Matthew 14:23-33 says:
23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying,Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said,Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him,O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
What if you were put on the spot in front of a large group of people? Or, what if you had to face a challenge ahead of you that made you doubt your confidence? What if you just found out you were diagnosed with a really serious illness, or that God was calling you to step out in faith and follow Him on an unknown journey in order to make His name more famous than it is? These are real life events that happen daily. Would you look at the problems or downfalls that comes with your situation, or would you fix your eyes on Jesus, trusting that He will get you to where He wants you to go?
For the longest time, I have struggled with fear, doubt, and insecurity. I’d worry what people think about me if I did something that was out of my comfort zone (which I have a lot of things that are out of my comfort zone), or I’d doubt that I would be good enough to do a certain task. When put on the spot I would get so nervous and freeze up, and if I had to talk to someone I wasn’t too familiar with or felt uncomfortable talking to, I would try to avoid the situation or worry how I would even get a word out when talking to that person. What about you? What struggles do you have on your shoulders, and what is out of your comfort zone?
The other night I watched a youth service that was livestreaming on Facebook, and the person speaking talked about stepping out of the boat. The message came from Matthew 14:23-33. This phrase of verses starts out with Jesus praying alone on a mountain. While Jesus was praying, His disciples were in a ship in the midst of the Sea of Galilee during a troublesome storm. Around 3:00 am in the morning, Jesus shows up walking on the water, and His disciples are scared, thinking that He is a spirit. Jesus told them to not be afraid and to be of good cheer, that the person walking on the water was Him. Peter replied to Jesus’ response by saying that if it truly was Him, for Jesus to bid, or command, Peter to come to Him on the water. Did you get that? Not in the water, but ON the water. So, Jesus commanded Peter to walk out on the water to Him. At first, when Peter stepped out of the boat, he immediately walked on water, but then something distracted Peter. Instead of focusing on Jesus and aiming to meet Jesus right where He was on the water, Peter began to look around and became fearful because of the strong waves around him. He started to sink and cried for the Lord to save him. Without hesitating or second guessing, Jesus immediately stretched out His hand to Peter, and caught him. He said to Peter, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Once Peter and Jesus got back in the ship, the wind ceased. Because of Peter’s actions and Jesus’s reactions, the other disciples were reassured that they had no doubt that Jesus was the Son of God.
The person preaching the message the other night said that out of all of the disciples, Peter was the safest because he was outside of the boat. When we are outside of our comfort zones, doesn’t it seem like we are an open target for our peers to start shooting at? That is how I feel a lot of times, but in reality, that is a flat out lie. When we step out of our comfort zone, we shouldn’t look at the negative things that could happen around us. Instead, we need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. When we take our eyes off of Him and try to handle situations on our own, we feel like we begin to sink and that the world is against us. The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” When we acknowledge Jesus and put our 100% trust in Him, He will direct our paths, but if we try to do things based off of our own knowledge and understanding, we will fall short over and over again. Romans 8:31 says, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” When we step out of our comfort zone, the only thing we need to hold on to is that BECAUSE God is for us, it doesn’t matter who is against us because God is all the matters in the end. We can’t do what God has called us to do unless we climb out of our shell and do things that may be harder for us to do.
If you struggle with relationships between family members or friends and fear that you will be looked upon in a wrong manner for changing the way you view them, do it anyway. Step out of your comfort zone and be the bigger person so that you can allow God to mend what’s broken. Maybe you are afraid to talk to that person that sits at the table by himself/herself day after day. Step out of your comfort zone and talk to them. Jesus talked to the lowest of lows, and so should we. If you fear stepping out in faith to do something that God has called you to do, face your fears and step out of the boat. Don’t stay in the boat because you will not get anywhere in life. I pray that whoever is reading this will not just view it as another long post from me, but that you will stop listening to the devil’s lies and start listening to what God says. Step out of the boat, walk on the water, and most importantly, keep your eyes on Jesus. He will get you to where you need to be. The safest place you can be is outside of the boat trusting that Jesus will guide you every step of the way. Read God’s Word and pray that the Lord would show you what it is that you need to step out and do today.