By this time the boat was a long way from the shore. It was going against the wind and was being tossed around by the waves. A little while before morning, Jesus came walking on the water toward his disciples. When they saw him, they thought he was a ghost. They were terrified and started screaming. At once, Jesus said to them, “Don’t worry! I am Jesus. Don’t be afraid.” Peter replied, “Lord, if it is really you, tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come on!” Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward him. But when Peter saw how strong the wind was, he was afraid and started sinking. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Right away, Jesus reached out his hand. He helped Peter up and said, “You surely don’t have much faith. Why do you doubt?” When Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the wind died down. The men in the boat worshiped Jesus and said, “You really are the Son of God!” Matthew 14:24-33(1)
This story was first shared with me by a wonderful Sunday School teacher many moons ago, but the truth didn’t hit home until a year ago when I followed Him and stepped out of my boat. Sometimes the boat is really not as comfortable as we want to believe, but it’s often easier to make-do than to trust Him to do the seemingly impossible. This faith walk has not been ‘easy’ but bearing the following in mind has helped me greatly.
The boat has a purpose. Make sure you’re using it for the right reasons. Don’t expect the boat to become what it was not intended to be. In a storm, the boat is as vulnerable as you are – it cannot save you. Place your trust only in Him.
The boat is temporal … It will not last. It is man-made … finite. It will eventually corrode or be smashed to pieces whether or not you step out of it. God is omnipresent but he doesn’t sanction everything … If He’s not in your boat, then you probably don’t need to be in it either. (‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower’ – that is where you will be safe.)
The concept of walking on water may blow your mind but there’s greater still that He can do through you. Don’t become so caught up in what you’re doing that you forget Who gives you the ability to do what you do. Focus on Him. When you step out, know that you cannot keep your eyes on your feet. Keep your eyes on Him. (Trust Him to direct you – He will lead you).
Those in the boat may offer you help but there’s no point in going under with them. The vision He gives you may not be obvious to everyone … follow through on what He tells you to do even if you think you look ridiculous.
When He steps into the boat, the situation changes!! The winds died “when Jesus got into the boat”. Storms will come – there’s no question about that. There’s also no question as to whether He is there to deliver. Don’t allow the boat to capsize with you in it. If the writing on the wall says it’s time, it likely is time. Allow Him to be the calming force in your life so others can see His glory.
Father I am thankful for the boats you give me. I am thankful for the purposes they serve but I am mindful that the boat is not where you want me to live. There are times I feel safe in the boat. I’m comfortable and I have no idea there’s a storm coming. Help me to keep my eyes trained on You and to keep my ears attuned to Your direction. Others may not hear when You tell me to step out of the boat. Help me to move forward in the confidence of Your word instead of pleasing those who are around me.
I have been manning my own boat for years – I think I know it inside out but if You’re not in it, I don’t want to be in it either. I trust You to guide me to safe ground even before the storm hits but if You choose to lead me through it, I will still trust You. May Your name be glorified. I will follow You even if it means getting back into the very boat from which I escaped.
( 1)Contemporary English Version® Copyright © 1995 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.
© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
June 13, 2011 at 7:40 am
“This faith walk has not been ‘easy’ but bearing the following in mind has helped me greatly”
God takes the tiniest bit of faith we have and makes it grow into something big when we act on it.The Bible says”God has dealt to each one a measure of faith”.So we already have faith to start with.When we step out in that faith,God increases our faith.Acting in faith begets more faith.Its not easy to act in faith.Sometimes, we may be going to the doctor for test results and the fear,the doubt that shows up tries to cripple
us it tries to override our faith but when,we remember who and whose we are,whatever the results turn out to be we place our trust in him because we believe that if he takes us to it,he’ll bring us through it.He is a faithful God!
We have no idea what God wants to do through us if we would just step out in faith when he asks us to.That’s why he let’s us go through some difficult times.Times when we feel weak and vulnerable.He allows certain things to happen so we can turn to him and give him our full attention.Its in those times we are forced to pray in greater faith,that our faith grows stronger.Step out in faith my brothers and sisters God’s got you covered!
