Summary: How do we keep our eyes on Jesus?
Peter’s walk on the water with Jesus is a wonderful illustration of the walk of faith. We have been looking to this passage to see what we might learn about walking by faith. We have said that walking by faith means getting out of the boat, that we must be willing to stand up and step out where He calls us to; that it also means resisting my fears - Unfounded Fear Of the Lord, Unfounded Fear Of The World, & Unfounded Fear Of Failure. Finally, I want us to notice one more thing about what it means to walk by faith. To walk by faith means focusing my attention on Jesus!
This is important, for many have the idea that faith is our source of power for daily living. Not so. Jesus is our source for power for daily living! It is only as our faith is directed toward Him, that we experience His power at work in us to be and do what we previously thought
impossible! You see, the question is not, “Do I have faith?” The question is, “Do I have faith in myself or do I have faith in Jesus?” Peter didn’t walk on the water because he had faith in himself. He walked on the water because he had faith in Jesus. As long as he focused on Jesus, he stayed on top of the water!
Likewise, if you and I want to overcome the world, rather than be overwhelmed by it; if we want to be a victor in this world rather than a victim in it; if we want to tread on the water rather than tread water, we must focus on Jesus!
From Peter’s walking on the water, we learn that focusing on Jesus will involved 5 things:
1. Listening To Jesus - v.28
Peter knew that if the image out on the water that day was the Lord, He would have something to say to him. That’s the way Jesus relates to His followers - He is not silent - He speaks to them.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” - John 10:27 (NIV)
It isn’t a question of whether God speaks - that is a given - but are we listening?
Kind of like the guy who lived near a dam that had burst. A fellow came by in a car and offered to take him to safety. His reply was, “Don’t worry, the Lord will take care of me.” As the waters rose, someone else in a boat came by and offered to take him to safety. Again, he declined the offer saying, “The Lord will take care of me.” Then as he was on top of his roof with the flood waters all around him, someone in a helicopter came by and told him to climb up the ladder they had dropped down to him and they would take him to safety. To which he responded, “no thanks, the Lord will take care of me.” After he died in the flood, in heaven, he asked the Lord why He hadn’t rescued him. The Lord replied, “I sent you a car, a boat and a helicopter, what more did you want?”
Are you listening for the voice of the Lord in your life? People generally see what they look for and hear what they listen for.
“Whoever has ears, let them hear.” - Matthew 11:15 (NIV)
Of course, it is difficult to tune in to a message from heaven, if your life is filled with earthly static! That’s why the other disciples did not venture out of the boat. They were so focused on the wind and the waves, they couldn’t see past them to recognize the Lord. Which brings up an important point:
It isn’t faith to look back at yesterday and say, “It was the Lord.” Faith looks at the dim-shadowed figure on today’s stormy sea and says, “It is the Lord!”
Let me encourage you to take time to shut earthly static out of your life and listen as Jesus calls out to you. He has a word for you, just as He did for Peter. Are you listening?
2. Looking To Jesus - v. 29
In walking on the water, Peter looked to Jesus. So must we.
“The way each day will look to you, all starts with who you are looking to.” - Anonymous
In Hebrews 12:1-3a, we are told that looking to Jesus is the key to victorious living. The word “looking” in verse 2 is the word “aphorao.” It occurs no where else in Scripture but here and means “looking away from all else, looking at that which fills the heart.” The word “consider” in verse 3, is the word “analogizomai,” and also appears only here. The word means “to reckon up.” In other words, as we consider the call of the one who promises to empower us to do what He calls us to do, let’s add up all that He is! As we do, we will conclude that what He calls us to He will enable us to perform. We are told to consider: