Friday, February 29, 2008

A Leap of Faith - Feb 29

Couldn't resist posting as Feb. 29th comes only once every four years. Hard to say whether this blog will still be active on February 29th, 2012. Maybe or maybe not. Nevertheless, with this 'leap' idea in mind comes today's devotional:

Jesus Walks on Water

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

"Come," he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

When they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." (Matthew 14:25-32)

Here are a couple of thoughts that come to mind:

This Is Likely A Literal Event

Oh, how the intelligientsia and the sophisticates of our day love to discredit the plain wording of the Bible! Seeing as this is a historical event, one that cannot be easily reproduced, we have to take the play-by-play of Matthew at face value. I do believe Christ literally walked on water as did the apostle Peter. Many people (including those in the church) love to take an allegorical approach, a sort of deconstructionism that deprives Jesus of His supernatural authority over nature. Mother Nature can be believed, but Father God cannot.

The Fourth Watch

I think (though don't quote me on this) that the fourth watch was between midnight and 6 a.m.. We can reasonably expect that it was damp, dark and cold. Isn't it interesting that Jesus chooses to make a miraculous entrance at such an unlikely time? 'God will answer this way and in this time', we reason according to our human wisdom and experience. I can absolutely guarantee you those in the boat did not expect Jesus to come at that time and in that manner. When we deal with God we should do the same. So often we put a sovereign God in a box and don't allow Him to work outside of our assumed parameters. We serve a big God. Our faith ought to properly reflect that.

An Untested And Unsure Faith

There is no doubt in my mind that Peter was a man of great faith. Jesus saw that too, but He also saw an immature faith that needed work. The joy in Peter's heart in getting out of the boat to greet Jesus on the water must have been immense! Yet a storm develops, that initial joy turns into fear and Peter immediately begins to sink. Peter failed to anticipate adversity. Many Christians (particularly the new ones) do the exact same thing. We get the false impression that once we give our lives to Christ that it's smooth sailing from here on in. However, Jesus said on the Sermon on the Mount:

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)

Hey, don't you feel 'blessed' after reading that? Please don't fail in anticipating adversity in your relationship with God. God wants you to have a mature faith. You may believe as you wish, but an untested faith is an unsure one.

The Other Disciples In The Boat

So often we fail to notice the third party in this miracle, namely the other disciples in the boat. This is the real tragedy of the story. I'm referring to those Christians who have built a 'comfort zone' around their faith. They may be saved and have eternal life but rarely do they go out on a limb in trusting God's powers. Which is not to say that we should tempt God. Indeed that is a sin! A dull, colorless and stale faith with which we have grown accustomed to causes us to miss out on God's best. I think God wants us to be a Peter. Even if it means we look a bit foolish in the process! A Christian that is concerned about their reputation before Man will never get to 'walk on water'. God wants you to live victoriously in Him. Will you get out of the boat and begin to trust Him today?

Johnny Cash

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