In this post, I want to continue on the topic of inner peace and its fruit. Let’s look at Matthew 14 again.
About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” 27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” 28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” 29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. 31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”Matthew 14:25-31 NLT
Peter’s focus on Christ and faith in Him resulted in a miracle that was not possible if he had done the logical thing and stayed in the boat. The wind and waves that created the storm which was intended by the enemy to harm the disciples became the platform that Peter walked on. The very thing that wanted to take his life was forced to carry him to Jesus. Isn’t that beautiful?
As believers in Christ, I believe we are called to step out in faith in circumstances that would normally be perilous. The storms of life that come at us can and should be used to bring us closer to Jesus, not destroy us.
I had a vision a few months back in which I saw many interwoven golden lines. They connected people and events together and represented God’s intricate plan for everyone. I saw that it was all connected. Then I saw the enemy try to destroy God’s connections. However, each time he moved something out of place, God moved two or three new things into place to compensate, making it even better than before. So the enemy was wasting his time touching anything, and I saw that the more the enemy touched God’s plans, the better it became for believers.
This is confirmed in scripture; God will always use everything in our lives to draw us closer to him when we love Him and are walking in His will. (Romans 8:28)
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.Romans 8:28 NLT
Yet sadly, we will not get to this place if we are cowering with fear “in the boat” with other people. God is calling you to greater things, and it’s up to you to step out in faith and fix your eyes on Him.
There seems to be a common thought that many people have, including Christians, which sounds something like: “I need to know what’s going on in the world to know how to deal with it”. However, respectfully I don’t see how this lines up with scripture. God didn’t tell the Israelites to think about how many ways they could die in the wilderness. He asked them to trust Him. As it turned out, it was their focus on the carnal (things of this world) that kept leading them astray. Time after time God performed miracles for His chosen people, but they kept forgetting the miracles past and started to complain about a new problem. Because of their lack of faith in God, they were refused His promised rest. Hebrews 3 and 4 put this very clearly.
That is why the Holy Spirit says, “Today when you hear his voice, 8 don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness. 9 There your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years. 10 So I was angry with them, and I said, ‘Their hearts always turn away from me. They refuse to do what I tell them.’ 11 So in my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”Hebrews 3:7-11 NLT
The Israelites tested God in the wilderness despite seeing miracles for forty years. They had a habit of seeing what was wrong – no water, no food, hostile nations, etc. instead of focusing on God who always provided a solution. This habit of testing God was attributed to unbelief. And it is written that without faith it is impossible to please God.
So it is clear that focusing on the troubles and worries of the world can lead to unbelief if left long enough. And if God became angry with His chosen people, will He not be angry with gentiles who do not listen to His voice? Therefore it is crucial we fix our eyes on Jesus and stop looking at the circumstances around us.
Where is Jesus calling you right now? What is he whispering to you in the secret place? Be obedient to Him, and watch Him perform miracles in your life. There is a promise from Jesus I want to leave with you.
Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”John 14:21 NLT
Jesus promises that those who obey His commandments will be loved by Him and will see Him!