Can we express water-walking faith like Peter? Jesus is our gold standard. If we could say … our coach.
Jesus’ activity in the New Testament Gospels is meant to spark in us similar activity.
He not only taught about the Kingdom of God … he modeled it.
Shockingly, Jesus said we are to do the same things He did. Even more!
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12 NIV).
- Jesus told his disciples to feed the crowd when they had nothing. When they didn’t, he did.
- Jesus chided and coached the disciples in the boat after he calmed the storm. “Where’s your faith?”
- Jesus challenged his disciples when they could not free a boy from a severe case of demonization. “How long will I have to put up with you?”
See what I mean?
It’s really a matter of being an apprentice of Jesus and developing in His nature. We partake of the nature of God (2 Peter 1:4). Of course, this will unleash transformation in our lives.
And let’s understand that Christ’s nature is not just his character (joy, kindness, love, etc.). It also includes his activities and works.
Water-walking faith: Jesus is waiting for us to show initiative
The disciples were battered by the wind and the waves in the middle of the night. Then they saw Jesus walking on the water. See Matthew 14:22-33.
Peter says something extraordinary: “Lord, if it’s You, command me to come to You on the water.”
This must have excited the heart of Jesus! At times He would see glimpses of Kingdom possibilities in His disciples.
If you want to walk on water, you’ve got to get out of the boat. —John Ortberg
The dream of the Kingdom was taking root in his followers. And it would develop and expand.
Jesus responded to Peter’s initiative. “Come.”
A personal word from the Lord can come to us after we show initiative. Faith-initiative.
Related: You Can Invite the Potential of Christ Into Anything
Maybe it’s your chance to walk on water
Anything Jesus did while on earth, we can do. I realize this may challenge the theological belief system we are familiar with.
But I think we have to take Jesus’ words and modeling at face value and not talk ourselves out of the extraordinary.
When Jesus was on the earth, he lived and ministered as a man fully yielded to the Holy Spirit.
He invites us to leave our battered boat and come out on the water with Him.
A youth pastor privately tried to do some water-walkin’ on one of the Great Lakes in the United States.
He was young and zealous. But when he took the wallet and keys out of his pockets, he understood he didn’t have water-walking faith!
If three steps are taken without any other motive than the desire to obey God, those three steps are miraculous; they are equally so whether they take place on dry land or on water. —Simone Weil
Jesus is not asking us to presumptuously try to walk on a lake like the youth pastor!
It could be the storm of a health and wellness issue. An overwhelming challenge in business or finances. Relationships.
It could be a wild opportunity in front of you that’s begging you to step out of the boat!
When you’re in a challenging situation, or when you go for that crazy opportunity, and you begin to experience the miraculous in response to your initiative and faith, it will feel like you’re walking on water!
Inaction is the greatest risk of all
Some define risk as “the likelihood of an irreversible negative outcome.”
But with Jesus on the water, that’s really not true for the believer.
Peter looked to the wind. Fear gripped him and he began to sink. But Jesus took hold of him and said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
So we may need to redefine risk. The greatest risk may be staying in your boat.
Peter showed initiative.
He wanted to experience water-walking faith. The potential of Jesus met him at his point of belief and action. Is Jesus asking you to show faith-initiative in something?
Progress in anything happens because of experimentation.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Faith can feel like risk. We have to step out of what we’ve known (the boat) and walk with Jesus into the unknown.
Notice how Peter’s faith was Christo-centric.
Real faith is Christ-centered. Christ-focused. “Lord, if that’s you ….” As long as Peter gave his attention to Jesus, he walked.
Get an expressed thought (a word) from the Lord about your situation.
“Command me to come to you on the water.” Are you desperate for Jesus to say something? Receive what he says. Walk on that.
Was Peter walking on the water? Or was he walking on a word from Christ?
He was walking on what Christ said. Faith comes from hearing something that God says to us in the now moment.
Meditate on Romans 10:17—“Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (NAS). Any word God says to you has the power inherent in it to be realized.
Do you feel like you have little or no faith? Faith comes.
Does it seem like you have zero faith? All’s not lost. The key is hearing God say something to you.
Here’s a dynamic spiritual exercise: read the inspired Scriptures until you hear the Living Voice of the Lord speaking to you through the written Word.
Everything was extraordinary for Peter, as long as he kept his vision on Christ.
He asked for and received a word from Christ. And he began to walk on the water. But when Peter began to focus on the wind and waves, he started going down.
This is a key for us. “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author (originator) and perfecter of faith … (Hebrews 12:2).
Let’s be honest, most people (even those who attend church) stay in the boat.
Love and honor everyone in your life. But there will be times when we have to leave the boat and the people in it to experience what we really need and want.
Well, what do you want?
I believe Jesus is looking for us to ask for an invitation to walk on the water with Him. This will give witness to the reality of a living and supreme Christ!
Do you desire this dynamic in your faith journey? I do. Frankly, I must grow in water-walking faith on various levels in my personal world.
Let’s keep this at the front of our thinking: Jesus is our standard in all things.
Our personal experience at this point in our development is not the standard. Certainly, unbelievers are not the standard. Even other Christ-followers are not necessarily the standard.
Heavenly Father, I want to walk with your Son on the waves. Help me to see storms and challenges as opportunities. Holy Spirit, show me Jesus in new ways. Help me to “fix” my eyes on him consistently. I refuse fear and rise above situations. I walk by faith. Thank you for lifting me. Amen.
In what ways do you need to get out of that storm-tossed boat? If you have any thoughts, perspective, or experiences, share them in the comment section below.