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Taking Your Eyes Off Jesus

"...when he [Peter] saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!

(Matt.14:22-33)


Peter was a fisherman by profession. His whole life had revolved around the sea and the weather. There is no-one more aware of storms and the dangers that they present than a commercial fisherman. He also well knew how easily a person can drown and the extreme danger of being in the water while a storm is raging and no boat close by to rescue a drowning person. Gravity will always have its way. The other fishermen left in the boat watching would have realized the import of what Peter was doing, possibly horrified at his impulsive decision! Peter stepped out onto the water trusting completely in WHO JESUS WAS - EMMANUEL (God With Us), and that NOTHING was impossible to God, EVEN rolling back the natural laws that would have Peter drawn into the depths of the sea! His faith in the God of the IMPOSSIBLE motivated him to DO the impossible, walking on the surface of the sea that so eagerly sought to draw him down into its hostile and deadly depths, His eyes unwavering on Jesus' outstretched hand beckoning him to "Come!"

But distracted momentarily by a gust of wind in his face, blowing spume into his eyes he turned his face aside and lost sight of Jesus' outstretched hand! Losing sight of His God and Savior, his Lord, he panicked and began to sink. In an instant he knew that his focus was no longer on Jesus, but knowing that Jesus would not let him drown, he cried out to Jesus to save him, His outstretched hand grabbing Peter and lifting him out of his potential watery grave. Today we are surrounded by and engulfed in storms, both physical and spiritual. The storms we face now are like no other time in history, and so many of them hard to bear. And as we enter this incredibly stressful and difficult time in the history of mankind, we reach out, desperate to find "The Hand of God" to lift us above the waves to safety. I believe this event was recorded for such a time as this, just as we were born for such a time as this. The WARNING to us all, in this record of Peter's "faith-walk" is what happens to us that when WE take OUR eyes off Jesus, even for a moment we start to sink because our faith, our trust in that outstretched Hand, has wavered. We have turned away. Peter took his eyes off the Light, and peered into darkness, turmoil and death, and he knew in that moment in time that his ONLY help was Jesus. He turned his eyes back to the Light again, and knew safety. Yes, we DO take our eyes off the Lord, but we must always remember that when we do, darkness and eventual death will engulf us if our trust is in anything but God. There is NOTHING that is impossible to God. We can do nothing without Jesus. But we CAN do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us.(John 15:5, Phil.4:13) Understand that the more you exercise your faith, the more you will stop doubting, and the more putting your hand in the hand of the God of impossible becomes natural and normal. Facing storms today? - what did Jesus say to Peter? - “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (v.32) In another account of a fierce raging storm on the sea, Jesus was sound asleep in the stern of the boat, completely unconcerned about the storm that was seeking to swamp the boat. The disciples were panicking and rebuked Jesus for not caring that they would all perish. His response was..." Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”(Mark 4:39-40) My question to YOU is, "Is Jesus, Emmanuel-("God with us"), in YOUR boat with you? Is He asleep and unconcerned about the storm raging, and you are doubting, panicking, worried, stressed? Oh, you of such little faith, believe! His hand is ALWAYS outstretched to you, and He will never leave you nor forsake you. "Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].

Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you." (Phil.4:6-9 AMPC)


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