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If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat

“…for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7) This is a familiar passage, easy to memorize, but what does it mean? Can it be lived in real-time and in real-life?
Types of walks in the Bible:
Walk of God in the garden, “Where are you?” (Gen. 3:9)
Abraham’s painful walk up Mt. Moriah (Gen. 22)
Israel’s walk through the Red Sea (Ex. 14)
Joshua’s walk around Jericho (Josh. 6:1-27)
Saul’s Damascus walk (Acts 9)
Jesus walk to Golgotha (John 19)
The Christian’s life is a walk (1 Thes. 2:12; Eph. 4:1)
One of the most unforgettable walks occurred the night when Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water.
His walk represents stepping out in faith.
With God’s help we can do what could never be done.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight”
There are times individuals need to step out of their comfort zone, take God by the hand, and go for a walk. There are times churches need to do the same. Does it involve risk? Yes. Does it involve an element of fear? Sure. Does it involve faith? Every time. However, one thing is for sure, if you want to walk on the water, you must first get out of the boat.”

If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat

Matthew 14:22-33

Introduction:

    1. “…for we walk by faith, not by sight”  (2 Cor. 5:7)   Can it be lived in real-time and in real-life?
    2. Types of walks in the Bible
    3. One of the most unforgettable walks occurred the night when Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water.
    4. “For we walk by faith, not by sight”
  1. The Trip
    1. Crossing the Sea of Galilee
      1. Jesus needed time alone, He sent the disciples alone on the boat (22-23)
      2. A storm blew in from the west
        1. battered by the waves (vs. 24)
        2. 3-4 miles (John 6:19)
        3. 3-4 am (Matthew 14:25)
        4. Saw a shadow of a man moving toward them
      3. They became afraid and cried out in fear (vs. 26).
        1. How many of us have been terrorized by the waves of turmoil, trouble, and trial only to fail at recognizing the presence of God, just like the disciples?
        2. Jesus was in the presence of the storm.  Jesus is present in the midst of all our storms.
    2. What is Jesus doing?
      1. In times past God has chosen to make His presence known in different ways and to different people (Hebrews 1:1)
      2. This time Jesus chose to appear to the 12 at 3 am in the middle of a terrifying storm, and suddenly one of them had an idea!  
  2. Four Facts About Walking by Faith (2 Cor. 5:7)
    1. Walking by Faith Means You Must Get Out of Your Boat
      1. Up to this point the safest place for the 12 was the boat-it represented safety and security.  Peter’s dilemma is our own dilemma.  Do we stay in the safety of our boat when the storms of life assail us or, do we step out of the boat in faith? 
      2. Each one of us has a boat-something represents safety and security for us:
        1. It is where we are tempted to place our trust (Matthew 6:19-21)
        2. Money, friends, relationships, jobs, even their own success
        3. <Bible example> Rich Young Ruler (Matthew 19:21-22) He believed he had “forsaken all and was ready to take a walk of faith,” but he lacked one thing, and in that one thing is where he had ALL of his confidence, and he just couldn’t step out of that boat.
      3. Churches have boats too
        1. Buildings may become boats
        2. Traditions
        3. Money (focus too much on saving money than on saving souls
      4. Two truths are apparent when it comes to the security of our boats:
        1. We like to stay in our boats
        2. We don’t like anyone rocking it
        3. There are times when the Lord sends a strong storm to rock our boat, and issues the ultimate faith challenge: “Come!” (Matthew 14:29)
    2. Walking by Faith Means the Storm May not Immediately Go Away
      1. Life-challenges don’t disappear just because you start walking by faith.  If anything, the storm becomes worse.
      2. What were the eleven thinking?  “How far is Peter going to take this?”  HE LET GO!
      3. Then it happened, (Matthew 14:30)
      4. There are risks to everything.
    3. Walking by Faith Means the Storm is the Price You Pay for Spiritual Growth
      1. Did Peter fail? 
      2. It’s easy to conclude that Peter failed.  Or did he?
    4. Walking by Faith Means Finding a Connection with the Living Lord
      1. There are a lot of reasons to get out of the boat and walk by faith, but the best reason is when the Lord says, “Come!”
      2. We seek to construct manageable lives with security, predicability and insurance-thereby giving the illusion that we are in control.
        1. But we are not in control.
        2. Sometimes God allows a storm (or even allows Satan to sift us like wheat -Luke 22:31) that shakes our world and rocks our boat, but He promises never to forsake us, never leave us (Hebrews 13:5)-He will always be near enough to say, “Come!”

Conclusion:

  1. It is time to quit making excuses and start walking by faith.  There are many applications:
    1. Inviting people to worship
    2. Asking people to study the Bible 
    3. Practicing hospitality
    4. Teaching a Bible class
  2. Making a commitment to the Lord
    1. Obey the Gospel
    2. Come back home like the prodigal

God’s Plan of Salvation

GOD’S PART

1. The great love of God for man (John 3:16)

2. He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Savior (Luke 19:10)

3. Sent the Holy Spirit as a guide (John 16:13)

4. Gave the Gospel as “the power” unto salvation (Romans 1:16)

5. Provided atonement by the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9)

MAN’S PART

1. Hear the Gospel. (Romans 10:17, John 8:32)

2. Believe the Gospel (Hebrews 11:6, John 20:31)

3. Repent of past sins (Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30)

4. Confess faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:10, Matthew 10:32)

5. Be Baptized (Galatians 3:27, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38)

6. Be faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10)