The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Pastor Steve Dobbs
Community Circle Church, Shafter 

Pastor's Corner: Water walker

 


Have you ever had a problem so big only God could fix it? You may be going through a storm right now and you see no way out. All of us have storms in our lives. You are either in a storm, coming out of a storm or headed into the storm. You are in good company. The 12 disciples faced a storm only Jesus could rescue them from.

Matthew 14:22-24

“Immediately Jesus told his followers to get into the boat and go ahead of him across the lake. He stayed there to send the people home. After he had sent them away, he went by himself up into the hills to pray. It was late, and Jesus was there alone. By this time, the boat was already far away from land. It was being hit by waves, because the wind was blowing against it.”

I believe the disciples, like us, didn’t have a fear problem, they had a faith problem. It’s not that we need to fear less, but we need to trust God more.

Matthew 14:29-30

“So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”

There are five observations that can be made about the water walking.

First, anything God leads you to do will initially involve some level of fear. Remember, Jesus sent the disciples into the storm. It’s in the storm He gets our full attention.

Second, the greatest purposes of your life cannot be discovered while you are hiding. You can be hiding and living but you can’t be hiding and thriving. The storm is rough and the waves are high and the wind is really strong. Whatever your boat is, if you get out of your boat, the boat might sink, but there is a guarantee if you don’t get out of the boat, you will never walk on water. If you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat.

Third, fear will never go away. If you follow Jesus with your life, you will have fear. Part of the growth is moving into new territories and new challenges. When we do this we will experience fear. The only way to avoid fear is to avoid growth. Fear and growth are a package deal. You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable if you’re going to follow Jesus.

Fourth, there are things worse than failure. We focus a lot on Peter’s failure in this story. He took his eyes off Jesus and sank. Peter messed up and failed. But there were 11 other bigger failures in that boat. They failed quietly and privately. Their failure went unnoticed and not criticized. Only Peter knew the shame of public failure. But the bigger failures were the guys who stayed in the boat. Peter was the only one who knew the thrill of walking on the water.

Fifth, to truly follow Jesus, you must deny comfort as the ultimate value of your life. Why would I get out of the boat? Spiritual maturity comes from getting out of the boat. Discover your purpose by getting out of the boat.

What does getting out of the boat look like for us? Maybe for somebody it is starting to be faithful with your finances and you start trusting God and tithe on a consistent basis. For others it might you step out and invite that friend or family member to church. For another it might be getting baptised. Or any of a thousand different things that will make you uncomfortable and at the same time advance the kingdom of God and change the world around us.

You can’t do it in the boat or your comfort zone. There is no way Peter could have ever walked on water in the boat. Peter realized the water was where Jesus was. Peter wanted to be where Jesus was.

There are two things to know if you are going to be a water walker.

First, when you fail, Jesus will be there to pick you up. Not just once, not twice, but as many times as it takes.

Second, when you get out of the boat, you might walk on water.

God will use you to do greater things than you ever imagined. But it won’t happen in the boat. The first step is always the most difficult step. But it’s the first step to walking on water. The best is yet to come.

 

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