It’s a wonderful morning here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I am here for our new church plant, The Cornerstone Vision, and yesterday we baptized a whole group of new believers. But as is often the case, when you are heading into something new, be prepared for a storm – and a storm is what we encountered yesterday.
The hotel owner got cold feet, and no one wanted to open up the pools for us to baptize in, but finally, after hauling buckets and buckets of water, along with a last minute shopping trip to buy shorts and t-shirts, we baptized anyway!
For Jesus, a storm comes just when he is on his way to the other side of the sea. The whole purpose of that trip was to take a new step and expand the kingdom of God. Abd that is when the storm came. Jesus could have turned around and sailed back to Capernaum, but no – he stilled the storm and went to the next level.
Has this ever happened to you? You have made a decision, now you are going to take that step, now you are going to do what you’ve meant to do for so long, now what you have been longing for is finally happening, but right then the storm breaks out. That’s when the easiest choice would be to turn around, choose the safe option over the risky one, back away, surrender, figuring “Well, it didn’t work out for me this time either.”
But when you do something new, expect a storm. And when you don’t give up, when you keep pushing through, expect the demons to be there once you’ve made it to the other side. Because that’s what they meant with the words: “Don’t make us leave our territory.” When you do something new, when you go from one level to the next, when you expand, there are things that cannot remain. There will be those who want to stop you, and sometimes there will be spiritual opposition, because what you are doing expands the kingdom of God, which is going to force the darkness to flee.
In all of this you are more than a conqueror! You are called to expand, to develop, and to take over new territory. Now and then, Satan will send a storm. The purpose of the storm? To get you to turn around! But then it is more important than ever to stand your ground, stay the course and know that when the storm has died down, then you have both expanded and extended your territory.