Periscope Depth

Evidence of the Spirit is life

A child’s spiritual life compares to a river.  The water flowing down from the dam is the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  The release of the water is their decision to accept Christ.   The banks of the river are the areas of their lives the Spirit will enter, discount cialis cheap change, discount cialis and effect (Ephesians 2:17-18).   Those areas include their relationship with God and others.  It also includes the purpose and plan that makes them unique in God’s sight.   One of the first coves the Spirit enters is the area of trust.   Trusting God in the midst a life’s storms is the first great bank of the river that needs serious watering.    The great challenge your children will encounter the rest of their lives will be trusting God’s plan and purpose when circumstances break down.   Peter, for example, had a very difficult time when Jesus was snatched away in his presence at the Garden of Gethsemane.   Resurrection Sunday obviously made everything clearer to him.   But before Sunday, Peter drowned in a storm of doubt.   He did not submerge himself in faith.   Had Peter been able to trust God, His life over resurrection weekend would have been quite different.   And for the sake of your children’s river journey of faith they need to learn how to submerge themselves in prayer and dependence upon the power of the Spirit when life takes a sudden stormy turn (Philippians 4:7-9).

Several years ago I read in a daily devotional about a submarine that was on patrol and had to remain submerged for several hours.   When it returned to the harbor, a friend asked the captain, “How did you fare in that terrible storm last night?”   The officer looked at him surprised and exclaimed,  “What storm?”  We didn’t know there was one!”  The submarine had been so far down that it had reached the area known to sailors as “the cushion of the sea.”  Although the ocean’s surface had been whipped into huge waves by high winds, the vessel was not affected because the waters below remained calm and tranquil.

Teachable Moment

In your teachable moment with your children compare two stories concerning Peter’s faith.   One story (Matthew 14:26-30) represents an un-submerged reaction to a life storm.  The other story  (Acts 5:17-30) represents a Spirit-led submerged response that demonstrated a great faith.   After you have finished the study, take your children swimming.   Be sure to take along a swimming mask and snorkel.   During your swim create a make-believe storm on top of the water.   While the storm is raging have each child submerge.   At the end of the activity asked them to share their feelings about being below the storm while it “raged” above.   Hopefully, they will describe for you the same experience the submarine crew encountered in the illustration above.   Remind them that when storms come to submerge in prayer and dependence on God. (Proverbs 16:33).  When you get home place the mask and snorkel in an area within reach of all your children.   Give them permission to put on the mask and snorkel when they see you or others in the family drowning from a life storm.    Tell them they are also free to say,  “Dad or mom, it’s time to submerge yourself in prayer and dependence God.  Let this storm pass.

God’s Word

Ephesians 2: 17-18   17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.

Philippians 4:7-9   7   And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.   8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, and whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Matthew 14:26-30   26When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.  27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”  28   Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”  29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord,save me!” 31   Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt!

Acts 5: 17-18, 25-30  17 But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates and they were filled with jealousy. 18 They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail.  25   But someone came and reported to them, “The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!”   26 Then the captain went along with the officers and proceeded to bring them back without violence (for they were afraid of the people, that they might be stoned)

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.  27   When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.   30  “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross.

Proverbs 16: 33 The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord.