders were to deliver the load, we would never make it. I made it clear to him that by the time we got out there the seas would be too rough. I reasoned with him that if he would just go out as far as the swing buoy and turnaround that would be sufficient for the company, and by that time the weather would have confirmed my warnings were correct. Had I known that he was not going to listen I would have never taken this trip.
We headed out as the sun was going down and the seas seemed calm enough but I knew what was coming. I told my men to just go ahead and get some rest, that we would probably turn back at the swing buoys. I could not have believed that a seasoned skipper of a large vessel such as the M/V Wil Haul Too would take a chance at trying to deliver this load in 20-foot seas.
Psalm 50:15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”
I was sitting in the galley watching a video thinking that we would be turning around soon. We had been jogging for about and hour. That’s when the captain came into the galley. His face was white with fear. “We are taking on water. I don’t know what to do. Get up to the wheelhouse and try to hold her up!” Instantly I ran forward to the wheel house. The swells were at least 15 feet by this time and the there was a steady gale blowing at 40 knots. From the wheelhouse I could see the port side bow was taking on water. We were beginning to list to port side and the starboard side was coming up out of the water slowly. I could see there was nothing to do but jog the boat at a 35 to 40-degree angle into the swells. I got on the radio to send out a May Day while thinking to myself “isn’t this the captain’s job?”
“Whiskey Yankee 5124 ComStat Kodiak this is the M/V Wil Haul Too MAYDAY MAYDAY, we are going down!” The Coast Guard was 195 miles away from where we were and it was night time. We were in a gale with seven men and we were about to go in the water. By the time the Coast Guard showed up it would be a search and rescue operation and I didn’t have time to think about that. They got our co-ordinates then I had to let the helm go. I looked out across the deck below. I watched the forklift go into the water, then the pickup truck that was to be dropped off at another port after this delivery. Soon all of that hard work was launching into the brink. Boxes of salmon and roe were everywhere around us. My thoughts turned to my survival. If I didn’t get a survival suit on, it was certain that I would die. I ran out of the wheelhouse looking for everybody. I ran into one of the men. He screamed, “where is your survival suit!”
“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.”
The main engine had gone out and we were running on auxiliary power. Only the emergency lights were on. I thought to myself, “so this is how it ends.” I was going to die if I couldn’t find a survival suit to put on. The men were all in their survival suits and had begun climbing down to the starboard side of the boat. We were listing more than 45 degrees. I remember Mike Medley looking at me as he climbed out of the wheelhouse down to the starboard side of the boat, as if to say “goodbye.” I stood there in the darkness holding on to the walls, trying to keep my balance. I began to pray. “Lord if I don’t find a survival suit, I am going to climb out on the side of the boat with the other men and I know I will die in the water without one. I don’t want to drown in this ship, I would rather die of exposure. Forgive me of my sins Lord and take me home, and please, please, Lord. Help me to die well in the name of Jesus.” As soon as I had finished that prayer the glory of the Lord surrounded me. I felt the peace that surpasses all understanding as a strong will to survive came over me. I heard the Lord say, “not today mister!” The boat lurched and I felt something hit me in the back of the head. I reached down. It was a survival suit. The boat began to turn over and I hurried to put my survival suit on. I had to climb out of the starboard door then find my way down to the railing to the other men who had all believed this was the end for me. The Lord had other plans.
We all tied ourselves together and jumped away from the boat into the 20 ft. swells. We became instantly intoxicated on diesel fumes. We were hallucinating. All of us thought we could see boats, jet skis, helicopters and Coast Guard C-130 rescue planes coming to the rescue. We began counting off. We wanted to make sure that no one swam away out of fear or delirium. It was dark, windy and cold and we were up to our necks in salt water. I kept thinking about the prayer and the presence of the Lord back on the boat that had completely capsized.
The tide took us a long way from where the ship had gone down. Then a funny thing happened. The tide brought us back around after a half hour of floating in fumes to where the boat had gone down. As we all watched we could see the boat still halfway out of the water and it was not sinking any further. As we got closer to the boat miraculously the circular tented life raft popped up from underneath the boat directly in front of us and by the grace of God, we grabbed it before the tide could take us away back out into the unknown. What were the chances? One in a million or more! One by one we all climbed in.
