Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Thursday, October 13, 2016

When God Calls You to Go Farther and Deeper

“Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted." Matthew 14:29‭-‬30 NLT
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When I was a kid, I ejoyed going to the beach. We didn't go often, but when we did it was a real treat. The sand offered endless opportunities for playing and the water, well for me then was more for viewing.

Back then I could not swim at all. I can barely swim now. What kept me from learning was my fear of drowning (I know weird right?). So I could never get to the comfort level needed to even float, much more to swim. But I would get brave enough to walk to the water's edge and get my feet wet.

I remember standing there as the waves rushed over my feet. That felt good. Added to the cool ocean breeze on my face and the sun on my shoulders, it was fantastic. I'd sometimes get caugt up into the beauty of the ocean and cautiously walk out a little farther. Then I could feel the foamy water on my knees. I'd go yet a little farther. That is until I could feel the current pulling the sand out from under my feet. Then I'd quikly retreat.   See I would venture out only as far as I felt I was strong enough and capable enough to stand up on my own.

I've faced that in other areas of my life; in fact I'm facing a situation like that now. I'm sure you can relate. You find yourself in a place  where it feels like the waves of life are pulling the sand from under your feet. It's too scary of a feeling when you can no longer trust your own abilites, so you feel the urge to retreat.

But...what if God is calling you to go further...to step out deeper? That's how He called Peter. Peter wasn't called to swim in the water. He was called to walk on it. Everything in this natural world was telling him he couldn't do that, but a God with supernatural powers was telling him he could. So...he stepped out.

But just like me and just like you, Peter experienced the terror of no longer being able to trust his own ability to stand. Like when I was a kid at the beach feeling the sand being pulled from beneathbmy feet, his mind lost focus of Jesus and turned to his own limitations. He took his trust from Jesus and placed them upon himself. He thought about how he couldn't do what he was already doing.  And so he began to sink.

Do you know what Jesus said to Peter? Not, "Oh ye of little ability", or "Oh yeah of little knowledge", and not even "Oh ye of little courage". He said, "Oh ye of little faith". You see when Peter stepped out of the boat, it was not water he was walking on. It was faith.

And so, I encourage you as I encourage myself. Don't place your faith in your own abilities or knowledge. In times of testing you will find they will let you down about as quick as my little legs at the water's edge. Place your trust in an all powerful and all loving saviour whose name is Jesus. Then you'll go farther and deeper than you've ever been before.

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