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Step Out of the Boat

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Matthew 14:27-33
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” 28 Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”

What is fear? The dictionary defines fear as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined. Everyone is afraid of something. What is the biggest thing you are afraid of?

For some fear is being without a loved one due to death. For others death itself is their biggest fear. Maybe some of you are merely afraid to ask someone out on a date because you fear being rejected. Some may be afraid to get close enough to love someone because they are afraid of getting hurt.

We can’t live our lives constantly afraid of doing things. Fear is not something that comes from God. The devil wants us to believe that we will never be able to make a difference to others around us, so he keeps us constantly in fear of the unknown. We have to step out of the boat and get away from fear.

In Matthew chapter 14 the bible talks about the disciples being asleep on the boat when a storm starts. They think that the figure they see walking out to them on the water is a ghost until they ask who it is. When Jesus tells them that it is him they want proof. Peter tells Jesus that if it’s him he’ll ask him to go out onto the water, so Jesus did. Now as long as Peter was focused on Jesus he was fine. However, the very second he took his eyes off of Jesus and started focusing on the storm around him, he began to sink. He of course cried out to Jesus to save him and he did.

Isn't that kind of how we live our lives? As long as we are focused on Jesus and God’s will for our lives we walking on top of the roaring waves of life. However, when we take our eyes off of God and we begin to see the waves and the winds we focus on what is right there around us, that is when we sink. Sometimes we even think we can get ourselves out of the storm and we nearly drown doing it. We are too afraid to call out to Jesus for help because of the shame or guilt of something that we have done. We doubted what God could do for us, and so the devil laid on the guilt and we sank.

We don’t have to be afraid. There is no storm in our life that is too big for God to calm. Maybe he doesn't want the storm to be calmed but us instead. Maybe there are times when he wants us to cry out to him to save us. It is okay to go through the storm especially when we are holding on to him.

What are you afraid of today? What has happened in your past that the devil is trying to run wild with? Maybe you hurt someone by saying hurtful things. Maybe you were married or in a relationship and you cheated on that other person. Maybe you lied to someone. Whatever has happened is in the past. If you have already asked for forgiveness from God then it has been given. The time has come to forgive yourself. Stop allowing the devil to have that much control over your life. The guilt is causing you to fear the good things that could happen in your life. It can cause you to feel as though you don’t deserve to be happy, so you never step out of the boat of guilt and try peace and happiness.

Life is too short to allow fear to control you. Guilt and manipulation from others can cause you to fear a happiness that you think you don’t deserve because of something in your past. Jesus forgave you, God the father has forgiven you, and now you need to forgive you. Step out of the boat, stay focused on Jesus, and get away from whatever it is that is keeping you bound to fear.

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