The story about Peter getting out of the boat to walk on water has been told and re-told, however, I want to take another look at it today.
The story is told in Matthew 14:22-32
Jesus had sent the disciples on ahead of Him to the other side of the lake, while He sent the multitudes away, so He could go up on the mountainside to pray by Himself. The boat carrying the disciples was by now a considerable distance from the land, being buffeted by the waves. And to make matters worse, they were rowing against the wind. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them walking on the water.
The disciples looked and saw Him and were afraid. They cried out in fear, "It's a ghost." They were afraid because seamen and sailors or fishermen had an old wives tale if they saw a ghost, the ship would sink.
But Jesus says to them; "Take courage, it is I, don't be afraid."
Notice it's Peter who says, "Lord if it's you, tell me to come to you." He's still not sure if it's really Jesus. But Jesus always takes away fear, and brings hope, encouragement and strength.
Can you imagine those in the boat looking at Peter, saying, "Don't be stupid Peter! How can anyone do that, Peter do you really know what you're doing? Hold on and think about this, you might sink. Look outside this boat; the waves are still raging and crashing against it."
Here is the key; Peter never moved until Jesus said; Come.
If you're driving your car and you approach traffic signals, the lights have three colours. Red = stop, do not go. Amber = get ready to go. Then Green = go.
Peter waited for that green light to GO!
So many people have gone without being sent, without that word from Jesus to say GO. They have taken it all upon themselves, thinking somewhere down the line surely God will bless this. But unless it's God's plan, He is not bound by His Word to bless it. As a result they have got themselves in all kinds of trouble.
When Peter knew that this was really the Lord Jesus and Jesus said Come, then he could walk out towards Jesus on the water. When all you have to stand on is the Word from Jesus, you have everything you need to hold you up. Because His Word never fails, His promise is always Yes and Amen. Peter waited until Jesus said; Come. Then Peter put his faith in that Word from Jesus to action.
Now Faith steps out, while fear stands by and looks. The other disciples stayed in the boat and just looked on. They were afraid to leave their comfort zone, but where fear looks on, faith steps out. Peter steps out of the boat onto the solid ground of the Word, he walked on the Word from Jesus, defying the laws of gravity, that he was heavier than the water and that it was impossible for him to walk on that water. Then he begins to walk towards Jesus on the water, while the others stayed in the safety of the boat looking on, perhaps wishing it had been them walking on the water! Peter was now walking towards Jesus, but he took his eyes off the Lord and put his eyes on the wind and waves. Then his heart, his courage began to fail, he began to sink. Lord save me, he cried out. Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.
If you ever feel like you are sinking, the hand of Jesus is right there to catch you to lift you back up.
Now watch what happened next...Jesus and Peter BOTH walked back to the boat on the water!
If God has given you the green light to go and if somewhere along the way you fall down, all we have to do is call out to Jesus; Lord save me. If you admit that you have taken your eyes off the Lord and confess your lack of faith, then He will pick you back up and put you back on that path.
Then Jesus and Peter got back into the boat and the wind died down. Jesus always brings calm and peace when we need it the most.
It's good to remember that fear looks on but faith steps out. Peter took that step of faith, not only did he take that step of faith; but he walked out to Jesus on the water, then walked back again - on the water. He left his comfort zone on the one word from Jesus; Come. Peter trusted in that word from Jesus, as a result he did what is in the natural impossible to do. Impossible is not a word from God because with God ALL things are possible to those who believe.
Fear brings doubt and faith brings victory. Fear looks on, faith steps out and takes giant steps for God.
Today, wait for that green light, then take that step of faith into great things for the Lord Jesus and for the Kingdom of God.
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Dr Norman Campbell
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