SO, YOU WANT TO WALK ON WATER?
Of all the stories in the Bible about Jesus, I am particularly drawn to the ones in which our Lord stopped what He was doing or where He was going, because of a cry or touch of faith. We learn from these stories that as much as we are seeking Jesus, even when we’re unsaved and don’t realize we’re seeking Him, He is seeking us. He is especially drawn to those who cry out to Him or seek Him though they’ve only heard stories of Him... yet believe! Blind Bartimaus, calling out as Jesus passed by…Zaccheus, the Tax Collector who went out on a limb to see Jesus…The woman with an issue of blood, who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment… The Centurion, who in faith said; “Lord if you but say the words.”
Today we live in an age in which our Lord is still seeking those who want to be close to Him. He will still stop and heed those who exhibit real faith. I believe His most desperate search is in the Church today. He’s looking for those who “haven’t lost their first love” as the Church at Ephesus had. He’s looking for those who have the faith to GET OUT OF THE BOAT AND WALK ON WATER!
This brings me to my Pastor's Thoughts For This Week; “So; You Want To Walk On Water?”
This morning using Matthew 14:22-33, a story we’ve all read about in Sunday school or heard various messages given on “faith” from this passage. Today though, I will address the “faith” aspect of this story, but I hope to help you understand that this story isn’t just about faith…but more importantly it’s about the seeking and the worship of Jesus and our need to get as close to Him as we possibly can.
In order for us to walk on water, there are four things we must be able to do:
(1) Recognize When God Is Present. (vs. 26-27)
(2) Discern Between Foolishness and Faith. (vs. 28)
(3) GET OUT OF THE BOAT! (vs. 29)
(4) Face Problems. (vs. 30)
Walking on the water brings us a deeper connection with God. There are numerous reasons for Christians today to GET OUT OF THE BOAT. But the primary reason to get out of the boat and walk on the water is because THAT’S WHERE JESUS IS!! He isn’t in the boat…He’s passing by…Stopping only when we call out to Him…Recognizing Him…Asking Him to “Command us to come.” When we exhibit the faith we have in His power…and step into the water and walk to Him…He speak to the problem…save the marriage…heal the illness…calms the storm…then gets into the boat with us!
What Peter and the others learned on that eventful morning was a deeper understanding of Jesus. They came to realize they could place their destinies in Jesus’ hands and that resulted in WORSHIP! Look again at verse 33; “Then those who were in the boat came and WORSHIPPED Him saying TRULY, YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD.” How about you? When was the last time you got out of the boat? When was the last time you showed the kind of faith Peter showed, and stepped out of the boat in order to walk to Jesus? Seeking Him through faith in spite of the storms of problems that surround you. Church too many calling themselves Christians are staying in the boat when Jesus is saying; “Come!”
The call to “get out of the boat” involves crisis…opportunity…failure…at times fear…and even suffering. But we must remember this: The calling to get out of the boat is a call to take on a task too big for us to handle on our own! Were you once a “water-walker” who has now become more inclined to stay in the boat? Was there a time when you would risk sharing your faith even if it meant rejection?...a time when you gave more willingly of your time, talent and tithe, even if it meant sacrifice?...a time of risking and serving Jesus, even if it meant the possibility of failing?
Well Church, the reality is this; Sometimes you begin walking on water and then begin to sink. But remember Christ’s words to Peter in verse 31; “Oh you of little faith. Why did you doubt?” I remind you again, Jesus didn’t say “you of ” NO” faith. Church…JESUS IS PASSING BY! This may well be the fourth watch…the wee hours of the morning. The earth is shuddering as it prepares for our Lord’s eminent return. As in this passage of Scripture, He’ll come when least expected…and HE WILL call to the WATER-WALKING FAITHFUL…not the SAFE IN THE BOAT FAITHFUL.
If we as a Church are to do that which The Word challenges us to do each week; “Become the hands and feet of Jesus”… then now is the time for us to get out of the boat and walk on water as Jesus commands us. I don’t know what storm you may be facing personally. But I do know the storm the Church is facing. Satan is stirring up the winds of deception and false security…false religions with “feel-good” philosophies requiring no change and no commitment from people...no altar calls..no proclamation of salvation or of being set free from bondage.
The world around us is in the middle of a storm and Jesus is commanding us to have faith in Him alone. He’s telling us to walk on the troubled waters of the world and, then as He did with Peter, reach down and pull up those who are sinking in the waters of despair, fear, and hopelessness and get them into the boat and begin worshipping Jesus for His saving grace.
ARE YOU READY TO WALK ON WATER?
THEN YOU’VE GOT TO GET OUT OF THE BOAT!
And impossible and hopeless as it may seem, we have to take our eyes and place them on the One who bids us; “COME” and not the storm raging about us. So much easier said than done, especially in our world today with its economy, jobless rate, and both world and personal debt. But, if the Word says it can be done by faith..it must be true... even when barely treading water.
May God richly bless you, Pastor Craig
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