Lord,Increase my faith.Teach me how to walk by faith and not sight.Give me strength to stand on your promises and believe your every word.I don’t want to be like the people who did not profit from hearing the word because it wasn’t mixed with faith.I know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.I pray that when I fear tries to stand in the way you would reveal it to me.I pray that the genuineness of my faith,which is more precious than gold that perishes when tested by fire,will be glorifying to you.I don’t want to hinder what you want to do in me and through me because of doubt because a doubter is double-minded and unstable and will not receive anything from you.Increase my faith daily so that I can move mountains in your name.
Sis A,Thank you,thank you,thank you.This word is truly the lord’s.You really are his child and I am blessed because you constantly bless me with his words.May his name be praised.I know God is smiling because Faith is replacing doubt in lives right now through this word.God be praised.
June 13, 2011 at 9:52 am
Thank you, Minister K
I am in awe of Him and the way He works!! Indeed, who is like unto the Lord? May His name be glorified for ever and ever!!
“We have no idea what God wants to do through us if we would just step out in faith when he asks us to.”
In my own head, I wasn’t ready to step out. I knew I wasn’t safest where I was but it was familiar and I wasn’t sure if I should go or stay … besides, those around me thought I had lost my marbles so I didn’t know for sure what to do. It’s so important to listen for His voice above the din and clatter…
“Lord,Increase my faith.Teach me how to walk by faith and not sight.Give me strength to stand on your promises and believe your every word.”
Thank you for praying this morning. This walking by faith thing can be the simplest of things yet can appear to be quite complicated.
My family didn’t get it. My friends didn’t get it. I wasn’t even sure I got it either but I chose to trust Him and stepped out. Walking on water felt good but that was not His end purpose for me. … The water was up to my nostrils before I realized the only way to do this was to trust Him. I don’t think I’ve walked on water since then but having Him next to me means I don’t have to fear the meanest of storms. If I trust Him, I will be okay.
Minister K, I pray God’s blessing over your life today. You speak of Him with such passion and purpose. Your enthusiasm is catching! I pray He will continue to provide you with avenues to share the greatest love story ever written to the glory of His name. I don’t know why our paths crossed but I’m thankful .
“He’s got us covered!” … thanks for the reminder! 🙂
Walking by faith,
Moore to ponder
June 13, 2011 at 9:26 am
I cannot get over how thought provoking this post is. All of the times I have read this account I never thought about what the boat might represent, or what the people inside the boat might represent. I had always focused on Peter, Jesus and the wind and the waves. There is so much in this post, and the timing of you posting this is something, too. I am going to need to look at this again and ponder.
Thank you so much for sharing this!
June 13, 2011 at 10:03 am
Thank you, Theresa
I glorify His name!! I started writing this post a little over a year ago but for some reason I didn’t feel comfortable sharing it … His timing is perfection! 🙂
The human side of me didn’t want to deal with the boat and it’s issues and besides, I was certain I was okay … I was so blinded by my own direction I didn’t even see that the boat was taking in water. Those closest to me at the time couldn’t understand what was happening (neither could I!!) That boat represented much to me and I didn’t want to walk away but great is His faithfulness! No boat is worth hanging onto if He’s not a part of it.
I tried everything but I couldn’t ignore the desire He placed in me to trust Him to be God to me in or out of the boat. Everything changed the minute I stepped. Stepping out was hard … because He doesn’t always give the go ahead for what I want. Stepping out was easy … because He was now in charge and I didn’t have to bail water anymore.
For some of us, the boat is our dream job, a balanced family, an important project we’ve almost completed, a treasured friendship, the perfect home in the perfect neighbourhood, landing a spot on the dream team, getting the coveted promotion, … who knows? We all have them but what’s the point of holding on to what we want if He’s not holding on to the other end of it?
Thanks for popping by. Praying His truth will be revealed and that He will be glorified.
Moore to ponder
June 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm
I just had to tell you something. I will have to go to Rea’s blog and tell her, too. Tonight My husband, my daughter and I attended a worship service at a church that my daughter and I had only went to once before…a couple weeks ago on a Sunday morning.. It is a new denomination for us…but we were so moved. In the message the pastor asked us if we knew what the person storm was that we were facing. 🙂
There was so much love in that service. We all want to go back. Please remember us in prayer.
June 14, 2011 at 7:29 am
That’s wonderful, Theresa!
God knows the desires of your heart. I pray He will grant them (and then some!) Praying His perfect will be done. He has a way of placing us where He wants us … may you always be where He needs you to be.
June 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm
Ann, I love the truths you took away from this brief passage. Like Theresa, I had always focused on Peter, the waves, and Jesus, but never on the boat when I read this scripture. Your last point really spoke to me: “When He steps into the boat, the situation changes!!” When looked at in this way, the boat becomes a tool of our Lord that He can choose to use or discard. If He chooses to use it for His purpose in our lives, then we need to go along with that. If He chooses to discard it, to remain apart from it, then we need to go where He is, even if that means walking on water. Peace, Linda
June 13, 2011 at 5:58 pm
Thank you, Linda
I thank Him for the revelation (as painful as the lesson was! 🙂 )
“When looked at in this way, the boat becomes a tool of our Lord that He can choose to use or discard. If He chooses to use it for His purpose in our lives, then we need to go along with that. If He chooses to discard it, to remain apart from it, then we need to go where He is, even if that means walking on water”
I like your analysis, Linda. ‘the boat becomes a tool’ … I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run to Him all excited with a plan I hatched but that wasn’t what He wanted for me. I could choose to toss it and trust Him or push and end up in regret.
I haven’t done any study to see how Peter was positioned but I imagine walking towards Jesus could also mean his back was turned to the boat … he couldn’t look in both directions at once. Lots wife looked back and that was the end of her. Peter looked away and he started to sink. We have at least two examples of where not to look. Where we keep our focus matters.
Blessings to you and yours, Linda. Praying we’ll allow Him to step into our boats instead of freustratig ourselves trying to fix what only He can resolve.
In His service,
June 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm
Wow, Ann, this is fantastic 🙂
You know, I have read this passage countless times and I have heard a lot of preaching concerning it (it is always a classic illustration of trusting the Lord during the storms of life). But you brought to light something that is normally overlooked, an aspect I never really stopped to consider.
It is always assumed that the waves were the place of “danger” and “trial”. When Peter stepped out on the water, that was when he was in great peril and needed the Lord to hold him up. That the boat was the place of safety is always an unspoken assumption.
But how can we ever be in danger when we are walking toward Jesus? What safer place can we be than moving toward His open arms? Why do we assume that the boat is a place of safety when all it does is keep us from drawing closer to Him?
Some wonderful things to think about. Thanks, Ann, for these excellent observations 🙂
To God goes all glory,
June 13, 2011 at 6:46 pm
Thank you, Loren
How awesome is our God? He’s pretty amazing!! He truly deserves all our praise!
“But how can we ever be in danger when we are walking toward Jesus? What safer place can we be than moving toward His open arms? Why do we assume that the boat is a place of safety when all it does is keep us from drawing closer to Him?”
I like these questions. I’m having a ball coming up with answers. 🙂 We prefer life when it’s convenient and easy to handle. Stepping out of the boat may not be our ideal but we often have to move away from our comfortable place to really trust Him.
I was a wee tot when I first heard the story and I was so fascinated with Jesus walking on water that I totally missed the boat! When I first started to write this piece, I thought the boat was a safe place. It wasn’t until after He gave revelation that I realized the boat wasn’t such a safe place after all. That totally knocked the wind out of my sails 🙂 . I
His showing up in that pre-dawn moment guaranteed their safety. They didn’t see it – I didn’t see it either. I felt as long as I was in the boat I’d be fine. Wrong! I don’t want to miss Him in my pre-dawn moment. I remember an old song that suggests that it is darkest just before dawn. I was in a dark place yet leaving the boat wasn’t on my list of things to do. I’m thankful He didn’t walk away!
Blessings, Loren. Starting a blog is indeed a leaping out of the boat for me. I am intent on looking towards Him. I can’t afford to look elsewhere. 🙂
Trusting His direction,
June 13, 2011 at 5:17 pm
Have you read the book by John Ortberg “If you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat”?
It is one of the most challenging books I have read, disturbing the comfort zone. Ortberg asks questions like “What are you doing now that you could not possibly achieve in your own ability?”
Thanks for the reminder. I think it is time for me to read that book again for the eleventy-eighth time.
June 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm
Thank you, Lady Angela 🙂
I can’t recall reading that book but thanks for the referral. It must be wonderful if you’ve read it so many times 🙂
I most certainly prefer to have my comfort zone well laid out and quite familiar but I realize that’s not going to cut it so I have relinquished my hold.
““What are you doing now that you could not possibly achieve in your own ability?”’
My friend told me some time ago that whatever we attempt to do with fear and trembling is definitely what He wants of us and He will equip us to handle it. When we do it comfortably in our own strength, then it’s our own natural ability and not ‘a gift’.
Thanks again, Angela.
P.S. – do you have plans to open a Bookshelf page on your blog? 😉
June 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm
A bookshelf page? Please help a non-tech person. Do you mean a category where books are reviewed and discussed? I hadn’t planned on it but it is worth considering.
June 13, 2011 at 10:18 pm
Yes please, and thank you.
June 13, 2011 at 10:59 pm
Dearest Ann full of Jesus grace . . .WOW. Can you see my jaw dropping? Well, it is. I, too, never once thought about the boat not being a safe place if Jesus isn’t in it! Much better out there in the wind and waves if that is where He is at. There is also a storm going on right now, and it’s calling for me to do something different than I usually do (like huddle down in the boat). Thank you so much, beyond my little words, for listening to Him, writing this and posting it now, today, when I have to keep stepping away from the boat.
God bless you and each step you take with Him!
June 14, 2011 at 9:44 am
Thank you, Dearest Delightful Deb
Our God reveals truths that cause ‘jaw dropping’ reactions 🙂 How cool is that?! Our God is amazing! I praise Him for His love and for the wonder of who He is. I am thankful for the work of the Holy Spirit in shedding light. Our God is worthy!
“Much better out there in the wind and waves if that is where He is at.”
Amen, Deb! The wind and the waves aren’t at all inviting and comfortable but if He walked in the fire with the Hebrew boys, then He will certainly keep us safe in the storms.
Praying He will order your steps as you seek His will.
Blessings to you and yours, Deb.
June 14, 2011 at 9:46 am
Thanks for the wonderful poem!! It goes so very well with this. Praise His name!!
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June 14, 2011 at 12:04 pm
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for that prayer!
“Help me to keep my eyes trained on You and to keep my ears attuned to Your direction. Others may not hear when You tell me to step out of the boat. Help me to move forward in the confidence of Your word instead of pleasing those who are around me.
I have been manning my own boat for years – I think I know it inside out but if You’re not in it, I don’t want to be in it either. I trust You to guide me to safe ground even before the storm hits but if You choose to lead me through it, I will still trust You. May Your name be glorified. I will follow You even if it means getting back into the very boat from which I escaped.”
I am meditating much on this whole post but may that prayer be answered fully in my life! A-men!
June 14, 2011 at 9:06 pm
Thank you, Pastor J
Praying alongside you!
May His name truly be glorified as you following His leading and direction. Trusting Him to answer even before you call.
Praise be to His name!
