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 and walked on the water to 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 14:25-33
In this story, Peter’s lack of faith forced him to sink so that Jesus had to save him, but Peter is to be commended for stepping out of the boat and attempting to walk on the water. You’ll notice the other disciples were not exactly fighting to join Peter! Living by faith sometimes means stepping out into the unknown and depending on God to carry us through.
I’m afraid that too many times I never step out of the boat and in my comfortable lifestyle I miss out on the fullness of God. People who walk by faith aren’t afraid to attempt the impossible. I hope you are a person who places your life in the hands of God and walks on the side of the impossible.
This statement by Dr. Carl Bates reminds me to keep away from the comfortable and attempt something greater than my ability:
There came a time in my life when I earnestly prayed, “God I want Your power!” Time wore on and the power did not come. One day the burden was more than I could bear. ‘”God, why haven’t You answered that prayer?” God seemed to whisper back His simple reply, “With plans no bigger than yours, you don’t need My power.”*
1. How does today’s Bible passage challenge you to step out in faith?
2. Are you willing to be included among those who step out in faith and depend on the power of God?
*Bill Glass, Expect to Win (Waco: Word, 1981), P. 52.