Stepping Out in the Deep

Published August 6, 2013 by Dawn

“Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you.”

Peter is one guy I just cannot figure out. One day, full of faith and adventure, the next, reacting in fear to everything. Peter was the guy who stepped out in deep water at the call of Christ. Three seconds later, he was pleading to be saved from the wind around him. So human. So very much like me.

I know Peter was a fisherman, but it is possible that Peter did not know how to swim? He started to sink and instead of swimming, cried out to Jesus to save him. Seems strange that Peter would be in a profession that endangered his well-being every time he shoved off from shore, but highly possible given the scriptures in Matthew 14. The one thought that must have been at the forefront of his mind when he asked Jesus to call him out onto the waves probably sounded like this: “If that’s not Jesus, I’m a dead guy.” Peter was one of those guys who put all his eggs in one basket and hoped for the best. Peter had a tendency to act now and think later. His faith was built by repeated failure. The world today has no place for men and women like Peter. “Are you sure you wanna do that? Are you sure it’s God, cause if it’s not, you’re gonna drown!” If John would have squinted into the darkness and said to Peter, “You sure that’s Jesus?”, would Peter have hesitated and lost the opportunity to have his faith built in the Lord? I wonder how many of us take the well-meaning advice of others over the command of Christ to step out into deep water and walk with him?

The first step is terrifying, to say the least. It’s that moment of full surrender, and the truth is, there’s only two outcomes possible: sink or swim. If it’s Jesus, you’ll walk. If it’s not, you’ll sink. You’ll drown. Quite terrifying. It’s all on Him. No life jacket, no way back into that boat. You gotta walk. Can you? Look at Peter. He identified the voice, surrendered to it and stepped out. Eyes on Christ, he did the impossible. The moment his eyes fell to the circumstances around him, he lost faith and faltered. He began to sink. Jesus was the only one who could save him. He reached up and grabbed the Hand of God and was pulled to safety. Look at the testimony. Look at the faith built in to Peter. Peter knew without a doubt who Christ was. “You are the Christ, the son of the living God!” His fears worked against him, sure. His reactions to Jesus weren’t always the most faithful, but he knew the Lord. And when the Lord’s work was completed in him, God used him to heal and save thousands. Simple Peter. Fisherman turned a Fisher of Men. All because he was willing to step away from his family’s trade and follow the Father. All because he was willing to step out of the boat without a life jacket and trust all to Jesus.

Lord,
Make me more like Peter. I long to do all that you have spoken into my heart, but here I stand with a John behind me saying, “Are you sure that’s Jesus?” And Lord, I’m sorry that I have listened. Call me out onto the water once again, draw my attention to your face and allow me to walk with you. This boat has become so uncomfortable to me. I want to be where you are, where you are calling me to. I want to be beside you walking the path you have planned for me before time began. I love you!

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2 comments on “Stepping Out in the Deep

  • An absolutely beautiful piece. The story about walking on water is one of my favorites in all the bible. So clearly we get the messege to keep our eyes on Jesus. Stay focused on Jesus our Saviour. I am guilty of taking my eyes off of Jesus at pivital times in my life and have rued the day bitterly. Yet still I continue to question, to listen to “John” behind me asking if I am sure.

    One thing Jesus has made abundantly clear throughout the bible and throughout my personal experiences is that there will be times when we will have to stand apart from the crowd. There will be times we will be tested. Others will be nay-sayers and we may feel conflicted but we are to follow Christ in what we know to be true and have faith in Him. I am now so thankful for those lessens because it is a faithbuilding excercise. It teaches me NOT to be part of the crowd shouting “crucify Him!”

    One day many MANY people will follow false teachers and even one impersonating Christ. We must know of whom we belong. We must keep our eyes on Him and know His word. He promises that no one who is in His hand can be plucked from Him.

    • Amen! … to all of that! I am guilty to. I’ve stepped out before and longed for the “safety” of the boat, but something is missing when you stay there: it’s the adventure of walking with Him. Of taking risks and seeing His faithfulness. If you rely on the boat, you rely less on His ability.

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