June 14, 2011 at 10:41 pm
I am smiling a big smile and will gladly follow you out of the boat, as I’ve done many times. Your description of the boating adventure is sweet with humility, and it has encouraged me today!
I have prayed many prayers that my Sisters in Christ have questioned, challenged, and given warning against. But our prayers don’t condemn or mislead us. And I am so often blessed by mine.
“Focus on Him… not your feet.” Funny and well put. I find that a day filled with gratitude and prayer keeps the focus right where it belongs. Don’t ya love being a daughter of the most high God! : )
This was a great post… thank you! : )
June 15, 2011 at 10:26 am
Thank you, Linda
I am please that He used this to lift your spirits and encourage you. I praise Him for the gifts He’s blessed us with so we can bless others to His glory. Yes! Yes! Yes! – I LOVE being His daughter 🙂
“I find that a day filled with gratitude and prayer keeps the focus right where it belongs.”
This is so true! Gratitude and prayer won’t necessarily stop the storms but our attitude can determine how well we handle the experience.
God bless you, Dear Linda. I am learning so much from you!
In awe of Him,
June 15, 2011 at 4:16 am
This post is so special to me Ann. Several years ago I relied on my boat for security. Just because I have been taking care of it I thought it wouldn’t sink me. But it could because just like what you said ‘the boat is temporal’. I had 2 options back then — stay and sink with the boat or leap out to the Lord. I was so desperate that I haven’t even the luxury of time to walk on the water. I just leaped directly into His arms. It was the best decision I have ever made. Not only did He save me but He’s working on the boat as well — it has a purpose.
Thank you for posting this one. My kiddos and I had boating this summer and the experience also brought me closer to Him 🙂
June 15, 2011 at 10:31 am
Thank you, Princess Rea
“I had 2 options back then — stay and sink with the boat or leap out to the Lord. I was so desperate that I haven’t even the luxury of time to walk on the water. I just leaped directly into His arms…”
Your response has totally broken me today … The visual of Him reaching out to catch you as you leap to Him gives me joy. I don’t always get it through my head that He’s right there … just waiting to save us. If only we would ask…
Praying the repairs will be swift and complete and that the scars will only serve to remind you how He delivered. The boat does have a purpose – may His perfect will be done.
June 18, 2011 at 11:47 am
Thank you for an encouraging message! Sometimes I may not want to get out of the boat, because of the “false” sense of security that I feel while being there. As you stated, “The boat is temporal … It will not last.” It is vulnerable to the wind and the waves, and it cannot save me, because it will not hold water. During a storm, as I may be holding onto the boat, with everything within me, my boat becomes capsized, and when I begin to sink, there is Jesus, my lifeline, waiting for me to grab hold! Praise God! I am safe in the arms of Jesus, even when I am in the very midst of the storm, much safer than I ever would have been, had I held onto the boat!
God bless you, Ann! You are truly a blessing, to the body of Christ!
June 19, 2011 at 10:59 pm
Thank you, Minister Paulette
I must apologize … I typed us a response last evening but I must have shut down before I hit ‘post reply’. So sorry.
” During a storm, as I may be holding onto the boat, with everything within me, my boat becomes capsized, and when I begin to sink, there is Jesus, my lifeline, waiting for me to grab hold!”
Thank you for adding this! ( I can’t recall how many times I’ve hunted for other alternatives before grabbing ahold of the obvious!)
” Praise God! I am safe in the arms of Jesus, even when I am in the very midst of the storm, much safer than I ever would have been, had I held onto the boat!”
Praising Him alongside you!! The storm looks fierce and furious but if He chooses to, He can just tell it to chill and it must settle down. What a mighty God we serve!!!
Blessings returned to you, Minister. May He be glorified as we share.
Trusting His direction,
June 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm
Thank you for this post, I needed to read this.
June 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm
Thank you, Joseph
God be praised 🙂 Glad there was something in her you could use.
Welcome and hanks for popping by. Will be visiting your site soon.
Blessings right back at ya!