“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. (Matthew 14:30–33)
Peter jumped. What is so astonishing about this passage is that Peter actually jumped out of the boat. Peter was willing to do something that no one else was—jump. And by jumping he had the amazing opportunity to do something no other human being has been able to do in the history of the world—walk on water!
4 things you can do to have walk-on-water moments:
- Look and listen for God’s call.
Peter, uncertain as to whom or what was on the water that night, asked Jesus, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come” and Jesus replied, “Come.”
This is a remarkable conversation that took place across the open sea. In order for that interaction to take place, Peter had to be watching and listening and willing to hear God’s call.
Too often we have designed our lives to take no notice of, tune out and entirely ignore God’s call to us. Sometimes it’s deliberate, other times we are a casualty of our mortgage paying, cell phone ringing, e-mail chiming, iTunes playing, TV blaring, tweet-happy world. Sometimes we need to just be still so we can actually have a chance to hear God invite us to DO something.
- Jump when God puts opportunity in your path.
What does it mean to jump? Jumping is an act of your will to use your God-given gifts to affect others. It is an action, a choice followed by movement, a decision resulting in moving feet. Too often we are unwilling to jump into life-changing opportunities that God has put right in our path.
What do jumps look like? Each person’s jump looks entirely different. It could be something as small as a spiritual conversation you have been avoiding, a ministry opportunity you have, a mission trip you have been putting off, having a conversation with a homeless person or sponsoring a hungry child. For some, jump means a radical change in your life, a change from ignoring God to serving God.
Reluctance to jump is the default human condition. We tend to love the status quo. This reality is perfectly illustrated by the fact that 11 disciples stayed in the boat and only one jumped out. However, it’s guaranteed that Peter was not disappointed that he mustered up the courage to jump out of the comfort and safety of that boat.
If you want to have a walk on water moment, you’ve got to make the decision to JUMP, and then actually do it.
- If you can’t jump, just take a step.
Just because you may feel that God has called you to do something for Him does not necessarily mean you are ready to jump and do it. Most of us are reluctant to jump. So rather than a full jump, simply taking one step into the adventure He has put on your heart can get your momentum moving, and God will then empower your next step.
Turning the corner from recognizing God’s call to actually doing something involves an intermediate stage that many people never take. I like to call it “step one.” God often requires us to take the first step of obedience before His supernatural power kicks in to accomplish through us what He chooses. But taking that first step of faith demonstrates our willingness to trust God, and He in turn will crown our efforts with His favor.
Sometimes taking the smallest step in God’s direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take that first step.
- When the waters get rough, have faith in your Father.
Jumping will be a magnet for rough waters. But that’s no reason not to do it. With faith in our Father, we can have the confidence that He will be right there to catch us in the midst of a storm.
“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?’”
Knowing God’s amazing love and deep concern for us, knowing that He is trustworthy and always has our best interests in mind, is so reassuring when we are on the verge of taking step one. And “the LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand” (Psalm 37:23–24).
The marvelous trustworthiness of God is something we can count on in taking a step, jump or leap. You can be assured that the Lord will “make firm” your first step.
When you make that first move, He will see to it that although you may stumble, you will not fall. He will be right there beside you with your hand in His.
What about you? Will you have serious regrets at the end of your life because you were too chained to your boat of comfort and safety?
I’m not concerned that you will fail. My concern is that you might succeed at something that didn’t matter, and that you will miss the adventure of a lifetime because you were too comfortable or scared to jump.
No matter where you are in life, if you’re reading this, it’s not too late. Get some clarity on what God wants you to do and move forward with everything you’ve got—you will never regret it. It is time to jump!