Thursday, January 21, 2010

steps, leaps, decisions, choices...

The pavement beneath my feet burned as I stood on the pool deck. I stared at the reflection of a five-year old and knew I'd never be the leaper. The one who recklessly flung into unknown waters was also the one who could suffer from cold-water shock, water displacement through the nostrils, and brain freeze.

If you're anything like the five-year old me, we were the ones who splashed the pavement we were standing on to cool it off and sit on the deck while we lightly dipped our feet into the pool. Then, after the water was temperate, we'd slowly wade in. Knees, waist, neck, final drop in the water.


I'm not a leaper. But that doesn't mean I don't take steps. People speak about spiritual matters as leaps of faith. And I sure there are those who dive head first into the pool of faith, leaping recklessly without fear. Then there are those who, at the cross-roads of decision making, suffer from analysis paralysis.

Peter was called by God on the Sea of Galilee in a tumultuous storm. Why did the Lord call Peter out of the boat and not the other disciples? There were eleven other disciples in the boat, yet only one asked. Perhaps God is calling you out to take a step in a tumultuous storm. How will you respond? In times of decision making, here's what we can learn from Pete:

1. Ask in prayer. The other disciples didn't ask; therefore, they were not invited by Christ to step out. Don't be afraid to ask. He may not always respond with the answer we hoped for, but He will respond.

2. Seek God's will. What did Peter ask for? He asked for Christ's Word: If it's you... tell me... He sought the Lord first. The goal in taking steps of faith is obedience to the will of our Lord. Faith is not a tool to achieve our own agenda. Peter wasn't making demands or claiming his "right" to walk on water. He was humbly asking for God to show Himself true.

3. Faith waits on the Lord. Peter isn't a leaper. I like him. He's normal. After Pete asked, he waited. Or as I like to say, waded :) The faith that walks on water is faith that waits on God until He answers. Many teachers love this vivid metaphor for believing God for great things. We love to hear about action, the excitement of taking leaps of faith. It's highly empowering, motivating, and inspiring. Yes, I want to take a leap of faith! I want to walk on water! I want to get out of the boat! But Peter didn't get out of the boat until the Lord responded. And, I might add, he didn't leap. He simply took a step.

So, are you sitting in a boat? Have you asked the Lord to call you? Are you at least taking a step? You might not be a leaper... but does it really matter? Just take one step. That's all you need you need to do before walking on water.

22 comments:

James said...

Wow. Wow. I needed to read this.

I need to get out of the boat. I know God is calling me to do something for work but I keep just sitting here because I didn't want to take a leap.

But I know I just need to take the first step. If this is not what God wants me to do, then the doors will close. But if it IS his will, then everything will be successful.

christy said...

I LOVE THIS POST!! (especially the waded part:) ha ha...I am always envious of those that hear the calling and jump right in...i always wondered if there might have been something wrong on my part...but your words are very encouraging!

Michelle said...

Stepper Here.
Leaping not so much. Too intimidating.
Stepping I can handle.
One step at a time. :)

Monica Pereyra said...

When my son started to learn to walk. I remember thinking of Peter. In the same calling Jesus had, I called my son over to me. He looked a little scared and unsure about standing on his own two little feet on this new thing called the ground.
He started off slow and wobbly however the more I encouraged him the more he trusted me. He started to walk and almost run. It was so funny.. What a true picture of a child that has trust in their parent. As I sat there on the floor with my arms out waiting with excitement for my son to come I envisioned the Lord the same way. He is waiting for us to walk over to His outstretched arms.
Its hard to step out of the boat, and hard for a toddler to walk, but I pray that I have the same courage and trust that my son had in me. I may walk with wobbly legs through the storm for awhile but with my eyes on Jesus I know I will find myself running through it to Him...
Thank you Bianca, this is the perfect morning for me to be reminded that we don’t need to takes leaps of faith but sometimes need to start off with baby steps.

