Looking back throughout the stories of the Bible, one thing remains consistent: transition requires courage.
One story from the Gospels that I always seem to resonate with is from Matthew 14. The disciples have just spent the entire day with Jesus feeding the thousands and are now on their way back across the Sea of Galilee when they see a figure on the water. Jesus reveals that it is him, and Peter, at a moment’s notice, says, “Jesus! If it is you, tell me to come!”
While many have been critical of Peter, I want to celebrate his courage to do what the other disciples didn’t dare to do. He had the mindset, heart, and determination to be with Jesus at all costs, including the supernatural task of walking on a body of water.
There is a task God is calling you to. Maybe you need to seek reconciliation in a relationship or step into a calling that seems too big for your hands. Whatever it is, be prepared to go outside of your comfort zone.
Where have you been so bold as to follow Jesus with extraordinary courage?
And if you haven’t, how can you learn to apply Peter’s heart to your life?
I.Be Obedient to What God is Asking You to Do (vs. 22)
“Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side.”
The disciples proved that they respected and honored Jesus with their obedience to go back across the sea of Galilee.
Immediately is a word that represents priority. Therefore, as a child of God, we must be immediate in our attention to the Father, especially when He asks us to do something. And we prove that His priorities take precedence when we are willing to obey Him.
II.There Will Be Storms (vs. 24)
“But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.”
Sometimes in your obedience to God, you may face difficult moments in life.
Even though the disciples listened to God and are now in the middle of what Jesus told them to do, they are being tossed by the waves brought on by a contrary wind. As you consider their storm, how does it also represents the roadblocks, hurtful words, and even closed doors that may block you from where you see yourself thriving?
The complicated part is that sometimes you will find yourself in a storm, even though you have done exactly what God told you to do. It was never promised to us that life would be peaches and cream when we obey the word of God. But, quite often, when you follow Jesus, all hell will break loose.
However, I want to encourage you not to get discouraged; don’t blame God. Sometimes you have to face some tough weather, and that’s okay.
So why do we experience rough winds in our obedience?
I believe they provide lessons to learn from while boosting our faith in God by leaps and bounds. The storms of life prepare our character for the future.
When I was a newlywed, there was a season when our finances needed time to level out. One month in particular, I didn’t think I had enough money to pay our electric bill. But in a short time between when that bill came in the mail and the due date, I saw God in the miraculous as He provided for that bill. This storm helped me as a pastor when I had to pay an electric bill that was thousands more! It helped me to rely on the truth that if God took care of me back then, He would take care of me now!
God is not surprised by the storms that surround us. In fact, He is not taken off guard by any of it. And what may feel contrary to your calling is actually going to strengthen you for the winds to come.
III.Make a Bold Request (vs.27- 28)
“But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’ And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You in the water.’”
Peter made a bold request in asking Jesus to call him to walk upon the water.
Transitions sometimes require us to make a bold request. These are the things that don’t logically make sense or don’t add up in the natural world. But, they are circumstances in which we need the courage to ask.
I remember making a bold request when I was dating Trina, the First Lady. One Saturday, I went out and bought an engagement ring and locked it in the glove compartment of my car. I said, “Lord if she is the one, have her ask me why my glove compartment is locked.” Now, she had never fussed about this tiny box in the dashboard before, so if she were to ask me that very question, well, that would be God’s miraculous work.
The following day, I picked her up for church, and as soon as she got in my car, she said, “I lost my glasses, and I can’t find them.” Looking around the passenger seat, she finally reached for the handle on the glove compartment. Finding it locked, she asked, “Why is the glove box locked?” To which I had no words. After all, I thought I had decades before she would ask that!
To walk in faith, you must ask God your bold requests and watch how He responds.
IV.Move Out of Your Comfort Zone (vs. 29)
“So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.”
Peter actually climbed out of the boat – his comfort vessel. And as followers of Christ, we are required to do the same.
Get out of your normalcy, mediocrity, and routine. God is calling you to get out of what you’re comfortable in and move into an arena that is uncomfortable!
As a young boy, I never figured myself to be a pastor or public speaker. Knowing now that I preach to thousands every week, you probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you that I couldn’t talk in front of people. However, I decided to escape that fearful thinking and began teaching a Sunday school class as a teenager. (I was teaching children and was only a child myself!)
If you are scared to do something, all you have to do is take the first step and get comfortable with
where you are being called.
Don’t confine what God wants to do because you fear something. Instead, allow Him to grow you in boldness and strength.
Did you know the word for walk in Greek means “take advantage of the opportunity”?
Some of you missed out on an opportunity God brought you because you were scared to take it. So go through the door, take the first step, and climb out of the boat.
Transition requires courage to be bold enough and brave enough.
Be courageous; say yes to God.