Skip to main content

4 steps to walking on water

These are the notes from the talk I gave at church last night from the story of Peter walking on the water (Matthew 14:22-33).


1. Recognise Jesus. Often our tendency is to be fearful in tough or uncomfortable situations, but it is hard to recognise Jesus when you are afraid, because fear blinds us spiritually. Let us repent for living fearfully.


2. Desire to be where Jesus is. Peter did not ask Jesus to come into the boat, he asked to be were Jesus was, doing what Jesus was doing. Be available and willing to move. Jesus must always be our example, not what other people are doing around us. Let us repent for the tendency to stay where we are.


3. Wait for Jesus' invitation. Don't get ahead of God. Don't venture out on your own. Wait. Wait. Wait on God. Trust God's timing. Respond immediately when you hear him call you or feel the urging of the Holy Spirit. Do not hesitate. Let us repent for impatience and ask God what his invitation is to us today.


4. Step out on the word of Jesus. When God speaks, it brings things into existence. When Jesus says,"Come," his word makes a way, his word makes the water walkable. Jesus' words are the foundation of our actions; it is not dependent on the level of our faith. The goal of prayer is to be one with Jesus so that our words also bring things into existence and we can make paths for people to get out of situations. Being one with Jesus allows us to be under the umbrella of and participate in his authority.


Warnings: Don't take your eyes off Jesus. Don't give in to fear. Don't be afraid when you stumble - Jesus is right beside you. Don't hesitate to ask for help. Jesus want us to learn and we won't always get things right on the first try. Try again and try again.


What walking with Jesus looks like: It is often in a storm in the dark, but even though the wind was against him, it hardly mattered. Jesus affected his circumstances instead of letting them affect him. Do you want to be in the boat waiting for God to calm your storm as you tremble in fear, or do you want to get out and walk on the water with Jesus?

This is a sailboat on Lake Champlain in Vermont.

The first picture is of the Atlantic Ocean at Charleston (Isle of Palms), South Carolina.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.

---------------------

When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

theology from the margins: God of Hagar

Our contexts have major implications for how we live our lives and engage with our world, that much is obvious. However, we sometimes overlook how much they inform our concepts of God. For those of us occupying the central or dominant demographic in society, we often associate God with power and truth. As a result, our theology is characterized by confidence, certainty, and an expectation that others should be accommodating. For those of us living on the margins of society, our sense of belonging stranded in ambiguity, God is seen as an advocate for the powerless. Our theology leans more toward inclusivity, and we talk less about divine holiness and righteousness and more about a God who suffers. On the margins, the priority is merciful and just action, not correct beliefs. 
There are significant theological incongruences between Christians who occupy the mainstream segment of society and those who exist on the margins. The world of theology has been dominated by Western male thought…

the movement of humility

We live in a context of stratification where much of society is ordered into separate layers or castes. We are identified as upper class, middle class, or lower class. Our language reflects this up/down (superior/inferior) paradigm. We want to be at the top of the heap, climb the ladder of success, break through the glass ceiling, be king of the hill. This same kind of thinking seeps into our theology. When we talk about humility, we think mostly think in terms of lowering ourselves, willfully participating in downward mobility. This type of up/down language is certainly present in biblical texts (James 4:10 is one example), but I believe that the kind of humility we see in Jesus requires that we step outside of a strictly up/down paradigm. Instead of viewing humility as getting down low or stepping down a notch on the ladder of society, perhaps it is more helpful to think in terms of proximity and movement.

Jesuit theologian, James Keenan, notes that virtues and vices are not really…