Acting Upon His Word

April 28, 2017

Matthew 14:22-30

22Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance[a] from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28″Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29″Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Acting Upon His Word

Part of coming to know Jesus is learning His voice and then acting in obedience to it.  There are a lot of times in our Christian walk that we may think we hear the voice of God or others may tell us what they hear from God for us, but is that really God speaking to us?   Such was the case this dark and stormy night when this figure, like a ghost appeared walking on the water.  Jesus never comes to give us fear, but fear often accompanies what is foreign and unnatural to us.  Certainly someone walking across the water is not something they saw on a daily basis.  When we walk with Jesus He sometimes takes us into unfamiliar places.  They are places that can be frightening to us, because we have no precedent on how to act or respond to those places.  Maybe the only reason we are there in the first place is because He told to go there.   Now that we are there the wind is blowing and we are being buffeted by waves.  Trials and tribulation may face us at every turn.  In the back of our mind we may be thinking, “Where is Jesus?  Why did He send me out in this mess and then abandon me?” 

Part of the training of our discipleship walk is learning to exercise faith and trust even when we see no evidence of Jesus.  Just because the disciples didn’t see Jesus doesn’t mean that He didn’t see them and wasn’t aware of there apprehension and fears.  Often we may be out there on a wing and a prayer, but we can be certain that even if we don’t see Jesus He sees us. 

How did Peter know this ghostly person was really Jesus?  He sounded like Jesus and He said He was Jesus.  What we see in Peter is one who is willing to step out in faith and confirm the Word of the Lord.  Most of us would just as soon take His word for it and stay in the safety of our boat.  You have to commend Peter for His faith and boldness.  When the Lord said “Come”, Peter didn’t hesitate to jump out of the boat and onto the water.  Because he heard Jesus, he tested the Word and then he acted upon it, he suddenly finds himself walking in a supernatural place.  As long as he keeps his eyes upon Jesus he is doing just fine, but when the natural mind suddenly kicks in, he feels the wind and water of the waves is slapping against his face.  Suddenly reason supersedes his faith and he sinks down in the water.  How many times does our natural reasoning and logic rob us of divine appointments and supernatural happenings? 

This is where many of us are at with our identification with Christ.  It is easy for us to say we are identified with Him until we are really tested in it.  It is in the testing that we are going to either regard and give heed to our circumstances or we are going to launch out in obedience to His Word , despite the circumstances, keeping our eyes upon Jesus.  It is our faith that stands as His reality to us.  We don’t have a physical form to look or hold on too, but Jesus is no less real and present for us than He was to His disciples. 

It is as 2 Corinthians 4:18 tells us, ” So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  In our identification with Christ our hearts and faith are fixed on the eternal.  We know who we are because we know to whom we belong.  We are willing to jump out of the boat of natural protection and safety if the Lord so commands us to come.  We know that His arms are there to catch us and lift us up even if we waiver in our faith and we falter in our walk.  Jesus is stretching our faith and He is wanting us to trust Him in the unknown places.  He is leading us from ordinary faith to extreme faith.  Are you willing to allow Him to stretch you?  Are you willing to jump out of the safety of your boat?  What is He speaking into your heart today?  Dare to be like Peter and go where no man had gone before.  Dare to confirm His Word through extreme faith. 

blessings,

#kent

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