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← Getting Out of the Boat - Tim Conway

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Showing Revision 6 created 04/21/2018 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. Matthew 14:21
  2. "And those who ate were about 5,000 men
  3. besides women and children.
  4. Immediately..."
  5. You're going to find that word
  6. three times in this section.
  7. Immediately.
  8. Matthew and Mark love to use that word.
  9. "Immediately, He made the disciples
  10. get into the boat and go before Him
  11. to the other side
  12. while He dismissed the crowds.
  13. And after He had dismissed the crowds,
  14. He went up on the mountain
  15. by Himself to pray.
  16. When evening came,
  17. He was there alone,
  18. but the boat by this time
  19. was a long way from the land,
  20. beaten by the waves,
  21. for the wind was against them.
  22. And in the fourth watch of the night,
  23. He came to them walking on the sea.
  24. But when the disciples saw
    Him walking on the sea,
  25. they were terrified
    and said, 'It is a ghost!'
  26. They cried out in fear.
  27. Immediately, Jesus spoke to them, saying,
  28. 'Take heart. It is I. Do not be afraid.'
  29. Peter answered Him, 'Lord, if it is You,
  30. command me to come to You on the water.'
  31. He said, 'Come.'
  32. So Peter got out of the boat
    and walked on the water
  33. and came to Jesus.
  34. But when he saw the wind,
  35. he was afraid, and beginning to sink,
  36. he cried out, 'Lord, save me!'
  37. Jesus immediately reached out His hand
  38. and took hold of him, saying to him,
  39. 'O you of little faith,
  40. why did you doubt?'
  41. And when they got into the boat,
  42. the wind ceased,
  43. and those in the boat worshiped Him,
  44. saying, 'Truly, You are the Son of God.'"
  45. Let's pray.

  46. Father, I would just ask You
  47. to give us that power to comprehend
  48. the love of Christ,
    and the glory of Christ,
  49. and the beauty of Christ
  50. that's to be found in this passage.
  51. Help us, Lord.
  52. Help us.
  53. I pray in Christ's name,
  54. Amen.
  55. The question I want to pose
    to you this morning is this:

  56. Why is this here?
  57. Not why is it right here?
  58. Not why is this account in Matthew 14
    instead of somewhere else?
  59. But why would God
    record this for us at all?
  60. Is this here just so we can say,
  61. yep, there's Peter again,
  62. bumbling;
  63. impetuous as ever,
  64. acting without thinking,
  65. sinking without believing.
  66. Listen, if that's all you get,
  67. may God help you to think again.
  68. Think, Christian! Think!
  69. Think!
  70. Why? Why does God preserve for us
  71. what He preserves for us?
  72. Why does God freeze events
  73. that happened 2,000 years ago -
  74. He freezes them in time.
  75. And He saved them for us. Why?
  76. Well, all you have to
    do is start thinking.
  77. What does Scripture say?
  78. Like you might go to 1 Corinthians 10
  79. and say, ah, Exodus,
  80. Leviticus, Numbers... remember?
  81. The Hebrew children out
    there in the wilderness?
  82. The Apostle Paul says guess what that is?
  83. That is an example.
  84. That is for us.
  85. Those were written down
    for our instruction.
  86. Those people - they came
    out through the sea.
  87. They were with Moses.
  88. They went out into that wilderness.
  89. And they mumbled, they complained,
  90. they grumbled, there were serpents,
  91. there was judgment.
  92. Why all of that?
  93. For our instruction upon whom the ends
  94. of the world have come;
  95. or the end of this age,
  96. the end of this time.
  97. We are the people that the
    end of the ages has come upon.
  98. Whatever was written in former times,
  99. Paul says in another place,
  100. what is it there for?
  101. Whatever was written in former times
  102. is for us; it's for our instruction.
  103. That what? Through the Scriptures,
  104. there would be endurance, encouragement,
  105. in the Scriptures that we might have hope.
  106. Or you think about Luke.
  107. What did he say?
    "O excellent Theophilus..."
  108. I am going to record some things for you
  109. so that you might know with a certainty.
  110. That's why these things have
    been recorded for us.
  111. Certainty. Hope.
  112. Or you think of the Apostle John.
  113. What did he say?
  114. He said, well, you know what?
  115. There's a whole lot that Jesus Christ did,
  116. but there are some very specific things
  117. that I have recorded for you, why?
  118. So that you might know
    that Jesus is the Christ.
  119. That you might know who He is,
  120. and knowing, you might have eternal life.
  121. That's what we find.
  122. Scripture.
  123. This is Scripture.
  124. And why is it here?

