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“You will only recognize His voice more clearly through recklessness”

By: Admin on May 21, 2014

“You will only recognize His voice more clearly through recklessness— being willing to risk your all.”

I love the story of Peter walking on the water as told in Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 14. It’s a retelling of an encounter that the disciples had with Jesus, and yet another example of a shock-and-awe moment for these young leaders who seemed to spend most of their time just trying to wrap their heads around who Jesus was. If you are familiar with the story then you know that the disciples were out in a boat and saw Jesus walking on the water. Were they more than a little freaked out? Absolutely! Were they frozen with fear? Yes! It was at that moment that Jesus looked at Peter and said, “come”. Being someone who never had to be asked twice, Peter did just that. The Message puts it this way,

“… Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!”

Have you ever thought about how many times God puts us into situations where our knee-jerk reaction is fear? Maybe we’re not in a life-threatening situation, but maybe we are faced with decisions where all of the likely outcomes point to failure. I’ve had a few of those this week. What about you? Maybe we are simply afraid of failing. One of the important lessons that I’ve learned in my thirty years of pastoral ministry is that people are highly motivated to avoid situations that create fear of any kind.

Have you ever noticed in this story that Peter didn’t even seem to notice the waves at first? Jesus told him to “Come” and like the trusting fool that he was, he did just that. He didn’t stop and question if the water would hold his weight and he certainly didn’t question Jesus command. Peter never even considered the waves. He simply recognized the voice of God and stepped out. He willingly put his trust and confidence in something more powerful and reliable than the laws of nature. It was only when he began to take those things around him into account that he began to sink.

Oswald Chambers, in talking about this passage, says,

“We step right out with recognition of God in some things, then self-consideration enters our lives and down we go. If you are truly recognizing your Lord, you have no business being concerned about how and where He engineers your circumstances. The things surrounding you are real, but when you look at them you are immediately overwhelmed, and even unable to recognize Jesus.”

Sound familiar? Sound convicting?

I pray that we would all have Paul’s reckless abandonment. I want to be as totally unrestrained and willing to risk everything as he was and not like the other disciples who simply played it safe by staying in the boat.

“You will only recognize His voice more clearly through recklessness— being willing to risk your all.” – Oswald Chambers

Topics: community, faith, jesus, suffering

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