Thursday, January 21, 2010
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.