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What should you do when you feel God is calling you to do something? It might have to do with work or family. Perhaps it has to do with a relationship. Maybe your finances are involved. He might be calling you to make a big change in your life. What do you do? Especially when it is not something clearly outlined in Scripture for all believers, but rather something very specific to you?
Maybe, like me in these situations, you worry…(cough, cough)…I mean begin making plans. You don’t see how it could possibly all work out. It doesn’t make any sense to you or to those sitting in the boat with you. No one is going to call you a sinner for just staying comfortable. They won’t even know. What do you do?
The good news is the Bible gives us some insight into how to follow God even during these precarious situations. The following story is found in Matthew 14:22-36.
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed. (Matthew 14:22-36 NIV)
A friend of mine was sharing some wisdom with me on this passage recently. I thought I would pass it onto you. Of course it is easy to criticize Peter for doubting Jesus, but we do need to realize one thing. However short it may have been, Peter walked on water! There is one key to him walking on water…my 3 tips below.
- Get Out of the Boat – My friend was sharing a realization she had in regards to Peter walking on water. She said, (not a direct quote) “Once you say “no” to getting out of the boat and walking on the water, the next time it is easier to stay in the boat and not obey.” I think this is so true. Crazy how it works, but if I choose not to follow Jesus in a particular area of my life, it becomes easier to not obey him next time as well. Comfort is the enemy of obedience. Comfort steals our opportunity to experience trusting God.
- Get Out of the Boat – Yes, Peter asked to walk on water first. Don’t we all? We want God to call us to amazing things. Then when he calls our bluff :), we are faced with the decision to actually get out of the boat or not. The fact is, whether you are new to this God thing or have been tracking with Jesus a long time, He is going to call you to take steps of faith. You will need to decide two things 1) Is Jesus trustworthy? 2) Will you take the next step he has asked of you?
- Get Out of the Boat – Another friend of mine is always encouraging people to “Listen to Jesus and do what He says.” When Jesus says, “Come, get out of the comfort of your boat, trust me, and walk on the water,” there is really only one right response. You won’t regret getting out of the boat, but you will regret missing an opportunity to walk on water. Trust Jesus.
How is God calling you to walk on water? What is stopping you from getting out of the boat?