Have you ever thought about Peter. One of the 12. Called by Jesus. Chose to follow.
Have you ever thought about what it was like when God revealed Jesus' identity to Peter. Can you imagine? Can you picture what you would have done?? Would you have spoke a word? Or questioned quietly? Or kept silent riddled with doubt?
In Matthew 16, Peter, knowingly or unknowingly, spoke the revelation: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Now imagine being Peter. Or even one of the other men with them...can you hear the crickets? Do you see the astonished faces? But wait, because Jesus follows in vs 17 by clarifying that Peter knows this because GOD chose to reveal this truth to him.
All believers pray for God to show us His will. We persistently beg for clarification, revelation and answers. This story always gives me hope. God chose Peter just as He will choose me and you. BUT - what will He say? What will He reveal? How will He answer? Will we hear? Will we respond?
Peter's story always strikes a new chord when I read it - and today was no different. Today I could not get past the fact that God revealed Jesus' identity and taught and equipped him - but this was after Jesus called him to action.
Peter was the disciple that called out into storm when they saw the "ghost" walking on water - "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” (Matthew 14:28) Peter was seeking the Lord. Peter wanted to be called, and was focused on the call of the Lord...and when he heard it - Jesus said nothing more than "come" - and Peter responded. The Bible says "so Peter got out of the boat and walked on water and came to Jesus." (vs 29)
Jesus knew Peter had faith. And Jesus knew Peter was intently fixed on the Lord. Those two ingredients make for a "walking on water" kind of experience. But that is not where I want to leave you today -
Peter walked on water only so long as his focus was on God. Have you ever felt convicted to do something? Felt called by God to do, go or be? Have you noticed in that very moment as you step in obedience - you are surrounded by a swarm of storms, distractions, hindrances? many things are thrown at you to combat for your attention. And when those things succeed, we sink.
It is important to note that anytime you obey the voice of the Lord - you will be met with distractions, disturbances and delays - this is the enemy, who wants nothing more than to hit you with wave after wave until your focus is more on the distractions than the call. His primary goal is to hinder your obedience. Distract your focus. Delay your response.
The good news, Jesus stands with you in the water. No matter what is brewing around you, He is still present to be found. He is ready and willing to lift you back up, steady you, and remind you why you are there.
Many times I found myself in this place - even after being lifted from my own failure - to refrain from the waves time and time again. But each time He lifts me out of the water, steadying me again - I find I arrive with new wisdom, fresh faith, renewed courage. Amounts of myself not present before. God will not waste a single wave of the enemy. Joseph claims this very truth in Genesis 5:20 - "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…"
So I ask you to reflect on where God has you right now...
Are you in a place where God is calling you to action?
Is He waiting for your response?
Have you responded and faithlfully walking in obedience?
Are you crashing in the waves of distractions, disturbances, or delays?
Is He waiting for you to reach back out to Him?
Is God revealing something to you and equipping you for His great plan?
I have been many of these places, but right now, I have realized God is waiting on me to STEP OUT OF THE BOAT. I have faithfully steered close to His side, staying within reach. Yet, it is not what He asks - He wants my faith to be in HIM not the boat. He is calling me out of safety, beyond comfort, into faith.
We can have faith, we can listen well, but at some point it all comes down to stepping out of the boat? What does that look like for you?
For me, stepping out of the boat is scary. But that is because my eyes are fixed on the wrong things. One of the chapters in my book will be entitled "no sight of shore." It is one thing to step out onto the water of the shoreline...its shallow, the shore is within grasp and you have a "safety net" if trouble arrives. But when God calls you to step out in the middle of the ocean, where there is no sight of anything to grasp onto for safety but Him - it takes great faith. Faith frankly I did not know I had been given. There are many other aspects I was taught in stepping out, but among them, I have seen that you can't just step out and stand there - you have to keep stepping. Keep following. Keep focus.
Today, I challenge each of you to assess where you currently stand. Ask God to reveal what your next step should be and ask Him to reveal what new measure of wisdom, faith or courage He is affording you. Don't miss these moments.
There is safety in the boat, but there is great faith lying just beyond the bow.