Faith Beyond What You See
So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!’”
So you want to step into the will of God?
The ever increasing demands placed on our lives are the result of the hectic pace of today’s society. Parents want children to be engaged in extracurricular activities while at the same time adults also require their own personal social life to balance the strains of career and other daily pressures. Such demands often cause us to lose sight of the ever sustaining presence of the Lord, resulting in a dependency on self. It is self-centeredness that will cause you to feel like you are drowning and since man cannot save himself, believers in Christ are also longing to walk out the will of God for their lives. Despite the variances in our individual lifestyles, to truly step in and walk out the will of God it is “a walk of faith” that is required.
Matthew 14:22-36 vibrantly illustrates one of the most remarkable stories of the bible. In this portion of scripture it is a night like none other. Travelling in boats was customary for these faithful few, yet this trip would be exceptional. The disciples are in a boat out on a lake, when they see something moving, approaching them, on the waters.They are frightened because they believe it must be a ghost!Suddenly from the darkness of the waters a voice resonates. It’s Jesus and He’s walking towards them on top of the water!
While Jesus reassures them not to be afraid Peter asks the Lord to come out to meet Him. Jesus’ response is favorable. He invites Peter and says, “Come.” Peter leaves the security of the boat and walks towards Jesus.One step at a time Peter begins to walk on the water! With his focus on getting to Jesus, Peter begins to pace himself toward the Lord! Suddenly a powerful wind rises diverting Peter’s attention, and he begins to sink. Plummeting into the stormy waves, Peter cries aloud “Lord save me!” Straightway, Jesus reaches down, lifts him up, out of danger and rescues him.
Peter’s experience teaches us principles about stepping into the will of God.
Step #1 The faith to step into God’s will requires that you desire more than what you see right now… for faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.
There are seasons when we encounter unknown circumstances. When faced with the darkness of uncertainty, the natural response, like the disciples is one of fear. Fearful of what was to come, their emotional reaction gave way to conflicting thoughts. Times of obscurity can be seen as dark when our perspectives become blurred. Our emotions often distort our capacity to see clearly and our senses cause us to believe what we see, hear, discern, feel and what we speak. It is during such times that Jesus identifies himself to assure us that despite the imitation of our flesh we can find safety in Him. The safety found in Jesus' results in the desire to go beyond the confines of our own comfort zone and step in the realms of the unseen dimension we call faith. Like Peter stepping in to the will of God begins by stepping beyond what you see right now and letting Jesus know that by faith you will accept His invitation to step out simply by faith.
Step #2 When you accept His invitation, you are embracing the possibilities of ‘extraordinary’ faith.
Walking on water faith is the faith that not only believes the miraculous, but it also embraces total dependency on Jesus. Peter abandoned everything he knew, to trust Jesus’ invitation. Jesus’ desire is to call and invite all men unto Himself. Peter’s acceptance to the invitation to “come”, demonstrates confidence and trust in Jesus’ ability to sustain all who “come” to him.
The boat Peter stepped out of symbolizes the normal way of living. To step away from one’s normal way of life into a place of extraordinary, establishes readiness to embrace the supernatural sustaining power of the Lord. Supernatural living is believing that all things are possible with Jesus Christ. Stepping in to the will of God requires a substitution of the natural laws that usually govern our lives, to a spiritual walk ‘on the water’ type faith that is full of the boundless grace of God. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.
Step #3 Channel your faith in Christ in your Crisis and He will liberate you
Life storms are an ever present threat. Whether your storm comes in the form of a financial storm, a relational storm, health related storm or otherwise, life storms are an inevitable reality. In those moments of crisis, where do you seek refuge? How do you respond to the unexpected onset of a storm? A sudden tempest caused Peter to take his eyes off of Jesus and concentrate on the impending danger, causing him to sink.If life’s storms have caused you to feel like you are drowning, then try shifting your concentration back to the Lord. Cry out to him! For within the toss and turbulence, of every storm Jesus is there with you. He will never leave nor forsake his children. Even when the storm clouds roll and you feel like you are drowning, when you concentrate on Christ rather than the crisis, he will lift you up and put you right back on route to fulfill His will. It is He that remains unwavering not we ourselves. When you lose focus and perhaps your footing, you can depend on Jesus to reach down and pull you up again.
Though believers have a deep conviction to step into the will of God, many do not understand the gravity of what they are proposing. For to step into God’s will is to live out our faith by denying oneself in order to meet God on His terms rather than our own. God’s will instructs that in order to step into the newness of life that He intends for us, one must first be willing to step out of the position we currently occupy. Yes the willingness to step out of positions of familiarity and personal comfort to enter into unknown and perhaps unchartered dimensions guided by the Lord himself.Stepping into the will of God, does not mean you will get it right every day, but because the Lord is Master over all the elements of this world, we can depend on him to navigate our pathways. So don’t be afraid to step out and away from the comfort of everyday living into the faith filled will of God.