Believing the Promises of God - in His Word

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed… Without weakening in his faith… Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. ~ Romans 4 [selected 18-21]



Friday, June 5, 2009

GET OUT OF THE BOAT


Matthew 14 [selected]
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowd. 23 After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, 24 but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
28 "Lord, if it's You," Peter replied, "tell me to come to You on the water."
29 "Come," He said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
31 Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God." [all emphasis added]

This short little passage has so many power packed lessons in it for each of us that I think I could write about it for days - and still the LORD would reveal another new lesson. Here's what I've gleaned from it for the last few months of reading it over and over.

First, take note of Peter. When people read this passage most will say, "Oh yes, that's where Peter sank when he became afraid while walking on the water toward Jesus."

Next, look at the other disciples and their response to what is happening right before their eyes. They were terrified at what they saw. They thought Jesus was a ghost walking on the water.

Peter almost always gets the "bum wrap" in this passage and we see him as the failure because he took his eyes off of Jesus. As Mark Batterson points out in his book, In a Pit with a LION on a Snowy Day, it was PETER who WALKED ON WATER while the others sat in the security and safety of the boat. Peter's passionate love for the LORD Jesus led him into the unknown, unsafe, insecure place of darkness. But he saw the light [Jesus] at the end of the tunnel [even if he did take his eyes off Him temporarily].

So what held the disciples back?
What holds you and I back?
Were they more comfortable in the safe & secure place yet not experiencing the full presence of a holy God?
What safe & secure place are you and I hiding in - also NOT experiencing the full and abundant life that Jesus desires for us in His presence?

Batterson states: "There are people who get out of the boat and walk on water. And there are people who sit in the boat and criticize the water walkers. When everything is said and done, I think our greatest regrets will be the God-ordained risks we didn't take.... It is easy to criticize water walkers from the comfortable confines of the boat. But I think the other eleven disciples were haunted by this missed opportunity....When we get to the end of our lives, our greatest regrets will be the missing pieces... the regrets of inaction. A regret of inaction is not doing something that you wish you had done.... Inaction regrets haunt us because they leave us asking, 'What if?'" [my emphasis added]

So now I ask you, and myself, "How often have we 'sat in the boat' and watched another meet Jesus face to face and then say, 'Man, why didn't I move on it when Jesus said, 'Come'? That could have been me!' "

We'll pick more out of this passage later, but for now........ ponder it for all it's worth.
Dig deep - ask God what He wants you to see and respond to. Then share it if you can.

Choosing JOY,

Stephanie
[JESUS - the One I Worship]

6 comments:

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

i definitely want to get out of that boat and walk to Him!! I love your "take" on this passage. I posted about it several weeks ago and it's neat to see a different message out of the same scripture.

LisaShaw said...

Powerful message Stephanie.

I preached on this a few years ago from the perspective that Peter GOT OUT OF THE BOAT! Most of the time many of us don't do that. While many do focus on a more neg. view point of Peter even to the degree of saying he lacked faith because he took his eyes off of JESUS and began to sink; but I choose to focus on what is the HARDEST things for many of us to do and that is to JUST TAKE THE LEAP OF FAITH AND GET OUT OF THE BOAT! That's half the battle.

And praise GOD that even when Ptr did begin to sink JESUS WAS RIGHT THERE TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN! HALLELUJAH!

Lord, if we just trust enough to move forward in what You tell us to do and then have the faith to walk it out in You.

Praise the Lord.

Thank you for your sharing Stephanie.

TRUTH SHARER said...

Beth - I love how God's Word is fresh for the need of the moment in what God desires to show us.

Lisa - I too, want to be like Peter. So often I think I'm stepping out of the boat, yet when I examine my heart I realize that I am too often one of the other eleven disciples who were sitting back criticizing the one who did 'step out in faith' to believe.

May our tongues be guarded if we remain seated - and may the Lord be the One who calls us to step out in the first place. And then - when He does - may we respond with immediate and complete obedience - no matter what anyone else thinks or says.

Sometimes just the willingness to fail - is the very step to success!

Blessings, Stephanie
[Jesus - the One I Worship]

LisaShaw said...

Amen Stephanie!

Kim... and Her Coffee said...

I love this devotional. Too often I stay in the safe (comfortable) place. That we would all get out of the boat in faith when He calls. PS ~ Love that cute cartoon in your sidebar.... holding the computer (My friends live in here). :)

B His Girl said...

He has rocked me out of my boat: ) (Thank you Lord) B