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Topic: Failure (03/01/04)
TITLE: Water Walking or Sinking
By Jenny Smith
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Peter is one of the disciples I love the most for two reasons. He was either boldly following God or he was boldly not following God. I find myself in his sandals sometimes. One minute wholeheartedly following God and then the next…not.
Peter’s life is full of lessons, but let’s focus on one we all can learn from. In Matthew 14:22-33, Peter is with the other disciples in a boat in the middle of the sea. Jesus has gone to pray and it has gotten dark. The next thing they see is Jesus walking toward them on the water. At first they are thinking it must be a ghost until they hear his voice. Can you imagine their relief, ‘Oh, its just Jesus!’, then amazement, ‘Is he walking on the water? I’m not believing this!’?
Peter has a bold request as soon as he realizes it is Jesus, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” Peter was overly eager to walk on water. Do you ever feel like that? It may not actually be water, but no less miraculous for you. Lord let me. I’m ready. Let me on the water! Too many times I have found myself in this situation …let me, I’m ready!
I just wonder if as Jesus said ‘Come on’, if he was shaking his head, knowing Peter wasn’t ready to walk on water, but he was ready for a valuable lesson.
Peter jumped out of the boat looking at Jesus and walked on the water. He was actually doing it, he was walking on water!
Can’t you imagine Peter taking a step or two fully focused on Jesus and then it happened? He looked around and noticed the wind was howling and became afraid. Why is it when we are actually walking on water that we take our eyes off Jesus? As soon as Peter looked away he began to sink. The same is true for us.
Now, this is the lesson I want us to learn - as soon as he began to sink he cried out ‘Lord save me!’ I’m personally guilty of sinking deeper and deeper, kicking my way up, only to sink again…wearing myself out, getting choked and making quite a sight of myself. And I do all of this before I stop and think to call on Jesus!
Jesus is there the whole time saying, “Here I am, call to me and then I will save you. I will catch you and walk you back to the boat until you are ready to try again.”
We can walk on water with eyes fully focused on Jesus. In fact he wants us to. But he also knows many times as soon as we actually start walking, we take our eyes off him. And then we begin to sink. That’s why he is there waiting to catch us as soon as we call.
Take it from one who has sunk many times, it is better to call out at the first sign of sinking. Otherwise, the sinking process can be not only painful but a sight to people looking on.
Actually, it is best to walk on water with your eyes fully focused on Jesus. Then you don’t have to worry about sinking! And if you do take your eyes off Jesus, and begin to sink, call out to Jesus right away! Trust me, he will be there waiting.
How do you want to walk on water? What do you desire to do with Jesus that will require a miracle? Jesus is saying, ‘Come on’. Just remain focused on him! Then walk on water!