Christian Devotionals

Walking on Water (1)
'...He walked on the Jesus.' Matthew 14:29 NKJV

The disciples were out fishing one night when a huge storm struck. About 3am they were terrified by a figure approaching them on the water. '...Immediately Jesus spoke... Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid... Peter answered...Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You...So He said, Come. And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the Jesus.' (Matthew 14:27-29 NKJV) This story teaches us, first, that if the Lord doesn't call us to do it, don't! There's a story about a man standing at the gates of heaven. Peter says, 'Name one great deed you've done.' The man replies, 'Well, a gang of bikers was threatening a woman so I smacked them, kicked over their bikes and ripped out their nose rings.' Impressed, Peter asks, 'When did this happen?' The man answers, 'About 30 seconds ago!' To walk on water you must learn to discern between God's voice and your own impulses. Secondly, it teaches us that to experience miracles, we must get out of our comfort zone. Exchange places with Peter. The storm is raging and he's afraid. The boat's secure and comfortable. Wouldn't you want to stay there? But you can't. God designed you to do more than simply avoid failure; He's calling you to step out in faith and accomplish things. You say, 'What's my boat?' It's anything you put your faith in when life gets stormy, like a job or a relationship. Your boat is anything that stops you from getting out of your comfort zone. Leaving it is the scariest but most rewarding step you'll ever take!

Walking on Water (2)
'...He walked on the Jesus.' Matthew 14:29 NKJV

When Peter was certain it was Jesus who was calling him, he left the security of the boat and entrusted himself to the power of God. So far, so good. 'But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. Save me, Lord! he shouted.' (Matthew 14:30 NLT) So you must focus on the Lord, not the storm. We all know what it's like to 'see the waves'. You begin a new venture-a job, a relationship, an area of spiritual growth-full of hope. Then you encounter storms and setbacks. Jesus said, 'Here on earth you will have many trials...' (John 16:33 NLT) Expect it; it's part of the journey of faith! You must feel the fear and do it regardless. Growth requires taking on new challenges. Each time you do you'll experience fear, because growth and fear go together. But each time you risk leaving the boat it means you're more likely to do it again. And each time you step out on the water without drowning, you realize that fear no longer has the power over you. On the other hand, each time you resist God's voice and choose to stay in the boat His voice becomes a little quieter until eventually you don't hear it at all. Wouldn't it be worth any risk to avoid that? Furthermore, staying in the boat doesn't guarantee your safety; it only guarantees you'll eventually die from something else. The answer to fear is to get out of the boat a little more each day, until fear loses its hold on you.

Walking on Water (3)
'...He walked on the Jesus.' Matthew 14:29 NKJV

Peter discovered what we all discover in our walk with God: just because you sink doesn't mean you're sunk. Here are two reasons why. First, failing doesn't make you a failure, quitting does. Failure is just a part of learning. Sir Edmund Hillary made several attempts to scale Mount Everest before succeeding. After one such attempt he stood in front of a photograph of the mountain and shook his fist as he told his audience: 'Mount Everest, you will not beat me again. You have grown all you are going to, but I'm still growing!' He learned something from every unsuccessful attempt until one day he succeeded. Winston Churchill said, 'I've never failed at anything in my life. I was simply given another opportunity to get it right.' That's the winning spirit!

Secondly, the real failures were the ones who stayed in the boat. They failed quietly and privately; their failure went unnoticed and uncriticised. Although Peter crashed and burned publicly, he experienced the euphoria of walking on the water. He alone knew how it felt to be empowered by God to do what he could never have done by himself. Once you've walked on water you are never the same. Peter would take this moment to his grave! He also experienced the joy of being lifted by Jesus in a moment of despair. Peter knew, in a way the others couldn't, that if he sank Jesus would be there to save him. He shared a moment, a connection, a trust the others didn't. How could they, when they never left the boat! Failure doesn't come from sinking-it comes from letting your fears stop you.

Walking on Water (4)
'...He walked on the Jesus.' Matthew 14:29 NKJV

There are many good reasons for stepping out of the boat and trying something new, or something you may have failed at before. It's the only way to develop faith, it's the alternative to being average, and it's how you discover your calling. But there's an even more important reason. '...He walked on the Jesus.' Jesus isn't in the boat, He's on the water! And you only develop deep-water faith when you're willing to leave security and predictability and step out with Him. Perhaps you have worked for years creating a manageable and orderly life, maintaining the illusion of control. Now God is shaking everything up by asking you to step out in faith, allowing you to face waves that are over your head. He does this for a reason: to increase your dependence on Him. Maybe there was a time in your past when you risked sharing your faith, even though it meant facing rejection; or giving, even though it involved personal sacrifice; or serving, even though you felt totally inadequate. Sometimes you sank, sometimes you walked, but you lived on the edge by faith. Now look at you in your comfortable boat, you don't even get seasick! In fact, now you don't even feel the storm when it comes. Any time you leave the security of the boat two things will happen. First, when you fail, and you will, you won't be alone. Jesus will be no more than an arm's length from you. Secondly, every now and then when you do walk on water, it'll strengthen you and enable you to do greater things.

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