We were safe inside the raft but now we had another problem. We were only two miles out past the swing buoy when the boat capsized and at low tide here it was only 14 ft. deep. The ship was now in essence a man-made reef and twenty-foot swells began breaking over the ship from its starboard side. We were trapped and someone had to get out of the raft to cut it loose so we could float away. Each swell that broke over the boat came crashing down upon us pushing our heads down all the way to the floor of the raft. Something had to be done quick. One of the men had a pocket knife but had to unzip his survival suit to get to it. He unzipped and retrieved the knife. Now all he had to do was get out of the raft and cut us loose. This guy to this day is a hero of mine. He was risking his life to get us away from the boat which had become a reef! As soon as he cut the line, we were swiftly drawn away from the boat back out and away from our position. I thought to myself how are they going to find us now?
2 Corinthians 1:10
who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope, and He will yet deliver us.
I sat with my body hanging out of the tented raft looking for any would be rescuers. The seas seemed to only get bigger. Every time the swells would rise, we would go careening to the top of them and then back down again. Whenever we would crest a swell, we could see through the gale the lights of Pilot Point far off in the distance. I am not sure why we never saw the freighter but all of a sudden it seemed out of nowhere there it was just one hundred yards away searching for us with a spotlight. “Give me your flashlight!” I hollered over the roar of the wind and sea. “I see a vessel and I know it’s real!” This was no hallucination. I began shining the small flashlight, clicking it off and on, and then finally, they saw us! Everything that happened next was a series of miracles. As if everything else that had happened already wasn’t… right? To this day when I tell the story to someone, they will look at me with skepticism and unbelief. I know angels were with us directing this dramatic rescue at sea.
Now the raft began drifting directly towards the freighter! It was the freighter we were supposed to deliver to. They had found us. As we got closer one of their deckhands heaved a “monkeys’ fist” and it hit me squarely in the forehead. Glad I had my survival suit hood on or it would have knocked me out. Thank God the suits are made of thick rubber neoprene! I grabbed hold of the line and the raft swung in toward the starboard side of the ship’s stern. Now to get out of the raft onto the ship. As we swung into the ship, they lowered a roped Jacob’s ladder and we came right up on it.
I was already outside on the edge of the raft and as the swell brought me up to the ladder, I jumped for it breaking my ribs on the left side. The ladder had swung out from the ship. When I grabbed it, it was on its way back into the side of the boat. I was barely breathing. I could hardly hang on. I thought to myself that if I don’t, I’ll fall and be lost at sea forever. The men in the raft were screaming for me to hold on. “You can do this!” they kept hollering. After a struggle I was able to get my footing and make it to the top of the ladder. I was wet and cold, completely exhausted. Instantly the Korean deckhands who spoke no English whatsoever began taking me out of my survival suit. They sat me down on the deck next to the bulkhead. I wasn’t prepared to just sit there and watch while our rescuers continued their mission. I knew how many guys were still in the water. I ran over to the rail to see what condition the men were in the water. The Korean deckhands were all gathered at the rail throwing lines down to where the raft was. That didn’t look right. Why throw so many lines? My eyes were bugging out of my head as I could see that the raft had collapsed from all the lines our benefactors had tossed upon it and the men were in the water fighting for their lives.
Now some people think I am hero for what happened next and others think I simply had a momentary lapse of reason but others believe like I do that the Lord was with me to save those who were drowning in a very angry sea.
Romans 5:7-21 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.
After so many miracles it stands to reason that all things are possible for those who believe. At this very moment I was a believer to the tenth power. Truly I had to have the gift of faith to do what I was about to do. I began hollering to the Korean deckhands to get me a knife. I was making cutting signs like how you would use a knife. Someone understood and came running back to me with a knife in tow. By this time the crew had lowered a gangway to where the men were and several of them were tangled up in the line. I could see that every time a swell would ride by some of them would go under until it had passed. The captain and my friend Mike Medley were drowning. I ran down the gangway, jumped back into the water and began cutting my friends loose while holding onto the gangway. The other deckhands saw what I was doing and came to help hold onto me while I cut them loose. I was not wearing a survival suit. Philippians 4:13 I truly can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! There is no doubt in my mind the Lord preserved me including delivering me from hypothermia from which I should have died from the exposure that night.
