Above the Waves

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, February 22, 2015 0 comments

by Ami Samuels

In a text conversation this past week a friend of mine said this: “I’m going to try and stop looking at my problems.” This text reminded me of a line from the song “Oceans” by Hillsong (click here for the video). It says “I will call upon your name and keep my eyes above the waves.”

My text in response to her was, “Focus above the waves of this world. That is where steadiness, or sure footing, comes from - focusing on Jesus.” I then went on to share about Peter walking on water.

In Matthew 14:22-33 we find the disciples in a boat a considerable distance from shore and the wind and waves were pounding the boat. Jesus, who had stayed behind to spend time in prayer, went out to join them. It was about 3:00am when Jesus walks out to the boat on the water. The disciples were terrified and thought he was a ghost. After all, it is dark, the wind is blowing, the waves are crashing against the boat, and then they see a figure walking on water coming toward them.

Jesus immediately says, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t’ be afraid,” in verse 27.

Peter replies “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “Why did you doubt?” Peter must have recognized Jesus’ voice because he was willing to get out of the boat. He was walking on water UNTIL he took his eyes off of Jesus. As soon as he started to look at the wind, he became afraid and began to sink.

How often in life do we do that? We start out confidently and then we look around at our circumstances. We begin to think about our human limitations and our insecurities, and plunk! Down we go. When we take our eyes off of Jesus, we lose the power to walk where Jesus walks.

When we take a step out of our comfort zone (out of the boat), our focus (like Peter’s) needs to be solely on Jesus. Your situation may get stormy, but don’t focus on your situation; remain focused on Jesus.

It is easy to take that step when the circumstances are perfect. Let’s consider what the perfect situation might have been for Peter. What if it were a sunny afternoon and the disciples were sunning in the boat relaxing and Jesus walks up. Peter would have been able to see that it was Jesus and recognize him right away. He wouldn’t have been afraid. I would think they would have still been shocked that Jesus was walking on water. But for Peter, walking on calm water on a sunny day would be far less frightening then walking on water in the middle of the night with the wind and waves crashing all around him, in the dark. Nevertheless, Jesus wants us to take the difficult step and trust him even when things aren’t perfect, when we are scared, and in the midst of our storm.

I believe that Jesus is looking for people who not only trust him in the storm, but who are willing to step out in faith while the storm is raging. This requires us to stay completely focused on Jesus.

In his book “If You Want to Walk On Water, You’ve Got To Get Out Of The Boat,” John Ortberg writes, “I believe there is something – Someone – inside us who tells us there is more to life than sitting in the boat. You were made of something more than merely avoiding failure. There is something inside you that wants to walk on the water – to leave the comfort of routine existence and abandon yourself to the high adventure of following God.”

This week I would like to encourage you to keep your eyes above the wind and the waves, look beyond your circumstances and stay focused on Jesus.