Meditations by John Dean

Monday, December 5, 2011

Get Out Of the Boat

(Matthew 14:27-29 KJV) But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 

When Jesus said to his disciples, “Be not afraid,” what He was saying to them was “Do not dwell in the natural realm.” Fear is never found in the spiritual realm, but fear is always found in the natural realm. The disciples had just enjoyed a spiritual outpouring of the Lord before getting into the boat and now they have already moved back into natural thinking. When Jesus came to them walking on the water He was still moving in the spiritual realm. The fact is, the natural realm is always shocked by what goes on in the spiritual realm. That is why Jesus said, “Be not afraid.”

The reason this scripture is so exciting to me is because I can imagine myself, like Peter, asking Jesus the same question under the same circumstances. “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.”

The reason I love Peter so much is because he was willing to risk failing in order to possibly win. I am sure he was criticized by the other disciples for making such a request of Jesus, because the “no risk-takers/ boat dwellers” will always criticize forward thinking risk-takers.

I like to think that the reason Jesus chose Peter as a disciple was because Jesus counted Peter’s risk-taking as a virtue that would be needed among His other disciples.

My entire life has been one of taking risks and walking on the edge. However, there was a time...back when my youngest daughter was only two years old...that I began to take a few less risks because of my love for her. I am by nature a very protective type person, particularly when it came to my little daughter.

One Sunday after church, my wife, my little daughter and I were sitting in a restaurant having lunch with a friend. All of a sudden my two year old daughter jumped up in her chair and shouted, “Matthew 14:29, Matthew 14:29.”  My wife and I looked at each other in shock, but we could not remember what that scripture actually said. We immediately grabbed our Bible and saw that it had to do with Peter getting out of the boat. We knew the Lord had just spoken to us and we even felt a little rebuke for even considering being safe boat dwellers.

The prophetic word that the Lord gave us through our baby that day set the course for the rest of our lives and we never looked back. From that day to this we have never considered being conservative boat dwellers again. In fact if God does not firm the water under our feet each day—we sink.

I am sure there are many today who are wrestling with the whole idea of getting out of the boat. I would never try to minimize the faith it takes to trust God for each daily step. However, this kind of faith does not come from man, it can only come from God. This is the God kind of faith that He gives to those who are desperate enough to get out of the boat and go to Jesus, even if they might sink.

Help all of us to be desperate enough for You that we would risk our own flesh sinking. Lord, help our focus to be on You and not on those who may be criticizing our feeble efforts to come to You. Lord help us to keep in mind that both the boat dwellers and non-boat dwellers belong to You as did all the disciples.

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