Robert Morris - Beyond You
We're in a series called, "God Is..". and I've been doing something different. We're going through the attributes of God, but I've been naming the message after a testimony or a story that God's giving me to illustrate that attribute. So, this week I've done the same thing, entitled it after an illustration, a story that I'm gonna use about my own life at the end of the message, called, "Beyond You". So, "Beyond You", so my desire is that you remember the story that I tell and then remember the truth, all right? And we're gonna talk about the sovereignty and the faithfulness of God. Those are the two attributes we're gonna cover this week.
So, Mark 4:35. "On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, 'Let us cross over to the other side'. Now when they left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with them. And a great wind storm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, 'Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing'"?
Think how many times we've had that thought; do You not care what I'm going through? "Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace, be still"! And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful", full of fear? It's an easy word to know what the meaning is. Fearful - full of fear. "How is it that you have no faith"? Another time when He rebuked them, He said, "little faith". This time He said none at all, no faith. "And they feared", Matthew and Luke use the word, "they marveled". "They marveled exceedingly, and they said to one another, 'Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him'"?
So, point number one is the answer to their question. He is the sovereign Lord of the universe. That's who He is. That's why the wind and the waves obey Him. He's the sovereign Lord of the universe. Now, I'm gonna define the word "sovereign" for you, because I don't know if many people know what it is or where the word came from. But, the word "sovereign" is not in the New King James or the Old King James Version of the Bible. It is in the New Living Translation. The reason is there's actually not a Hebrew or Greek word for "sovereign". When the New Living puts it in, it says, "sovereign Lord".
The word there in the Hebrew is actually, "Elohim Yahweh", and in the New King James it would say, "Lord God". But, here's a verse that many people use to talk about the sovereignty of God, but it's not the word that they think, it's actually a phrase. So, I've said all that and you have no clue what I'm talking about, but we'll get there in a moment, all right? 1 Timothy 6:15, "Which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords".
Now, "Potentate" here means all-powerful, so this actually refers to His omnipotence, that He is all-powerful. The word, the phrase that refers to His sovereignty is the next phrase, which you know very well and you've heard it a lot, "King of kings and Lord of lords". Sovereign means, He is the supreme ruler of the universe. There is no king above Him. There is no lord above Him. We actually get our English word, "sovereign", from the Latin word, "supremus", which is where we also get our English word, "supreme", or "super", like a superhero. But, "sovereign" takes it a step further in that He's not just the supreme leader, He's the supreme leader of every supreme leader. He's above every leader.
Every government or every ruler on this earth gets their rulership through either delegated, bestowed, or besieged power. Delegated, they either have their power delegated to them, they either have it bestowed on them, or they besiege it to get it. Not Jesus. Jesus is absolute, rightful, and created power. In other words, He has absolute power, He has the right to have that power, and He's actually the One that created that power. He doesn't get His power from anyone or anything, He has the power. He is the power. So, He is the sovereign Lord of the universe. He answers to no one, no one.
Now, here's the good thing. If we didn't know that God was good, we might worry because He answers to no one. But because we know He's good, and He's kind, and He's loving, and He's faithful, and He's merciful, and He's full of grace, it's okay that He doesn't answer to anyone. But it really doesn't matter whether you are mad that He doesn't answer to anyone or not, because He doesn't answer to you, either. But, here's what I saw in Mark 4 that I've never seen before. It says, Verse 35, "On the same day", now this is important to understand, "when evening had come", so it's at evening on the same day, and we'll talk about what day it was in a moment, "He said, 'Let us cross over to the other side'. Now when they left the multitude", watch this phrase, "they took Him along in the boat as He was". As He was.
Okay, well, that makes me think. When I read something in the Bible like that, I think, how was He? You took Him "as He was", and why did you put that in the Holy Scriptures, the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God? Why did the Holy Spirit inspire that, that one phrase, "They took Him along"? They took Him in the boat. They took Him, "as He was". Well, how was He? Well, we've got to go back to that day, what had happened that day. Here's what had happened that day. You can read it in Mark 4, Matthew 8, and Luke 8. He'd been teaching all day. All day, He was teaching, and He could only teach by parables because it was all they could understand.
So, He had to use parables just to get them to understand. And, I don't know if He had them all planned or if He had to think about them and to say, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed", and He tells a story to try to get them to figure it out. "The kingdom of heaven is like a pearl". "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed seed in a field, and the enemy came at night and sowed tares". "The kingdom of heaven is", He just tried to do His best to explain it to them, but here is what is amazing. So, He's doing parables to the multitude.
Now, we're just gonna back up a few verses. Anytime you see something in the Bible you don't understand, read the context. So, I did the same thing. "As He was", how was He? So I just backed up, and I noticed He taught the whole day. But, watch what happens every time He was alone when He's teaching the whole day, every time He got alone. It starts in Verse 10. "Now when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable". So, He's alone and they asked Him, what does that parable mean? And by the way, Jesus said to His disciples, "You don't understand this parable? How are going to understand all of the parables if you don't understand this one"?
