“And He said, ‘Come.’ And Peter, having descended from the boat, walked upon the water and came to Jesus.” Matthew 14:29 (Berean Literal Bible)
“Though the road be rough and stormy,
Trackless as the foaming sea,
Thou hast trod this way before me,
And I gladly follow Thee.
I will follow Thee, my Savior,
Thou didst shed Thy blood for me;
And though all men should forsake Thee,
By Thy grace I’ll follow Thee..”
James Elginburg, I Will Follow Thee (1871)
- You’ve done it. You have moved toward your Savior and He sees you. Grab your Bible and enjoy Matthew 14:25-33. Record verse 29 in your journal or on your index cards. Meditate on taking that first step to obey Jesus. Let us remember that He wants us to walk with Him; His hand is extended toward you, mama.
Walking on Water
I’m a sucker for new things. Even grocery shopping thrills me. Be it a bag of apples or rolls of toilet paper, the newness awakens my appreciation for life. The New Year is no exception. When I sit down with a planner to look at the year ahead, I see a book overflowing with possibilities. At times, I’m filled with anticipation paralysis. I imagine Peter took that first step into the water with a mixture of wonder and fear, yet he still took it. He obeyed the call of his friend, his Master, and He walked on water!
Peter moved toward the new and unknown because he saw Jesus in front of him. We read in the Bible how God calls us to new things (Isaiah 43:19) and loves bringing us new mercies every day (Lamentations 3:22-23)! When we step into something new, we are not alone. Today you get to choose to step out of the boat and move toward Jesus or to stay where you are. Your choice to obey should be based not on what happened yesterday, but by the fresh start Christ offers you right now.
Listen to Oswald Chambers’ challenge in My Utmost for His Highest: “Loyalty to Jesus means I have to step out where I do not see anything (Matthew 14:29); loyalty to my notions means that I clear the ground first by my intelligence. Faith is not intellectual understanding, faith is deliberate commitment to a Person where I see no way.”
Peter, as an intelligent man, could have thought of many reasons why he wanted to stay in the boat. Friends, stop planning your obedience. You will second guess each action until you have completely forgotten about Christ’s extended hand of help and direction. John 2:5 (BLB) reminds me of the simplicity of our obedience when Mary directs, “Whatever He may say to you, do it.” Do it. This first step must be “deliberate commitment…where [you] see no way” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest).
There is no doubt that Peter only began to sink once the waves became his focus, not Jesus. Unlike Peter who started to sink when he took his eyes off Jesus, may we keep our eyes on Jesus and make obedience our goal! Be encouraged by John 8:12, “… I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Friends, Jesus wants to walk with you. He wants you to invite Him into your day and to let the Holy Spirit change the way you respond to Him in faith.
After reading James 1:19-20, where Scripture exhorts us to be quick to listen and slow to anger, I realized that I had to learn how to step out in a deliberate commitment of faith in my own life. Letting go of my anger wasn’t comfortable and my temper raged. My anger was creating a crisis in our home. I wasn’t acting like the woman of God that I longed to be. Becoming slow to anger was foreign and uncomfortable; anger made me feel as though I was strong. But God was calling me to surrender to Him. By reading God’s Word, I learned that I could feel strong and didn’t need to hold on to aggression. Leaving my past behind and moving forward with God’s Word, equipped me and strengthened me.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- The New Year always represents a fresh start. In what area do you feel God is asking you to step out in faith like Peter? What is your “something new?” Where have you held back in obedience to Christ this last year, and how will you move toward obedience now? Who do you need to apologize to or hold yourself accountable to as you change?
Christ wants to assure us as His children that He is for us and not against us. Memorizing Scripture helped me to focus on where God was leading me. Here are verses to give you strength in your fight for new growth:
- Isaiah 41:13, “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’”
- James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
- Isaiah 40:31, “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”