Sunday, January 3, 2016

Come, He Told Me

Matthew 14:22-32

22 Then He made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds.  23 And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them.  25 And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.  26 But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out for fear.  27 But immediately He spoke to them, saying, “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.”
28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, bid me 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; 30 but 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 caught him, saying to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?”  32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
“Come,” is was really Jesus’ way of telling Peter, “You can do it, it’s your turn, quit making excuses, break free of your fears and walk in faith.”
So many of us live beneath our potential, too often we live what we’ll call the “safe life.”  So many times we sit back in our comfortable safe places and talk about everything we would do for God “if” He ever called us.  But every once in a while you run into someone who heard Jesus say “come” and they stretch beyond the edge of comfortable and follow Jesus in faith.
What will you do when Jesus says “Come?”
You and I may never actually physically follow Peter out on the deep blue sea, we may never be in the situation or the circumstances that Peter was in when he literally got out of his boat in the middle of a life threatening storm and in the presence of eye witnesses, walked on top of the water.  To be honest I can hear a sigh of relief in my spirit as I write those words, because as exciting as it is, and as encouraging as it is to read about Peter walking on top of the water, and Peter putting that which was over his head under his feet, the truth is most Christians have no desire to walk on the water when there is a perfectly good boat anywhere nearby.
But while we may never physically leave the safety of a perfectly good boat and leap out onto a raging sea. There will be times in our lives as we follow Christ that we will be challenged to duplicate that same reckless faith and abandon that Peter had when he let go of everything so he could hold onto a word.  There is going to be, at some point in your faith journey, a time when you have to choose the high road or the low road.
It takes a certain measure of faith just to ride out the storm. It takes a certain measure of faith to keep your sanity when all hell is breaking loose against your family, your finances, your health, and your ministry.  Some people are quick to criticize those other disciples as being fearful and faithless: But I don’t because I know how it feels to be in a storm, and I know how much faith it takes just to stay in the boat.
It took faith to keep praising, to keep trusting, to keep tithing, and keep sowing, and keep confessing when I couldn’t see any relief in sight.  I couldn’t feel any relief in my body, and I couldn’t see anything but storm clouds and rough waters. It took faith to stay in the boat when the doctors told me last year I had cancer, but I had abandoned ship before in a storm and I nearly drowned.
No, I will not condemn them!  They made it thru the storm, they made it to the other side and that’s something to shout about right there.  I made it: I didn’t feel like I was going to make it, it didn’t look like I was going to make it, the doctors report said I wouldn’t make it, but here I am on the other side.
I only have one thing to say about those other disciples, they missed the opportunity to take the high road.  They were brought to a place where they could have chosen a greater glory, they missed the opportunity to have the testimony of a water walker.  Their testimony was, “We made it, we survived, we rode out the storm, and we’re still standing.”
But when Peter began to testify, his testimony was different.  Yes, he was in the boat with the rest, yes he feared like all the others disciples, but when Peter saw Jesus walking on the water something on the inside of Peter told him, “I can do that, if Jesus can do it, then I can too.  All I need is a Word from the Master.”
Maybe all you need to go from surviving spiritually, to thriving is a word from the Master.  Maybe all you need to make your “2016” greater than your “2015” is a “can do” word.  There may be a thousand voices telling you that you can’t do it, and a thousand reasons why can’t do it: You’re not educated enough, you’re not old enough, you’re too old, you’re the wrong color, you’re from the wrong side of town, you don’t have enough money, and you don’t have any experience.  But if you have a “can do” word from God, you can do the impossible: You can go where they said you could never go, and you can do what they said you can never do, and you can be what they said you could never be, and you can have what they said you could never have.
“I can do all things through Christ” Philippians 4:13
“If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” Matthew 9:23
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
Peter had a word: “Come!”  That’s all he had, but that’s all he needed!  No doubt the disciples probably argued with him and told him, it was impossible and begged him to stay in the boat, and stay on the same faith level that they were on, but Peter had heard the Call!  Everyone in the boat had the same opportunity Peter had to walk on the water, the circumstances were the same, Jesus was the same, the word was the same.  They chose to hold on to the boat, but Peter chose to act on the Word. 
When Peter acted upon the word, he stepped into a brand new anointing.  He stepped into a supernatural water walking anointing, He began moving and walking and operating in the same realm and the same anointing that Jesus was functioning in: – Romans 8:11
11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Let me make a point here: Jesus didn’t force Peter to get out of the boat, Jesus didn’t threaten Peter. Jesus didn’t condemn the other disciples for not walking on the water.  Jesus simply came to them all in a way that presented an opportunity for them to move to another level in their faith.  He created an avenue for them to step from one realm of anointing to another, He called them to a higher experience, and a higher manifestation of His power in their lives.  But only one took that step: That step separated Peter from the rest of the disciples.  That step drew a line between the boat sitters and the water walkers.
Peter you say only walked on the water for a moment, but let me say this, I’d rather have a moment of walking on the water, than a life time of sitting in the boat.  I prophesy and I declare to you today that there is a new stirring in the spirit, and many who have been comfortable and satisfied in the boat of mediocrity and religious expectation and traditions of man are getting uncomfortable.
The Spirit is calling you to “Come!”  And many of God’s people are realizing that they weren’t created for the confines and the restrictions and the limitations of a boat sitting religion.  In other words, we are discovering our destiny, we are discovering our purpose, and we are discovering the power that resides in us.
And we are discovering that we are not boat sitters, we are water walkers!  We are finding out that we are not chickens, we are eagles!
Some of you reading this: You can’t figure it out, you’re uncomfortable, you’re uneasy and kind of edgy and irritable; nothing really satisfies you, you’re not satisfied by what you eat or the job you have or the car you drive.  You leave church feeling like something’s missing and you want to blame it on the Pastor, or the praise and worship team, or the teacher or the evangelist.
But the truth is: It’s not their fault, a different job or different food, or a different church, or more money, isn’t going to fix it.  The problem is that your spirit has heard the Master call to you, “Come!”  Your spirit wants to break free but your flesh is trying to keep you in the boat.  It’s the anointing that is calling you, and it’s the anointing that is pulling at you.  The same anointing that pulled Peter out of that boat. It’s that same word that called Peter to a life in the supernatural.
Jesus is calling you to “Come,” what will you answer?
When Jesus says “Come,” everything you need to accomplish the work He called you to is contained in that word.

1 comment:

  1. Very well said, Chaplain Hall! Many criticize Peter for his moments of weakness, but lose sight of his moments of great victory! Like all Christian lives, we are neither "all good" nor "all bad". Our witness contains both highs and lows. We hope, of course, that as we grow older in The Faith, we have fewer lows and MORE highs!