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Water Walking Wonders
web posted January 16, 2006
By: Dr. Skip Myers
Times have changed. Everyday I look out my window and see an emerging city changing right before my eyes. “I remember” has become a phrase I use much more than I ever thought I would. I have made a commitment in my life to ask the Lord to help me not become one of those people who view all change as bad. That will truly make you old, cynical, and miserable before your time.
Refusing to accept change will do nothing but limit the possibilities in your life. You cannot grow unless you are willing to change and accept the change that is needed for you to grow. Staying the same is not God’s will for His children. Joy floods change when it is guided by the loving hand of the Lord.
Now, what has all of this got to do with walking in the miraculous. Simple, if you are currently missing the miraculous, you cannot experience the miraculous unless something is allowed to change. “You cannot continue to do the same thing and expect different results.” Never change for the sake of change. Never change just because you are bored with life. Never change because some new fad has emerged. Change only to grow in your relationship with the Lord and as you do, the miraculous will become a greater part of your life.
In order to change, we have to know where we are and where we need to go. As we look to Matthew 14:22-33 and the account of Jesus walking on the water, we see that there were basically three types of people surrounding Him at this time. We too, can be placed into one of these three categories. And of these three, only one truly participates in the miraculous.
It is interesting that the miracle of walking on the water occurs right after the feeding of the 5,000. Jesus took a few pieces of fish and bread, blessed it, and fed a multitude of people. The Bible tells us that immediately following this miracle Jesus “made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him.” Jesus wanted to get His followers away from the influence of the first type of person involved in this miracle: the consumers.
Consumers are all around us. They love the benefits of the Lord and the church but that’s all there is to them. The people eating the bread and the fish loved what they got from the Lord and wanted to make Him their king. Who wouldn’t want a leader who could miraculously supply your every need without any effort on your part. This is why the crowd so quickly turned on Jesus and demanded that He be crucified. He failed to do things their way. They couldn’t reconcile the cross with their idea of a king.
So the consumers stayed on the shore, fat and momentarily happy, munching on their fish sandwiches. And oh, what they were about to miss! The invitation to participate in the miraculous is reserved for disciples. Not “the disciples” but rather, disciples being anyone who is willing to allow their lives to be placed under the loving lordship of Christ to the point they are being changed into His image. These are the people Jesus positioned in the boat to witness the miracle of walking on the water. Hence, our second type of person, the watchers. Now the only difference between the consumers and the watchers is that the watchers have grown a relationship with Christ to the point of exhibiting limited obedience.
They got into the boat like they were told and when they saw the miracle happening their reaction was: When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. For those watching this miracle it became a source of fear. Why? The answer lies in the interpretation given. They thought Jesus was a ghost. Ghosts have no substance just like the faith they were exhibiting at that moment.
They had obeyed by getting into the boat but in the boat is where they were to stay. Crouched in fear of the very One who had just fed them. Watchers never move to participate in the miraculous because there is very little substance to their faith. Jesus is more mystical and vaporous. Faith, while genuine, is underdeveloped and controlled by the watcher. It is fun to watch the Lord work but it is infinitely more enjoyable to participate. It is the difference between sitting on the bench and playing in the game.
So, make a change. Get off the shore, put down the fish sandwich, and get into the boat. Make a commitment to discipleship. It’s the only way to get to the fun stuff! Walking on the water. That’s next week! Until then, feed the change by going to church and growing in your personal relationship with Christ.
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