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

AWESOME post!!! I truly loved this and needed the reminder, and frankly, subtle push. : )

Stephanie said...

For me it's a bit different. On my own I'm a leaper. I leap out and do my own thing, make my own plans, follow my own will, and often it's all in disobedience. God has called me to a life of stepping, of waiting, of seeking... Left to my own devices I am impulsive and often times selfish. I'm learning to listen to that still, small voice, and to follow His guidance, even when it's not what I want...

Bianca said...

Glad we're in the same boat.

Get it? Same boat? Ha! I crack myself up.

Just to clarify, I do believe at times, we need to leap... or hop. But if our decisions are intentional and thought-out, we'll recognize a closed door and not move forward.

The last time I leaped, I fell. I'm a clutz. Just letting you know :)

Cristina Alyssa said...

I'm in the boat. Well half way. I think He's calling me out. But I'm afraid I'm putting those voices in my head. But I have faith that if He isn't calling me out, maybe He'll stop me. If I'm in His word constantly, would it be likely that He could potentially let me sink a little to teach me a lesson? I don't doubt it, but I feel like everything is going right, that it's all His control.

I have the faith, but I'm not sure it's enough. I want to make sure it's His voice.

Cristina Alyssa said...

oh! and I think I'm a leaper usually, but people and their opinions scare me.

Rumplestiltskin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Great post!!!! I can say for myself that I am out of the boat. Right foot on the water, left foot up in the air. Keeping my eyes on Jesus as I try to take the next step. Trying really hard not to doubt and start sinking. :)

LOVE you!

~Maria

The Montgomerys said...

I love Peter, he's passionate, he's real, he makes mistakes but truly loved the Lord. I loved the comment about the baby learning how to walk and how that is an example of us and God. I so agree from my experience with my own kids how we are there reaching out if they just take those first steps! Also when Peter took his eyes off of the Lord, he fell...right? That is so true about our own walks with the Lord, we need to keep our eyes on Him or else we will never make it. I needed to read this as well. I'm usually one that needs everything mapped out and planned before I go forward. I'm so not a "Leaper" :)Awesome post! Thank you!
God Bless <3
Monica

D to the G said...

Ever seen the movie What About Bob where he reads the book BABY STEPS? At times I feel like im taking baby steps ha!
Im not a leaper, tho I have taken some leaps before....I noticed that I leaped because I was impatient and wanted a quick answer. From my leaping experiences I take steps as I see the Lord opening doors. If he shuts them I don't bother. I leave it in prayer and let His Holy Spirit guide me as I wait.

Jenn said...

Thank you for this lovely post! Just what I needed to read this afternoon. Thank you for sharing so transparently and beautifully! hugs, Jenn

Mommaloo said...

most of the time...i'm probably a stepper. Today...I am drowning in the ocean

Matthew T. said...

I see this as slow and steady wins the race, you don't want to rush, just take your steps first.

Anonymous said...

@Bianca.....Are you a dog trainer?

Laurel said...

We took a HUGE leap of faith this past summer (walked away from ALL of our security) and we are walking on water (or, as the case may be ... living on a little island in the middle of the water).

Loving this journey that the Lord has called our family too, even though "the world" thought we were completely foolish to get out of the nice secure boat that we had been riding in for 21 years.

My husband and I are big "leapers", but when we see our 6 young adults begin to leap, I think we sometimes want them to slow down and step slowly instead. Then, they look at us and say, "But you are the ones that taught us to leap out in faith!"

Hugs!

mama of many

Christa said...

Great post! Steps are still progress no matter now big or small they may be :)

Carlos said...

Bam.
Thank you for this...
Los

Diandra Ann said...

Love it! Even though I was TOTALLY a leaper! Water up the nose and everything! :)

Dionna said...

It's been a delight to discover your blog today. A lot of your posts and what you are trying to get people to think about... I can really relate. My passion is to get people to take their faith more seriously and live it out.

Keep it up.

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