“Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ And He said, ‘Come!’ And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.” Matthew 14:28-29
The story of Peter walking on water is one that many of us love and yet we tend to focus on the negative instead of the positive. We recount the story in Matthew 14 and see Peter’s sinking rather than his walking. We focus on Peter getting his eyes off of Jesus and putting them onto his fear. Rather than seeing the huge step of faith that Peter took and the miracle that happened, we too get our eyes off of the miraculous and put them on the mistake.
God calls us to do impossible things by faith so He can receive glory when they are done. They may look like a mistake to others, but to the Lord, it’s miraculous! Often times the Lord will call us to step out in faith and try something new, but we’re afraid, just like Peter. Notice though, that Peter put a fleece out to the Lord saying; “Lord, if it is you, command me to come…” Peter wanted to be sure that it was the Lord, so he said “if”.
How many times have we said the same phrase, “Lord, if you are in this…?”Or “Lord, if this is you then please confirm your will to me?” We may not ever be asked to walk on water, but we certainly will be asked to step out of the boat. Pastor Chuck always used to say, “Show me a man who has never taken a step of faith for the Lord and I will show you a man who has done nothing for the Lord.”
Most of us read this story of Peter walking on water and wonder if we too would have stepped out of the boat at Jesus’ call. But, what we often fail to consider, is that Jesus had been preparing Peter all along to step out of the boat as an example to the other disciples. Yes, Peter made plenty mistakes and was even rebuked by Jesus in front of His disciples, but Peter stepped out…He tried, he heard Jesus call and he obeyed!
None of the other disciples were asked to walk on water. I believe this is because none of the other disciples asked if it was Jesus. Impetuous Peter, with all his zeal, was the one that recognized Jesus and asked…and God answered with a command. Has that ever happened to you? Have you even thought something was the Lord and yet weren’t sure, and He asked you to step out in faith…believing it was Him? Faith is believing when you can’t see. It’s believing when you’re not 100% sure, but you think it’s Jesus!
Although Peter did step out in faith and walk on water, once he got his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink. The lesson for us is to keep our eyes on Jesus, not to fear the things around us…the storm, the sea of others, the circumstances. Peter will forever be set apart in history for being the only man to walk on water, and it was all because he was willing to fail. He was willing to step out and risk sinking to obey the call of the Lord.
What is it that Jesus is asking you to do? Do you recognize it’s Him? Have you asked for confirmation? Are you obeying? Are you willing to fail to obey? Whatever it is, you don’t need to worry, only trust the Lord. His hand is big enough to pick you up!