Getting Out of the Boat
There are defining moments in our walk with God where a familiar piece of scripture can take us from a place of just familiarity to a place of revelatory thinking. Such was the case when I recently read the story of Peter walking on the water, his child-like faith, and his willingness to get out of the boat and try something new. In the past when I thought about Peter, I tended to look at him as one who denied Christ or one who sank because he allowed the distractions of wind and wave to grab his attention. Until recently…
Stepping Into Our Future
In Matthew 14:22-33, this story of Peter walking on the water unfolds. It is a true reflection of our walk with the Lord. In our negative personality of being hesitant, unsure, unaware, and fearful, we cry out for Jesus to come to us and our circumstances instead of stepping into our present-future persona, and moving toward Him. The Father sees us from the place of our completion, and He calls us up toward that place. But our place of completion tends to be a place where we feel unprepared and unqualified, a place beyond our abilities, and so He patiently teaches us how to become what He has called us to be.
When I read this passage again, Peter asked Jesus in verse 28, “Lord, if it is You, bid me to come unto Thee.” And Jesus simply said one word…”Come.” That word intrigued me, and when I looked up its many meanings, one caught my eye —“to grow.” What is Jesus saying? One thing… Grow to Me. I realized that if I am staying in the boat of my past-present looking for Jesus to come to me, I could be waiting a long time. Now is the time to get out of the boat and grow toward Jesus. He isn’t coming to our boat. He is calling us out onto the waters of the untried… to grow toward Him. When Peter began to walk upon the water and grow toward Jesus, His faith came under attack by the boisterous wind and waves. This natural occurrence takes place whenever we accept His invitation to come.
It was at this point the Lord showed me two things about Peter’s “failure” to stay on top of the water. When Peter began to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Verse 31 says Jesus immediately stretched out His hand to save him. Jesus said, “O you of little faith…”
The three things the Father showed me was:
- When we are called to get out of the boat and walk upon the waters of difficulty and unchartered territory, He is not expecting us to be perfect. He understands that mistakes come as we grow. That is how we learn. Instead of a condemning word to us, He wants us to know that He is not surprised by the mistakes because He is overjoyed by our efforts to grow.
- “O ye of little faith“ can sound like an indictment. But what if Jesus was looking at the other 11 disciples in the boat when He was saying this? At least Peter was out of the boat and moving toward the Lord. What were the other eleven doing?
- Finally, “O ye of little faith,” has another reassuring word for all of us. When Peter said, “Lord, save me,” the Bible says Jesus immediately reached His hand down to save him. What if the lack of faith He is referring to is not his obvious failure of sinking but Peter’s cry for the Lord to save him? In this season of getting out of the boat and growing toward the Lord and our destiny in Him, He knows we will sink along this unchartered path. But never think that He will not be there to catch you and lift you up when you do.
God is calling us to get out of the boat and onto the water, away from the complacency and safety of our current state. He wants us to have a strong, courageous faith to not only get out of the boat and walk on the waters of our future, but to do so knowing He will always be there to pick us up when we stumble as we grow. There is no growth left in the boat; only the spiritual stalemate of living in the past. We are a present-future army, and we are out walking on the water!