Michael was almost dead when we got him out of the water but I had to cut the captain loose. He was wrapped up in the line like a cocoon and he was not doing well either. I was able to bring him out of the water and in the process, I had been rescued a second time. The story of my life played out at sea. The Lord has been rescuing me ever since I first believed. He has always been faithful to deliver me from calamity. I was so wound up after getting onto the ship though the last thing on my mind was to have a praise party. That would come later. The captain of the ship allowed me to come into the radio room and call ComStat Kodiak and relay the news that we had been rescued and to call off rescue operations. My thoughts turned towards Mike Medley. The last time I saw him he was white as a sheet and was unconscious. The ships bosun (petty officer) took me to the infirmary. They were giving Mike Medley CPR.
“Oh God! Don’t let Mike die! I brought him out here and now after everything that has happened please do not let him die!” I laid my hands on Mike then asked the Lord to revive him. He had stopped breathing after he had been brought out of the water. Hypothermia and drowning had done him in. I began to walk away fearing the worst when suddenly that familiar Presence filled the room. The atmosphere shifted and then I looked back. I could see the life ebb back into Mike’s body. He was alive! Praise God Mike was alive. We were all alive. Our journey was not over and we all could continue on to apprehend faith the reveals destiny. Not all of us were born again believers when the boat went down. But for a certainty, we all knew that it was the Lord’s saving grace that brought us to safety that night.
Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come!
I sought the LORD, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.
He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.
For the journey to be successful it is necessary for all who are walking “with Jesus” to learn the lesson of “Emmanuel,” God is with us. The foundation must be that Jesus is more than just a cliché. That His promises are not carrots that He dangles before us that can never be obtained. He is not a man that He could lie. He never leaves us or forsakes us. He does not pop in and out again because He is having a bad day or He has some issue with you that he wants to hold against you. His grace is always sufficient for you! When there is much sin His grace much more abounds because He is merciful! He is not offended with you and storming out of the room because you are blowing it. He loves you right in your dysfunction. How could He reject you in your sin and dysfunction when He became sin and dysfunction on your behalf? Wouldn’t He then have to reject Himself! He is present always in the now to save, heal, deliver and protect as we walk out this journey toward His Truth that brings freedom. We must be settled within our spirits that if He has sent us and we have been directed by His Spirit then He is with us within His Heavenly mandates no matter what the enemy tries to throw at us. We are to master the call to take every thought captive and make them obedient to the Word of God who proceeds from the mouth of the Father. He is living and active to produce in you His faith as He is Christ in you the Hope of Glory.
Keeping faith and a good conscience has everything to do with the loyalty and trust for Whom you gave your allegiance! The Lord brought to mind this passage, Matthew 14:22 “Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away,” and Matthew 8:18 “Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea.” In both these passages the One who only did what He saw His Father in Heaven doing gave the order to get into the boat and go to the other side. It stands to reason that if we know the testimony of our Lord Jesus is the very Spirit of Prophecy who only does what He sees His Father doing or saying then we know that when He says “get in the boat to go to the other side He is not sending you on a suicide mission! No! If Jesus says for you to “get in the boat” to go to the other side, you can bet that failure is not in the picture concerning the journey to go to the other side. Whenever the Lord gives a Word the reality of that Word is that He co-exists within it.
The disciples were ready to reject the Word of God imparted to them by Jesus which said “get into the boat, you are going to the other side!” Here in Alaska if you suffer literal shipwreck, apart from a miracle, you probably will not survive! Shipwreck to them looked like this, Matthew 8:23-26” When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Catastrophic thinking is the default mindset here. In all ‘good conscience’ they revealed that their faith was in the vehicle and not the Word of the Lord concerning the journey. I can just see the Lord looking at them as if to say “dude’s, did I not just say we were going to the other side?” Truly immaturity in the spirit is revealed in the way a believer reacts to the storms encountered on their way to fulfill their prophetic destiny. Catastrophic thinking is diametrically opposed to the gift of faith. Circumstance and chaos arise to challenge allegiance and fortitude to provoke them to reject the destiny that is imparted in the prophetic Word given them. In this case the prophetic destiny is simply that they would get into the boat and go to the other side. Faith apprehends destiny.
