Monday 30 April 2012

Time to walk on the water

Last May, I posted a blog titled "A New Take On The Bible". It was referring to the story of Jesus walking on the water and was written from Peter's perspective. As is often the case, God likes to tell us more and more about the same passage of scripture, and so I've decided after sitting on this for a few months that it's time to share it.

 22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
 Matthew 14 v 22-33, NKJV

 Starting from the beginning of the passage, the disciples had nothing to worry about. Jesus told them to "go before Him to the other side", yet I don't think they realised this when they were stuck in the middle of the sea, as the waves and wind tossed them around.
Jesus spoke into the situation, told them the outcome, and then sent them on their way. Often, we fail to hear what Jesus has spoken to us (ignore the promise) and we worry about our circumstances instead! Human nature hasn't changed much in 2000 years.
So in the middle of the night, the disciples are asleep and Peter is the watchman. Thinking about this story, it really would have only worked as well as it did if Peter was involved, the impulsive disciple, was the one to act first and think after. He was probably a bit bleary eyed when he saw Jesus- even though he didn't realise who it was coming towards him. The fright of what he saw would have woken him immediately.

Jesus was walking on the water- what a strange thing to do! Peter wanted some of this so he asked Jesus and was told to come. Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on the water to Jesus, but fear got into him and Jesus had to grab him as he called out "Lord, save me!"

So that's the story, but what was happening? Peter allowed his circumstances to become bigger than his God. He saw the wind and the waves and their movement distracted him from Jesus. He didn't realise that God was more in his circumstances than he knew.
This is always the case with God. He is always more involved in our situations than we will ever know. He holds us in the palm of His hand.

Now this is where it gets interesting. Jesus told the parable of the man who built his house on the rock and the man who built his house on the sandy land Matthew 7 v 23-25, NKJV. I heard it preached once that the difference is that the man who built his house on the rock was building it on the solid truth of God. Sand is made out of many tiny bits of rock, little bits of truth. When there is no foundation of God in our lives, or we just like little bits of Him, our houses fall down.

On Sunday last, Gerry Butcher demonstrated what it would be like if we only drank on a Sunday and didn't for the rest of the week. We would die of thirst. As in the natural, so in the spiritual. We drink of the Holy Spirit on a Sunday and forget Him for the rest of the week, we shrivel up and die.

Jesus was demonstrating how the Christian life should be lived when He came to the disciples on the water. Jesus spent time with the Father, was (is) the Son of God and was walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.
All through the Bible, the Holy Spirit is mentioned in in a similar way to water. The Holy Spirit is poured out, we are filled up, baptised in and by Him.
When Jesus walked on water, He was demonstrating that when your firm foundation is the impossible God, the impossible becomes possible.
When you are grounded in the Holy spirit, the impossible becomes possible, supernatural becomes natural.
Walking on the water wasn't just a shortcut to the other side of the lake. Walking on water was Jesus showing us how to live our lives. Peter sank because he took his eyes off Jesus. He let the circumstances overwhelm him.

Fix your eyes on Jesus today, spend time with the Father and allow the Holy Spirit to carry you into the impossible.

Roger C.

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