Summary: Believers today need a fresh "out of the box" experience. Stepping out brings a new found freedom and experience for all.
Get Out of the Box
Text: Mt 14:28-29
Introduction: In our world today, most people fear stepping out into a new opportunity more than they fear missing out on a new opportunity. The longer we tolerate something, the longer it dictates our life experience. We will never change our system of beliefs until we arrive at the place where we acknowledge it is the reason we are in our present situations. Change is difficult. Change means abandoning all confining safety zones.
Life is not about staying in the safe places. No doubt, Peter was safer in the boat from a human standpoint, but he stepped out of the boat because he wanted to experience the very Author of all life in a new way. That’s what it comes down to - an inner desire to get more of what God has for you - a discontentment with where you are right now - a sense that there is so much more to get ahold of spiritually than you ever even imagined.
Today’s church needs to step back and rediscover its cause. As we do, the momentum to move forward will be released. It’s been said: "The real tragedy is not that churches are dying but that churches have lost their reason to live!" We need to readjust our focus so that we can once again see the real cause.
Darkness wants to keep us contained in the land of irrelavancy - that place where we’re busy doing what doesn’t work, where it doesn’t matter anyway. We get so caught up in the pressure to produce that we begin experiencing less and less results. The church must return to the place where we understand that our mission is not in entertaining the masses but reaching the unchurched in a relavant way. The church must determine to make a shift from promoting weekly programs to empowering an army of believers. The chief goal of this hour must be to produce Christians who are not living for the next thrill, but are looking to take the next piece of enemy territory!
What is considered "normal" in most churches today, is really abnormal. When the Spirit of God descended and created a powerful mechanism for ministry and outreach as we see pictured in the book of Acts, that was normal. This powerless entity we refer to as a church today doesn’t meet up to what God desires or expects. A great awakening is going to spring into being when a new breed of standard bearers rise up and return to what is really normal.
In his book, If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat, John Ortberg challenges his readers to consider the incredible potential that awaits us outside our comfort zone. Out on the risky waters of faith, Jesus is waiting to meet us in ways that will change us forever, deepening our character and our trust in God. He explains that the experience is initially terrifying but soon becomes thrilling beyond belief.
There are a tremendous amount of people hanging out in the boat. The boat seems to be where it’s happening. But the boat has become that box that we need to desperately break ourselves free from. Let’s consider this out of boat, out of box experience for a few moments.
When we consider Peter’s out of boat experience, we come to realize that staying in the boat:
1. Confines You
A. The boat seemed to be the safe place, the comfortable place, the place where everybody was at.
B. Peter wanted something more.
1. He wanted more than safety, more than comfort, more than hanging with the crowd.
2. He had seen the great workings and miracles of the Lord.
3. He recognized it wasn’t happening here in the boat - he wanted more.
c. His desire for more drove him to get out of the boat.
1. He was willing to take chances.
2. He wanted to be right where Jesus was.
3. He wanted out of that box.
4. It was this desire:
a. that turned a lowly fisherman into a fisher of man;
b. that made a tremendous preacher out of him;
c. that led him to the day of Pentecost.
C. Satan wants to keep us confined in the box - stay in that boat.
1. He wants us to stay right where we are.
2. He doesn’t want us going where God wants to take us.
3. He is very content to have the Church continue playing their little games amongst themselves never reaching out to the great beyond.
C. The opposite of confinement is movement.
1. The Church needs to move.
2. The children of Israel remained wandering in the desert until they finally got tired of desert confinement and moved across the Jordan.