On the Second Row… “It’s Time to Get Out of the Boat”
Ever been in a situation where God has called you to do something, and you’ve been scared to do what He asks? I know I have. Sometimes when God asks us to do something, it seems impossible (or at least really inconvenient).
“Jesus, how am I going to pay my bills if I give this money to that person in need?”
“Jesus, I am already out of time. I am on a deadline for everything. What do you mean I should volunteer to help with VBS?”
“Jesus, all I want to do is sit home and watch television. Why do I have to be the one to pray for my sick neighbor? Can’t you send someone else?”
Any of those sound familiar?
At WPT Chalmette Campus, Pastor Derek preached a powerful message this week about taking a step of faith out of our comfort zones and into the destiny that God has for us and avoiding our enemies, “shoulda,” “coulda,” and “woulda” in the process.
In Matthew 14:22-31, Jesus has just done a miraculous work by feeding 5,000 with just a little bread and a couple fish. Immediately after, the Bible says Jesus insists that His Disciples get in the boat. Jesus doesn’t go with them, though. He goes off alone to pray while they set sail.
Then there is a storm.
I bet the Disciples thought to themselves, “Jesus, if you are the Messiah, didn’t you KNOW there would be a storm? Why did you leave me here alone? Why would you leave me at the time when I need you the most?”
And when Jesus does finally show up in the midst of the storm, they don’t even recognize Him. Instead the Disciples think He is a ghost. That part makes me laugh, but you know what? Sometimes when what I am facing is unbelievable and even scary, I mistake the Jesus I see in my situation, too.
To alleviate their fears, Jesus tells the men:
It’s alright! I am here! Don’t be afraid!
Peter, James, John, and Andrew are all in the boat, but it is only Peter who asks Jesus if it is really Him to invite Peter to walk on the water. And, of course, Jesus tells him, “Yes, come.” Peter gets out of the boat and heads towards Jesus and then…he second guesses what is happening and starts to sink.
Pastor Derek said that many people get hung up on Peter doubting what was happening when he stepped out of the boat. But at least he got out of the boat, right? The others didn’t even do that. They sat in the boat, dealing with their circumstances without even knowing that their lives could change in an instant.
And from this moment on, Peter’s life changed drastically, didn’t it? He was never the same. He was a “water walker.” Instead of just holding onto the boat, Peter held onto Jesus’ word instead. He didn’t just step out onto the water. He stepped into a new level of faith.
Pastor Derek reminded us that “Sinking is better than sitting.” We won’t regret sinking, but we will regret sitting back and doing nothing for God. Sometimes we get really comfortable where we are. Our lives are okay. We haven’t found ourselves in a crisis, or if we have, we choose to ignore it. We spend very little time with God, reading the Word, or praying. And pretty soon, we are snoozing and do not recognize that the people around us are lost and in need of help. And sometimes, we find that before we know it, we are off course and drifting out to sea. We are in need of rescue when our job really is to help rescue others.
Let’s not be the kind of church that ignores when Jesus is calling us to live lives of real faith. Let’s not miss an opportunity to step out of the boat. Let’s not be BOAT SITTERS but instead be WATER WALKERS!
I hope you were in the second row of a church somewhere this week. I hope you were in any row, actually. But if you still need a place to feel welcomed and loved, there is always a seat on the second row next to me reserved for you.
AND GUESS WHAT?
July 9-11 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. is VBS “Glow.” It is going to be fantastic! If you have children, make sure to sign them up, and when you do, why don’t you step out of the boat and volunteer to help the event be successful? Pastor Adam is having a meeting for all volunteers on Wednesday, July 6, at 7:00 p.m. at the Chalmette Campus.
May 16, 2018