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Movers and Shakers

March 6, 2007

Matthew 14:28-31  “And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  And he said, Come.  And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

Jesus walking on the water is one of the most well known events to have taken place in the gospels.  Much preaching concerning this account and Peters ordeal therein has been done over the years as some very notable truths are prevailant. 

( 1 )  The very fact that Peter was willing to get out of the boat in the first place demonstrated a level of faith in the Lord Jesus.  Getting out of a boat during a storm doesn’t fit into the category of “conventional wisdom.”

( 2 )  Peter was fine as long as he looked to Jesus and not the situation around him.

( 3 )  When the waves caused him to be fearful, he started to sink as his attention was on the circumstance instead of the one who has dominion over the circumstance.

( 4 )  When he cried out “Lord save me,” Jesus was right there in the very moment and caught him. 

Peter was confident while he was standing in the boat; enough so that he stepped onto the water.  Suddenly when he saw the waves, the logical mind kicked in screaming “Hey!  There’s nothing solid under my feet!”  Kind of like when Wile E Coyote goes off a cliff, hangs in space for a few seconds, feels beneath him, and upon discovering that he’s in mid-air, begins the non-fatal thousand foot plunge onto the bedrock below.  In a split second, Peters focus shifted from Jesus, the King of glory, to the fluid situation surrounding him.  In times of trying, it’s an absolute must that we keep our eyes on Jesus.  One moment of pondering the situation with our own understanding could have devastating consequences.   

 Luke 21:26  “Mens hearts failing them for fear, and looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”

A true saint of God, washed in the blood of Jesus and having their affections set on things above, has nothing to fear concerning the events of this present world.  Nor are we to fear anything that others may do to us.  Both of these are unachievable in our own efforts as such a level of faith can only come from the Lord.   When I was following from afar a few years ago, I was consumed by the cares of this life.  The financial situation was so severe that I couldn’t sleep at night.  I would find myself playing video games at 3:00am to get my mind off of things; until I would fall asleep from sheer exhaustion.  This will sound nutty, but when we finally lost the old house, it was a relief.  Despite my patheticly backslidden state, the Lord, in his incredible mercy, provided for this family in that this current house came about as a result of a land contract deal from a guy who had refused to do the same for others.  

Nearly four years ago, we secured a mortgage, but then a layoff took place which quickly led to a situation where “another house was in jeopardy.”  The difference this time was that the Lord had restored me and a situation that would have, at any other time in my life (including the pre-rebellious years) shaken me to the core, simply didn’t get to me.  I remember saying to the Lord in prayer that I love him no matter what; rather we’re living in a house, an apartment, a van down by the river, or a box under an overpass.  By the grace of God, this is my approach to all things in this life.  If they move the plant to Mexico, God really can provide a table in the wilderness.  I pray that this attitude will remain stedfast when we’re outside of the boat with the sea and the waves roaring. 

This is a side trip, but the above paragraph got me to thinking about something that was on my heart last night.   While driving home, the parable of the sower came to mind; particularly the second example of the seed that fell onto stony ground.  It sprang up right away but it had no depth and wasn’t prepared for the long haul.  The trials of the past, even the season of rebellion, has resulted in a much greater love for the Lord Jesus and a stronger faith in that “things simply don’t get to me as they once did.”  It’s not that I’m indifferent or don’t care, I simply know that God really is in control and I’m determined to serve him no matter what comes. 

Another side trip, (I’m trying to get to Psalm 91) Late Sunday night (around midnight) the history channel had a series of programs on the dark ages.  The visigoths had sacked Rome, the western empire was in ruins, and the security that folks had come to know was simply “gone.”  Various local rulers st up their own little kingdoms, those with arms on their side fared better than those simply trying to survive and a state of lawlessness prevailed.  The single factor that kept many going was their faith.  Christianity was spreading and with the obvious inability of the flesh to offer any form of security, many turned to the Lord Jesus.  In her recent post, Susan (www.faithwalk.wordpress.com ) mentioned saints from other countries where persecution and instability are dominant.  They don’t necessarily want the physical situation to “improve” for the fear that they will become content and lukewarm.  (I’m paraphrasing.  In fact I’m not certain if it was in Susans site or not but I think that it was.  I’ll be back in a minute.)

