Help me, I’m sinking!

Have you ever started a project, a new job, took on a challenge only to experience real doubts about your ability to finish it? In 1977, Bev and I believed that God was giving us a new assignment for ministry in a town 2,000 miles away from home. Full of dreams and faith, but mostly penniless, we prepared for the move. In spite of some people telling us that we were crazy (yes, they did!) we were excited, anticipating God’s blessings.

On the day we started our move, we had not gone more than 40 miles on the road when I was overwhelmed with fear.  “What have I done? Why did I do this? It’s going to be a disaster!”  I admit that I wept as I drove.  My beloved wife, just 23 years old at the time, reached out to put her hand on my hand and prayed for us, asking the Spirit to renew our faith and joy, to refocus her fearful husband on the dream.  And, the next year proved to one of the most interesting times of spiritual growth for us.

Here is one thing I know for certain – IF you decide to live in faith, to step out of the mainstream of life, you will be told that you are “ too young, too old, too dumb, too poor, too smart…” to follow your heart’s calling!  The moment we let the nay-sayers and doubters take up space in our head, we will retreat, fear will grow.

Unless we focus on God’s possibilities and receive His gift of faith, we will put His call and our vision on the shelf and go home to our recliners to watch TV alone night after night: safe but dead while we still live.

This story from the Gospel of Matthew is one of my go-to’s, giving me much inspiration over the years.  The disciples had a great day with Jesus and saw an amazing miracle. One boy’s lunch was multiplied to feed 5000 people!  This is how Matthew tells about what happened next.

“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:22-33, NIV)

Have you ever walked on water or are you one of those people who stays put in the boat where it’s safe?

People who always play it safe do not make much of an impact.  Why? Because risk is an integral part of success!  Those unwilling to fail cannot succeed.

Let’s be clear. That faith story of Peter’s adventure on the Sea of Galilee isn’t a story about a daredevil who spit in the face of fate, who threw all caution to the wind, or who had a secret death wish. It’s about a man who wanted to know His Lord and whose passion for Jesus drove him to total obedience. Peter asked Jesus to call him and when the Lord did, Peter responded — against all good sense — by getting out of the boat. He walked on the water until he focused on the impossibility of his situation and only then  he failed… or did he? Yes, he started to sink, but Jesus took his hand and refocused his faith. That stormy night provided a lesson of faith that Peter never forgot for the rest of his life.

Are waves kicking up around your little lifeboat today?
Are your kids rebelling?
Is your marriage strained?
Is some sin pulling hard on you, so much that the temptation is nearly overwhelming?
Have past financial decisions created a situation you can’t control? 
Are you afraid of aging, the future, the government? 

Truthfully, we all have problems that rock our boat. That’s life! 
Jesus walks with us. He’s passing by, and He’s inviting us to walk on the waves! Will you accept the challenge to grow a bigger, deeper faith?  When you hear His voice, get out of the boat.  Oh, yes, be careful about getting so impressed with yourself that you start to show off.   The moment you take your eyes off of Him, you’ll suffer a Peter moment;  you’re sunk!

And, if you fail, adopt the attitude of Jonas Salk, the person who saved millions from polio when he developed the polio vaccine. He failed hundreds of times before he got it right. Somebody asked Mr. Salk, “How did it feel to fail 200 times?” Salk said, “I never failed 200 times for I was taught not to use the word, ‘failure.’ I discovered 200 ways not to vaccinate for polio!”

Your greatest failure won’t be if you happen to sink in the waves, it will be IF YOU NEVER GET OUT OF THE BOAT!

Here’s the word from the Word.  Pray for new faith, for hope, for courage today as you receive the promise of ‘immeasurably more.’

 “Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more (NLT)  (immeasurably more (NIV), exceedingly abundantly (KJV), than we would ever dare to ask or hope.
May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen
.” (Ephesians 3:20-21, NLT)   Now how about walking on the water today with Jesus?

(Video of this blog at this link)

_______________

Lord I Need You

Lord I come I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
And without You I fall apart
You’re the one that guides my heart

Lord I need You oh I need You
Ev’ry hour I need You
My one defense my righteousness
Oh God how I need You

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Where You are Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

So teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus You’re my hope and stay
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus You’re my hope and stay

Lord I need You oh I need You
Ev’ry hour I need You
My one defense my righteousness
Oh God how I need You
My one defense my righteousness
Oh God how I need You

Christy Nockels | Daniel Carson | Jesse Reeves | Kristian Stanfill | Matt Maher© 2011 sixsteps Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Sweater Weather Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Valley Of Songs Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

worshiptogether.com songs (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: