Then he climbed into the boat and his students climbed in after him. And check it out! A huge storm happened while they were crossing the sea. It was so violent that the boat was beginning to take on water and it appeared that they would sink. But Jesus just slept through it. So they went to him and woke him up. They said, “Master, Save us! We’re going to die!”
Jesus responded to them by saying, “Why are all of you so afraid? You bunch of worrywarts!” Then he got up and yelled at the winds and the sea. The storm disappeared and the sea became quiet and tranquil.
In the Greek, as well as in the Hebrew, the word for “wind” and for “spirit” is the same. In the Hebrew it is רוּחַ (ruach) it means “breath,” “wind,” and “spirit.” The Greek word is πνεῦμα (pneuma) and it means the same thing.
So when Jesus and the disciples are in the midst of the storm, notice what Jesus does: “he got up and yelled at the winds and the sea”; Jesus did not yell at the sea first, but at the wind — the spirit. Jesus does not focus on the circumstances, but on the spirit behind the circumstances! The conditions of the storm were the result of the spirit animating the storm.
The mistake we make in life is to focus on the condition, not on the spirit that makes the condition possible. We focus on the illness, the debt, the loneliness, the condition — the waves of the storm. They are very real and can be very dangerous. But talking to the waves, while ignoring the spirit animating the waves cannot stop the waves. You may overcome the waves currently crashing against you, but the wind is making new waves all the time. Stop the wind and the waves stop too. Talk to the spirit of the thing, and the condition brought about by the spirit must cease if the spirit does.
Jesus demonstrates this with the fig tree. He went for figs, and when he found none, he cursed the tree. The tree withered, and Mark tells us that it died from the root — the source. I can use my words to chop down a tree producing bad fruit in my life — I can chop down the poverty tree, the illness tree, the addiction tree, the lousy relationship tree — but chopping down a tree leaves a stump. Jesus talked to the tree and the roots, the stump and the tree died, so that when it did die, there was no trace of that tree, or that it ever existed.
Jesus is not doing things is the Gospels just to show off. Jesus does these things to teach us and show us of that which we are capable of doing. What is the storm in your life? What is the tree growing in your life? If you have apples, it is because you have an apple tree. If you have oranges, it is because you have an orange tree. If you have illness, it is because you have an illness tree. if you have poverty and want, it is because you have a poverty tree, a lack tree, a want tree. Speak to the spirit behind your storm and make it stop! Speak to the tree so that it withers from the root and uproot it, and plant seeds of faith, and prosperity, and peace, and trees that grow from those seeds will produce abundant fruit of its kind.