1 John 5:4, "For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith."
We know the story. We've talked about the story. The disciples are on the boat. The storms rage around them and out of nowhere Jesus is walking towards them as they sit in the boat, in fear. We read that Peter asks to join Jesus on the raging waters. Yet we may ask why? Those waves were high, the water cold and who would want to take a swim during that?
Peter recognizes Jesus and wants to follow Jesus because he knows no matter how dark the skies, how high the waves, or wet the water, Peter knew it was safer out of the boat with Jesus than being in the boat without Jesus.
Can you hear the other disciples discouraging Peter? No one can walk on water. It's foolish and impossible for you to try. You're gonna get wet, you could drown. Look at those waves; The boat is the safe place to be.
Yet Jesus says, ‘Come’. Walking on water is out of the normalcy of nature but Jesus says, ‘Come’. So, Peter puts his faith and life in Jesus’ hands and steps out of the boat.
We know how the story goes and too often we condemn Peter because he takes his eyes off Jesus and begins to sink, because of his lapse in faith- Matthew 6:30.
While we are busy condemning Peter let's give him some credit because, he at least, got out of the boat while the rest of the disciples stayed in the boat. A little faith is better than no faith. Peter showed a little faith (Jesus said that), while the rest had no faith.
Staying in the boat won't allow you to know the feeling of walking on water. It's easy to be safe, it's easy to do what everyone else is doing. Change is hard. Peter chose to take a chance and get out of the boat, which is more than the other 11 did.
How many of us would rather stay in the boat instead of exercising faith and walking into what God has for our lives? Peter knew there would be storms in life, but it's easier to face it with Jesus.
So why did the other 11 stay in the boat? Two reasons: 1- They’re afraid; 2- They have a boat.
It's the only logical reasoning. When you have a boat on water, you stay in the boat.
Let's think about this for a moment. They were afraid, right? The storm was raging and fear for their lives set in.
What about you and me? When fear comes over us, we turn to something tangible that makes us feel safe, even if it's not God. So, what is your boat? What is your safety net, your security? What do you turn too, apart from God?
If you want to know what your boat is (and we all have one), your fear will tell you. Ask yourself honestly, ‘When fear sets in, where do I turn instead of God?’
Your boat could be a parent, a friend, a spouse, your children. It could be your job, your appearance, your possessions. Some turned to self-pity, money, the amount of likes on Facebook.
Whatever you turn to for safety in fear, God is telling you, ‘Come’. Get out of the boat and seek God. Seek God with all your heart and let Him turn your fears into faith.
But it's hard to get out of the boat, isn't it? Out of 12 men in the boat only one got out of the boat. The other eleven were grasping anything they could, holding on for dear life. They liked the boat; the boat was secure and keeping them from drowning. They said it was too scary to get out of the sure, safe, wooden boat.
For them it was an actual boat. For us today, the boat is a symbol. Our ‘boat’ represents safety, security, comfort. When you're asked to leave what keeps you safe to step onto the stormy seas, that's scary. The unknown is scary, you don't know what you’ll really face. For those 11 it was the idea of sinking and drowning. Our boats are safe, ‘Lord, you come in here, I don't want to go out there.’
What keeps you on your boat.
John Ortberg says, “If you want to know what your boat is. Think about getting out and stepping on the water with Jesus and whatever grips your heart with fear, shows you what your boat is.”
For some it could be finances. For some it's the fear of failure. These fears are exactly what the devil uses to keep you from trusting God, but it's your boat that's keeping you from walking on the water with Jesus. You have to get out of the boat in order to walk by faith not by sight. You have to, like Peter, take that step of faith.
It's better to take that step off the boat, even if it's just a couple of steps, than stay on the boat like the 11 disciples. Why, because Jesus is there to catch you.
When you get out of the boat, whatever your boat is, when you get out of the boat and stand on the water with Jesus, even if you begin to sink (fall), you don't have to be afraid because Jesus will be right there to pull you up.
This was a longer blog so I have broken it up into two days so stay tuned and come back so we can learn more about the other 11 and how we can overcome and be like Peter and get out of the boat. Jesus is with us daily and promises to take care of us and He always has our best interests in mind. Whether in the middle of the storms or at a calm point in life, trust Jesus always and respond with a resounding ‘yes’ when Jesus says, ‘come’.
To build our faith we first need to learn who Jesus is and than learn trust Him. One way we can learn how to build our faith is through studying those who put their trust and faith in Jesus. There is always a reason God inspired Bible writers to tell the stories of the ones they did in the Bible although I am sure there were countless more they could have talked about. What are the things we can learn when we read about each person and what they went through in both the Old and New Testament. Come join me as we continue our Bible study on Walking with God as we learn like to Ruth to walk in loyal love.
Study, Walk in Loyal Love- https://www.docdroid.net/AoonPoL/week-5-docx
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