Summary: Fear in the heart of a believer will stop all faith from working in our behalf.
Fear and Faith
Matt 14:27…But Jesus spoke to them at once. "It’s all right," he said. "I am here! Don’t be afraid." NLT
At the age of 16 years, I was a member of Royal ranger Outpost # 4 Highland Assembly of God, Albuquerque, New Mexico. This was a top notch Ranger Ministry. The Trail Rangers consisted of 15 -17 year old boys all eager to learn and know about the outdoors.
Repelling down 120-foot shear cliffs became one of the main activities we managed to do on Saturdays. One special Saturday we were training new recruits in the repelling events. The training cliff was only 60 feet high and not a steep as the other cliffs. The process consisted of many previous weeks of knots, safety instruction and discipline procedures for the recruits. So today, the recruits were on the rope. We had a partner system with the rope rigged so the lead Ranger could repel down the cliff beside the new recruit. I was the lead Ranger.
Otis was a pretty good fellow and most of the Rangers liked him. As Otis started over the edge with me he look pretty scared. We just past the point of no return, meaning Otis had to go all the way down when he said, “I have changed my mind, I don’t want to do this.”
Otis decided to stop descending. He froze right there at 50 feet up. Beads of sweat popped out on his face, his grip was tightened on the rope so tight his knuckles were white and fear flushed his face.
That why I was there, to help Otis. The safety team at the bottom locked down the rope so Otis could not fall. Otis was safe, but still on the cliff refusing to move.
The fear in the heart of Otis defeated the faith he had in his training, the equipment, and in himself.
I stayed there with Otis, cracked a joke and helped him to relax. I corrected his stance a little by getting him to lean back correctly. I talked him into relaxing his grip a little and then told another joke.
He looked at me and said, “Aren’t you going to be a preacher or something?”
I said, “Yes probably”
He then said, “Well then do something religious!”
So, I told another joke!
It took about twenty minuets before Otis took one small step down the cliff. Another ten before he took another. Then he began to lighten up and soon we were both on the ground. Only with the assistance of someone experienced and who knew the end result could Otis over come his fear.
Fear defeats faith
1. Faith Recognizes God’s Presence
The text today comes from the amazing story of Jesus and Peter walking on the water. The disciples were in a boat when the storm hit the lake. They were in trouble and struggling with the wind and waves.
Matt 14:24… the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. NLT
Matt 14:25-27… About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came to them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost. But Jesus spoke to them at once. "It’s all right," he said. "I am here! Don’t be afraid."
What was Jesus really doing walking on the water at three in the morning.
Mark 6:47-48… About three o’clock in the morning he came to them, walking on the water. He started to go past them NLT
Why was Jesus going to go past them. They were is serious trouble so why pass them by.
God would do this “passing by” when he wanted to select a individual or a group for a purpose of communicating His message. When God had a calling to place on the heart of a person, he would “pass by”
Ex 33:22…When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. (from New International Version)
1 Kings 19:11…The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by."
• God passes by to get their attention,
• To bring each one to a point of new understanding
• To encourage and to enlist for his continued service
• To help each to increase in faith and decrease in self
• To show His glory and power
Of the twelve in the boat, one recognized the power, the glory, and the person. One realized the majesty of the moment and wanted to respond to the “Passing by of God!”
2. True faith Discerns Foolishness