Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Jump In With Both Feet (11/28/19)
TITLE: Leaps of Faith
By Doug Laird
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This brings to mind the (Matt.14: 22-33 NASB) Biblical account in which Peter initially demonstrated tremendous faith, only to face humiliating defeat when overcome by fear a few moments later.
In fairness to Peter, let's give him credit for having started out right.
There they were, securely seated in their boat well away from shore, when they saw what they thought was a ghost (vs. 26) walking across the surface of the water in the midst of wind and waves (vs. 24).
Mariners have a long history of being very superstitious dating back to the ancient world when man set sail and set out into unchartered waters.
It was believed by many that the departed spirits of those who were lost at sea would later appear to give warning when a vessel was about to face disaster.
Several of the disciples aboard their boat had been commercial fishermen prior to having been called to be a part of the Lord's ministry. They likely would have heard of the all the ominous tales of the sea. To what extent, if any, these superstitions contributed to the fear they experienced could be debated, but Scripture (vs. 26) discloses that they were terrified by what they had seen.
All too often, we hold to a Sunday School projection of what many of the Biblical characters were like. It is an eye-opening experience to learn of their darker sides that reveal their own areas of ignorance and weakness, as we all do.
As in other cases when humans came into contact with a theophany or a non-human spiritual being (Exodus 3/Luke 1: 12/Rev. 1:17), the first thing that was done was to calm the fear that the humans would naturally experience.
In this Matt. 14 event, the Lord made it clear that it was He that they seeing as He calmed them down, telling them not to be afraid (vs. 27).
Peter took things a step further. He asked the Lord to command him (Peter) to come to Him (The Lord), enabling him (Peter) to walk across the surface of the water (vs. 28), and his request was granted (vs. 29).
To step out of the boat with both feet took a lot of courage and faith.
The remaining disciples apparently chose to sit this one out. We can only assume what the comments and conversations were like between the ones in the boat as Peter stepped out of the boat.
But as soon as Peter took his focus of attention off the Lord and put it on his surroundings, natural fear set in and he began to sink and was rescued by the hand of the Lord (vs. 31).
Being born again calls for child-like (Matt.18: 3 faith. In other words, we are challenged to take a leap of faith and jump in with both feet, having no reservations.
For many, this means leaving his/her boat of comfort and security.
This boat could be ones former religious beliefs that he/she shared with like-minded family and friends. This boat could be some alternative system of merit through which one attempts to earn salvation.
After having jumped in with both feet as the Lord calls us to do (John 3: 5, 7, 16, 18), we too may experience moments of fear and doubts from what we see or hear coming from our surroundings.
Our surroundings may include the human viewpoint coming from others back in the boat, or new winds (vs. 30) of adversity impeding our forward progress in the post (after) salvation spiritual life.
We too, like Peter, might have to be rescued by the hand of the Lord (vs. 31) from time to time. We can count on Him to be there for us. He is faithful to us even when we are not faithful to Him (2Tim. 2: 13/Romans 8: 1).
In closing, keep in mind that once saved, always saved.
But if one is going to advance in the post salvation spiritual life of discipleship, there will be many more leaps of faith that will require us to jump in with both feet. Each one will likely be more challenging than the last. The road to spiritual maturity is an uphill climb.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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