What do you think when people say things like:
- “The Spirit of God was so strong on Sunday morning.”
- “We welcome the Holy Spirit here today.” (You don’t welcome a person who owns everything.)
- “We want God to be with us during this hour” (Does that mean you won’t need Him afterwards?)
The Christian life is not about feelings, it is about knowing.
True worship is always tested by obedience. It’s not about how we feel. If it does not lead me to obedience then I may as well go wherever it makes me feel good.
The way we know we have worshiped God is when we obey what He has told us. The Christian life is not about us – it’s about Him.
“And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.” Matthew 14:22
None of the disciples asked why he put them in the boat. What must be going through the minds of the disciples? They had just witnessed him feed 5,000 people with only five loaves and two fish. They are so in awe of him that they would do whatever he wants.
“And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.” Matthew 14:23
Jesus was alone, and yet we fight loneliness. Jesus sought to be alone with God because he wants to press into his Father.
“But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.” Matthew 14:24
Verse14 was possibly the very first Jacuzzi. The rain was beating down when they were in the middle of the sea, and Jesus really turns on the swirling motion.
When we have children, we are so happy. Then we send them to school and the stress begins. Then we send them to college and the stress increases. The cycle continues. Eventually we realize we could never afford to have children in the first place. But God has never missed a minute of being faithful to us. We doubt Him over and over. It must be sad to be God.
“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” (Matthew 14:25-27)
False religions will stay in business as long as there is fear. Fear distorts our perception so badly that the solution seems like the problem. The disciples thought they had seen a ghost. Ghosts can not eat anything. That’s why when Jesus appeared after the resurrection, he asked for fish to eat. Ghosts do not eat fish.
“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshiped him, saying, of a truth thou art the Son of God. (Matthew 14:28-33)
They cried out in fear, and Jesus spoke to them with kindness. God is so gracious despite our reactions to him. He still loves us.
Peter did not walk on water. Peter walked on the words of Jesus. All Peter heard was “come” and Peter obeyed. Peter realized something the others did not realize. It is safer to be with Christ in the storm than to be with all the other believers in the boat. Jesus and Peter got back in the boat and it became calm.
No matter the distance you go in life, one thing is for certain – you can expect storms. Have enough faith like Peter, and step out of the boat.
Faithful is He who calls you unto Himself – even in a storm!