And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
Matthew 14:23-32 NKJV
Jesus was always teaching the disciple’s. He taught them situationally, just like He does with us. Think about your own life and how often He has taught you without words? How often He’s taught you during adversity, during celebration, within loss, or within the waiting. He’s teaching us while moving forward and even when we feel far removed from Him —- there’s still teaching in that. The disciples had received hours of instruction from Jesus and now, as the passage states in Matthew 14, Jesus had stepped away.
It’s kind of like taking the Drivers Ed Course in High School. You have to invest hours into class time, hours into driving with the instructor. For me, I felt safe as long as the instructor was in the car with me! I had the assurance of knowing their hand was on that break, ready to pull me out of any situation I might have gotten myself into. But I remember the first time I was in the car alone, with only my own driving knowledge and experience. It was a completely different feeling.
The scripture passage says that at the fourth watch of the night a storm came. Some of our storms are financial, emotional, marriage storms, inward storms, storms of transition….there will BE unexplainable storms in our lives. But just because a storm comes does not mean you’re not in close relationship with the Lord. You see, there’s this thought we need to remove that says a storm is a sign that something is wrong with us or wrong with our faith – NOT TRUE.
When you pay attention during class you don’t have to be afraid of the storm. In the storm, Jesus began to walk toward them. You will notice the disciples couldn’t see Jesus before the storm but inside the storm they could see Him! Inside the storms we see God in ways we’ve never seen Him before, He shows up and He’s revealed in the storm. When the presence of God shows up, you know. When you’ve been in the presence, you know. When you’re in the presence you see in perspectives you’ve never seen. Some of you are inside of challenges you’ve never been in before, but inside of it, God will show you a different perspective of His revelation, glory and wonder. You’ve never needed Him in the way you need Him right now.
Although the storm didn’t come from Him, His presence is more real than ever and He has promised His goodness in exchange for setbacks
While in that Drivers Ed Course, I was learning about what other drivers do wrong and what they do right. But their experience lacked the presence, depth and realness of actually being there for myself.
There is a depth of the realness of God to YOU that is sensed inside your storm
When Jesus came onto the water and said “do not fear, it’s Me” that would have been enough to deal with the situation. But He goes on to say “be of good cheer”. The Greek meaning for the word cheer is to “take courage”. He wants you to be IN courage in the middle of crisis, in the middle of pain, be in courage. It’s absolutely reassuring to me that it doesn’t matter the degree of the crisis, it’s simply because He’s HERE and His presence is enough to change the situation! His presence is the very thing we draw our courage from.
Provision will always come out of the presence
Peter said “Lord, if you are here, provide for me to do what you are doing”. Jesus replied to Peter “Come”. Wherever God’s presence is, His provision will be also. If you’re in the waterless desert, He will be the spring. It doesn’t matter how hot the day gets, He will be the cloud shielding the heat from the sun.
It’s time for us to move from being empowered in the presence to walking in the provision of God! There is not a storm in your life that God has not provided a miracle for. You’re going to walk on top of the same thing you use to sink in.
When you begin walking on top of what you use to sink in, that is the manifestation of our supernatural God. It makes no sense and goes against everything you know to be true. So it’s time to change your truth! We live between two worlds, the seen and the unseen. We’re constantly torn between the two, what we see with our eyes and what we see in the spirit.
When we walk in the unseen, we walk in the provision and in the hope of who we truly are.
But when we walk in the natural, we don’t see it. Peter was walking on water one moment and sinking the next. When Peter recognized his true identity, he walked on top of what was taking him down. My point? Only in the presence do you learn who He is, it’s also where you learn who you are. Stay in the presence so you know who you are when you’re out there on the water.