MATTHEW 14:28-31: “Answering, Peter said to Him, “Master, if it’s 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 to go to Yeshua. But seeing the wind, he became terrified. And beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Master, save me!” Immediately Yeshua reached out His hand and grabbed him. And He said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” TLV
OBSERVATION: Peter often gets a bad rap for being presumptuous. It is easy to think that Peter simply saw Jesus walking on the water and jumped out of the boat trying to do the same. However, this is not what happened. Peter acknowledged Jesus, and asked Him for His command. It was only when Jesus said “Come!”, that Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water.
There are two very important lessons that we can glean from this account. The first is to always wait for the Word of the Lord. The second is always to hold onto His Word. If we act presumptuously, we will sink. If we succumb to doubt, we will sink. The only way we can walk victoriously in Christ is if we follow His leading, and hold onto His Word.
We have always been taught that Peter began to sink because he took his eyes off Jesus. To be honest, I have always struggled with that interpretation. What does it mean to keep your eyes on Jesus? Was it merely that Peter’s gazing at Jesus empowered him to walk on the water, or was it something else? Since we cannot see Jesus, how do we keep our eyes on Jesus?
Jesus spoke these words to his disciples in John 15:
- “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples.” “Just as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you. Abide in My love! If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and your joy may be full. “This is My commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you.” John 15:7-12 TLV
From these verses we see that keeping our eyes on Jesus, abiding in Him, is keeping His word in our hearts and obeying His commandments. It is the Word of God that produces faith and brings us into a deep and abiding fellowship with Jesus and the Father, through the Holy Spirit. As we abide in His Word we will bear the fruit of the Spirit, grow in God’s love, and experience His joy and peace that is our strength. In other words, we will not sink!
Peter did not sink because he stopped looking at Jesus. I imagine that Peter could still see Jesus at the same time that he saw the winds and the waves. It was when Peter stopped abiding in Jesus’ command, “Come!”, that Peter began to sink. When Peter stepped out of the boat, he stepped out on the Word of God. When Peter began to sink, he let go of the Word of God.
The Word of God will always be tested in our lives by the winds and waves of adversity in this life. The enemy will try to steal it, kill it, or destroy it. The winds and waves of adversity will always try to rob us of our faith. However, if we cling to His Word, if we cry out to Him for grace, and if we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit – we will not sink! This is why Jesus asked Peter – “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
We have all been in Peter’s shoes. We have stepped out on the Word of God, followed the leading of the Holy Spirit, only to lose faith after we take the first few steps. We expect the results to happen immediately, and without a struggle. Yet, faith is a struggle. It is a struggle against sin, against our old nature, and against the enemy of our souls. We are engaged in a battle to protect the “good seed” that has been planted in our hearts. God has given us everything we need to win this battle through the cross of Jesus Christ. The victory is ours if we walk in the fullness of His promises and provision!
- “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you are able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the worldly forces of this darkness, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist when the times are evil, and after you have done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm then! Buckle the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. Strap up your feet in readiness with the Good News of shalom. Above all, take up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Ruach on every occasion, with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, keep alert with perseverance and supplication for all the kedoshim.” Ephesians 6:10-18 TLV
Lord, this morning, help me to cling to Your Word! Help me to walk victoriously upon the waters of life!
In Jesus Name!