From Fear to Faith - Part 4
Lord, I know that to show our love for you is to obey you and your word. Help me to see your truth and may your Holy Spirit lead me to follow in your footsteps each and every day. I want to walk with you… not ahead of you or behind you.
Read: Matthew 14:28-29, NIV
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”
The Story of Peter walking on the water with Jesus is one of Christendom’s most popular sermon topics. We see Jesus coming to his disciples by walking on the water. He didn’t come along in the boat because He had stayed behind to pray after ministering to and feeding the five thousand. He didn’t wait to join them when they got back to shore. He chose to join them later. Why? Because there was a storm and the disciples were in peril. What strikes me here is that God’s word in Hebrews 13:5b is true - “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Jesus put the disciples in that boat…sometimes we need to go out. We are continually fed within the comforts of the church, encouraged, nurtured, and insulated from the world outside. However, if we don’t “go out” and share Christ and His love with others, how can we build his kingdom?
So while the disciples were in the boat, the waves beat against it. Now this was not the “love boat” and had no life rafts or Dramamine to take to keep from getting sea sick. It was getting “buffeted” by waves! At this point, tensions were high, anxiety was up and the disciples may have felt a bit doomed! Then, over the bow, they see a ghost...or so they thought. As scared as they were, a ghost was probably the least frightening thing they could have come across at that moment. Jesus answered and said “It is I.” Those had to be the most comforting words at that time. The cavalry had finally arrived! Jesus was here! At that point, eleven disciples (and most likely myself) would have been thinking: Jesus is coming into this boat and He will get us out of this mess.
But Peter had a measure of faith leap inside him. He saw Jesus on the water and rather than sit in the comforts of the boat, decided to step out and meet Jesus. What a wonderful image of faith in action. How many of us sit in the same spot for months, years or decades waiting for Jesus? While at times we are to “wait upon him,” God also wants us to rise up and “possess” the land. If the children of Israel had never marched around the walls of Jericho, they would have never taken the land God promised.
Though Peter started to fall when he took his eyes off Jesus, he demonstrated a faith that was willing to step forward and take risks. Without faith it is impossible to please God. That night Peter greatly impressed his master!
Think of an area of your life you feel God directing you to step out in faith. Is there a ministry for you to get involved in? A bible study to join? A job that you haven’t applied for yet? Is there a couple who needs a friend that you and your family could reach out to? God is seeking those who will walk in faith and obey Him. In that He is well pleased.
Lord God, thank you for the stories of faith that spur us on as believers! We pray that our own lives and faith would encourage others around us to step out, take risks and grow their reliance on You. As we obey Your leading, we trust You to take us to that promised land for each of our own lives!