The Bible records that Jesus and His disciples twice faced deadly storms.
God did not send the storm to kill Jesus and His disciples. During the storm, God exposed their hearts in the deepest places.
Some people conceptualize this as “God using the devil.” I understand that characterization and why you might use it, but that is not precisely what the Bible reveals about “How Things Work in the Spirit.” We can learn a bit more than that from the Bible’s revelation of How God Does Stuff.
If we go to the “God using the devil” thing, we end up thinking we should accept the victimization of hellish treatment. We misread the thorn in the flesh as something God couldn’t wait for Paul to experience more painfully. We look back at King Saul and misinterpret the “God sent an evil spirit” phrase into a context of God having demons at His beck and call.
Angels are His ministering servants, not demons.
God is not in control. God is in charge. That means what God starts He finishes, and what the devil starts, God finishes. God usurps the usurper. God does not remove the usurper. God usurps the usurper. God usurps the usurper through His representatives.
In this case, Jesus is His representative training His own representatives.
So, God didn’t send the storm, but God exposes things during the storm.
We learn these principles initially in Job, then in the prophets, and finally in Jesus and His kingdom culture. The battle is not between God and satan. The battle is between God’s representatives and satan in the context of satanic usurpation.
God is preparing and positioning His representative to usurp the usurper. God is not removing His representatives from the battle because the finishing comes through His representatives.
If you attempt to communicate the finished work of Christ leaving out His representatives, you end up with strange misconceptions about what God is doing that leads to misconceptions about “How God does stuff.”
Jesus finished a forever provision. Jesus overcame the ultimate enemy, death. Jesus guaranteed that someone representing the Father would inherit the inheritance. Jesus could have left us all out of the equation, and Father would get His ultimate eternal desires without us – in terms of His ultimate intentions in Creation, God would not fail.
However, God loved. God maintained His passion for purpose, AND He extended that passion to people incapable of reaching fullness or fulfillment.
So, the storm comes from satan. During the storm, God remains in control of outcomes. God finishes things while satan continues futile efforts to start things.
During the storm, God focuses all attention upon His representatives. What the usurper does has very little to do with what God does. God is focused upon the representatives usurping the usurper, learning from Him How Things Work in the Spirit.
Remember, satan cannot maintain a storm. When the storm is over, satan has no benefit from his usurpation. When the storm is over, God produces His own outcome from the storm and its destruction that focuses upon the opportunity given His representatives.
The Boat, the Storm, and the Representatives
Read again what Jesus does in the storm. Hear what He says about the storm and says to His representatives about the storm. Hear what He says to the storm, or the spiritual condition hell has produced to manufacture the storm.
Take careful note of His presuppositions about How God does stuff, How Things Work in th Spirit, and His attitude toward the usurper.
Father is not in control. Father is in charge.
The storm is deadly, but that outcome is in the hands of the Father, not the usurper of the weather. Father does not use the storm, but Father exposes representatives of Jesus during the storm.
The storm terrorizes the disciples, so they cannot usurp the usurper. Compare this narrative to Paul facing a destructive storm to see the representative usurping the usurper in the outcome of the storm.
Our Experience with Our Son’s Leukemia
Our eldest son, John Michael, was diagnosed with leukemia. The storm was real! God did not give our son leukemia. God did not order up leukemia for our son’s destiny and experience. God did not manipulate a storm.
During the storm, God exposed the representatives of Jesus. God had an outcome in mind, and His representatives usurped the usurper. What was said about the storm and said to the storm, and how the representatives of Jesus responded to the storm were more important to God than the storm.
Remember, satan cannot maintain a storm, so the storm must come to an end. God sets the outcome of the storm, not satan. God releases the outcome of the storm through the representatives of Jesus.
This is the application of the finished work of Christ in history through involved intercession or partnering with Providence.
The finished work of Christ does not destroy the possibility of storms, but it does guarantee that satan does not produce the outcomes.
For us, the outcome was our son’s complete healing and restoration. If our son had died, death could not gain any victory for his death. Bringing him leukemia was the work of hell, but hell cannot determine the outcome because of the finished work of Jesus.
In the immediate, the representatives of Jesus, with the communication of angels, the Life of Jesus, the stripes upon His back, and the power of the Cross, usurped the usurper. In this world, the outcome was set by God from the beginning. He revealed to us His desired outcome before the storm. In this storm, we got out of the boat to “walk on water” with the Master of the storm.
James says, “Those who endure, we consider blessed. You have heard Job’s endurance, and you have seen the outcome of the Lord (including what God did during the endurance), that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.”
The outcome of the storm and the exposure during the storm are essential to an understanding of How God Does Stuff, and to an understanding of His compassion and mercy.