Friday, August 9, 2019

Walking on Water

Last year I published my two volume book, This is The Way, Walk in It, based on Isaiah 30:21, “Whether you turn to the right or the left you will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’” It is a compendium of essays on how to walk with and in the Lord. I have since been writing and posting on my blog many essays that I would categorize as how to “Keep Walking.” This is the admonition to stand firm and keep walking in God’s strength and ways.  It is to trust in Him with all your heart and He will direct your paths Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us. But are you just walking the same old worn path of security and familiarity? In this world that seems to indeed be falling apart are you finding it more comfortable to stay on your own known route? Well, I think God may be calling us to do more, to rise higher, to take a risk and join Him where He is working.

Last Sunday my pastor preached from the familiar passage Matthew 14:22-33 of Jesus walking on water. But we heard it differently this time.

“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.”

This is one of the key passages in Scripture about taking action. Once I took fleshly action and walked on white-hot coals as part of a Tony Robbins seminar. He had inspired us that we could do anything we wanted. I did it with a friend and now am amazed as I read of many being burned doing the same. But this was not about “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”  (Philippians 4:12). Often I have heard of Peter in his impulsive manner getting out of the boat to go to Jesus. The sermon reminded us of how often we have also heard that Peter failed when he saw the waves. He also was the only one who got out of the boat. He not only did not fall into the water; or swim, but he walked on the water. This is a miracle of physics and courage. This is the courage that we should have as believers to “take a risk” to follow God wherever He is going. Pretty scary stuff to follow God like the 12 disciples did originally. But to this He calls and equips us.

Our sermon clearly pointed out the wind and the waves of life. Yes, the perils of life will always be there to trip us up and take us down. They did Peter as well. When he saw the waves he started to sink. In other words, when he took his eyes off Jesus he started to sink. There it is, the key to walking on water.  Yes, Philippians 4:12 is correct, it is by the power of the Spirit of God in us that we can do anything. “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory(Colossians 1:27). By His power that is at work within us, we can do anything. My Pastor calls this a “faith-based leap” or walk.

We must turn to “Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). There is no other way by which we should walk and keep walking.

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