Get Out of the Boat   Leave a comment

In the Pep Talk issue Soggy Shoes, I talked about the episode where Peter was walking on water with Jesus , started to sink, was caught by Jesus, and (as I speculated) walked on the water again with Jesus back to the boat.

 

As I revisit this story, something else has jumped off the pages into my heart.  The story is found in Matthew 14, Mark 6 and John 6.  As the disciples were in the boat without Jesus, a storm blew in and was rocking their world.  Here’s where most of Snoopy’s novels began; “It was a dark and stormy night…”

 

I don’t want to over-analyze the disciples being in the boat without Jesus because Jesus is the one who put them in there and told them to go.  But I do want to note that sometimes, even on God’s special missions he gives us in life, the storms still come.   When the Lord called me to be a Pastor, he didn’t tell me that things were going to be smooth and peachy for the rest of my life.  There were some who wanted me to believe such things, but thankfully I had enough Pastor friends who helped me laugh off this nonsense.  Following God isn’t always easy.  For some, it’s rarely easy.  But for all, it is always worth it!

 

This disciples were scared out of their wits and thought a ghost was approaching the boat.  Please give them a break.  What would you have thought had you been in their sandals?  Me too.  I’d be digging out my cell phone and calling Ghost Busters!

 

The voice of Jesus, though, helps us conquer all of our fears.  They still had fears and doubts when Jesus spoke to them, but Peter had an idea.  He challenged the Lord to use him in such an unusual way that there would be no doubt as to the presence of Jesus Christ.  “Lord, if it is you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” Matthew 14:28, NIV.

 

Now there’s something different.  Lord, if this is really you, tell me to step out of the boat.  While some may regard this as silly, understand that the storm is still howling around him.  This had all the makings of a suicidal scene.  This took some real intestinal fortitude……guts!

 

According to the text, Jesus only uttered one word, “Come.”  And here is where it happened.  Peter risked his very life at a single word from Christ.  He showed no fear, no restraint, no regard for self, and no doubt in his Lord.  He stepped out of the boat, feet first.

 

The “Paul Harvey” moment reminds us that Peter walked on water, sank, was caught by Jesus and they got back into the boat and arrived at their destination.

 

The “Pep Talk” moment reminds us that none of this would have happened had it not been for Peter’s incredible leap of faith out of the boat.  Peter understood that at that moment, Jesus wasn’t in the boat, Jesus was on the water.  Peter may not have been so interested in walking on water so much as knowing that he was where he knew Jesus to be.

 

Where is Jesus today?  In your experience, do you find yourself to be floating around in your own existence, wondering what the Lord may have in store for your life?  Do you know God’s purpose for your life?

 

The formula is in today’s text:

1.  Ask the Lord to use you in special ways.  This is a request he will honor.

2.  Seek the Lord carefully, listening for the voice of Christ.

3.  When you hear his command, get out of the boat, feet first!

4.  Understand that life in Christ is an adventure that may not always be smooth sailing, but knowing that you are in His presence, doing His will, makes even life’s most wicked storms seem like nothing when you’re walking with Jesus.

Posted September 11, 2008 by David N. Peppler, Sr. in Closeness to God, Love of God

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