That’s it.  www.faithwalk.wordpress.com/2007/03/05/the-way-of-the-cross/ .  Here’s another post that touches on this topic.    www.kenyananalyst.wordpress.com/2007/02/19/prosperity-preaching-deceitful-and-deadly/  I wanted to link to this when it was written but time slipped away.

Well, this has turned into a road trip.  I suppose that we all have something that “sets us off” to a degree and for me the prosperity message is one.  It causes the heart to crave the things of this life and just as did the Laodiceans.

Revelation 3:17  “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”

I may have to save Psalm 91 for another post because this is urgent.  The perception that the Laodiceans had of themselves was the polar opposite of their actual condition.  I remember telling the account of almost losing the house to someone recently.  When I mentioned being happy even if I had to live in a box, I got the reply “Oh God doesn’t want you living in a box!  He wants his children to have nice things.”  The focus was on the “here” and the principal that I was trying to explain obscured by that focus.  The “here” is all going to burn.  The mansion, the trailer, the van down by the river, the box under the bridge, all of the works of our own will perish and be no more. 

Revelation 3:18  “I councel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white rainment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and annoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.’

I have often wondered what the Laodiceans did when they received this letter.  I would like to think that they considered their ways and got right with God.  One thing that strikes me in verse 17.  They were miserable and didn’t realize it.  Folks who strive to heap to themselves trappings of this life are sufficating themselves without realizing it.  Again, as mentioned in times past, the “stuff” isn’t the problem.  It’s when the stuff becomes dominant.  If we truly love the Lord Jesus Christ and long for his appearing, rather we have much or little in this life should be irrelevant.  I pray that we would all strive to lay up treasure in heaven. 

I have to wrap this up.  Psalm 91 will have to be a topic for a later post.  I really love that psalm as it talks of God protecting his own in the midst of unimaginable adversity.  It ties in with Peter walking on the water to go to Jesus.  If he hadn’t focused on the storm, he never would have started to sink.  Look to Jesus; no matter what.  Regardless of what takes place on this earth, he created it all.  He created the heavens, the earth, the seas, and even that place in the Atlantic Ocean where a chunk of the earths crust is “missing.”  This was talked about briefly on Coast to Coast last night and it has scientists baffled.  I love it when the Lord does something to cause “baffling” among those who claim to have understanding.  I have to run.  I’ll try to comment tonight from work during break and lunch.

Revelation 22:20  “He which testifyeth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.  Amen.  Even so, come Lord Jesus.”

(I know that I close with this verse often, but it’s really a great thought to close with.) 

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14 comments

  1. “Peter was fine as long as he looked to Jesus and not the situation around him.”

    The most important part. If we keep our eyes on God, if we are Christ-centered and God-saturated, we benefit greatly.


  2. Keep God first in everything we do!

    Amen

    Andrea


  3. Thanks J Kaiser and Andrea for commenting. It seems like such a simple concept and yet we all must strive daily to look to Jesus and not allow ourselves to be turned aside, even briefly, by the trials of this world or the lure of trappings. Possessions are no problem if kept in their proper place. Some can handle much and some cant. I probably didn’t adequately clarify this in the above post. Thanks again for stopping in. I have to run lest I be late for work. Have a blessed evening.


  4. Timbob, I truly relate to your posts so often, and in so many ways, I am always blessed by them. Thank you.
    Peter and I share some commonalities, and this particular passage has been especially vivid to me this last 2 years.
    We sold our home, then our business two years later to go into full time ministry overseas, or so we thought. We gave away literally tens of thousands of dollars of tools, equipment, furniture etc, etc..
    Full of faith that God would provide our needs, and knowing it was more blessed to give than receive.

    We left behind our life, including our family which was very hard, but the Kingdom came first ( whoever loves father, mother, sons, daughters, houses, land etc more than me is not worthy )
    Having burned our bridges behind us we stepped out of the boat and into a really big unexpected storm.
    I confess that once my eyes got off Jesus and onto the storm I began to sink.