  125. Well, it's inspired. It's breathed of God.
  126. It's profitable.
  127. And you know what it's here for?
  128. It's to make the man of
    God complete or perfect.
  129. That's why these things
    are recorded for us.
  130. So we can't just say,
  131. well, you know, Jesus walking on water;
  132. Peter walking on water,
  133. that's a neat story,
  134. but it really doesn't
    have much implication
  135. in my own life.
  136. That's not true.
  137. It's an example.
  138. It is to give us certainty.
  139. It is to give us hope.
  140. It is to give us an idea
  141. about who this Christ is
  142. that we're dealing with.
  143. Certainty about Christ.
  144. So, let's get a feel,

  145. just walk through the account,
  146. and get a feel.
  147. You might have noticed
  148. that I started reading in verse 21.
  149. Now, here's what I want you to do.
  150. Not just go through the account again,
  151. but I want you to put yourself
  152. in the disciples' place.
  153. Think with me here.
  154. What are these guys thinking?
  155. What have they seen?
  156. What's going through their minds?
  157. They just witnessed
  158. one of our Lord's greatest miracles -
  159. thousands and thousands of people -
  160. He fed them all.
  161. And then you read it,
  162. "Immediately, He made the disciples..."
  163. - He made -
  164. "...the disciples go down into the boat."
  165. Now, think what's going on in their mind.
  166. They're walking down to the boat.
  167. They've just been witness to this miracle.
  168. There was a power.
  169. There was a glory in all of that.
  170. But you know what?
  171. It ended so strangely.
  172. And Matthew doesn't
    really pick up on this.
  173. John picks up on it.
  174. And so if you've got your
    finger there in John 6,
  175. I want you to see something.
  176. John 6:14,
  177. "When the people saw the sign
  178. that Jesus had done..." -
  179. the feeding 5,000 men
    plus women and children.
  180. That's the miracle
    that's being talked about.
  181. That's the sign.
  182. "...They said,
  183. 'This is indeed the Prophet.'"
  184. Now do you see what happened?
  185. All these thousands and
    thousands, they've been fed.
  186. And the crowd, they're saying,
  187. "Hey, this is the One!"
  188. "This is the Prophet!"
  189. "This is the One Moses spoke about!"
  190. Now, you know, doesn't it seem like
    that would be a good thing?
  191. The crowd began to recognize that?
  192. Isn't it amazing?
  193. It's mystifying how many times
  194. Jesus would say to people,
  195. "Don't tell anybody about Me."
  196. "Don't tell people what I've done."
  197. I mean, this is kind of similar.
  198. The people are recognizing something,
  199. and we look at it and we say,
  200. well, certainly that seems
    like it's a good thing.
  201. "This is indeed the Prophet
  202. who is to come into the world."
  203. But here's Jesus,
  204. "perceiving then that they were about
  205. to come and take Him by force
  206. to make Him King,
  207. Jesus withdrew again to the mountain
  208. by Himself."
  209. Now, here's the thing,

  210. I want us to imagine
    being those disciples.
  211. They're watching all this.
  212. They knew.
  213. They knew - you know,
    those disciples were asked:
  214. "Who do men say that I am?"
  215. But, "Who do you say that I am?"
  216. They say, "You're the Christ."
  217. You see, they knew this.
  218. And you can imagine them looking.
  219. Yes! The crowd is jumping on board.
  220. The crowd sees who He is.
  221. The people are finally getting it.
  222. They're beginning to understand
    what we already understood.
  223. You can imagine them,
  224. they're getting in the boat,
  225. and there's such a mystery about Christ.
  226. There's a power.
  227. There's a beauty.
  228. There's a glory.
  229. But something just so perplexing.
  230. The people are saying,
  231. "It's time to make Jesus King!"
  232. And that's what they were waiting for.
  233. That's what the
    disciples were waiting for.
  234. They kept asking Him,
    "When? "When's the Kingdom?"
  235. "Is it now, Lord? It's now, right?"
  236. "You're going to take the throne now
  237. and we're going to sit on
    these thrones with you
  238. and that's all going to happen."
  239. So they're seeing that.
    You can imagine them.
  240. This is the moment we've been waiting for.
  241. It's all coming together.
  242. And Israel's lining up.
  243. The people are lining up.
  244. But the problem is
  245. Jesus doesn't cooperate.
  246. He doesn't take His throne.
  247. He shuts the whole thing down.
  248. Immediately,
  249. He dismisses the disciples.
  250. He dismissed the crowds.
  251. And He goes up on a mountain to pray.
  252. You know, they're getting in the boat,

  253. and they begin to head out.
  254. And they're thinking...
  255. I mean, how would you be thinking
  256. if you saw this sort of miracle happen?
  257. But then everything you
    thought about the Messiah
  258. and His coming and being King -
  259. and Jesus shut it down.
  260. He's so supernatural.
  261. He's so powerful and pure.
  262. But He just doesn't do
    what He's supposed to do.
  263. If He's the King of Israel, then why?
  264. Why this?
  265. And so they're going out there.
  266. And what we see from the account,
  267. darkness settles around them.
  268. Of course, there's got to be this wind.
  269. A buddy and I rowed out in a row boat

  270. out onto Three Mile Lake
  271. up there in Paw Paw, Michigan.
  272. It was beautiful.
  273. We had our fishing poles.
  274. We rowed out on this lake pretty far
  275. and while we were out there,
  276. a cold front blew in.
  277. Wind - and it was not so nice going back.
  278. It was cold. It was windy.
  279. Not waves like we find here,
  280. but that was difficult,
    rowing against that.
  281. I remember what that was like.
  282. Here are these guys.