And then, remember, we started in Verse 35. Everyone remember that, 35? Just back two verses, Verses 33 and 34. "And with many such parables He spoke the Word to them as they were able to hear it". That's what I'm saying, He only said what they could hear. "But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples". So, He's teaching all day, and when He's alone, He's explaining what He just taught to the disciples, okay. So, "as He was". How was He? Tired! He was tired! Listen, I've taught all day. I've gone to pastor's conferences, especially when you go overseas, and I teach all day. And you know what you want to do when you're alone? What? Rest! Leave me alone! Stop asking me questions! Do you not understand what I just taught?
I just spent an hour on it, you know? Come on! Let me just rest, just for a little while. And I know He was tired because what's the first thing He does when He gets in the boat? Goes to sleep! Listen. Remember, Jesus is fully God and fully human, right? So as God, God never sleeps or slumbers. We understand that. But as a human, He slept! As a human, He got tired. As a human, He got hungry. We're even told that. After 40 days of fasting, it says, "He was hungry". So, He had human things. He was tired, so He goes to sleep. And then they wake Him up, and now He's upset, I think. And so, He gets up and He says, "Peace, be still".
Here's again what we don't know. "Be still" are two words in English, one word in Greek. It's a verb. It is the Greek word, "phimoo", but the noun is "phimos". It means "muzzle" - muzzle. Here's the Strong's definition of the verb, of what Jesus actually said, "Be still". In the Greek, phimoo means to close the mouth with a muzzle. Here's what Jesus actually said to the storm - put a muzzle on it. But, how could He do that? Because He's the sovereign Lord of the universe. He's the supreme ruler of the universe.
So, I have a question for you. Why would you ever worry, when the supreme ruler of the universe is your Father? Why would you ever worry? I mean, if you're in a storm, look who's in the boat with you. He can stop that storm at any minute. He can take care of you. Number two, He's faithful and true. He's faithful and true. Revelation 3:14, "To the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write", now this is Jesus speaking. "These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness". Revelation 19:11, "Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat upon him was called Faithful and True".
Here's the reason I wanted to show you the verses that put True in there as well. Again, if I asked you to define "faithful", I'm sure we'd get lots of different definitions, probably all good ones, but many times we don't know what the word actually means. Well, first of all, faithful means full of faith. It's that simple, full of faith. But, what is faith? Okay, the root of the word "faith" is "trust". In other words, when we say put your faith in Jesus, we're saying put your trust in Jesus. Got it? Okay. The root of the word "trust", though, you ought to be able to figure it out, T-R-U, is "true".
The reason you trust someone is because he's true. That's the only reason you can trust him. If you have a teenager who's not being true, he loses some of his privileges because you can't trust him. He's not worthy of trust at that moment, or trustworthy, trustworthy; worthy of trust, see? If you're buying something and all of the sudden, you realize the salesman's lying to you, he's not being truthful, you're not gonna buy it. 'Cause you don't know, well, I probably can't trust the company, either, and can't trust the salesman. I can't trust the deal I'm gonna get, 'cause he's not true. See, the reason we can trust God is because He's true. God is faithful, which means He's full of truth. He's full of truth.
Numbers 23:19, "God is not a man, that He should lie". Titus 1:2, "In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised". He can't lie. And Hebrews 6:18 says, "It is impossible for God to lie". This is why I wanted to teach on the attributes of God, because the more you know Him, the more you can trust Him, the more you can relax and enjoy the ride, because He's a good God who will always be faithful and always be true. When Debbie and I got married, many of you know our story, but I wasn't saved. I wasn't a believer at the time. And, I didn't trust her. And the reason I didn't trust her, because the only reference I had for faithfulness was me, and the girls and guys that I had known previously, my friends, and none of us were faithful people. None of us were truthful people.
So, I just didn't trust her. I just didn't believe that a person could be true. I didn't know true people. And, I can remember I used to have dreams about her being unfaithful, and I would wake up mad at her. And she'd be wondering, why are you mad at me? "Well, I had a dream that you did this". She said, "But, I didn't do that. That was your stupid dream"! But I started noticing her character, getting to know her, and what I realized was she's true. She's truthful. She's full of truth. She doesn't lie. I lie. She doesn't lie. And of course, eventually I accepted Christ, and here's what's great. I got to know Jesus, and He's never lied to me. He's always been faithful. He's never let me down, even when I thought He was letting me down. He wasn't letting me down.
Debbie and I had a contract on a house one time, and we had a contract on it. And I was out of town and I called her, and she said, "There's a storm here, and there are neighborhoods that are flooding". She said, "I'm watching the news right now". And then, she said this. "The house that we have a contract on is on the news right now, flooded". I had been praying for that house, and what I'm trying to tell you is God wasn't giving us that house because He knew it wasn't good for us. And I remember thanking the Lord, because I was thinking He protected me financially, and the Lord said, "You always think that way. It wasn't just I was protecting your investment, son. Your wife was at home with three small children and the floodwater rose three feet in twenty minutes. She might not have been able to get all three of the children out of the house, and then she could have been swept away".
