Summary: If we want to walk on water we need to get out of the boat.

Overcoming the Fear Factor

Series: Get Out of the Boat ! Living a Life of Greater Faith

Brad Bailey – July 24, 2011


In the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie…the evil pirate “The Black Pearl” turns to another character and said: “Arhhh… there be monsters”

It turns out that this line reflects what many saw some time ago.

In the British Museum in London, there is an old mariner’s chart drawn in 1525 outlining the North American coastline. The cartographer who created the map did so from information gleaned from ocean-going crews of the day. There were notations on where reefs might be, and where the best harbors could be found. But there were certain sections that were relatively blank. And in those sections were notations like the following:

* "Here be giants!"

* "Here be fiery scorpions!"

* "Here be dragons."

In other words: “Here be monsters”

Ever since man has gone out on the water in boats, seafarers have always been just a little afraid of the unknown and the uncontrollable. And they felt fear.

The truth we all have maps of the way we see reality… the world that we live in… and we all have areas and aspects marked with monsters… fears that keep our lives from exploring … from getting out of the boat… and that is what God wants us to consider this morning.

This morning we continue in our series focused on the need to get out of the boat if we want to walk on water. We are engaging a dynamic moment between Jesus and his disciples… especially Peter…a story that we are all a part of.

Jesus has been training his first followers… showing them how God is at work… sends them off… then meets them… amidst some stormy waters.

Matthew 14:25-33 (NIV)

25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." 28 "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." 29 "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

Over past couple weeks we looked at…

• The significance of getting out of the boat. The boat can become a picture of what is familiar and comfortable… while stepping out reflects joining God in what He is doing…. stepping out in faith.

• The need for discernment… as we noted that Peter asked ‘Lord, IF it’s you, tell me to come..’ – which reflects that such stepping out is not a matter of presuming that God must provide for our plans and preferences. It’s presumption to expect that God God simply jpin our will. Faith is a matter of us joining God’s will.

• The need to take a first step…something we discover God often calls those he is raising up to do.

Today we focus on what arises with every step... and that is FEAR.

This past week I got an email from an old friend that said…

“I am overwhelmed … anxiety ridden ….I feel like I am in fear most of the time. Fear of numerous things.”

Many share similar feelings.

Anxiety is the most common psychological ailment in America, surpassing even depression. [1]

Basic fear affects us far more than we know…from childhood fear of the dark to teenage fear of peer pressure to young adult fears of making it in the world to adult fears of attached to so many responsibilities to the ultimate fear of the death of these bodies.

We can call is fear… anxiety… feeling stuck… withdrawn… apprehensive.

Hear a guy share how…serving in a parachute regiment. During a nighttime exercise, he was seated next to a young officer. He was looking a bit pale, so he asked, "Scared, lieutenant?"

"No," he replied. "Apprehensive."

"What's the difference?"

"That means I'm scared, but with a university education."

We may not like the word fear… may be afraid of it… but we can’t avoid it.

Fear is at the root of what keeps us from getting out of the boat… and walking on water.

• How many of us may have been moved by some need that we could envision making a difference about… but there was something we feared that held us back. Maybe we’d fail… or be misunderstood.

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