  283. Darkness settles in,
  284. and this wind whips up.
  285. And my understanding is
    their boats had a sail.
  286. But what's happening is that wind
    is blowing directly at them.
  287. That sail does no good.
  288. They have to grab the oars.
  289. We're told it's the
    fourth watch of the night.
  290. That's between 3 and 4 a.m.
  291. They started in evening.
  292. They've been rowing 3 to 4
    miles is what we're told.
  293. Wind, storm.
  294. Can you imagine that?
  295. And you hear one of them.

  296. Maybe it was Thomas back there.
  297. "What is that?"
  298. I don't know if it was like that.
  299. This unearthly fear grabs them.
  300. Someone or something is moving
  301. across the top of the water.
  302. It's dark. It's stormy.
  303. This is not good.
  304. I mean they literally cry out,
    "It's a phantasm!"
  305. It says they screamed with terror!
  306. These are men's men.
  307. These are sailors, fisherman.
  308. These guys are gripped with fear.
  309. The thing I love about this
  310. is one of those immediately's
    comes in right here.
  311. "Immediately..."
  312. Everything changes.
  313. Immediately, this sweet, familiar voice.
  314. Steady voice.
  315. It comes to their ears
  316. over the howl of the wind.
  317. "Take heart; it is I. Don't be afraid."
  318. And there's Peter.
  319. I mean, put yourself in there,
  320. among these 12 guys.
  321. And there's Peter.
  322. And I'll tell you what,
  323. it all registers with him right away.
  324. Bang bang!
  325. It's the Lord!
  326. I know that voice.
  327. "Lord, if it's You,
  328. command me to come to You."
  329. And that answer that comes back
  330. across those waters,
  331. above the howl of that wind,
  332. it's not: "That's silly, Peter."
  333. "Come."
  334. And the thing about it is,

  335. Matthew tells us what happens next.
  336. Look at Matthew 14:29.
  337. What happens next?
  338. "So Peter got out of the boat."
  339. Now just stop right there.
  340. Peter expected to walk, not swim.
  341. You know what? John 21?
  342. There's another time Peter's in the boat.
  343. And the Lord comes to the shore.
  344. And you remember John says,
  345. "Hey Peter, that's the Lord."
  346. Do you remember what he did?
  347. He threw himself into the water.
  348. You throw yourself into the sea
  349. when you plan to swim.
  350. But you know, that's not what
    it says here in Matthew 14.
  351. It's different.
  352. Peter got out of the boat and walked.
  353. He didn't throw himself into the sea.
  354. He wasn't thinking,
  355. "Lord, command me to come to You
  356. and I'll swim to You."
  357. That's not what he was thinking.
  358. Peter walked on water.
  359. The truth is we half expect
    Jesus to walk on water.
  360. Why? Because He can
    take loaves and fish...
  361. He did stuff like this. We expect it.
  362. We expect it, not if we were there,
  363. and we were beholding it first hand.
  364. I'm just saying 2,000 years removed,
  365. we expect Jesus to be able to do this.
  366. But the thing is Peter is doing it.
  367. And if you were actually there,
  368. imagine you're one of the other 11.
  369. This thing is getting more
    surreal by the moment.
  370. And the thing is,
  371. we're so used to the story,
  372. that we miss the ridiculousness of it all.
  373. The fact is the supernatural
    is mounting up here.
  374. Jesus walks across the water.
  375. Peter gets out of the boat.
  376. He walks across the water.
  377. He sinks.
  378. He comes back up.
  379. He and Jesus walk on the water again
  380. back to the boat.
  381. They get in the boat.
  382. The wind stops.
  383. And then the thing that
    Matthew doesn't tell us
  384. that John tells us
  385. is that then they were
    immediately at the shore.
  386. I mean, the miracles are stacking up here.
  387. They're coming at us in a hurry.
  388. And here's the thing,

  389. you know when you go to John's account,
  390. you know what happened.
  391. They're back at the land.
  392. And those people that
    were on the other side
  393. that ate of the fish and the bread,
  394. they were trying to figure all this out.
  395. Now, wait a second,
  396. the disciples went in the last boat.
  397. Jesus didn't get in the boat with them.
  398. How did He get here?
  399. These aren't the disciples.
  400. These aren't the ones that know.
  401. This is the crowd that ate the bread
  402. and the fish the day before.
  403. And specifically in John's Gospel,
  404. they ask Him.
  405. They say, "Rabbi, when did you come here?"
  406. "When did You come here?"
  407. What they're really looking
    for is an explanation.
  408. How did you get here?
  409. When?
  410. This doesn't make sense
  411. that You could be here already.
  412. Now, again, put yourself
    in the disciples' spot.

  413. Imagine if you're Peter.
  414. You know what's happened the night before.
  415. And the crowd's asking.
  416. And you're like, "Yeah, yeah! Tell them!
  417. That was exciting! Jesus, tell them!"
  418. You could imagine they're ready
  419. to jump out of their shoes to say,
  420. "Let me tell you how He got here!
  421. And when He got here!"
  422. But, silence.
  423. Not a word of explanation.
  424. "Jesus answered them,
    'Truly, truly, I say to you,
  425. you're seeking Me not
    because you saw signs,
  426. but because you ate
    your fill of the loaves.'"
  427. And you know what's interesting,
  428. He freely then speaks about the feeding
  429. of the 5,000.
  430. He speaks about the feeding.
  431. He speaks about the
    spiritual implications of this
  432. and how all this works out.
  433. He's the Bread of Life.
  434. John 6 is full of that.
  435. He has no problem
    talking about the miracle
  436. that happened the day before.
  437. But you know, all that happened
    on the sea that night,
  438. He's absolutely silent.
  439. And we might just say, why?
  440. Well, the obvious reason is
    that the miracles at sea
  441. were not for the crowd.
  442. Who were they for?
  443. They were for the disciples.
  444. And for us.
  445. For all of this, what is the lesson?

