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Where is Our Faith

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Where Is Our Faith?

Matthew 14:22-33

Climbing the ladder on the house story.  When I jumped off my faith was in the fact I had seen guys parachuting and landing safely. Now that was stupid faith, but I had faith.  Luckily I didn’t break every bone in my body.  But I stepped out on faith.

   This account in scripture shows us every aspect of faith in our lives.  It gives us a guide on how faith can help us reach the goal.  The goal is Jesus Christ.

1.  Faith asks in Prayer (v. 28)

            Why was only Peter asked to get out of the boat?  Because only Peter asked to get out and walk to the Lord.  Peter asked the Lord in faith to get out of the boat.  None of the others asked, so none of the others received the blessing.  They all sat there on the boat watching.  How many times do we as Christians not receive the blessings God wants for us, because we don’t ask.  Turn to James Chapter 5 verse 13.

13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestlyb that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.[1]

      Prayer is the key that unlocks God’s blessings in our lives.  We are just afraid to ask.  Keep in mind, if you ask for God’s will to be done in your life no matter the cost--- Be prepared for rain!! I hear people say “Lord, whatever you want I will do” and then they add “but I really want to stay where I’m at, doing what I want to do and God I just need you to work in that limit.”  Are we really asking for God’s will or our own desires?

2.  Faith Seeks God’s Will

         Peter asked “ If it be thou, bid me to come”  Lord if that’s you, tell me to come to you!!!!  We need to always seek the Lord first, to do His will.   The goal of faith must always be, obedience to the will of the Lord.  Faith is not a tool for us to use to get what we want.  Peter wasn’t making demands or claiming his right to walk on water.  He was humbly wanting the will of the Lord.  We must always look to Christ for His will, not our own. 

3.  Faith Waits on the Lord

        Peter didn’t presume to know what the Lord would do.  He didn’t go jumping out of the boat, because he just knew the Lord would let him.  He waited for the Lord to summon him.  Sometimes, we get ourselves in trouble by not waiting on the Lord to answer us.  We just jump right in and assume that we know what His answer will be.  “Lord, I’m asking for your will in this, but I know that it is what you would want me to do.  So I’m just going to go ahead, and you can answer whenever you have an extra minute.”  I know a lot of churches that have built buildings or added programs just because they “knew” that the Lord wanted them to do it.  Wait on the Lord, sometimes you have to wait a while.  God reveals His will in His time, not ours.  We need to listen to the entire council of God.  Not just cherry pick what we want to hear.  With God, He wants our all to Him.  Not just the part we want to surrender.

4.  Faith Trusts and Obeys (v.29)

        When God shows us His will, we MUST trust and obey.  The old hymn goes “Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus.  But to trust and obey”

        And trust me, you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt when the Lord tells you His will.  He makes it so loud and clear that it sounds like He is talking thru a bullhorn.  Sometimes I think that is because we are sometimes so hard headed that it takes a bullhorn for God to get thru our thick skulls.  When I was called into ministry, I tried to ignore the call, I tried to say it wasn’t really a call, I tried to find excuses not to answer the call.  And I finally realized that the caller ID that kept flashing was “this is your God calling, pick up or I’ll just keep getting louder”   Let God’s will prevail in your life.  Your faith will grow immensely if you will just honor His will in your life. 

Peter put all his confidence in Christ’s Word, and didn’t look at his own inability to walk on water.  God’s grace is sufficient for us.  He doesn’t expect you to do it on your own.  He will supply the ability and grace to do His will.  We need to be like Peter, put our trust in the Lord and not rely on our own strength.

5.  Faith Is Zealous

      When Christ said “Come”  Peter didn’t wait for further instructions.  He didn’t look for Christ to supply more details.  He didn’t wait for someone to push him overboard.  He went!  That is the same response God wants from us.  When he provides us with what He wants, we do it! Period.  No questions about how we get there or details about how to do it.  Just do it!!!  He will provide the answers in His time.  Not ours!!  Remember that God has it all worked out, and we are just to respond.  Let Him handle the details.

