Thursday, August 17, 2017

Keep Your Focus

Peter, suddenly bold, said, "Master, if it's really you, call me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come ahead." Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, "Master, save me!" Jesus didn't hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, "Faint-heart, what got into you?" The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, "This is it! You are God's Son for sure!"  Matthew 14:28-33
After a long day of ministry with Jesus, the disciples were sailing their way across the Sea of Galilee.  There was a storm brewing.  Surprise storms were common on the sea.  The waves were tossing and the water spilling over the side as they fought to guide the boat across the lake.  They looked up to see Jesus on the water walking towards them.  They were frightened, believing they were seeing a ghost.  Jesus called out, It is I. Do not be afraid.  Peter is the one who spoke up and challenged, Lord, if that is really you, can I come to you on the water? Come, said Jesus.

Hearing Jesus, Peter jumped from the boat and began to walk toward Jesus.  As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus He was doing just fine.  Suddenly he became very aware of the storm still raging around him.  He panicked!  As soon as he lost focus, his faith was affected and he began to sink. When he looked around at the circumstances, he started believing that the storm was going to defeat him.  He lost faith when he lost focus.  There are times we are guilty of doing the same thing when we get caught up in the storms of life.  We start out in faith but look too long at the storm and begin to sink in fear.  We panic!
Why was Peter the only one who walked on the water?
Peter was invited by Jesus simply because he was the only one who asked Jesus if he could come. None of the other disciples asked.  Don’t be afraid to ask to step out into the storm. Peter asked for permission and then he waited for the Lord to say come.  He didn’t jump immediately out of the boat.  The faith that walks on water is faith that waits on God’s call.  Too many Christians ask and then impatiently step off the edge right into the stormy sea.  Strong faith can wait as well as walk; it takes all of God’s word into consideration.  
In spite of fear or the boiling waves, when Peter heard Christ say come, he stepped out of the boat in complete obedience.  Remember, God did not quiet the storm so Peter could step out onto a sea of glass.  He had to step out into the fray with complete trust.  God being with us does not mean that He will quiet the storm.   It means He will be there even as the waves crash against us and the lightning strikes.  Peter knew that on his own he could never walk on water; but with the Master’s help, all things are possible.  God’s grace is sufficient for us. He isn’t expecting us to do anything on our own: Apart from Me, you can do nothing. He will amply supply us with all the grace and strength we need to do His will: My grace is sufficient for you.
A Powerful Prayer
When Peter started to sink, he uttered what is probably the shortest prayer in the Bible: Lord, save me.  Peter starts out with good intentions, but his faith falters. This does not, however, end up in failure. Peter, even in his fear, cries out to the Lord, the only one who can help him.  Some of our most powerful and intimate prayers are only a few words in length.  It does not take a lot of words to get the point across sometimes.  Think of the feeling you have when you hear your child cry Help! You don’t need much more information than that to get a quick reaction from any parent.  Our Heavenly Father is no different.  He, in fact, already knows what we need before we ask; He just wants us to ask.   

Scripture to Claim:
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me
.  2 Corinthians 12:9

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