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Summary: Teaches us to keep our faith in Christ and to keep our eyes on him; not letting ourselves get distracted by the storms that are raging outside

Matthew 14:22-33

22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

I have preached this before, but I am going to preach it again, because it is where I believe we are as a church today!

We are out of our comfort zones, we are out of the safe area, and we are moving in new territory, and I just want to caution us concerning some natural temptations that will come against us!

There are different things that we can focus on, and depending on what we look at will determine our failure or success in the Spirit!

Let me say, that whether we continue on in our journey of faith, or sink into an ocean of failure depends on what we are watching!

I WOULD LIKE YOU TO NOTICE SOME THINGS IN THIS STORY, AND THEN I WILL RELATE THEM TO OUR PRESENT SITUATION AS A CHURCH.

The disciples had settled themselves into a comfortable structure, a sea-worthy boat.

This ship was designed to withstand the storm, it was designed to ride through heavy winds and high waves.

Not only were they in a safe place, they were there with many friends. Many people, who could encourage them, give them a hand; keep them on the straight and narrow.

They looked out and saw the storm, and may have even commented on the storm, but yet, the Bible doesn’t record that in this instance they were even the least bit worried by these inclement conditions.

But, as they sat in the boat, safe and sound, imagine their shock when they look outside the four walls of their ship and find that Jesus is walking on the water!

They were so shocked to see Him outside of their boat, that they thought it was a ghost! They misinterpreted the vision, and thought that it was an apparition coming toward them and grew fearful.

But, soon they realized that it was Jesus. And their fears were allayed.

But, out of this group, there was one man who truly understood the message that Jesus was trying to convey to His disciples.

I believe that Jesus was giving them an object lesson. And that is, their idea of movement, their idea of safety, their method of transportation up to that point was in a boat.

But, Jesus was saying to them, “I am not going to be confined to a wooden structure, and if you are going to be in my will and in my presence, you are going to have to get out here in the wild, blue yonder!”

And in a great burst of faith, Peter jumps up and says, “Lord, I am tired of sitting in this boat, I am ready to come out where you are!”

And, Jesus bids him come.

Even though he had never been there before, he jumped out of the boat, and said,

“Okay, Jesus, I have never been in this place before, this goes against every thing that I have been taught and everything I think, but at thy word, I will come.”

d.) Now, Peter was in a new place in the spirit, a place he had never been before.

He had left the confines of the boat, the confines of movement by committee, and popular opinion.

He had left his comfort zone, his safety net, the walls that protected him, and he was now moving in the elements that Jesus had already mastered.

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