It is time to take the next step.
Looking back, that is what it has felt like all along – step after step after step.
Every step was a big step. Saying the words, calling the counselor, showing up for the appointment, signing up for group therapy and conferences, standing up and sharing my testimony: each and every step was a step of faith that was HUGE at the time.
Isn’t that what God is calling all of us to do? Take the next step? Even if we are full of fear and not equipped?
Just like Peter. He took the next step when Jesus called Him out onto the water.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:25-33)
What is your ghost?
They were afraid because they thought it was a ghost. What is your ghost? What are you afraid of? Can you even name it? Why does it terrify you so?? What keeps you from taking the next step?
My ghost is loaded with lies from the past that tell me to just be quiet and pretend all is well. It’s loud and screams, “What are you doing? This is too risky and iffy, and NO ONE really cares.”
Is God asking you to take the next step?
In spite of all of that noise and fear, just like Peter I will ask, “God if this is really you – help me to take the next step. Help make it happen.”
He shows up, and the voices die down as my toes inch forward in faith. With both eyes focused on Him, the water comes just over my feet and I am stepping on new water.
What is your wind?
When Peter saw the wind he was scared and began to sink. What can blow in with such force that will cause you take your eyes off of Jesus and fill your heart with fear? What is your wind? For me, a bad dream or memory can send me sinking.
The key is to CRY OUT.
When Peter cried out, immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. Maybe you too have heard His tender whisper, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” In His arms, you start to recall all of the times He has been faithful to you. Maybe you recite the scriptures and sing the songs that fill you with faith. Sometimes, He shows you the people He used to encourage you and He reminds you of those who are watching in the boat.
Others are in the boat.
When Jesus and Peter climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped and the others in the boat worshipped Him saying, “Truly, you are the son of God!” Others are watching us take our steps of faith. They are seeing us bravely move towards Him afraid, and they also see us slip and fall. They hear our cries, and they see Him building our faith and trust. They see Him as we walk out faith in waters unknown.
They see that they don’t have to be afraid of any ghosts.
They hear Him calling and they take the next step.
They feel the full impact of the wind and it may even knock them down, but they cry out.
They reach for His hand because they know He is there.
They see others around them looking out into the deep knowing there has got to be more.
Whatever it is that He is calling you to do, He is faithful and will equip you. He doesn’t need perfected talent, He just needs a willing heart. He doesn’t need us to be ready, He just needs us to be obedient. What is the next step He is calling you to take?
Be brave friend, He is with you. Don’t be afraid, and keep stepping.
Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! (Hebrews 12:2-3)
Prayer: Jesus, we want to hear you and obey. Remove any distractions and help us to keep our eyes on you. Lord, help us to take the next brave step and trust you with everything.