From 23 Thoughts for the Young Christian Soldier….

Thought 8 Jesus Can See at Night Time

While I was stationed overseas in Friedberg W. Germany I was attached to the 332 Infantry Battalion. I was a Medical Specialist-91 Bravo. As a Medic, I was fortunate enough to earn the Expert Field Medical Badge-the highest peace time award given to a Medic. To earn such an award, one had to pass a number mental and physical skills test such as pass a PT Test, Qualify with your M-16 Rifle, complete a 25 mile hike in full gear, pass a day time and night compass course. None of was easy but the most difficult tasks besides walking 25 miles in full gear soaking wet (yes, it rained that day), was the night compass course. That tripped most of us. It requires team work. Just you and another soldier. You had to get the measurements correct or you would go off course. We were out there in the middle of the night straining. To this day it had to be the grace of God. We simply could not see where we were going. Just a compass and a prayer and it were timed!  It reminds me of the time the disciples were in a boat late one night. They too were trying to navigate their way to safety. The story goes something like this:

“Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away, And when He sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. Now when even came, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was along on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them Be of good cheer. It is I do not be afraid. Then He went up into the boat to them and the wind ceased.” Mark 6:45-51. 

There are 5 things I want to lift up about this incredible episode in the life of Jesus and His disciples.

  1. Jesus Positioned the Disciples (v.45)

Clearly from Scripture we see that the disciple where in the boat when the storm arise because they were made to go. Sometimes you can be exactly where God sends you and still end up in a storm. Just because you are facing strong winds in your life, don’t take it to mean this is not where God intended for you to be at this moment in time. Not necessarily for your benefits but for His glory. God would not put you in a vulnerable, dangerous position unless He knows how it would end. Listen carefully Soldier; this is not the same as you putting yourself in dangerous situation. Being a child of the Most High God does not exempt you from storms and heartache. In situations like this, be encouraged that even though you don’t see a way, remember God does. He has positioned you there for a reason, if not a season. 

 Jesus Prayed for the Disciples (v. 46)

The Bible says after Jesus positioned them He went to pray. It doesn’t say what He prayed about but we do know He prayed. In my spiritual imagination, I believe Jesus prayed for His disciples as He was sending then into a storm. This is one of the many ministries of Christ even today. He is a praying Shepherd:

“It is Christ who died and further more is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” Romans 8:34 

“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those You have given Me” John 17:9

The Amplified Version says Jesus is “pleading as He intercedes.” The word pleading means “advocacy of a cause in a court of law.” You (we) have no greater advocate than Jesus. It is Satan who is the accuser to God. Every time Satan goes to God to accuse you, Jesus is right there making the case on your and my behalf. 

  1. Jesus Previewed/Perceived the Disciples (v.48)

Jesus was standing the shore watching the disciples struggle and strain. This was during the first watch the night The Romans had divided the night into 4 three hour intervals. The first watch was from 6:00- 9:00; Second watch 9:00 to 12:00 a.m.; 3rd watch 12:00 to 3:00 a.m. and the 4th watch from 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.  This means Jesus saw this about 9:00 at night but didn’t start toward them until 6 hours later! What’s up with that? Could it be that Jesus may not enter your storm until the 4th watch! But I like the idea that it was at night. It was pitch dark. The 4th watch is the darkest part of the night, just before dawn. It is also the best time to pray. Ever wondered why God wakes you up at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning? This why? You may be in the 4th watch of your storm, but I am here to tell you, that Jesus can see in the dark! He sees that you are in a dark place right now. He sees you make have dark thought right now. It doesn’t matter. He sees you. You may be straining and struggling in your situation, but Jesus sees you. And not only does he see you in the dark, look at what the Bible says… “He came to them” v. 48. Jesus will position you, pray for you, perceive you in your darkest moment, and then He will come to you. This is exactly what He told the disciples on Mount before His departure

“Let not your heart be troubled…I go prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am there you may be also” John 14:3 

What a Shepherd indeed! 

  1. Jesus Pacified the Disciples (v. 50)

The word pacify means to conciliate, appease, and/or soothe; to make comfortable. There is no doubt that the disciples were in an uncomfortable situation. By speaking to them, Jesus’ voice undoubtedly appeased or pacified them. It was a comfort to know that Jesus had come to them. I am not sure why the disciples were not praying themselves but fear has a way of paralyzing you. Jesus constantly had to do this for His followers. 

Is. 35:4  “Say to those with fearful hearts, Be strong, do not fear, your God will come, he will come with vengeance, with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

Is. 41:10 “So do not fear, for U am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.”

Ps. 94:19 When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul“

The disciples were troubled so they cried out! If you are indeed troubled today, cry out to God. He will listen to you and He will answer you. It doesn’t matter much what the trouble is, call on the name of Jesus. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12 NIV). 

It is God desire to help you. In fact it pleases Him to help. But you have to asked and ask in faith. In a time of trouble, we are admonished to call on God. (Psalm 50:15). God promised to deliver us.  “When he calls out to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver and honor him” (Psalm 91:15).

How comforting is it to know that even in our troubles, our darkest moments, we serve a God that will not only help us but give us honor in the process. Who will not serve a God like that? 

  1. Jesus Protected the Disciples (v.51)

Jesus got into the boat, the very place he sent them 6-8 hours ago. The place where they were troubled, a place where they were struggling, a place where they were afraid. Now Jesus confronted the very thing that was causing so much grief, the wind! He told to be of good cheer and to not be afraid. 

“Be anxious for nothing but though prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your request be known unto God…

When Jesus arrives in your wind storm, He has the ability to conqueror that which is overwhelming you. His presence provided stability and confidence in the disciples. They still marveled at Jesus. I am asking you young Christian Soldier to now marvel at Jesus. Just be thankful to Him for all He has done, is doing and will do for you. 

Yes, Jesus can certainly see all of the darkness in your life and He is still willing to see you and help you. Don’t be dismayed today. Cry out to Christ. Realize that you are special to Him and you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Maybe Jesus put you there? But even if He did, He is coming to you and for you. Jesus is your day time and night compass. The presence of Christ in your life should have a calming effect. To recognize Christ’s presence is the antidote for fear. Remember, Jesus can see in the dark!

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This man of God, your man of God, could reasonably ask how can I really trust a woman of God who blatantly and without hesitation disrespects God by sleeping with me? Hasn’t she already shown me the type of woman she is, and if I marry her, the type of wife she will be? Has she not already answered the moral character question when she went horizontal with me? It should cause a crisis of conscience if not a crisis of belief. Forcing the questions: Who am I really? Who is my lover really?  It is mentally conflicting to say the least. How can it not be? This is the crisis of conscience Hosea faced and the crisis of faith we face even today.

If you are not considering marrying the person you are currently sleeping with then, I guess it doesn’t matter to anyone but God. But if you want to honor God, and honor your spouse to be, then maybe you should wait to consummate the relationship.  I believe fornication is a form of cheating on God. It doesn’t matter if it’s against God or man (or woman). When we are cheated on, the first question out of your mouth to the violator of your love is “how could you do this to me.” “Don’t you know how much I love you?” “How can I trust this person with my heart ever again?” Well, isn’t God in the throne Room asking the same questions of us? When we cheat on him with “another lover,” doesn’t God have the same right to ask the same questions? We never seem to think how our actions hurt God. God feels just as betrayed as our Christian lover. “You who make you boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law. (Romans 2:23). “And the Lord was sorry he had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in his heart” (Genesis 6:6). The word grieved means “to cut off, detest, to be vex, pain, hurt.” God’s heart is impacted just like yours and mine.  Our behavior is not just about our feelings; it’s about God’s feelings as well. The real reason God hates sin so much is because He knows that sin has the capacity to hurt you. And because He loves you dearly, He doesn’t want to see you hurt. That’s how we are supposed to love each other. Likewise, we shouldn’t want to do anything in the name of love that hurts God, hurts the other person, or hurt ourselves. A cheatin heart is a selfish Heart. A cheatin heart has no regard for God. A cheatin heart is about lack; lack of character, lack of commitment, and lack of conscience. This is dangerous grounds for Christians. Someone always gets hurt, even if that someone is God. And finally, we should consider how unlawful sex not only displeases God, but it could block the blessings of the person we are going horizontal with? How do you know that God wasn’t just about to bless that person, advance that person, and do something supernatural in that person life or for that person’s children? But because you couldn’t keep your pants zipped (brothers) up or because you couldn’t keep your legs closed (sisters), now blessings of the one you claim to love are delayed, if not denied.  Yes, inheritance can be lost. Our ancestors taught us that we damage the world not only by what we do wrong, but also by what we fail to do right. My prayer is that we all do what is right; right by the God we worship; right by the person we say we love (or in love with) right by ourselves who we should be true to. Let’s eliminate our cheating heart and turn it into a heart of obedience! After all, that’s how we shall inherit the kingdom of God. We should want that for ourselves and for the one we love. What does your heart say right about now?