Faith or fear, what is driving your decisions?
"And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." 29 He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
Peter believed Jesus would not command him to do anything He would not help him do and only Jesus could help him walk on water. Based on Peter's belief he sought to verify if the "ghost" was actually Jesus. Peter said, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water."
Jesus gave the command, "come" and Peter got out of the boat and started walking to Jesus. Jesus was helping him do the impossible. Incredible.
Then, Peter made the mistake of taking his eyes off of Jesus and began looking at the wind whipping up the waves. Fear replaced Peter's faith and he began to sink into the water. Peter quickly called out for Jesus to save him. Jesus reached out and grabbed Peter and got him back into the boat. Jesus instructed Peter that his "little faith" was the reason he began to sink.
What lessons we can learn from this text?
Fear of circumstances keeps us from obeying Jesus's impossible commands. Faith in Jesus keeps us obeying Jesus's impossible commands. Every command from Jesus is impossible for us to do alone, we need His help.
John 15:5 instructs us, "...Apart from me (Jesus) you can do nothing." The key to doing the impossible in our daily walk is to keep focused on Jesus and not on our adverse circumstances and on our own ability. Paul wrote to the Hebrew Christians undergoing severe trials, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus..." (Hebrew 12:2).
Jesus words to His followers are the same as to the woman caught in adultery, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more." (John 8:11). Sin is not doing what Jesus commands (James 4:17) and doing what Jesus says not to do (John 8:3,11; Colossians 3:5-9). Jesus commands us to stop our habit of sin just like Jesus commanded Peter to walk to Him on the water.
If we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and not on our own ability or adverse circumstances that provoke our sin, then we will stop our habit of sin. If we take our eyes off Jesus and fall again into our habit of sin, then we follow Peter's example and cry out for Jesus's help. He will reach out, help us out of our sin and help us once again walk free from our sinful habit.
We are to walk by faith in Jesus overcoming our sin and not being drowned in it. Keep looking at Jesus and not our ability or our provoking circumstances.
Three key questions to ask as we prayerfully read the scriptures: