When I used to think of the story of Peter walking on water (Matthew 14:22-23, NKJV) I thought of Jesus asking him to come to Him. I read the story more recently and realized a fact that I never had before. Peter asked Jesus to command him to come. In Matthew 14 verse 28 Peter said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” (NKJV) The reason it was Peter who walked on water, and not another disciple, was because he was the one who had the courage to ask.
This realization totally changed the story for me. Sometimes I’m waiting on Jesus to ask me to come, instead of asking Him to call me out on the water.
Jesus did some incredible things in and through Peter (Matthew 16:18-19) What does it take for Christ to do a great work in and through me?
If I really desire Jesus and want Him to do great things through me I have to seek it out. Jesus won’t force himself on me. Peter longed for Jesus and wanted to go to Him. One of the greatest dangers I face is complacency, being totally okay with where I am spiritually. This should never be the case! God tells me to set my mind on the things above, not on things on the earth (Col 3:2, NKJV). He also tells me that I will be blessed if I keep His testimonies and seek Him with my whole heart.” (Psalm 119:2) Obeying these commands requires a deep and passionate desire for God, one that Peter clearly possessed.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure if I didn’t believe in Jesus with my whole heart the last thing I would ever do is ask Him to command me to walk to Him on the water, in the middle of a storm no less. Peter’s belief was obviously solid. If not, he wouldn’t have asked Jesus to call him out on the water and he certainly wouldn’t have gone. Remember when Jesus went to Nazareth to teach but was rejected? Matthew 13:58 says, “Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” The thought of Jesus not doing many mighty works in my life because of unbelief is heartbreaking to me! Sadly this is exactly what will happen if I don’t believe in who Jesus is and what He is capable of doing. Peter knew His Lord, and believed.
Desire and belief aren’t enough. Sadly, I often get stuck at the next step of allowing Jesus to do great things in and through me. Action. What made this story memorable were Peter’s actions. Lets try not to focus all of our attention on the fact that Peter freaked out and began to sink.. the fact that he walked out on the water in the first place was incredible! I’m not so sure I would have been capable of doing something like that. I mean, I would hope that if Jesus were walking to me on water I would have enough faith to ask Him to command me to come. The only reason Peter did was because of his sincere desire and belief in Christ.
Don’t allow fear to distract you
Fear can totally consume us and overcome our desire and belief, keeping us from stepping out in faith, or as it did with Peter, distracting us afterwards. This can leave us devoid of the beauty that God intends for us.
In the past, fear often held me back from taking action. Despite my desire and belief, I allowed fear to prevent me from asking Jesus to command me to come to Him. A verse I meditated on and prayed was Romans 8:15 that says “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” It took some serious meditating on this verse before it really began to sink in.
I used to allow fear to keep me bound and incapable of doing anything for Christ. If most people who know me now met the Jamie from five years ago they wouldn’t recognize her. I was anxious, timid, and avoidant, incapable of talking to someone I had never met before or commenting in Sunday school class without a total physiological breakdown. Sometimes just the anticipation of being in a crowd of unfamiliar faces evoked the same response.
I finally realized that I wanted more for my life. I wanted to be and accomplish all that God had intended for me, and I knew I couldn’t do it with fear controlling me. I knew it would be scary and that I would often fail, as Peter did on the water, but with Jesus leading the way I began taking small steps of faith. It didn’t happen over night, but over the years I began to see a new person when I looked in the mirror. Each small step confirmed that God is faithful, and before long I found that the fears that had once consumed me no longer held me back.
Peter’s story showed me that I am capable of so much more when I give Jesus Christ control, desire for Him to do great things in and through me, believe that He can do it, and step out in faith. If this is something you struggle with start asking God to give you the desire to do and to become all that He intends. It takes courage, but once you begin God will blow your mind with His faithfulness and power! He sure has mine, and I know He did Peter’s as well.