Summary: What’s wrong with this picture? There are twelve disciples in the ship. Where is Jesus? Have you ever prayed something like this, "Hey God, where are you?"
Title: “Five Misconceptions of the Christian Life”
Introduction: At Kids Camp last week, it rained all day Monday. It was not supposed to do that! My plans were to have the kids play on the beach and stay in their tents! I stood on our deck overlooking Lake Michigan and asked God to make the rain go away. I stood their a long time. I got wet. I lost faith, and finally joined the 40 kids and workers and helpers who had invaded our little cottage home on the Lake. God had some lessons for me to learn!
1. I thought that the Christian life was all about getting a big crowd around Jesus.
Note that Jesus sent the multitudes away. There is more to the Christian experience than just getting a crowd to Church on Sunday.
2. I thought that it would be smooth sailing.
These disciples were "in the will of God," and yet a storm came upon them in the midst of the sea.
3. I thought that I would always see Jesus in my ship.
What’s wrong with this picture? There are twelve disciples in the ship. Where is Jesus? Have you ever prayed something like this, "Hey God, where are you? I need you. I thought you were supposed to be a very present help in my time of trouble!"
4. I thought that God would always part the waters.
Isn’t God "the same yesterday, today, and forever?" When I stood on my deck overlooking the waters of Lake Michigan and seeing the long line of rain clouds coming my way, I prayed a prayer something like this, "In the name of the God of Moses, please part the clouds. Make the rain go away!" It didn’t happen.
Certainly every one of the disciples in the distraught ship were pleading with God to set them upon dry ground.
5. I thought that God would never let me die.
Did you read the text at the beginning of this same Chapter in Matthew 14? John the Baptist was beheaded for the cause of Christ. In our verses, Peter was about to drown.
Two Conclusion Statements:
1. God wants you to know him.
They learned through this experience. They worshipped Christ as the Son of God.
2. God wants you to live a life bigger than you are.
Anybody can walk on dry ground. God wants us to walk on water!
If you are living the life that God wants you to live, there is no other way to explain why you are the way you are, other than... God.
Concluding illustration: On Tuesday, God parted the waters and gave us a friendly blue sky. It was time for another Bible story. I sat the kids on the side of dune and began telling my Bible story. No one seemed to be listening. The kids were playing with sticks, pulling on the dune grass, and watching the boaters on the Lake go by... I stopped the story and loaded the kids up, and took them back into my little cottage living room.
I finished the story. Six kids came to Christ that day. God got my attention.