Monday, February 17, 2014

Stepping out of the Boat

26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?  -Matthew 14:26-31 (KJV)

In June of 1859, a man known as “The Great Blondin” strung a tightrope across Niagara Falls and performed a series of death defying stunts in which he walked, ran, walked on stilts, and even carried his manager on his shoulders across the falls.  It is said that Blondin pushed a wheelbarrow across the falls, much to the roaring applause of the crowd.  Blondin then called to the crowd, “Who believes I can put a man in the wheelbarrow and safely push him across the falls?’  The crowd responded with cheers of approval.  “Very well,’ replied Blondin, “Who will get in the wheel barrow?”  The crowd responded with silence.  No one dared to try.

When it comes to matters of faith, we are often ready to say God is able to do something great in our lives.  Yet, when the Lord invites us to trust Him completely and step out on faith, we are hesitant.  Many Christians talk a great game of faith, but when God calls us to actually step up to the plate, we back away.  Stepping out on faith is never easy.  If it was, all believers would do it.  Simon Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, had the opportunity to step out on faith, and to his credit he did.  However, he allowed himself to be distracted by the storm raging around him and so took his eyes off the Lord.  He began sinking immediately.  Had Jesus not pulled him out, Peter would have drowned. 

I would love to have the kind of bold faith Peter had that empowered him to step out of the boat and walk on water.  Too often I have remained within the safe confines of the boat.  What a powerful faith lesson Peter must have learned from his experience.  We can remain safely in the boat, or we can trust Christ with everything and step out on faith.  Moreover, having made the faith step, we are called to keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus, lest we be distracted from the call to courageous and dynamic faith.  Great works of God, which the Lord desires to do in our lives, happen when we go beyond what is comfortable, convenient, and easy.  Powerful works of Christ occur when we see beyond what we can do to what the Lord can do through us.

Stop talking about what is impossible for us, and begin testifying to what God can do in us and through us.  Step out of the boat, get in the wheelbarrow, walk boldly in faith, and keep our eyes on Jesus.  Spiritual power and victory will follow.

God bless you today.