Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Step into the unknown

A while ago I began to work through a book with my leadership team when I led a children's ministry called "If you want to walk on water, You've got to get out of the boat." It was a book about taking risks and having faith. But I have found that the greatest challenge to truly walking in faith each day is fear.

God has been dealing with me a lot lately about fear. He has reminded me of the numerous times that He has told us in Scripture "Do not be afraid." When I was preparing for my first missions trip to Haiti a few years ago, I began to almost talk myself out of going until I prayed. I asked God to give me a confirmation. I needed a Word from God. The morning I prayed, my devotional was Joshua 1:9, "This is my command -- be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." I held on to that verse because it reminded me that fear is not of God.

So why do we tend to be like Lot's wife? We look back in spite of how things have unfolded in our past. She seemingly did not consider that God was merciful and had provided a way for her family to escape and experience new life. The Israelites complained bitterly as they wandered in the desert and wanted to go back to Egypt. Like Lot's wife, they seemed to have forgotten that in Egypt they were in bondage. Things were so bad that they were forced to make bricks without straw, but yet still they wanted to go back.

I believe that both Lot's wife and the Israelites could not move forward because they did not know what they were moving toward. They did not trust God enough to go in obedience. They were afraid of the unknown and unwilling to let go of the familiar.

To get out of the boat, like Peter, and walk on water, we first have to recognize that it is Jesus that we are walking toward. He is the One that sustains us. And then there is that phrase again. As Jesus approaches, He says to them in Matthew 14: 27, "Don't be afraid. Take courage. I am here." Then Peter takes that first tentative step. He inquires of the Lord. Peter doesn't just jump out of the boat. He asks, "Lord if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water." And Jesus' simple reply is "Come."

Our faith is not in our own ability, but we trust in the leading of the Holy Spirit to confirm the message that Christ speaks to us, "Come." The question then is this, Do we trust the nature of Christ enough to step into the unknown?

Peter did not just get out of the boat. He stepped out of the familiar into a storm because he trusted in the One that was greater than himself.

I was in the familiar. I knew it would cost me something, actually a lot, to step into the unfamiliar, in fact into a storm of doubt, regret, second-guesses and conflicted emotions. But I inquired of the Lord, "Lord, if it is you..." and His reply was "Come."

It's still pretty scary out of the boat. Not sure I've begun to sink. Probably still taking my first few tentative steps, But I have to keep my eyes on the One that quiets that storm, The one that says to my personal storm, "Peace. Be still!"

I will not look back. I can't go back. And I don't want to. When God says go. the best thing to do is obey. I trust Him. Joshua 1:9, "Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."


  1. Right on Tina!! I just was listening to the Bible about Lot's wife last night! It truly is an incredibly sad story about the consequences of a lack of faith and trust in God. But also so encouraging for when we fear, reverence, and trust in God! God remembered Lot and his family because of Abraham's faith!

  2. This is exactly what I needed to read this morning. Thank you!

  3. To God be the Glory. We all sometimes just need that reminder that God hears the cries of heart and He answers. Sometimes the unknown is scary, but no storm can overwhelm our God!