I even score like him on the "what Bible character are you most like" - it was actually a tie between Peter and David :)
The point is, my personality understands the concept of stepping out of the boat as much as it does lobbing off someone's ear in retaliation. Big leaps made through faith or gut reactions with very real consequences are not foreign or unusual for me. Seemingly, I was blessed to have a husband with the same traits. But the world abhors both such things and sometimes, I live in the middle of the world and begin to think like it. This is where I remember how thankful I am to be so easily pliable by our Father.
It doesn't usually take much for the Lord to remind me or to show me how astray I am. I'm a quick study. I don't USUALLY need to wander for forty years to get the message. One rebuking is enough. Fortunately for me, this typically starts as a check in my spirit that won't go away and then a well timed Bible study, sermon or broadcast that speaks directly to the issue. Today was that kind of day.
If you want something- you have to go into the deep.
The reference was from the story of Peter and the other fishermen. In Luke 5, Jesus tells then Simon to "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets."
Simon had been fishing all night, catching nothing. However, he obeyed. I can only imagine that after working all night for nothing, that my first instinct would not have been to joyfully start paddling to the deep water but Christ knew that it was in the deep water that the catch was to be made. But, it wasn't just getting to the deep, Simon then had to let down his nets. He had to act and follow through.
::: spoiler alert ::: the boat was filled with fish then another boat had to be called out to get the rest of the catch which led to so many fish that the boats began sinking under the weight.
Here's my lesson-
the things of value are not in the superficial, they are in the deep and they certainly are not found when we think they should be.
Will we give up because it isn't on our time frame? Will we refuse to paddle back out because we are too tired or will we miss out on the big catch because we are too unfaithful to let down our nets?
I certainly don't want to be too lazy to paddle out and unfaithful is a really bad description for any Christian. If the master of creation made me, doesn't he KNOW the end result? Even if it appears irrational, foolish or crazy- His ways are not our ways- shouldn't I trust His callings?
If you know anything about trusting God or just in your life in general, we are all called out to act in faith multiple times. Peter was no exception. Matthew 14 is the well known story of Jesus walking on the water. As the disciples were fearful at the sight, Peter asks the Lord to beckon him to walk on the sea, as well. This sounds like a good plan. I can hear Peter's mind just clicking away- If it really is the Son of God, I will just have Him ask me to do something that only He can execute- then when I do it, we will know it was Him.
::::warning::: asking God to test your faith will often result in you being asked to do something big and scary that WILL test your faith.
Lo and behold, Jesus calls Peter out onto the water and it gets a bit rough, scary and not the stroll on the water I assume Peter was hoping for. As he begins to panic and drop his eyes from Jesus, Peter begins to sink.
Moral of the story: Don't do stupid, crazy things like walking on water when all laws of nature and experience tell you that it can't work! You may just find out that the Spirit of God that called you out there got too busy to keep you afloat or maybe you just misheard Him.
no wait- that's NOT the moral. We don't tell that version in Sunday school. So why is it that although we teach to be faithful and step out of the boat, we practice naysaying and telling each other to follow the patterns set forth by the world? Faith is scary- faith is not logical - faith takes risks.
so here is the question-
Do I trust Him more than my own feelings? What I can see? Do I respond by faith and obedience or fear and worldly logic?
Do I understand who HE is? Do I trust that?
Does the One who spoke the world into being love me enough to see my entire past, present and future and guide me in His ways? YES!
Do I love Him enough to obey?
So why do I weigh out the options?
Am I All in? Or just mostly?
Devoted follower? Or luke warm fan?
Fully committed? Absolutely... given the right circumstances, of course! Some times maybe a bit off course.
Contrary to the stories above, Peter didn't always get it right. On one occasion, he cut off a guards ear defending Jesus- against his Masters direction. He was a bit over zealous. He was trying to help, but Jesus didn't need or desire his help. Good intentions, poor execution. This was not one of Peter's greatest moments, but not too surprising. Passion overflows everywhere. That is the cost.
I don't want to rely on my circumstances to decide to paddle into the deep, cast out my nets, or step out of the boat. My desire is for the radical change that has an unlucky ear lobbed off in passionate defense versus a missed opportunity to see Gods glory.
Genesis 12:2 tells us,
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
These blessings come from God, not just for us but also for others. We are blessed to Be a blessing.
We can't experience it from the shore. It takes that paddle out. It means we must step out of the boat and keep our eyes on Jesus.