  446. What's the lesson in all of this?
  447. I'm going to use this word "impetuous."
  448. Impetuous.
  449. Oftentimes, we hear Peter - impetuous.
  450. What does that mean?
  451. Acting without thinking.
  452. But you see, here's the thing,
  453. is this teaching us that we should
    not be impetuous like Peter,
  454. and that we ought to be much slower
  455. to jump out of the safety of our boats?
  456. Is that what this is teaching?
  457. I doubt it.
  458. The emphasis is not on Peter sinking.
  459. The emphasis is to be
    found in these words:
  460. "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid."
  461. Now see, here's the thing.
  462. This account is found in Matthew's Gospel,
  463. Mark's Gospel, and John's Gospel.
  464. And you know what's interesting?
  465. The Peter incident is only preserved once.
  466. But in all three of them,
  467. God wants us to know;
  468. He wants us to hear
    what Jesus said to them.
  469. "It is I. Be of good cheer."
  470. "Take courage. I have come."
  471. That's the heart of this.
  472. It's not: Lose heart when it comes
    to getting out of the boat
  473. or you'll end up sinking like Peter.
  474. That's not the issue.
  475. It isn't primarily about Peter's failure
  476. or Peter's faith.
  477. It's primarily about Jesus' presence.
  478. Jesus has come.
  479. He is on the scene.
  480. That's the issue.
  481. Take heart. Take courage.
  482. You can be of good courage
    if you've got the Lord
  483. and the Lord has come
    and the Lord is there.
  484. And didn't He say,
  485. "Lo, I am with you always..."
  486. "I'll never leave you or forsake you."
  487. This is what this is all about.
  488. His presence.
  489. These three accounts hit us all
  490. with this reality.
  491. The emphasis is that when Jesus shows up
  492. things happen. What happens?
  493. A believer walks on water.
  494. Not just any place, any time,
  495. but at that place and
    time where Jesus comes;
  496. where Jesus is.
  497. That's what this is all about.
  498. And if anybody says,
  499. "No, no... it's not that.
  500. This can't be teaching that
    when Jesus is with me,
  501. I can do impossible things
    like walk on the water."
  502. If that's what you're thinking,
  503. you're missing the whole point.
  504. When Jesus came on the scene,
  505. the water obeyed Him.
  506. It held Him up. It held Peter up.
  507. The wind obeyed Him.
  508. The boat obeyed Him.
  509. That's what happens when Jesus comes.
  510. Take heart. Take courage.
  511. Be of good cheer.
  512. It is I. Do not be afraid.
  513. Jesus is saying that when I've arrived,
  514. when I'm with you, you're good.
  515. What we don't want to do is attack Peter.

  516. I mean, look, this whole account
  517. was not lost on Peter.
  518. Peter saw the Lord. It's the Lord!
  519. "Command me to come to You."
  520. He got out of that boat and he walked.
  521. It was not lost on him.
  522. Look, we can attack Peter,
  523. and that's oftentimes what
    happens when we read this.
  524. Oh, there's Peter again...
  525. he's sinking over there.
  526. No, Peter walked on water.
  527. Yes, he sank.
  528. Yes, we can say, well,
  529. he tried to keep Jesus
    from going to the cross.
  530. That's true. Yes, he
    denied him three times.
  531. That's true. Yes, he fell
    asleep in the garden.
  532. But I'll tell you this,
  533. he's the only one
    that trusted the Lord
  534. enough to get out of that
    boat and walk on water.
  535. That's a reality.
  536. He wasn't showing off.
  537. He wasn't being presumptuous.
  538. Why? Because Peter heard the Lord's voice.
  539. Some kind of confidence
    grabbed hold of him
  540. and he got out and he walked.
  541. And I'll tell you this,
  542. Jesus never faulted him for
    getting out of the boat.
  543. Jesus never faulted him for saying,
  544. "Lord, command me to come."
  545. He never faulted him
  546. for getting out of the boat.
  547. He never faulted him
  548. for walking on the water.
  549. He only faulted him for one thing.
  550. Only one thing -
  551. for doubting Christ
  552. once he was out of the boat.
  553. Listen.

  554. Presumption was never the problem here.
  555. I get the feeling sometimes,
    especially among those
  556. who bear this name
    "reformed" or "Calvinistic."
  557. It's almost like I get this feel
  558. that caution is the word of the day.
  559. That was not the case in Scripture.
  560. That is not the case.
  561. You cannot show me
  562. verse after verse after verse
  563. where Jesus was saying,
  564. "Guys, be very careful,
    lest you trust Me too much."
  565. Never did that come across.
  566. Nothing like that.
  567. You know what you find?

