H FoYeR H
Jesus Said Come
Someone sent me an email that included the story about Peter walking on the water. My first thought was, “Now there’s a story I know well enough not to have to go and reread.” Well, immediately I heard a familiar voice whisper in my spirit, “You don’t know everything you think you know about that story. Go and read it again.”
(I love digging for treasure and the greatest Treasure of all is the Word of God. My soul delights when I hear, “Dig a little deeper Lorie! There’s something I want to show you, and you won't find it when all you're doing is browsing the Word for the day's fix.”)
Here is what I discovered...
22Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. 23After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. 24But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. 25And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 26When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. 27But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
28Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said* to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”
Examine closely the words of Jesus...
"it is I"
"do not be afraid"
"you of little faith"
"why did you doubt"
What is the Lord saying to Peter, and how does it apply to us?
First, he tells him to "take courage." Jesus must have known that Peter was going to need something beyond his own ability to manufacture. Peter needed to receive courage - supernatural, Holy Spirit courage to enable him to take the next step. Jesus knew that Peter needed this courage way before Peter even had a clue of his need. So He told Peter to TAKE it. He was offering courage and Peter needed to take it.
If I put myself in Peter's shoes, in that moment, I think my thoughts might have been, "Yeah, uh huh... 'courage'? Okay, got it! What's next, Lord?" My fixation on the excitement of the moment would cause me to overlook the very thing I need to do... "take courage."
(Hint: If Jesus tells you to "take courage" realize that it's not for the moment you are in, but for the next one.)
I find the next part of the story very interesting...
Jesus identified Himself, in person, with His own voice, "It is I." Yet, Peter wasn't absolutely sure, so he asked Jesus if it was truly Him. This part is mind boggling. I mean, the King of the universe is talking to Peter. He knows that voice. Didn't he recognize it? Peter spent days, months, and years listening to every word Jesus spoke. Why was he asking Jesus if it was truly him? I know there are times when I am so overwhelmed by my circumstance that it affects my ability to discern the voice I'm hearing. The noise of the storm seems to drown out everything familiar to me. Maybe that's what happened to Peter.
Next, Jesus tells Peter, "Do not be afraid." Jesus knew that fear would attack, and it did. He knew it, yet he told him to "come" anyway. Why? Peter needed to know that fear would attack. We need to know that fear will attack, but what we really need to know is that the power Christ has is greater than any fear. God allows fear to attack, partly so that we will see our need, and partly for us to witness the greatness of God's power to prove Himself "mighty in the midst" of every storm. When we realize that, we see fear destroyed and put in it's place, and Christ elevated and residing on the throne of our heart.
I find it interesting that...
It is only after He offers courage, identifies Himself as the enabler, and commands us not to fear, that He bids us "come." Isn't that awesome? Jesus knew that Peter, even then, wouldn't be able to keep his eyes fixed on the Lord and stand above the water. But, that didn't stop Him from calling Peter to come. His power is available, even when we take our eyes off of Him and fall. Peter cried out for the Lord to "save me" and Jesus did just that.
So, today, whatever your circumstance...
Know that it's Jesus who calls you to step out and come.
Don't let fear hinder your obedience.
Realize that even a lack of faith and overwhelming doubt won't stop Him from saving you when cry out to Him.
His love covers a multitude of sin. His love is strong enough to call us, save us, and restore us to Himself. What a great and awesome God we serve. We can step out, knowing that even when fear, doubt and unbelief rear their ugly heads they are no match for a sovereign God who loves His children and will be there to save us. H