Matthew 14:26-29 (MSG) 24-26 Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror. 27 But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.” 28 Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.” 29-30 He said, “Come ahead.”
You are being called out of the boat, into the water and into your next place of promise. Yes, you are being called to a place of promise. A place God has been preparing you for. A place of full circle, meaning, purpose and destiny.
Do you want to go there? Do you want to experience the life God created you for, to it’s fullest? Great, because today you take the next step.
Time and time again throughout scripture we see God calling his people out of their place of comfort and safety, to go on a journey that will change everything. Let me tell you, God’s still in the business of leading those kinds of journeys.
Peter was a fisherman. There was no where Peter was more comfortable than on a boat. And Jesus called him right out of the boat, literally. He said drop your nets and follow me. He also invited Peter to do the impossible with him, walk on water. Now imagine this scene. Jesus’ disciples are out on a boat and they are far from shore. Jesus has gone up on top of a mountain to pray. The disciples get themselves into some trouble with a wild storm at sea. All the while Jesus is watching them.
Now this alone should give us some confidence. It’s the middle of the night which means what … it means it was dark. The disciples are far from shore on a boat with no lights. I mean ya’ll it’s not like they were on a party barge with a disco light. And it’s not like Jesus had binoculars or a spotlight. They were out of sight. But Jesus had his eye on them. Through the distance and the darkness he could see them. And when they were in trouble, he went out to them. How did he get there? Oh, he did the impossible. He walked on water, because that’s what Jesus does.
And that’s what Jesus does today to get to you. He does the impossible. Perhaps you’re listening and your heart is burdened for someone who you fear is too far gone. You can’t reach them and their situation is hopeless. Here’s what you do, you continually bring them to the foot of the cross. You relentlessly pray for them. Watch Jesus do the impossible to reach them. Whatever their storm is, he’ll walk right through it.
We pick up in Matthew chapter 14, verse 26: “At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror.
Ahhhh yes, doesn’t this sound about right. Things are bad, real bad. Storms are raging and they’re in trouble and now something really scary shows up. A ghost. Now they’re crying. But all the while it was Jesus.
Could the scary thing that has shown up in the middle of your storm be Jesus? Could the thing that has you crying be your savior, but you just don’t recognize him. He’s been watching you. You have never been lost from his sight. And now here he is to save you, but it doesn’t look like him. I know from experience God shows up in some bizarre ways in my life and my track record shows I don’t always catch on real quick. I spend too much time worrying and crying when all along it’s him. He’s there. He just doesn’t look as I imagined he would look. He doesn’t work as I imagined he would work.
So, as the disciples are in this boat, in the middle of a storm, now being confronted by something even scarier, what they believe is a ghost, Jesus comforts them. In verse 27 he says “Take courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
Take courage. Take courage. This is an action. Take it. Choose it. You have a choice here. You can take you some courage or you can take you some fear. Which one will you be putting on today? I hope you take courage. I hope you refuse fear. Fear has you stuck. Fear has you freaking out, misinterpreting all the things God is trying to do in your life. Fear has you focused on all the wrong things and missing your miracle.
The message translation goes on to to say after Jesus told the disciples to take courage, Peter was suddenly bold. Suddenly bold. Like a shot of confidence and energy went running through his veins and he stepped right up to experience his miracle. Ahhhhh yes, please Jesus, let that be us today. You’re calling us to take courage. Let us be suddenly bold. Let us step up to experience what you’re offering us right here, right now.
Peter with his sudden boldness says “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”
Lord, if it’s you tell me to get out of this boat. If it’s you tell me to take the next step. Isn’t this what we miss here in this story? Peter didn’t ask for Jesus to come rescue him from the storm and magically carry him to the safe shore. Isn’t that what we do? “Lord, get me out of this quick.” No, he said, “Jesus, if that’s you, tell ME to COME TO YOU on the water.”
And Jesus says, “come on.”
Come on. Jesus is saying to you today, come on. Don’t sit there in your little boat when the opportunity to walk on water is here. Don’t sit there crying in your fear. Come on.
But he’s not going to do it for you. You’ve got to take that next step. You’ve got to trust him enough to leave what is familiar and dare to go into the unknown. The message translation then says, “Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus.”
When Jesus says come, girl you better jump. Jump. He has shown up in the middle of your mess here today. He may not look like you imagined he would look or work in the way you imagined he would work, but here he is saying, “take courage, don’t be afraid.” Now he’s expecting you to come. It’s time for you to take action. Come on.
This may seem impossible. That’s okay. In fact it’s more than okay. Impossible is God’s specialty. Impossible is where God loves to show up and show off.
You’re being called out of the boat. Today, you’ve been delivered an invitation to do the impossible. But you won’t be able to do this alone. Imagine the drowning fiasco and the next day’s headlines if Peter would have tried to walk on water by himself. “Fisherman drowns in moment of insanity.” You will drown trying to do this on your own. You can’t and you never were meant to do this on your own. That’s why you’ve been struggling. This is why even your best attempts have come up short. You’re trying to do the impossible and leaving out the one and only one who has the power to make it possible.
God is saying come on. Let’s go. This is your invitation to the impossible. We’ll do this together. And this journey will change everything.