Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

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Pandemic Perspective – Part 147 Courage in the Chaos – Part 6

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.

Not only did Peter call out but second he:

2.         Got out. 

All Peter needed to hear was the word, “Come,” and he was out of the boat! Verse 29 tells us that he started to walk on the water and was coming toward Jesus. The miracle happened when Peter stepped out in obedient faith. Today we want to see the miracle before we step out. But let me remind you 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 an Angel to provide protected behind them. When you are hemmed in by fear the only way forward is faith. When Joshua led God’s people into the Promised Land through the Jordan river while it was at flood stage, the river only stood still when the priests stepped into it by faith. Peter didn’t know if he would sink or float he just knew Jesus had called him and that’s all we really need. It takes courage to step out in obedience to Christ’s call, but when you are letting the call of Christ carry you faith will keep you afloat. Peter didn’t just walk on water he walked on waves. He went from being in the storm to 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? When Christ calls its time to climb out. 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 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 fear and faith, only one got out while the rest chose to cling to the boat. This is nothing new, we see the same thing in Numbers 13, when Moses sent the 12 spies into the Promised land to see God’s incredible provision for them. Out of the 12 only 2 came back focused on faith and filled with courage while the other 10 were focused on fear and acted like cowards. What about you are you going to live a courageous life or be a coward all your life? Are you going to cling to the boat or cling to Christs 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 comfortable, guilt – some of you don’t feel good enough to get out of the boat and walk on water. But there is one reason to get out of the boat that 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 that of the Father. 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 with the Shepherd.  Not only did Peter call out and step out but third he:

3.         Cried out. `

Poor Peter takes it on the chin here and many preachers let him have it at this point. Instead of continuing to walk on water, he sees the wind and the waves and starts to sink. But before we get too tough on Peter, let’s remember that at least he got out of the boat. Look there are a lot of preachers pointing their finger at Peter while they are hiding behind their pulpits. Verse 30 reveals the reason that he sank, because he took his eyes off of Jesus and started focusing on the wind and the waves. Fear pushed out his faith. The only way that Peter was able to walk on the water was because of His faith in the faithfulness of Jesus. Once he took his focus off of the One who was faithful his faith faltered and he started to sink. The same is true of us, either we will focus on the Savior and follow by faith or we will focus on the storm and fall. If you are focused on the chaos instead of Christ you going to capsize.  The wall builders did a similar thing in Nehemiah 4:10. They had started the rebuilding project full of faith and then they allowed their eyes to focus on the rubble. They became rubble-gazers instead of God-gazers.  Like them we can focus on the junk or on Jesus. What are you focused on today, look there will always be waves and rocks. The real issue is are you going to put your faith in the faithful one who made the mountains and the water? If you want to put your problems into perspective start focusing on the Savior, your storms wont shrink they will just seem small in light of how big He is.