    Being homeless and incomeless and having given away 80% of our stuff, and then walking away from one ministry, only to have another shut down and pull our support left me a mess.
    Now I have done some pretty wild and even dangerous things in faith by the Spirit with complete confidence in the Lord, so it was shocking to me and everyone around us that I was so undone.
    My faith was shattered.
    But what the Lord revealed in and through this, was that it was easy for me to take risks, even big risks knowing that in the end I always had a home and life to return to.
    I didn’t fear death, be a Martyr? Fine with me! But if alive then I wanted some earthly security.

    I mean, isn’t it logical to want a nice home and retirement, some health insurance..?
    well, Gods ways are often not our ways!
    I guess what I am trying to say is, my trust and security was not 100% in the Lord as it should have been.
    In the back of my mind was this subconscious thought that there was always something to fall back on.
    Now all we can fall on is our knees, and into the arms of Jesus. And there is truly no better place.

    The blessing is that it has taken me to a deeper level of faith, trust, intimacy, and love for Jesus Christ than I have ever had. being dependent on Him is a good thing. Not always easy, but good.
    He has proven Himself to be ever so Faithful!

    Though I was faithless, yet He was faithful and did not deny His own! We are SO BLESSED to be His own beloved children!

    I have truly realized I can do Nothing, am nothing, have nothing outside of Him.
    I can’t even breathe.

    It has made me so desperate for His life to be manifested through mine, so absolutely taken the world out of my heart, that the ONLY thing that matters is my love for Him and His for me. Loving and serving Jesus, and others by His grace and His alone is all that matters.

    I have learned so much and yet have ever so much more to learn, and know it will never end in this life. I am truly thankful, grateful for the trials, the stripping, the humbling, the excruciating dying to self so that His life becomes mine and mine truly His.
    And the process continues daily…

    I know now that BY HIS GRACE, I can endure and live without the security of this world. As long as I see my life serving a purpose for the Kingdom, where we live and what we have doesn’t matter.
    To be used by God to bless others and further the Kingdom, to know and love Jesus, and to be known and, loved by Him is truly what I, what we both, live for.

    I am a stranger in a strange land, a sojourner with no country. We came back, but we never came home. Nothing fits here, not friends, not church, not the community we served in for our entire adult lives…
    In less than a year everything changed.
    And yet it is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous.
    We can move away now should the Lord direct, and it will be easy. We can live with almost nothing and be content. All because of Jesus love and grace, only by His grace.

    As long as we are being who He created us to be, being conformed into His image, being obedient by His grace, serving others and doing His will, whatever that is…

    We are weak and foolish for certain, but Christ in us? He is the hope of glory, by whom and through whom ALL things are possible. Even for one such as I.
    and so…
    Whatever you go through, whatever the Lord asks you to give up, be at peace. He is faithful, always faithful and He uses everything for our good!!!
    We have tried Him and found Him to be True!

    Wow, I have just written a post in your comment section and an awfully personal one at that.
    hmm, to submit or not to submit, that is the question.
    If I have remorse and ask you to, please be kind and delete it for me!

    well, here goes the button…

    Every blessing to you in Jesus love and grace,

    Susan


  5. Timbob, thank you for the link/ping!
    Blessings to you!
    ( and I am so sorry my comment is so long! you can delete it… )


  6. Only a talented writer such as yourself could fit in Wile E Coyote while talking about Peter and his attempt to walk on water. 😀

    Often while reading of your past and how the Lord has restored you, this scripture comes to mind.

    Luke 7:36-50

    “Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.

    And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume.

    Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.”

    And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.”

    “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. “When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.”

    Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.

    “You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. “You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume.

    “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

    Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”


  7. At least Peter got out of the boat and while he was confronted with the limitations of his faith, he was way ahead of those who stayed in the relative safety and security of the boat.

    For me this is the true value of this incident. He saw the Lord Jesus, sought to join Him in that which he was doing, even if conventional wisdom said this was foolish. The Lord Jesus giving him permission to do so, it was not a presumptuous act on behalf of Peter, Peter steps out of the boat growing forward into the power of the Kingdom of God in the earth.

    Two thoughts here:

    1) Your faith will only brow beyond where it is when it is put to the test and limitations are revealed through it. In other words, your faith isn’t going to grow if you never see Jesus doing that which is beyond conventional wisdom, and then seeking his release to join him, taking the risk of being confronted with the limitations of your own measure of faith. Once confronted with it, your faith only increases in the Lord Jesus Christ through it.

    2) This is a bit more obvious to me. It is far more common and far more natural to stay in the boat, taking heed to the first law of fallen nature, self preservation. it seems that this is where most believers choose to remain, hiding in the relative safety of the boat only bemoaning the storm around them, never truly seeing the opportunity to join the Lord Jesus in His power Kingdom workings.

    As Susan’s testimony reveals, her and Richard, saw the Lord at work, sought his His permission to join Him in that which He was doing, chose to get out of the boat, were confronted with the limitations of their faith, only to grow in faith through it, all the while we might be tempted to do with their story what far too many have done with Peter’s, focusing on their getting all wet.

    I do not mean to puff up Richard and Susan, but this is a very real picture of this story of Peter and its vital truth for us all.

    So there are a couple of questions here and I will cease:

    1) Are seeing the Lord Jesus at work in the midst of the Storm, working in unconventional ways?
    If you do not, why?

    2) If you do see him, are you willing to risk all to join in Him in that which He is doing, that you might participate with Him in His powerful Kingdom Working?


  8. Sorry, I hit the wrong key and it posted, just like that.

    Anyway, to finish,

    3) Are you willing to risk being confronted with the limitations of your faith in the hope of growing in that same faith through this confrontation?

    4) And lastly, are you willing to be criticized by others for your taking the route less traveled, the unconventional avenue of obedience and of hungering after the Lord Jesus Christ?

    Just a thought or two.

    Blessings in the Lord Jesus Christ!

    Thank your for the post timbob, as so very often, very stirring.


  9. Tim, your post reminds me of my post

    http://code6.wordpress.com/2007/01/22/guarantees/#respond

    Anyways, trust and faith are hard no matter how you slice it. I’ve been reading and listening to Erwin Raphael McManus a lot. I have his book Soul Cravings. He talks about how crossing the Red Sea for the Israelites wasn’t enough for their faith. Within the next chapter or so, they think God is going to let them starve. You would think being a part of something that miraculous would give you greater faith — at least for a week. We are so like them sometimes. Faith & trust is learned, not inherited (too bad!).


  10. Good Morning. So many great comments by folks who have clearly had their faith tested in ways that I haven’t as of yet. I think of Susans comment of having the subconscious thought of “something to fall back on.” I remember likewise the words of Job after losing it all, saying “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” (Job 3:25) We often marvel at Jobs incredible steadfastness and yet he had the underlying fear that “something like this could happen someday.” And then, when it did take place, he knew who to turn to and his steadfast trust in the God who fills eternity is an example to us all.
    I used to worry about the future. I remember one day thinking on the question “what would I do if it was all gone overnight? Would I go back on God or would I stay faithful as Job did? This is partly where the “living in a cardboard box” analogy came into my collection of phrases. I have determined in my heart that, despite what happens in this world, my heart belongs to Jesus. The lessons learned from past mistakes are ever so vivid in my memory and I’m determined to not repeat them.
    Thanks again to all who took time to comment here. A lot of wisdom and great testimony has been shared in the comment section of this post.


  11. Joyce Meyer had a great message today about faith. She said many people say they trust God but have a back-up plan (just in case God doesn’t come through). She said it’s when you’re over your head and you’ve stepped out of that boat that your faith is really put to the test. At that point going a bit deeper in God won’t be such a challenge b/c you’re already over your head.


  12. This is a timely teaching. It is like 1 Cor 7:29-34.


  13. […] Movers And Shakers […]


  14. Thanks for the info.

    Download a FREE boating ebook report at:
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    and information on boating.



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