THE WALKING ON WATER KIND OF FAITH
It had been a great day. The disciples had been witnesses to another great miracle. Jesus provided fish and bread for over 5,000 men besides the women and children from just five loaves and two fishes. That is tremendous increase. Over 100,000 percent increase on the bread alone. That had to be quite a moment. There was left over food. Twelve baskets to be exact. Enough for each of the disciples to eat for a while and provide for their families.
Now Jesus told them to get in a ship and go to the other side of the lake. It was really late at night and there was a storm. The ship was tossed and turning in the waves. The wind was blowing contrary to what they needed to get to their destination, and Jesus wasn’t with them. Surely if he had been with them, the storm would stop. Surely, they wouldn’t be going through this. Surely, he would have provided a safe trip into a safe harbor, but that wasn’t the case. They were alone to navigate in this dark stormy sea.
They were in this battle until the fourth watch was which is between 3:00 a.m. to 6: a.m. They couldn’t see much around them. Then someone is walking on the water coming towards them. They thought it was a ghost (and not the Holy Ghost!) and were all frightened. At this point they are crying out with fear.
This describes what happens to most of us. We go through a high where God comes through in a mighty way. We see the miraculous, and our faith level is high. Then…..we get a new assignment that seems easy enough, but the storms of life come at us and we question if it was God that said, “do this.” We battle and fight the storms to no avail. They seem to get stronger and we are ready to “give up” questioning whether it really was God that gave the assignment. Perhaps it was the devil trying to trick us and destroy us. Perhaps we thought we heard from God, but maybe we were mistaken. That is when we see something we haven’t seen before happening. Is it really you Lord? Is it you bidding me to stretch my faith to do the impossible? Is it you? I can’t make you out, but your voice is bidding me.
Then Jesus speaks. At least it sounded like Jesus. Peter spoke out and said, “If it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.”
How often are we at that same point? God gives us direction, and then we ask the proverbial question, IF? We know he spoke to us. We believe we were led by Holy Spirit, but now when things aren’t going the way we expected we question what we heard. We are just like the disciples, in the boat, but still looking at circumstances to determine our “hearing.”
The story goes on where Jesus bids Peter to come, but once again he looks at the circumstances and sinks. Then out of fear of drowning he cries out to Jesus and is rescued again. I will say this about Peter. He at least got out of the boat while the rest just stayed there. Was he reckless? Or was he full of faith?
I would say hearing the voice of the master bidding him come brought great faith, but the circumstances of the “impossible” caused him to sink. You see my friends God doesn’t work through just the “possibles”. He works in the “impossibles”. That is where faith comes in to walk on water. We hear God through the voice of his word (most often the written word, the Bible) and then we must act on it. We must never look at the circumstances to determine whether it is God or not. We must not “sink” or we will never accomplish the “walking on water” kind of faith that it takes to trust God.
Have you ever been in that boat? Have you ever started out walking on the water but sank? Have you ever had to cry out to God to save you because you looked at the circumstances instead of keeping your eyes on Jesus? You are in good company because we all have been there and done that. The question is, are we going to learn from our “stinking thinking that leads to sinking” or are we going to sink again?
The walking on water kind of faith must keep its’ eyes on Jesus at all times and never look at the circumstances. Easy? No, but if we don’t, we will sink every time.