Have you stepped out into a seemingly impossible situation with only the Word of the Lord standing between you and imminent destruction?
In the Fall of 2003, Jesse and I had taken a big step “out of the boat” to follow Jesus. My job at Vanderbilt was ending in August, and rather than move with my boss to his new job in Dallas as he’d requested, or seek a new job in Nashville as everyone expected, we believed the Lord had called me to begin doing the ministry full time which I had been doing in my spare time. Therefore, “crazy” decision number one in the minds of many was that I had turned down my boss’s offer to move us to Dallas so I could continue working for him. “Crazy” decision number two was that I was not going to seek another job in Nashville.
Shockingly (tongue in cheek), the devil did not feel led to accommodate our decision to follow God. Astonishingly, he did not roll out the red carpet and cheer us on to fulfilling our destiny. He apparently DID, however, send out some sort of announcement to his cohorts, which we soon discovered resulted in an exceedingly enormous TARGET taking up residence on our backs. His diabolical strategy became evident almost one month to the day after I began ministry from home ~ when Jesse lost his job! The very next day, I was offered a job back at Vanderbilt; the timing of which could not be ignored. So we immediately had to be on our faces before the Lord to hear clearly from Him ~ was this His provision for us or was this a counterfeit door, a detour to get us off course from the direction we believed He had called us? The answer the Lord brought to our question was the latter. He showed us this was an attack from the enemy to cause us to turn back from the decision we’d made to follow His leading. Were we going to let circumstances dictate our decisions, or were we going to trust what God had spoken regardless of how things appeared? With this clarification, we took a deep breath and I turned down the job (“crazy” decision number three in the minds of most). Little did we know that this would be the beginning of a two-year walk of faith ~ living on faith and savings!
Jesse was initially unemployed for four months, which seemed like an eternity to us at the time. Then on the heels of a prophetic word which gave a specific time frame for the job God had for Jesse to arrive, he was hired for a job that seemed to be all we’d been praying for. We set out into this new business venture with tremendous confidence, knowing this was the job God had brought for him in answer to our detailed requests. The small detail which was insignificant to us in the face of knowing God had brought Jesse this job, was that it was a 100% commission sales job (“crazy” decision number four), and Jesse soon discovered that he seemed to have no anointing whatsoever to be a salesman (which we now believe was also part of God’s plan since Jesse was pursuing the wrong “calling” at that time). Jesse loved the chance to minister to people in their homes (part of His true calling), but sadly, the company he was working for did not deem this passion profitable.
As the months rolled by with no sales, we continued standing on God’s promises, but the battle was raging. We had to be DILIGENT in our fight of faith to take captive every thought the enemy assailed us with that was contrary to God’s promises, and bring them into obedience to the truth, to Christ and His Word. At the end of May 2004, the end of the fourth month of Jesse’s job (therefore the end of the ninth month from when we’d first stepped out in faith), I got up one Sunday morning and was immediately bombarded by the taunts of the devil. As I resisted his thoughts and instead ran to God, the Lord began speaking to me about Peter’s experience of walking on the water.
During the fourth watch of the night 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 14:25-36
The Lord reminded me that Peter had stepped out of the boat in bold faith to walk on the water in response to Jesus’ Word, “Come”. Peter was initially WALKING ON THE WATER, but began to sink when he turned his attention away from the Lord and the Word He had given him and instead began to focus on the appearance and “report” of the circumstances around him, the wind and the waves. As one of our favorite teachers likes to point out – How silly! As if the wind and the waves make walking on the water a less possible feat! Peter could not have walked on the water in his own power even if the seas were perfectly calm and clear, so what difference did the wind and the waves make to the power of the Word of God that He was standing on? NONE! It was his faith in Jesus and His Word that initially sustained him, and it was his consideration of his circumstances that allowed doubt and fear to creep in, resulting in failure. Peter’s faith sank first, and his body followed.
I knew that the Lord was calling us to once again fix our eyes solely on Him and REFUSE to let the circumstances in the natural frighten or distract us. No matter how menacing they appeared, they had NO POWER over Him or His Word. He is able to walk with ease on top of the very thing that threatens to destroy us, and by faith in Him we are enabled to do the same! Desiring to repent of whatever storm-gazing we might have been guilty of, and to renew our focus wholeheartedly on the Lord and His promises, I told Jesse in the car on the way to church what the Lord had been telling me. As I did, Jesse jolted, and excitedly shared, “That reminds me… The Lord gave me a dream last night that we were walking on the water with Jesus!!!!!!!”
Obviously, this was an amazing confirmation and comfort that I was really hearing from the Lord, and that He was encouraging us from this story. But even more of an accelerant to the fire of our faith was the fact that the Lord was also telling us through Jesse’s dream that in His eyes we were out of the boat “walking on the water” by faith with Jesus! We had not sunk, nor had we returned to the boat!
But we weren’t the ONLY ones in the dream! There were others with us! We were all walking on the water, following Jesus!
I know that many of you are out there too! I’ve watched your lives. I’ve heard your testimonies. I know it’s INTENSE enough out there on the water to be an Olympic event, even beyond. So, to all my fellow water walkers, I pray that each of us can learn from Peter’s experience to see our miracles through to the victorious conclusion that God desires every time!
Just like Peter, the Lord invites each of us to step out in faith on the solid foundation of His Word in order to overcome this natural world and see the “impossible” made possible in our lives. We can step out of the boat of a merely natural life, against every indication to the contrary, to live a supernatural life ~ receiving God’s covenant promises of relationship with Him, healing, provision, protection, wisdom, direction, deliverance, and any other promise He’s given us through Christ.
Peter stepped out on Jesus’ Word, and by faith was able to overcome this natural world, and do the “impossible”. Yet when he turned his attention away from Jesus and what Jesus said was possible for him, and began to behold the natural circumstances that “shouted” unbelief, fear, and doubt to him, he sank. It was not God’s Sovereign will that Peter’s attempt at water-walking end this way. God did not change His mind; He did not withdraw His Word; He did not quit releasing His power. God was not the determining factor. He was constant. He had given His Word and the power from that Word was available for Peter to continue walking out his miracle just as much when he was on top of the water as it was when the sea began to swallow him. It was Peter’s faith that determined the outcome. Fear, doubt, and unbelief will contaminate our faith and short-circuit our miracles, even miracles already in process. But continuing in faith in God and His promises, in spite of circumstances and reports to the contrary, will keep us connected to the power and provision He’s made freely available to us for every need. Just like the wind and the waves, those contradictory circumstances have no effect on the Lord or the power of His Word, but if we allow them to, they can have an effect on our ability to RECEIVE God’s continual supply of power that His Word has provided to walk out the miracles He has called us to do.
So, if you’re out of the boat walking on the water today, choose to focus solely on the Lord and what He has said and to disregard EVERYTHING ELSE that shouts the opposite report to your natural senses. For we walk by faith and not by sight! (II Corinthians 5:7)
Copyright © Laura Jewell Tyree
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