1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
When doubt and unbelief are revealed to be your default setting instead of trusting in the Lord, immaturity is revealed so that maturity can be installed. Humility is key. This does not mean that childlike faith should allow for childish immaturity. Childlike faith is the standard for which mature faith is built on. Children who are well taken care of rarely struggle with remaining immature spiritually because they have an experiential trust in those who are in authority over them. They know they can go to their fathers or mothers for reassurance in times of need. Remember the father in his distress who said in his humility “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.” He had the revelation that faith is a gift imparted to us from above. He knew Who was present in his moment to ask for the faith that he was lacking. He did not accuse Jesus of not caring nor did he withhold the very grace he was desperate for from the One who has the supply. He found favor in that he chose not to condemn Jesus for his sons’ condition but reaped what he sowed when he was in the depth of sorrow and pain that only the Lord’s grace could resolve. Whatsoever a man sows, that will he also reap. So many want grace in their moments of doubt and pain and cry out for it but they are the first ones to blame God for all their problems when all hell breaks loose. They withhold grace from the very one they are accusing of withholding it. Our understanding should be that there is no better time than the present to ask the Lord to produce faith within us when catastrophic thinking is drowning out the hope that we will make it through the storm to the other side to where our destiny awaits.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
In the storm, when everything seems to be lost in the mind of the catastrophic thinker, Jesus either shows up or “wakes up” every time to bring discipline during this teachable moment; to expound to them that they are of ‘little faith,’ or to say, “how immature.” He may be there to chastise and to discipline but He is there above all to comfort us in our discomfort from being assailed by the storm and the knowledge that we are weak and helpless apart from Him. Jesus always comes through to bring correction by showing Himself faithful and that His grace is always sufficient for us. When we are weak, He is strong and when our faith is wavering, He comes through to show Himself Trustworthy and Faithful. His Truth commands our allegiance. The sons of God are led by the Spirit of God in maturity when they have come to the knowledge that they are about their Father business under the instruction of His Faithful Word.
When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more, But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.
The journey is designed so we can get our prophetic sea legs on the ship of faith He has imparted to us so that the knowledge of what God has asked or said He would do will be the final Word. No matter what it looks like, we make our stand on His Everlasting Foundation with confidence in the One who is faithful to see His Word through. Maturity understands that what He has said in His written Word, His Prophetic Word, He is watching over faithfully to perform! A mature seasoned believer trusts in the Lord with all of His heart and does not lean on His own understanding in the storm. A mature believer runs into the Name of the Lord while looking to His redeemer where His help comes from.
I have always believed the journey we are on towards maturity is summed up in the words of a very dear and precious friend of mine. Years ago, I was at a Windwalkers Conference with Mary Glazier at the Open-Door House of Prayer in Fairbanks Alaska when I had an open vision that was unlike any I had ever had before. I was waiting on the Lord in prayer when out of the right side of my vision I saw a lion running with authority and confidence while turning to line up dead center in front of me with a multi jeweled crown in His mouth. He looked right at me then shook the crown that He was holding then stood there. Wow! I raised my hand while Mary was still speaking and she looked at me to allow me to speak and I told her the vision. She didn’t skip a beat and said these words to me, “the Lord says ‘there is Kingly Authority in the Prophetic Anointing!’” I can still see that vision in my mind as if it was yesterday and have carried that revelation with me ever since. The Lord wants to reveal this maturity in all of us, that is the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the Kingly Authority that is in the Prophetic Anointing!
My prayer is that the message in the song touches the heart of those who hear it that our times are in His hands and He is the One who is able to finish and bring to completion the good work he has begun in us all. He is the One who is able to keep us from falling and He is able to work within us to will and to work for His good pleasure. Within His Word over us corporately and individually is all the wisdom, the knowledge and understanding of the height, the depth, the width and the length of His everlasting loving kindness for those whom He calls by His name. He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly far more than we could ever wrap our minds around, hope for or imagine. May we all come to the knowledge that He co-exists within His Word and His Word co-exists within us and He is present within the Word producing faith within us that brings all glory, power, praise and honor unto our King!