Only two people ever walked on water, that is if you believe the Bible. But that is the point, isn’t it? Believing. On the fourth watch of the night, or at 3 am, after having been tossed about at sea, Jesus Christ who had stayed behind the previous evening on land to pray on a mountain, appeared to them, having caught up to them by walking on the water. When His disciples saw Him, they cried out for fear. But Jesus quickly told them to be of good cheer, that it was Him, and He calmed their fears.
Peter, upon testing Jesus, immediately said, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” Without hesitation, the Lord granted Peter’s request and bid him come out on the water to Him. So Peter took a step into the unknown out in the darkness, not knowing whether Jesus or some spirit beckoned him. He had exercised enough faith to press forward and trust the voice of who he hoped it was. As Peter began walking, the wind became boisterous and Peter became afraid. When his faith turned to fear, he began to sink and cried out for rescue. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ then immediately caught Peter, saving him from death and exclaimed to Peter, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
Many experiences have taught me that listening to the Lord often brings me to a point where I have to choose whether or not to step out into the unknown. Fear of being hurt or deceived is enough to paralyze a person. I have also learned that each time I exercised faith and took a step forward, I did not fall. I have come to firmly believe that if I misstep, the Lord is there to catch me and preserve me from death. And I have been preserved from death before. But this isn’t about living and dying. This is about loving God enough to trust Him and His voice alone. I am sure that when Peter stepped down onto the water, he did not turn to the right or the left. And that is something to consider for another time. I am sure that he walked directly toward Jesus.
I know many people who believe in God, but do not believe God. They believe He exists, but do not believe His words or are not familiar with His words. Many are distracted by the cares of the world to keep His sayings diligently or they fear being hurt. People fear being hurt especially when they experience a contradiction of things. Walking on water contradicts the law of gravity as we know it. Despite everything scientists understand about gravity, none have been able to determine what causes it. There is a theory of relativity used to explain it, but it’s just that-a theory. This physical world is governed by many physical laws, one of them being gravity. If you step off a cliff, you fall until something stops your fall and it’s usually the solid ground below. Likewise, if you step out of a perfectly good boat onto the water, you will sink until something solid stops your descent.
If you take Jesus Christ out of the equation, then you are left to the natural course of things in life. However, if you come unto Christ as He invited all to do, He will catch you if you start to fall. He is a merciful God who gently corrects errors and false beliefs, but He does not leave you alone. The inevitable outcome of following Him, though, is losing your life. That sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it? Jesus Christ is life, right? But if you are a student of the scriptures, you might find out about a certain rich man who went away sorrowing because although he kept the law since he was a youth, he would not give up his riches to follow Christ. Rather than having faith, he feared. The rich man preferred the life he lived. It was preferable for him to keep all the things he had worked so hard to obtain, rather than give them all up to start a new life-a different one. His faith was in his own ability to provide for himself rather than faith in God to give him everlasting life. Thus those who seek to save their life, whatever kind of life they’re living will lose it in the grave. But those who seek to lose whatever life they are living for Christ’s sake, as He promised, will find it again, for life with Him is everlasting. The rich man was deceived by his own covetousness.
There are so many ways we can deceive ourselves into thinking it’s okay to procrastinate or ignore the call to come unto Christ, especially when He beckons. And He is always beckoning. We must push aside all the worldly obstacles and idols and false beliefs that stand between us and the Lord, including all the traditions of men, even religious traditions. Traditions do not have the power to save. Believing Jesus Christ and doing what He tells you to do is what saves. But you must first know and understand His will. If you do not know His will when He is bidding you to come out of your comfort zone, then nothing else matters. Fear and faith cannot and do not exist at the same time. You will either believe Him and exercise faith and move forward one step at a time toward the light or fear falling with each step and remain in darkness.