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Fish and Storms

Shane Willard

Page 10 of 10
Let me ask one last question. Is there anything in me that needs to be swallowed, in order to become new? Jesus equated Jonah's three days in the fish, with His three days in the tomb. In other words, sometimes things need to be swallowed, in order to be made new. Jesus said it this way: If a kernel hits the ground, unless it dies, it can't come up new.

I came here this week with a progression of thought, a way of hopefully moving this congregation to another place. I hope that it's been a blessing to you. I hope that we were willing to relearn the love of God, and we sort of saw Genesis in a new light - that we don't owe God anything, that we don't have Babble. I hope we learned some things about how we handle our money and our treasure. I got a tremendous response this morning about light and dark, and choosing light, and not blaming other people for where we are.

My last question to you is this: whatever you're going through, in terms of fish and storms and unexpected crisis, what are you going to get out of it? What needs to change? What needs to be moved? What needs to be swallowed, so that life can become new for you? What are you believing God for? What are you believing God to do in you - not in the circumstance, circumstance of whatever - what are you believing God to do in you? Are you willing to name it now? Just between you and God, are you willing to name it? Are you willing to tell God: this is what I need, this is what I want to be made new. I want to be made new in this area. This is darkness in my life. This is disrepair. Lord, I thought the fish was what I needed saving from; actually the fish is saving me. This is what I need to deal with.

I bless you tonight, with the courage to deal with those things, in a way that some places call it an exhortation. I exhort you, I challenge you, to take a moment, look deep down in side, and don't waste the crisis. If you're not in a crisis right now, good. When the next one comes, don't waste it! Likely you don't need to be saved from the crisis; likely the crisis is saving you. I bless you tonight to be able to find the love of God, even in a crisis. I bless you tonight to deal with your darkness.

Let's pray together. Lord, we love You and we honour You. We proclaim You're king. Lord Jesus, I give you my life fresh and anew. I ask You to be my Lord. Forgive me for the places in my life, that I've turned down the volume of my conscience, to deal with it. May I never turn down the volume of the voice of Your spirit. Lord, let Your spirit speak strongly. Right now across this room I ask that Your spirit begin to speak to the hearts of people. May there be a bravery that comes over this place, to name the darkness, to deal with it, so that we don't keep going through fish and storms over and over and over again. Let's deal with it.

There's a real sense of the presence of God in here. Lord, just right now, I pray you would speak quietly into the hearts of people: this is what needs to be made new. A later writer said it this way: God makes all things new. Just right now let a spirit of newness come over you, a new heart, a new spirit, a new commitment to live in the light. Let that rest over you - a new commitment to be more aware of the needs of people around you, a new song, a new dance, a new story, a new life, a new everything.

If you get on this prayer, maybe you want to just whisper this underneath your breath: Lord, I give You my heart, I give You my spirit. Would You make all things new? Would You make all things new? Lord, thank You for my fish, thank You for my storm, thank You for my crisis. May I get the most out of it. May my suffering or crisis, or fish or storm, may it inaugurate something of creativity, and life, and newness in spirit, in Jesus' name. Amen.