Too often we safeguard ourselves to avoid risks that may cause harm, fear or perhaps push us to a new level. I've been reflecting on the risk of obedience.
In Matthew 14 we read about Peter walking on the water. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus."
Jesus came to them in a terrifying time. The boat was being blown around in the middle of the sea on a very dark night. They were already anxious from the darkness and the winds and then to see a mysterious figure walking towards them on top of the water was another moment of terror. But the passage tells us that immediately Jesus speaks and he speaks a command. "Be of good cheer." He brings the hearts and minds of the disciples to peace. "It is I; do not be afraid." He brings comfort and clarity to the situation. The disciples could hear his voice but they could not see him clearly. It was dark and windy. While they had assurance through the sound of his voice Peter wanted more. Peter wanted to be a part of what Jesus was doing. He felt if Jesus was walking on the water than he should too.
We see that Peter had a DESIRE to do what Jesus was doing. He knew it was a risk. But the desire within him took him to thoughts beyond the fear. His passion overcame his fear of failure. Often times we allow the voice of fear to overcome our passion for Christ. "Lord, if its You, command me to come to You on the water." Peter asks Jesus to command him to do something. Peter wanted to take the risk. He wanted to get out of the boat and do what Jesus was doing. "So He said, 'Come.' And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus."
Peter ASKED Jesus. He sought the Lord for counsel and the way to go. He asked permission to take the risk. The risk for Jesus was a delight. Its like asking your Dad if you can try to take your first steps as a child. He will encourage you and be excited that you are willing to take your first steps. He wants you to walk. He wants to see you grow. He wants to see you become who you are called to be. He wants to hear your desire to grow and develop into who He has called you to be. So of course Jesus tells Peter to step out of the boat. To step out of the boat meant that Peter was moving towards his purpose.
Peter OBEYED Jesus' command to get out of the boat. We have the option to obey. The beauty of the Lord is that He does not force us. That is love. But when we obey we can be assured of His care and provision. He provided the holding up of Peter to walk on the water. He provided that moment for Peter to have one of his greatest encounters and moments in his life. I guarantee that Peter would tell that story for years to come. That testimony of walking the water would be a foundation of faith for not only Peter but the other disciples in the boat. They saw the risk that Peter took in stepping out of the boat. It would push the disciples to go deeper into their faith of the impossibilities made possible with Jesus.
God is calling us to step out. We were created to go beyond the boundaries of the ways of the world. Jesus set up that moment in the middle of a windy scary night to show Peter and the disciples the possibilities they have with Him. He set them all up to show them what they are capable of if they have the desire, the heart to ask and the courage to obey His word. So, have we missed our moments of risk? Where has God called us to take risks and we have not? Where in our lives have we held back in fear and anxiety even though we know the Lord was asking us to do something?
Take the risk. He will take delight in your obedience and will bless it. Freedom will be gained. I guarantee it.