No Matter How Boisterous……..
22 Then He directed the disciples to get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent away the crowds. 23 And after He had dismissed the multitudes, He went up into the hills by Himself to pray. When it was evening, He was still there alone. 24 But the boat was by this time out on the sea, many furlongs [a furlong is one-eighth of a mile] distant from the land, beaten and tossed by the waves, for the wind was against them.
25 And in the fourth watch [between 3:00–6:00 a.m.] of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified and said, It is a ghost! And they screamed out with fright. 27 But instantly He spoke to them, saying, take courage! I AM! Stop being afraid! 28 And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. 29 He said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus. 30 But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened, and as he began to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me [from death]! 31 Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him, saying to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt? 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat knelt and worshiped Him, saying, Truly You are the Son of God!
For a long time, I have always had a problem with the clichés Christendom comes up with at the beginning of every year. I was so glad when Pastor Tony Rapu actually said at the crossover service, he did not have any such, ‘the year of…..’ I thought it was just original. However, he went on to pronounce the Word of God for the year. That gave me something more authentic to hold unto. The normal thing would be to start with ‘my year of so, so and so’ and by March, we have forgotten what we started with. By the time life comes after us, our minds are far from the cliché we started with.
As we get into 2014, I suggest we take a different approach. Let’s walk away from the usual, especially if we want better results. I had an experience 2 Sundays ago. There was a particular matter I was praying about which I felt the Lord should have finished with. It was beginning to look like it would take forever, and I kept bringing it up. But that Sunday, in church, the choir sang a song that was asking God for stronger faith, ability to walk on water and trusting without borders. It was an amazing song. As I reached out in worship, I felt the Lord asking me, ’Will you now trust Me beyond your experience? Will you now accept that Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God? ‘. I understood what He was talking about. But it brought the story in today’s text to mind. And it gave me the Word to live by, walk in and work with for 2014.
I realised that if I was going to have the 2014 I am praying for, then I must look beyond the boisterous waters and focus my attention on Him and Him alone. I understood that life will attempt to blow me away. Life will attempt to terrify me; will attempt to make me sink in its boisterous waters. I realised that life has that ability, but my focus, like Peter, must be on His word to me to ‘Come’. It must be good enough for me. It must be my last authority.
Needless to say, my matter was immediately resolved and I came out of service ready to take 2014 by the horns and make it capitulate to me. That sounds so arrogant. I would prefer to think of it as bravado. I must be in the right frame of mind to take my year.
It was last year, I stopped saying those clichés. My Word last year was Luke 1:36, 37 amongst a number of others. ‘And listen! Your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is now the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfilment’. I worked it all year and I saw God in so many ways. This year 2014, it is still my Word along with what He just shared with me’ Matthew 4:4 ‘But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. [Deut. 8:3.]’. I believe that my 2013 was actually a preparation for 2014 and beyond. I am indeed in a new season of my life, one of fruitfulness and multiplication.
As usual I share my walk with God with you knowing we all have similar walks though the paths would be peculiar to and customized for us. We all want our walks with God to produce commensurate results. Have you got your Word for 2014? Not your cliché, your Word. Clichés don’t mean anything in the face of life. It is only the Word that can put life in its place. Clichés fizzle into nothingness, the Word abides forever. I hope you have your Word. Have a blessed year 2014. Ck