Lord, is it You? How to Know if You Should Take that Big Step of Faith
Following a full day of preaching and ministering (two different things), Jesus needed some time to himself. He asked the disciples to take their boat across the sea to Capernaum. Jesus then went up a mountain to pray. When He returned, Jesus saw the boat – which was rowing against the wind, straining to get to the other side. (Matthew 14:22-33;Mark 6:45-52; John 6:16-25)
Jesus began to walk on the water. Presumably to meet them on the other side of the sea at Bethsaida where He instructed them to go earlier in the day.
The Bible then records the extreme reaction of the apostles after they caught sight of Jesus on the water.
When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and cried out in fear. Matthew 14:26
The disciples exhibited terrified overreactions. These types of reactions are a picture of the world — which will not understand how or why Christians are able to exercise their faith in unique ways. They will call it supernatural or be fearful of those actions.
Jesus – who intended to be pass the disciples by (Mark 6:48), responded calmly and succinctly when He said, “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” Note that Jesus is always able to calmly reassure us and quick to take away our worry in times of terror and fear.
“Lord, if it is You,” Peter replied, “command me to come to You on the water.” “Come,” said Jesus. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. Matthew 14:28-29
The story ends with Peter sinking into the water, after first taking several steps on top of it, and being pulled out of the water by Christ – who says to Peter, ““You of little faith,” He said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31) before they made they climbed back into the boat.
My Own Steps of Faith
Today, I left my job at a Christian radio station to devote all my time and attention to Testimony House. I have left paycheck jobs to pursue Christ before. I know what it is like to take big steps of faith. Like Peter, I have felt the firmness of water under my feet as I kept my eyes focused on Christ as God provided for me in ways that made no sense to everyone watching. I also know times of sinking when I began to look down at my circumstances and doubted where I was heading.
I love this picture of Jesus and Peter walking on water because to write God’s sentence all believers should encounter moments like these – where you are about to do something that looks crazy to the world, but God has told you to go anyway and to not be afraid in the process.
I want to highlight a few points from the previously mentioned sections of Scripture to help guide you make or not make a big step of faith in your life next time the opportunity arises.
YOUR STEPS OF FAITH
1) Have you spent time alone with God?
As much as this is a story of Peter faith fully waking on water it is also the story of Jesus doing it first. Before Jesus takes the steps out onto the water, He spends time with God alone in prayer. No big step of faith in your life should be taken without time devoted to prayer.
2) Are you willing to step out in faith even if no one will see it?
Jesus didn’t originally intend to be seen by the disciples. He was simply using His faith to get where God wanted Him to go. Are you able to do and go where God wants without the need of an audience? Some of us might feel a desire to step out in faith just because it will make a scene or it will make us look or feel important. However, you should be willing to take big steps of faith in your life simply for the audience of one.
3) Are there people in your life who are worried about what you are doing?
The disciples had personally seen Jesus performed miracles. In fact, earlier that day they watched Jesus turn two fishes and some bread into enough food to feed thousands. Yet, when they saw Jesus walk on water they were terrified and fearful. I think it is because they had never seen something like it before.
Sometimes God will call you to take a big step of faith that requires you to do something that has never been done or is not “normal” behavior. If you are stepping out in faith, people should look at you doing something unique for God with funny faces or declare they are scared for your future. Don’t let that be the only reason you are dissuaded. Having faith to do the impossible allows God to be in control and get all the credit for when things go right.
4) Are you asking God, “Lord, is this you?” before you move?
A simple question can be all you need to ask before making a big step of faith. Peter saw Jesus walk on water. Peter wanted to use his faith like Christ. He asked, “Lord is this You?” before he took a step off the boat. Determining if your step of faith is towards God or away from Him can sometimes be found by asking this simple question.
5) Are you willing to keep your eyes on Jesus?
Peter didn’t start to slip into the water until he looked down. While his faith and eyes were focused on Jesus, his faith kept him standing tall on an unnaturally sturdy foundation. If you are about to take a big step of faith, it is important to know that your eyes need to stay fixed on Jesus. Looking at your circumstances or listening to the terror in the voices of the people who stayed faithlessly on the boat will only distract you from getting to the point God called you to come to.
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