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Get Out of the Boat

It’s an interesting time that we live in and it’s not by accident that you are living in this time. God hand selected you to be born and live at this point in world history. He has a purpose for you and it’s not just to live out your life. He wants you to get out of your comfort zone and do something amazing!

Let’s look at an example of someone in the Bible who did exactly that. If you’ve spent any time in the gospels, you know that Peter was a professional fisherman and probably had been all of his life. He was also a little bit off the wall, as you never knew what was going to come out of Peter’s mouth.

One moment he’s confirming that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah and the very next, he’s reprimanding Jesus for the prophecy about His death. Imagine that, you just said that this guy is the Son of God and now you're reprimanding Him, as if you know better. Which is exactly why Jesus rebuked Peter, by saying, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Wow, Jesus called Peter satan. Well actually Jesus was speaking to satan who was feeding Peter his lines.

So, here we have Peter and one day he’s out in a boat with the other disciples. Jesus sent them ahead to cross the lake and they got caught in a storm. Let’s look at the story in Mark 6:45-51:

Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed…”

There are a couple of things that jump out of this scripture. First, Jesus sent them all ahead, which means he didn’t have a way to get to the other side.

Second, Jesus was up on a mountainside praying, the disciples were in the boat in the middle of the lake at night in a storm, and Jesus saw them straining at the oars. He either had amazing eyesight or the more likely answer is that He was seeing them in the Spirit, as He communed with the Father.

Third, Jesus goes for a stroll on the lake and was about to pass them by. He was going to let them struggle and meet them on the other side, but they saw Him walking along on the water. I wondered how it was that the disciples could be straining at the oars, in the middle of a horrific storm and still see Jesus. One day it occurred to me that He had spent time with the Father on the mountainside and it was possible that the glory was still on Him, so He was glowing (like Moses, after he came down from meeting with God).

Fourth, Jesus climbs into the boat and the wind dies down. Jesus was Lord over even the weather. We see this in another boat and storm story in Mark 4:35-41.

Now, let’s look at some additional information from this same story in Matthew 14:28-32:

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.

So, now we see Jesus strolling up to the boat and the disciples think he’s a ghost, which is another possible confirmation for the whole glowing theory. In this account, Peter asks Jesus if it’s okay for him to come out on the water. It’s important for us to keep in mind that Peter is a seasoned professional fisherman in a storm. Safety is in the boat, not out in the water, so from a natural standpoint, this makes no sense, but Peter was operating in the Spirit.

Jesus says, “Come” and Peter defies the natural laws of our world and walks on water. Tell, me how many people have you known who walk on water? For me, it’s Jesus and Peter and that’s it! Peter got out of the boat and did something amazing. The most exciting part is that Jesus said Peter was able to do the impossible with just “little faith”.

Okay, back to you and your life. The boat represents your comfort zone. It could be your job, business, the place you live, your retirement account, or anything else that makes you comfortable in life. It could even be your addiction – food, alcohol, sex, social media, gossip, etc. You might even be addicted to complacency.

Jesus may have been saying, “come out of the boat” for a while and you are afraid. As long as Peter had his eyes on Jesus, he wasn’t afraid, because perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). It was only when Peter took his eyes off Jesus and looked at his circumstances that fear entered and he sank.

Is Jesus saying, "come out of the boat"? He's giving people, just like you, ideas for amazing inventions, businesses, investment ideas, and new ministries. He’s wanting to partner with those people who are willing to get out of the boat, in order to further the Kingdom of God on earth. He’s calling people to plant churches and start ministries – people like Peter, John, James, and Matthew, who had no formal ministry training. He’s asking people to do things that seem impossible to them, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

In these times, Jesus needs true disciples, like Peter, who will answer His call to get out of the boat and do something impossible. If Jesus is calling out to you? It’s time to get out of your boat!

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