6. Saving Faith (v. 30-31)

         Peter cries out “Lord save me” and Jesus reached out his hand and saved him.  Peter had faith that the Lord would save him.  We have to have that saving faith to be pulled from the depths of sin.  And God provides with Saving Grace.  Only by grace are we saved.  God doesn’t owe it to us, grace is free.  Faith is God be merciful to me a sinner.  I deserve the cross, He didn’t.  Call on the name of the Lord and thou shalt be saved.  Romans 4:16 says

16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all[2]

We have that Saving Grace that is only available thru Christ.  Buddhists believe by faith, but that is all they have.  Just this week the news had an article that many Buddhists believe that Buddha has been reincarnated in this individual and are flocking by the thousands to worship this man.  They have faith in a man, but do not have God’s grace.  Thank God he loves us enough to give us grace.  All we need to do is accept it and keep our eyes on the goal of Christ.

7.  Christ Is the Goal

      Sometimes you hear preacher’s use this story of Peter to say this is a message to bring us to greater fulfillment.  That if we will just use this we can strive to be a better more fulfilled person here on earth.  Christ did not come to earth and die on the cross to be our personal guru to achieve a better life.  The goal of the gospel IS Christ.  We are to come to Him and He will commune with us.  Can you think of a better goal in life than Christ?  Keep your eyes on Jesus, He is the answer.

8.  Peter Didn’t Have the Power (v.30-31)

      Christ never imparted the power to walk on water to Peter.  The very second he took his eyes off the goal of Christ he sank like a concrete slab.  The next time Peter went to the water, he still had to take a boat.  Christ did not give him the ability to walk on water any time he wanted.  Only thru Christ was Peter able to walk on water.  Sometimes you hear some of these tv preachers go all around displaying the abilities like a circus sideshow.  Telling people that God gave them the ability permanently and look what they can do now.  All power and authority is only thru Christ Jesus.  We can do nothing on our own. 

9.  Why do many Christians Never Walk on Water?

              Is Our Faith still in the boat?

                   Are we so afraid to step out on faith that we just sit there in that safe little boat and fear stepping out?  And then say, “Boy I sure wish God would use me like He does Joe over there”  He will, if you will just let Him.  Step over the side of that boat on faith, and follow His will.

              Or Is Our faith at the bottom of the sea?

                      Did we at one time take a step of faith off that boat, but we let the storms and cares of this world take our eyes off the face of Christ?  Did we allow our faith to sink to the bottom of the sea like Peter?  Now our faith is rusting away in the depths of the ocean and all we do is look back at the past.  “You know, back in 1950 I took a step of faith for God.  Yep, best 2 weeks of my life.  Wish I had kept on with it, but now it’s too late for me.  God has used me all He can”  God is NEVER done using you.  If you just seek His will, and let Him rule your life He will use you till the day you die or until He returns.  Whichever comes first.

              Is Our Faith fixed on Jesus Christ?

                     Finally, Is our faith fixed on the One who died on the cross for us. 

I just heard a story this week of a pastor that took a group on a tour to Israel.  The group was made up of believers except for one person.  He was an agnostic that was going just to see where all this hype about Christ originated.  One of the stops like all tours is the garden tomb.  They had the usually services there and the pastor was walking around outside, just trying to keep track of all his people.  Making sure everyone was okay.  Suddenly he hears someone yelling and shouting.  It was coming from inside the tomb.  Like all tour leaders, he set out on a run knowing that someone got hurt which is always a fear.  He runs into the tomb.  There is the agnostic, jumping up and down shouting and yelling “It’s true, it’s true”  The pastor asked him what he was shouting about.  The man said “It’s true, He is risen.  He isn’t here.”  That man was saved by grace in the garden tomb when the Holy Spirit gave him the faith to accept the truth.   Christ is the way.   Is our faith in Jesus Christ so strong that no matter what the future brings, no matter what life has in store for us we are His!!  In this world today we sometimes start worrying and fretting on what the future holds.  Don’t, that is a sin.  Just put our eyes on the goal of Jesus Christ and He will take care of us across those stormy seas. 

       Now, where is your faith??? Habakkuk 3:17-19 says:

17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: 18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.[3]

The Lord is our strength and where our faith should reside.

 

 

 


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