Movers and ShakersMarch 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.)