So I'm telling you, even when you don't think He's being faithful - if you don't hear anything else I say today, even when you don't think He's being faithful, He will always be faithful because He cannot lie! He can't! He's full of truth! He's full of truth. And here's the third point, faithful or fearful. Remember, if you look back there at Verse 40, He said, "Why are you so full of fear, and why do you have no faith"? In other words, their tank, their gauge, their fear gauge read 'full', and their faith gauge read 'empty'. Fearful, faithful. Have you ever been flooded by fear? I mean, like all of the sudden, like you got a phone call, you got a bad report, something happened you just woke up and you were just flooded with fear. Anyone here? Just flooded, you're just flooded. It happens in an instant. The enemy comes in like a flood. Flood.
When Debbie and I were younger, you know, like all couples, I guess - some couples may start out, you know, great financially, but we didn't, like most couples. And so, we wanted to buy a swimming pool for the kids, and so, I bought the Walmart swimming pool, and they don't even sell it anymore, this one, you know. It was about, with 3-foot walls, and about a 15-foot diameter. You remember that? And you put it up, put the liner in it, you know, and we filled it up with water. And then, we had a pool party to show all our friends, you know, how rich we were. We had a Walmart swimming pool! And so, the kids had swam and they were getting ready, and the adults, we were cooking out and so people were standing out there.
And so, this guy says to me, "So, you bought a swimming pool". And I said, "Yeah", and I don't know why, I did like this and I leaned back against it. Anybody already know what happened in your mind? Those walls collapse! And once they collapse, that water is strong. I mean, I go down to the ground, whole yard floods, everybody, all of our dinner guests' feet get wet, and I'm soaked. Flooded, just like that. Okay, but here's what you need to know. In the same way, a flood, fear can flood you, faith can flood you, too. Just one word from God, just one word from God.
So, let me explain to you though how to build your faith. Maybe you've never heard this. It's very, very simple. Hebrews 11 is the "Hall of Faith", not the Hall of Fame, the Hall of Faith, and it talks about men and women who built their faith, and it gives us keys all through it. But, let me go to one woman who literally shows us how to build your faith. Hebrews 11:11 says, "By faith Sarah also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because", watch, "she judged Him faithful who promised". She judged Him full of trust, trustworthy. He judged Him faithful. Here's the definition: faith is judging God faithful. Fear is judging God unfaithful. And you judge God every day of your life.
Now, I know what you're saying. Well, the Bible says not to judge. Well, it means being judgmental or critical, but it actually tells us to judge certain situations and make wise judgments, and you make judgments about lots of things. You judge which house to buy, and what school to put your kids in, and where to eat, you know, which job to take. I mean, we've got to make judgments. Okay, but here's what you need to know. When something happens in your life, you judge God faithful or you judge God unfaithful. So, how can you judge Him faithful more? Well, faith comes by hearing, hearing by the Word of God, and there are two words from God you need to remember. Remember these two words from God, all right?
The first word He gave you and the fresh word He gives you - the first word and the fresh word. The first word that He gave the disciples, Verse 35, "On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, 'Let us cross over to the other side'". He didn't say let us get in the boat and drown. He had already given them a word from God where they were going. So when something happens, go back to the first word God gave you. If you started a business, or started a new venture, or moved to a new city, and God gave you a word, and you're all of a sudden you're flooded with fear, go back to the word God gave you.
But, here's what's great about God. He'll even give you a fresh word. In the middle of the storm, He'll stand up and say, "Put a muzzle on it". Put a muzzle on it. After probably, five or six years into the church, the church had grown quite a bit. The book, "The Blessed Life", started kind of going around the world. I just started feeling more and more stressed. Let me say it this way. The church was growing and my insecurities were growing along with it. I was just beginning to feel very fearful and very stressful.
And so, Debbie and I were on vacation in Colorado. I was on the top of a mountain, spending some time with God, and I was telling the Lord, "Lord, it's just too big". He was saying to me, "Why are you so stressed out"? I said, "It's too big. It's too big. What You've called me to do now, it's too big. This is too big". And I said these words, and here's where I got the message. I said, "God, what You're calling me to do now is beyond me". And He said to me, "Son, it's always been beyond you. Everything you've ever done has been beyond you. You just thought that you did the stuff before, but that was beyond you, too. I did all of it". And He said to me, "It might be beyond you, son, but it's not beyond Me, because I'm the supreme ruler of this universe. If I call you to do it, you can do it". It might be beyond you, but it's not beyond Him.
Everything God asks us to do is beyond us, but none of it is beyond Him. He is the sovereign Lord of the universe, and He's faithful and true. He can never lie. If you're feeling right now overwhelmed, I want you to know, I want to remind you, God is faithful and He's the Supreme Ruler, of not just the universe, but of every situation in your life. God is in control.