  568. You find that there in the
    Sermon on the Mount,
  569. we heard about it last night.
  570. God so clothes this
  571. and He takes care of that,
  572. and what does He say?
  573. "O you of little faith.... trust Me."
  574. You remember they were out there one
    day and they were in a boat again.
  575. They were with Jesus.
  576. And He said, "Beware of the
    leaven of the Pharisees."
  577. And they say, "Oh! We
    forgot to bring bread!"
  578. And He said,
  579. "O you of little faith."
  580. Or you remember another day.
  581. "Lord, why could we not cast that demon
  582. out of that young man?"
  583. "Because you didn't have faith."
  584. Isn't this what we get hit with
  585. over and over again?
  586. Or you remember another time
  587. that there was wind out there
    on the Sea of Galilee.
  588. And Jesus fell asleep in the boat.
  589. He didn't come walking
    on the water that time.
  590. But He woke up and same thing.
  591. "Why do you not trust Me?"
  592. You know, the thing is,

  593. we typically tend to fear presumption.
  594. Oh, I find that so often!
  595. We want to be so careful
  596. lest we be presumptuous,
  597. when in fact, Scripture seems to suggest
  598. that just the opposite is the issue.
  599. "Peter, why didn't you trust Me?"
  600. Not: "Peter, you idiot!"
  601. "Why were you so overconfident
  602. to step out of that boat?"
  603. It's not that.
  604. That's not what you find in Scripture.
  605. Constantly, Jesus is saying,
  606. "Do you not yet perceive?"
  607. "I fed the 5,000. I fed the 4,000.
  608. Is that not resonating in your head?
  609. That when I'm with you, you're good?
  610. When I'm with you, I supply your needs.
  611. When I'm with you,
    impossible things happen.
  612. So trust Me!
  613. And get out of the boat!
  614. Don't stay in the boat!"
  615. Oh, I am so convinced,
  616. we've got all these reformed people.
  617. You'll carry your Jonathan
    Edwards out of here,
  618. but all the time, you're in the boat.
  619. And Jesus has no
    hesitation to call us out.
  620. Let me ask you this,

  621. as you and I sit in our little boats
  622. looking over the side.
  623. Based on verses like this,
  624. do you get the feeling that
    God's more concerned
  625. that we're going to just
    rashly spring out of the boat
  626. and foolishly trust Him to help us
  627. and protect us in some crazy endeavor
  628. done in His name?
  629. Or is God more concerned
    (incomplete thought)
  630. He wants us to step out.
  631. He wants us to do crazy endeavors
  632. in His names' sake.
  633. Those 120 came down from that upper room.
  634. That was a totally crazy endeavor
    they were about totally.
  635. Is God more concerned
  636. that lacking faith,
  637. we be too timid to ever
    get out of that boat?
  638. That's what it seems like here.
  639. Do you know what the boat is?

  640. Do you know what a boat is?
  641. The boat is where you don't walk on water.
  642. It's the place of safety, of security.
  643. In fact, do you know what it is?
  644. I'm going to show you something here.
  645. Look with me at how
    Matthew's account ended.
  646. What does it say?
  647. They worshiped.
  648. Do you see that?
  649. If you look there, Matthew 14.
  650. Verse 33,
  651. "Those in the boat worshiped Him saying,
  652. 'Truly, You are the Son of God.'"
  653. You know what John 6:21 says?
  654. John 6:21 says they were glad
  655. to take Him into the boat.
  656. Now think with me.
  657. Gladness. Worship.
  658. Do you know what Mark says?
  659. Listen to this.
  660. We haven't looked at Mark's text yet.
  661. Mark 6:51-52 - same account.
  662. Let me read it to you.
  663. You don't have to turn there.
  664. "He got into the boat with them,
  665. and the wind ceased,
  666. and they were utterly astounded."
  667. They worshiped.
  668. They were glad.
  669. They were astounded.
  670. Listen to this.
  671. "They were utterly astounded,
  672. for they did not understand
  673. about the loaves,
  674. but their hearts were hardened."
  675. Do you know that that is a reality?

  676. You can be glad in the Lord.
  677. You can sing the hymns
  678. and you can worship Him,
  679. and yet, there is a hardness to trust Him
  680. how He would be trusted.
  681. Because all three - same account.
  682. And under inspiration they tell us
  683. that despite the worship and the gladness,
  684. there was yet a hardness
    in these people of God.
  685. They weren't perceiving.
  686. They weren't getting what
    these things really meant.
  687. There's probably somebody ready to say,
  688. "Hey, look. What do you
    want us to believe?
  689. Do you want us to believe that we can
  690. go down to the water here
  691. and walk on the water?"
  692. "Listen, preacher, you and I can
    walk down there afterwards
  693. and you're not going to walk on it
  694. and I'm not going to walk on it.
  695. So what do you have to say to that?"
  696. I would say this.
  697. Now, I don't know if out there
    on the horizon somewhere
  698. you can see a mountain
  699. like the folks that come from Denver.
  700. You can see those great
    big mountains on that range.
  701. But what are you going to say?
    You can't move that mountain?
  702. Our Lord says you can move that mountain.
  703. The reality is we can move mountains
  704. looking to Christ in faith;
  705. looking to God in faith.
  706. Water can hold us up just as certainly
  707. as mountains can be moved.
  708. That is the reality.
  709. When Jesus is with me,
  710. I can just as confidently
    expect that water
  711. to do miraculous things
  712. as I can expect a mountain to move.
  713. We need to have faith
    to look at these things
  714. the way the Lord meant for
    us to look at these things.
  715. Listen, what did He say?
  716. What did He say when He walked here?
  717. He looked at some people one day
  718. and He said, "Which is
    easier for Me to say?
  719. Your sins be forgiven
    or rise up and walk?"
  720. What's easier to say?
  721. Walk on water?
  722. Peter, come to Me?
  723. Or walk on scorpions and serpents
  724. and crush Satan shortly under your heel?
  725. Or to walk on your sins -
  726. to walk above your sins, your problems,
  727. your doubts, your fears, your unbeliefs?
  728. Which is easier to say?
  729. To step out in faith.
  730. Presumption is not the problem.
  731. The point is that we worship.
  732. I know we worship.

  733. We're interested in the character of God.
  734. We want to see God big.
  735. But let us not be the kind of people
  736. that worship and even are glad,
  737. but there is this hardness of unbelief.
  738. We worship, but...
  739. You don't want that "but" there.
  740. And the thing is, isn't it amazing?
  741. Jesus is willing.
  742. "Lord, command me to come to You."
  743. "Come."
  744. And you know what?
  745. Something that I find remarkable
  746. in Mark's Gospel account of this is this:
  747. Mark 6:48 says,
  748. "About the fourth watch of the night,
  749. He came to them..."
  750. Now listen to this.
  751. "...He came to them walking on the sea.
  752. He meant to pass them by."
  753. Do you ever read things like that
  754. and it's like what?
  755. "He meant to pass them by."
  756. What does that sound like?
  757. Luke's Gospel - you remember the two
  758. on the road to Emmaus?
  759. It sounds remotely similar to that.
  760. That He acted as if He
    was going to go further.
  761. He intended to pass them by.
  762. Does anybody ever get tired
    of those doubtful prayers?

  763. "Thy will be done..."
  764. Now, I know that's a biblical prayer,
  765. and I know it's got a right place,
  766. but Christians who
    hesitatingly look at life
  767. and are always in doubt
  768. about whether they
    should ever do anything -
  769. oh yes, they admit that
    God is able to do things
  770. at least in theory.
  771. But the feeling I get is that Jesus
  772. might intend to pass by,
  773. and He will pass by
  774. if we don't need Him.
  775. But you notice He always stops
  776. for those who need Him.
  777. You find that all through the Scriptures.
  778. Always stopping for those who need Him.
  779. Oh, there are ten thousand reasons

  780. why we don't get out of the boat.
  781. Why?
  782. It's dark out there.
  783. The waves are big.
  784. There's likely an undertow
  785. and I'll be pulled under.
  786. We don't have enough money
  787. to get out of this boat.
  788. So we just sit there.
  789. "Well, the Lord's will be done."
  790. "If He wants me to get out of the boat
  791. then He'll take me out of the boat."
  792. But it's all so doubtful.
  793. I mean, after all, liquid molecules -
  794. they cannot support the weight
  795. of a human being.
  796. That doesn't work.
  797. It just can't work.
  798. The lake is deep
  799. and the side of the boat is high.
  800. This whole endeavor is doubtful.
  801. Let us hear Peter.
  802. "Lord, command me to come."
  803. Here's a question.

  804. If you had been in the boat that night,
  805. would it have occurred to you
  806. to ask the Lord to command you to come?
  807. Think about it.
  808. Seemingly, it did not occur to eleven.
  809. But would it have occurred to you?
  810. And if you say I hope it would have,
  811. well then, I would say,
  812. let it occur to you now.
  813. I want to point something out.

  814. Difficulties do not mean
  815. that something is not God's will.
  816. I find Christians who want to interpret
  817. God's dealings with us that way.
  818. Oh, there's a problem.
  819. There's a roadblock. There's a bump.
  820. There's difficulty there.
  821. (Incomplete thought)
  822. Think of Abraham.
  823. Was there difficulty set
    in the way of his faith?
  824. Like, maybe he's old, and his wife is old.
  825. That's a difficulty.
  826. Joseph - there were
    some difficulties there.
  827. He's finding himself in the prison.
  828. That is a difficulty.
  829. Lazarus - that was a difficulty.
  830. He was four days dead in the grave.
  831. Peter - dark, stormy, water.
  832. Have you ever noticed?
  833. God likes to put obstacles in our way.
  834. Why? That tests our faith.
  835. That tests what we think of Him.
  836. Bunyan had it, right? Did he not?
  837. Pilgrim came to the Hill of Difficulty
  838. and he went up that hill.
  839. He didn't go around.
  840. In fact, going around was exactly
  841. the thing that he shouldn't do.
  842. And if we get out of the boat,

  843. are we ever going to sink like Peter?
  844. Yes, that's going to happen.
  845. But you know the thing is,
  846. we're still okay. Why?
  847. Because the Lord is there
    and He cares for His people.
  848. Look at something.
  849. Look at Matthew 14:30.
  850. "When Peter saw the wind,
  851. he was afraid."
  852. Now notice these words:
  853. "...beginning to sink,
  854. he cried out,
  855. 'Lord, save me!'"
  856. Don't you love that?
  857. Just several weeks back,

  858. one of my daughters brought up some show,
  859. and I hope there's not something about it
  860. where you all want to
    crucify me if I say it,
  861. but there's some outdoorsman thing.
  862. Some guy name Bear Grylls.
  863. Some Englishman.
  864. Some outdoorsman.
  865. He's a nut.
  866. And he went to Scotland in a blizzard
  867. and he wants to show you how to survive.
  868. And of all things, he wants to show you
  869. how to really survive.
  870. So he comes up to a peat bog,
  871. and he's saying I'm going to go in here
  872. and it's blizzard and the snow's coming,
  873. and he says I'm going to show you
  874. how if you fall into a
    peat bog in a blizzard,
  875. how you survive.
  876. And so he builds this whole story
  877. and you're ready for him
  878. to jump in this peat bog
  879. and go up to his waist or something.
  880. He says, look, now that I've
    told you all about this,
  881. I'm probably going to step in here
  882. and find this thing shallow,
  883. and I'm just going to walk right
    across to the other side.
  884. So now you've kind of got the picture
    in mind that maybe it's not that deep.
  885. He's going to take a step in there
  886. and he may actually
    be able to walk across.
  887. He takes a step in there
  888. and he disappeared, like that.
  889. He was gone.
  890. Like (gasp!)
  891. And I was thinking that image,
  892. if Peter - bang!
  893. It would have just come
    out from under him.
  894. Boom! He's gone.
  895. Isn't that amazing?
  896. "Beginning to sink..."
  897. I thought, look, if the same thing
  898. happened to Peter that
    happened to Bear Grylls,
  899. he wouldn't have got three
    words out of his mouth.
  900. What I see in that

  901. is even in Peter's unbelief,
  902. the Lord is with him.
  903. And he is not allowed to just go "woosh."
  904. "Beginning to sink..."
  905. That is encouraging.
  906. Because what the Lord was doing
  907. was He's allowing Peter
    to sink gradually enough
  908. so that he can cry out,
  909. "Lord, save me!"
  910. Peter began to sink.
  911. Every time you read that from now on,
  912. but notice the next thing.
  913. "Jesus immediately," - I love that!
  914. It doesn't say that Peter immediately sank
  915. and Jesus began to put out His hand.
  916. It's the opposite.
  917. Beginning... Jesus immediate.
  918. Guess what?
  919. You get out of the boat,
  920. we're like Peter.
  921. Don't look at Peter like
    he's some ridiculous case.
  922. Go look at yourself in the mirror
  923. and say I'm just like him.
  924. Because if you get out of the boat,
  925. you're going to have times you sink too.
  926. Like all those biographies I was showing
    you yesterday that I've read?
  927. Those guys - they sink too.
  928. And here's the thing.

  929. I love this too.
  930. Because I remember 28 years ago,
  931. at the depth in the bog,
  932. in that peat bog of my own sin,
  933. the miry clay...
  934. Do you know that night the Lord saved me
  935. just three words and I don't think
    they came out of my mouth.
  936. I think I just thought them.
  937. "Lord, help me."
  938. I've heard sister Connie
    say the same thing.
  939. Three words.
  940. Lord, help me.
  941. Lord, save me.
  942. I've heard of people under demonic attack
  943. waking up in the night -
  944. something has them by the neck:
  945. "Lord, help me."
  946. And it's gone.
  947. And the thing is,
  948. Jesus did not say,
  949. "Peter, I wish you would
    get more sophisticated,
  950. more intellectual, more professional,
  951. more polished, if you think
  952. you are going to get My attention."
  953. What a prayer!
  954. "Peter, you insult Me
    with your simplicity."
  955. None of that.
  956. What a prayer for God's people
  957. who venture out of the boat.
  958. You can imagine our
    brother serving overseas,
  959. "God, help me."
  960. He stepped out of the boat.
  961. What keeps us from daring
    to trust Christ more?

  962. You think about your own life.
  963. We've got our boats.
  964. Every one of us do.
  965. These places that if we
    trusted the Lord more
  966. we would get out of them.
  967. And the Lord's out there.
  968. "Come."
  969. It's like He was going to walk by them,
  970. but what?
  971. They needed Him. They cried out.
  972. He saw they were in terror.
  973. He came to them.
  974. What keeps us from
    daring to trust Christ more?

  975. Is it hardness?
  976. This hardness.
  977. We don't perceive really what
  978. those 4,000 and those 5,000 that were fed
  979. were meant to show us.
  980. Have you ever found
  981. that when you've stepped out of the boat,
  982. that Jesus let you sink
  983. right to the bottom of the sea?
  984. It doesn't happen.
  985. You answer this question.

  986. I want to answer this question.
  987. Where do you want to live your life?
  988. Do you want to dwell in that
    calculated safety of the boat?
  989. If we're to significantly advance,
  990. we need to step out.
  991. Out where?
  992. Out there.
  993. Beyond the side of the boat.
  994. Beyond.
  995. Beyond the boat.
  996. God calls us to a life
  997. where we can't walk
  998. where He wants us to walk,
  999. unless He holds us up.
  1000. Tozer said this:
  1001. One of the greatest proofs of our weakness
  1002. is when there's no longer anything
  1003. terrible or mysterious about us.
  1004. When it can all be explained.
  1005. Stepping out of the boat
  1006. is stepping out into that realm
  1007. of the supernatural.
  1008. It's stepping out into the realm of God
  1009. where you don't survive
    unless God is for you
  1010. and undergirds you;
  1011. unless God holds you up.
  1012. I think we need more crazy Christianity.
  1013. We need more people like Peter.
  1014. They step out of the boat.
  1015. And they step out with that confidence.
  1016. Because not a confidence in self -
  1017. it's a confidence in what
    Christ is going to do for us.
  1018. Should we not intentionally
    take our churches
  1019. and our families and ourselves down paths
  1020. that demand more than our spiritual gifts?
  1021. More than our logic?
  1022. More than the current funds
  1023. in the checking account?
  1024. Why?

  1025. Because Christ is with us
  1026. and He says, "Take courage."
  1027. Why? Because by nature, we're timid.
  1028. We're faint.
  1029. "Take courage."
  1030. Why? "I am with you."
  1031. Don't ever be quick to say,
  1032. "Oh, we can't do that.
  1033. It's too big. It's too expensive.
  1034. It's too far.
  1035. It's too outrageous.
  1036. It's just overall too impossible."
  1037. We should fear that talk.
  1038. We should fear staying in the boat
  1039. and not putting our great God to the test.
  1040. And I don't know what this
    means for all of our lives.
  1041. I've been thinking about
    this message for weeks,
  1042. and I've been thinking
  1043. what does this mean for me?
  1044. I want to get out of the boat.
    I don't want to live in the boat.
  1045. I don't want to get to
    the end and just find
  1046. I lived in the boat all the time.
  1047. I should have been saying,
  1048. "Lord, command me to come."
  1049. "Command me to come."
  1050. Because I find that He says, "Come."
  1051. Can you imagine Peter

  1052. reminiscing in the years that followed?
  1053. I imagine him sitting there,
  1054. looking into the fire,
  1055. thinking...
  1056. thinking back to that night.
  1057. Remembering.
  1058. Reminiscing.
  1059. Those words.
  1060. He can hear them.
  1061. He can hear that voice.
  1062. "O you of little faith,
  1063. why did you doubt?"
  1064. And you know Peter didn't answer.
  1065. Why?
  1066. Because he never had a good answer
  1067. to that question.
  1068. He never did.
  1069. It's really difficult to have an answer
  1070. when you've just been walking on water
  1071. to have the Lord say, "Why did you doubt?"
  1072. What are you going to say?
  1073. Think about this.
  1074. Peter - seasoned fisherman.
  1075. Sailor.
  1076. Something happened in
    that wind right there.
  1077. And it says it caused him to fear.
  1078. What would it have taken to cause
  1079. a man like Peter to suddenly fear?
  1080. A great big gust
  1081. that took him off his feat?
  1082. But still, why?
  1083. He'd been walking on water.
  1084. "Why did you doubt?"
  1085. In other words, you never need to.
  1086. Peter thought about water.
  1087. You can imagine.
  1088. "I felt a firmness under my feet.
  1089. It was like walking on land,
  1090. and yet it wasn't like walking on dry land
  1091. because there was no ground there.
  1092. There was some unseen reality
  1093. that held me up.
  1094. And I felt it.
  1095. I felt it give way
  1096. when my eyes came off of Christ.
  1097. I felt it.
  1098. I felt it.
  1099. It caused that knee-jerk prayer:
  1100. 'Lord, save me!'
  1101. I felt it give way.
  1102. And I know it was not
    faith that held me up.
  1103. It was God that held me up.
  1104. And He held me up
  1105. and there was a firmness
  1106. as long as I was looking to Christ."
  1107. And he could remember.
  1108. There was a confidence.
  1109. Peter had a confidence.
  1110. A tremendous sense of safety,
  1111. of security.
  1112. A tremendous freedom.
  1113. "Peter, why did you fear?"
  1114. Him just thinking, you know,
  1115. I never did have a good
    answer to that question.
  1116. Father, I pray

  1117. that some boats would be stepped out of.
  1118. Father, please,
  1119. help us to trust Your Son.
  1120. Help us to bring You more glory.
  1121. We see that it is a glory;
  1122. it's a worship issue,
  1123. as we see Abraham there in Romans 4,
  1124. and we know that trusting You
  1125. brings You glory.
  1126. And I pray Lord, I want this.
  1127. I want this.
  1128. I want to trust You more.
  1129. Help us.
  1130. Help us to go forth from this place
  1131. resting, trusting.
  1132. I pray that this account may help us
  1133. to be more certain, more confident,
  1134. more established on this Person of Christ
  1135. willing to help;
  1136. would have walked past,
  1137. but He came immediately.
  1138. "It is I."
  1139. "It is I."
  1140. "Be of courage."
  1141. Lord, we want that courage.
  1142. I pray in Christ's name, Amen.