They said we were crazy and we probably were. But we’ve got a tale to tell. It was May 1989 when we embarked on this mission venture. “It’ll never work, don’t do it!” they said, when we stepped out with no support or money. “Use common sense!”
But we read Oswald Chambers too often, finding there words which resonated in our hearts. Words which taught us that God wants us to follow with reckless abandon, like Peter when he stepped out of the boat.
“Peter stepped down from the boat, and walked on the waters to come to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was strong, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:29-30 WEB)
God calls each of us to step out in faith.
Perhaps we won’t find ourselves in stormy seas and will never be asked to walk on water. But he does call us to step out, sometimes even asking things that seem crazy. Leading us to talk to a certain person. Taking a lesser paid job when it’s better for our faith or family. Or selling our house to serve him in Africa or Russia or Spain. He has a plan and path for each of our lives.
But such full surrender to Christ, requires 3 actions on our part.
1. We must first see Christ.
“The wind really was boisterous and the waves really were high,” Chambers states. “But Peter didn’t see them at first. He didn’t consider them at all; he simply recognized his Lord, stepped out in recognition of Him, and walked on the water.”
When we recognize Christ and truly see who he is we find the faith and the courage to step out of the boat – even into the stormy seas.
2. We must keep our eyes on him, not on what we fear may happen to us.
Like Peter, we start to consider ourselves. We envision drowning in a sea of unpaid bills if we take that leap of faith. We wonder where our food will come from. We fear being riduculed. And then our faith slips away and, like Peter, we start to sink.
Not that our surrounding circumstances aren’t real – for they are. Storms do come. Waves do threaten to overwhelm us. Bills still come, kids keep needing new shoes. Illnesses worsen. Love ones depart.
But isn’t the one who stills the seas and calms the wind and waves greater than all that?
3. Once we are certain it is God’s voice, we must not hesitate.
Right when we consider stepping out, that’s when our self-consideration shouts even louder. “What will you do for money?” it asks. “How can you leave your family, your parents? And what if you go but no one will even listen to you?”
4. Never look back.
We step out in faith. But when the waves tower over us, we look back at the boat – wondering why we got out. Longing for the relative saftey, plenty, and ease we had. Wanting to escape the hardships and trials.
We took Oswald’s words to heart. And in leaving for the mission field risked all on Christ, in our own small way. And like Peter walking on the water, we should have sunk long ago. And would have, but for God’s faithfulness.
We’ve seen good times and bad, times of plenty and of lack. But even in the midst of the storms, we’ve learned that the One who stills the sea and calms the wind and waves will always be faithful.
And even if we were to sink, what would it matter? For we would still find ourselves wrapped in his loving arms, even at the bottom of the sea.
Following with reckless abandon is foolishness only when we fail to recognize Christ. And all who follow this path have a special story to tell. It’s the tale of God’s great faithfulness.
Your story: Do you want to follow Christ in this way?
Take some time this week to reflect on what’s keeping you from doing so and then work on it through prayer and Bible study.
And if you leave a note in the comments I’d be honored to pray with you specifically about this!