Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

26. Cultivating Christ Like Character, Faith – Part 6

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Matthew 14:22-33

22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. 24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” 27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” 28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” 29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. 31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,”Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” 32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

Second not only did Peter call out but:

  1. He got out.

All Peter needed to hear was the word, “Come,” and he was out of the boat! Verse 29 tells us that as soon as Jesus commanded him to come he went over the side of the boat and started to walk on the water toward Jesus. Peter didn’t see Jesus call as a problem but as a privilege. Today Jesus calls us to join Him where He is at but instead of coming we complain, because we view Christ’s commands as a pain.  As a result, when we do respond its often motivated more by obligation than obedience. But notice when the miracle occurred, it happened when Peter stepped out in obedient faith. Today we want to see the miracle before we step out. But scripture reminds us here that God calls us to move in faith first. When the Israelites were trapped between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army God told Moses to tell the people to move forward in faith then He parted the water before them and sent and Angel to protected behind them. When you are hemmed in by fear the only way out is faith. When the Israelites crossed the Jordan river, the river only stood still when the priests stepped into it. Like those before him, Peter didn’t what would happen when He obeyed Jesus and stepped out of the boat. He didn’t know if he would sink or float he just knew Jesus had called him and that’s all he needed to know. The truth is that is all any of us really need to know. But so often we want all the facts before we will move forward, but that’s not faith. Peter responded based on trusted, he obeyed Jesus because he trusted Jesus. Today we want to rest in the facts instead of relying on the Father. So, let me ask you are you responding based on relationship or results, is it centered around the One who is calling you or based on what He is calling you to do? Are you basing it on the facts, your feelings or Jesus faithfulness?  When we let the call of Christ carry us, faith will float us. But this was more than just walking on the water, Peter walked on waves, remember the storm was still raging. Jesus didn’t call Peter to step out into the calm but into the chaos. But what I love here is that Peter went from being in the storm to being on the storm. His fears were now below his feet. Do you feel that urge to experience something more than just sitting in the boat? If you want to walk on the water, then you’ve got to get out of the boat! While Peter was walking on the waves the other 11 disciples were watching. What about you are you watching or walking? Today we want to watch in fear instead of walk by faith. Look if Jesus is calling you to step out onto the lake don’t just listen, leap. Peter didn’t just hear he heeded. What is God calling you to do right now? Is He asking you to get out of the safety and security of your boat? While Peter was experiencing the joy and exhilaration of walking by faith, there were eleven guys who were controlled by their fear. In the battle between faith and fear, only one got out while there were a bunch who chose to cling to the boat. The same was true of those who went to spy out the promised land, 10 were focused on their fears while only 2, Joshua and Caleb, were focused on God’s faithfulness. It also happened with David when the whole Israelite army was frozen in fear over the giant Goliath, but He chose to focus on the faithfulness of God. Are you going to focus on your fears or Christ’s faithfulness? Are you going to cling to the boat or cling to Christ’s call? Right now, in your life are you believing Christ or cling to the boat? There are a lot of reasons to stay in the boat, fear, safety, its more comfortable, guilt, some of you don’t feel good enough to get out of the boat and come to God. The truth is there are a million reasons to stay in the boat and only one reason to get out. But that one reason to get out of the boat trumps all the reasons to cling to your boat, Jesus is calling you. What voice are you going to listen to? The voice of fear or the faithful voice of Jesus? Why do we stay in the boat because we don’t believe. Look your man-made boat may feel safe but it won’t save you. Don’t waste your life sitting in the boat when you could be walking out what you say you believe in step with the Shepherd.

 

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