“You of little faith”?

This morning I am reminded of Peter in the account found in Matthew 14:22-33 NIV. Let me challenge you to read this passage within its context by reading it in your own Bible. If you dont have a Bible, you can find it at BibleGateway.com.

Now that you have read of the account, try to imagine that you are Peter. Everyone around you is saying that Jesus is a “ghost”. These people cannot see that it really is Jesus, but Peter decides to test this “ghost” or spirit. Peter knew that Jesus was a miracle worker and had compassion for people.

This passage of Scripture, at times, has led people to believe that Peter had little faith, but is that really true? Coukd it be that he had great faith, but that the people who surrounded him challenge God his faith in the midst of his storm?

Following Jesus will sometimes mean that you wont be doing what is considered popular, and you might be walking alone in it except for the hand of Jesus that guides you.

The question I have for you is this: when you consider following Jesus, what would you do if God told you to do something completely unpopular?

Considering the current circumstances of this world – facing a virus that is seemingly unpredictable that has forced us to stay home – what can we gleen from all of this?

Before all of this began, we would consider that a missed appointment could be a missed car accident, or being late to work would cause us to encounter someone who had a need. In my experience with God, it is exactly in his character to change the schedules we have made for ourselves to use for good. He has done this many times for our family.

Could it possibly be that someone losing their job might cause them to cry out to Jesus? Could it possibly be that having the kids at home doing schoolwork would cause us parents to learn more about our kids? Could it cause our kids to be home away from friends and all of the pressures of social society so that they can get a reboot? Could it be that this generation of children needed to get away from all of the pressures to see what that life is not what they thought? Could it be that when we come out of this storm our kids will have a better understanding of what it is to be responsible? Could it be that all along our priorities were in the wrong order? Could it be that God loves us enough to take everything away for a time so we can draw closer to him? Could it be that God is about to allow the world to have what it’s been longing for, but before he does, he wants to prepare us to be ready to meet him?

Above all, we must remember that God is faithful, and we must rely to see everything with a different perspective. God is so good to us. He wants the best for us, but so often we seek the things in life that cause trouble.

Going back to Peter in the account, He stepped out onto water in a dark place, and when things got shaking, Jesus grabbed his hand and lifted him up. Peter didnt have to swim. Peter didnt drown. Peter was lifted up. Some might day that Peter had a lack of faith, but the lack of faith was Jesus observation of him. If Peter didnt have faith, then he never would have stepped out onto the that water.

There is no doubt that our faith will be shaken in these days. I believe, though, it is the posture of our hearts that determine so much. We may not have the time to spend reading our Bibles and on our knees like we were before, but if Jesus asked you to step out on water, and you had only a second to decide, how would you respond? Would you sit down in the boat refusing to step forward or would you respond to God without hesitation?

We are taught in the Bible that we are to test the spirits. Would you allow the spirit to be tested? If then the spirit was proved to be Jesus, would you be ready to move forward without hesitation? Or would you jump ahead before testing? Or would you not give it another thought thinking the request was completely unreasonable? How would you respond?

What is your heart posture today? Despite your lack of Bible reading and devotional time, is your heart bent toward God and ready to respond at a moments notice. I truly believe that this is what God wants for us. It could mean life versus death, or even a blessing versus a curse. How would you respond to Him today?

Set your hearts toward God, and it is guaranteed that He will be the most faithful.

Go forth and be blessed my friend.

You must be strong

This morning, I am reading from Ephesians 6. There is so much to absorb in this chapter, but the verse that stands out to me this morning is verse 10:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Here, Paul tells us to be strong as if strength comes within ourselves. What he is saying to us is that as children of God, we are already given the power to rise up, and it comes through the mighty power of the Lord.

The power of the Lord is what helps us to live out this life, but to be strong takes determination. Do you have the audacity to be determined to be strong in these last days, to not let the devil take a foothold? Had God spoken something into your heart to fulfill that the people you encounter never encourage you but speak as if you were incapable of accomplishing what God set before you. These people may have even doubted that God chose you to do such things.

It has been my experience that when this happens, you must ask God for confirmation and not doubt God for what he has shown you. Stand firm in your faith. As Ephesians 6:10 says,

…, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

In this crazy world, it can be easy to forget that we have access to the power of the Almighty God to be strong and to fulfill the will he has called us to.

Being strong is a choice. To be strong, you must lay aside all things that stands in the way of you accomplishing the will of God – not your will, but God’s Will. To stand you must forgive others and set yourself on the path that God has set for you. Ask God to remind you what that path is, and even ask him to confirm it. There is no shame in trying to be sure of something. Every step we take is important, and, well, the devil likes to put stumbling blocks in our path. Don’t let him!

Lean on the Lord, ” be strong in the Lord”, and reach out to gain access to “his mighty power”.

Go forth and be blessed, my friend.