“Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ And He said, ‘Come!’ And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”Matthew 14:28-29
I recently came across a little note I wrote almost ten years ago while sitting under Dr. Jeffress’ teaching as a member of First Dallas: “Is God calling you to get out of the boat and go into ministry?” At the time, I was working in a completely different field, and I vividly remember the sense of trepidation as I scribbled that question. I felt unqualified and unequipped, but I knew the Lord was calling me to follow Him. Thankfully, God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called. And I am so grateful to be serving Him through our church today.
You may have heard the story of Jesus walking on the water in Matthew 14. He had sent His disciples ahead of Him in a boat. The wind and waves rose up, and Jesus comes walking to them on the water, but they are afraid.
Yet one disciple calls out to Him. And Jesus responds with one simple word: “Come.” Jesus came to His disciples when the weather was unsteady. He knew their fear. Yet He called Peter to step out of the boat and onto the waves.
Just like Peter, Jesus calls each one of us to get out of our own “boats” and boldly follow Him. He knows our circumstances can be chaotic and uncertain. He knows life can be painful and challenging. Yet, Jesus speaks in our fear. He is gracious with our doubting. He calls us to boldness and courage.
We can boldly follow Jesus when we fix our eyes on Him, fully recognize who He is, and remember He controls all things. Peter began to sink when he took his eyes off Jesus, and Jesus once again rescued Peter from the storm. Occasionally, we will sink, but we must remember the One who saves. We must fix our eyes on Jesus and move forward in faith.
Jesus’ call to leave the boat is a call to step out of our comfort zones and trust Him more. When we take that step of faith, Jesus desires to do extraordinary things in and through us. He used Noah to build an ark and save and preserve humanity and creation. He used Joseph to save a nation. He used Moses to part the Red Sea. He used a shepherd boy to defeat a giant and then appointed him as king. He used His disciples to heal the sick. He used Paul to spread the gospel all over the known world.
There are no limits to what God can and will do when His people boldly choose to follow Him. In the process, you will learn to trust Him more. Each storm will feel less threatening because your trust is firmly rooted in the One who calls you to boldly step out of the boat.
Questions for Thought
- Are you willing to step out of the boat and accomplish something extraordinary and supernatural through the power of Jesus Christ?
- What’s one step of obedience you need to take today toward what God is calling you to do?
Daily ChallengeSpend 10 minutes today journaling through how you have seen God be faithful when you have responded to Him in the past. Trust that He who calls you is faithful. Then pray that God would give you the boldness to continue to follow Him in the unique calling He has placed on your life.
Ben serves by leading and overseeing the ministries and operations of First Baptist Dallas as the Executive Pastor. He earned a Juris Doctorate from Baylor University and a B.B.A. from Hardin-Simmons University. He and his wife, Parris, have four boys.