Fearless Faith

Have you ever watched little kids play? Sure, we all have. What is one quality many of them have in common? They all take risks; they have little fear meeting and interacting with total strangers, are more than are willing to jump out of swings at maximum height, climb and maneuver over playground equipment, and even try wild acrobatic moves with little to no regard for their own safety!

I used to live in a subdivision with lots of kids under the age of 10. Many of them would play in the street or run from yard to yard chasing each other. One thing they all could do was perform gymnastic moves like back handsprings and flips…all of them! I called them the “gymnastics gang.” One day I asked them, “Who taught you to do those flips and back handsprings?” They confidently said, “No one, we taught ourselves!”
I thought to myself, “Wow, it takes some guts for them to try those stunts. What risk takers!”

Interestingly enough, God wants His children to take risks too; no matter how old we are, how dangerous something may seem or how fearful we may become. The Bible says, “…it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). When God prompts us to do something by the tugging of the Holy Spirit, He wants us to walk in simple obedience, even if it seems illogical to our natural reasoning. Does that mean we bypass all common sense and throw it out the window when making a decision? No, but God speaks to us in our inner being – deep down on the inside of our heart. Many times, we try to figure everything out and want it to make sense to us before we will even consider following God. After all, why would God ask us to do something that is uncomfortable, scary or beyond our control?

Jesus had to teach His own disciples how to follow Him by faith and not by sight. The 12 had just seen Jesus miraculously feed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish, and then were asked by Jesus to get in a boat and go to the other side of the lake. The book of Matthew records, “Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’ clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Do not be afraid,” He said. “Take courage. I am here!” Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” (Matthew 14:24-31).

Peter was the only disciple to get out of the boat! The other 11 men stood watching, afraid to venture out to Jesus. Just think, Peter was the only disciple we ever read about walking on water! He stepped out and took a risk and because of it, he did something supernatural. Jesus told Peter to come to Him on the water and Peter obeyed.

In the same way, we need to be responsive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our lives. How many times do we miss a supernatural moment simply because we are afraid to “get out of the boat?” God is constantly calling us, beckoning to us, even drawing us out onto the water. But, like the disciples, we look at our surroundings and become fearful. Instead of keeping our eyes on Jesus, who is bigger than the storm, we look at the raging wind and waves around us and stop trusting God. In the end, we miss what God wants to do for us and through us.

I want to encourage you to be a Peter and get out of the boat! Has God called you to do something, but you are too anxious to take that initial step? Maybe God is leading you to the mission field and you are afraid to leave your current profession. Maybe God is asking you to start a new business, but the fear of failure immobilizes you. Instead of your dreams becoming a reality, they remain a distant thought. Or maybe you have been hurt in a past relationship and refuse to consider marriage again, even though God has put a desire in you to remarry. Again, I want to encourage you to listen to the Holy Spirit and GET OUT OF THE BOAT! God wants to lead you into an extraordinary adventure full of meaning and purpose. But if you are unwilling to let Him guide you, you will never experience the supernatural life God called you to live! Peter was not perfect and neither are you. If you fall down, God will help you get back up. Have childlike faith and be a risk taker! Obey God’s leading and start walking on water today!

Cory can be reached at [email protected]

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