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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Walking on the Water of the Word by Faith

Peter Walks on Water – John 6:16-24

Jesus has fed His disciples and the multitudes the bread of life. Now Jesus will teach His disciples that they must trust Him and walk on the water of His Word as they come to Him. It is not good enough to just know the Word of God. We must walk according to the Word if we are to draw close to Jesus and accomplish what seems impossible to man. As I have said many times in my teachings, Jesus uses the “natural” to teach “supernatural” truths. It is by walking on the water of the Anointed Word that we draw near to Jesus because He is the Living Word – the written Word brought to life by the Holy Spirit. It is also by walking on the water of the Anointed Word that we dispel the darkness and have victory over the enemy of our souls.
Peter is the first disciple mentioned in all four gospels. His name is mentioned more in the gospels than any of the others. Jesus chose Peter to be the leader of the disciples and to be the one who would begin building His Church/Temple. Matthew 16:18: And I say to you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Peter began as a rock but Jesus saw him as a diamond. Jesus will teach Peter and tame his impulsiveness to prepare him for the great work He had for Peter to do.
Peter was often bold and impulsive. He was also courageous. Peter is the only disciple who rebuked Jesus and cut off a man’s ear. Peter was often rebuked by Jesus. He was the only disciple to deny Christ three times, and yet Jesus gave Peter the opportunity to say he loved Him three times.
Peter, true to his character, didn’t play it safe in the midst of the darkness and chaos of a raging sea. He took a risk by stepping out in faith to come to Jesus walking on water when Jesus called him. None of the other 11 got out of the boat!
It is I”

In the middle of the darkness and the raging sea, Jesus’ disciples saw Him in His glory and light. Then they heard His voice – “It is I -- the Great I am.” It was Jesus’ voice that opened Peter’s eyes that what they thought was a ghost was actually Jesus. In the midst of darkness, there came a great light. In the Older Testament, God told the prophet Isaiah that He wanted His people to know His Name. God said to Isaiah, “I am He who speaks. Yes, it is I.” The King James version of the Bible translates this as “I am.” The Greek words used in the New Testament are ego eimi meaning I am” – to be or to exist. Jesus is telling His disciples that He is the “I am.” Jesus is fulfilling the scripture in Isaiah.
Jesus identified Himself as the “I am” 8 times in the Gospel of John, once in Matthew and once in Revelation.

   1.  I am the Son of GodMatthew 37:43
   2.  I am the Bread of Life – John 6:35, 41, 4
   3.  I am the Light of the world – John 8:12
   4.  I am the Door of the sheep – John 10:7, 9
   5.  I am the Good Shepherd – John 10:11
   6.  I am the Resurrection and the Life – John 11:2
   7.  I am the Way, the Truth and the Life – John 14:6
   8.  I am the Vine – John 15:5
   9.  I am a king – John 18:37
  10. I am the Alpha and Omega – Revelation 21:6
Jesus is the full manifestation of God and His glory. He didn’t come in the flesh to seek His own glory, but the glory of the One who sent Him. Jesus also sends us out into the world to bring glory to Him and His Father, not glory for ourselves.
Jesus will show His disciples that like His Heavenly Father, He is in command of nature.
Take Courage.” John 6:20 (“Don’t Be Afraid”)

It takes courage to step out of a boat to walk on water in the middle of a raging storm in the darkness. The other 11 disciples stayed in the boat, but Peter stepped out in faith at what Jesus had called him to do. If Peter had little faith, the others had no faith! They stayed in the boat! Sometimes God will ask us to do something that isn’t exactly stable waters. There will be those who will stay in their place of comfort, but there will be those like Peter who will step out of the boat and walk. God wants us to step out in faith in God’s Word, as Peter did.
Courage must be accompanied by wisdom and discernment. Peter said to Jesus, “If it is you, bid me come.” Peter must be sure that Jesus is telling him to get out of the boat and come to Him. Once being assured that Jesus was calling him, Peter took a step of faith and left the boat to walk on the water in the midst of darkness and this fierce storm. Peter believed that he could do the will of the Lord at Jesus’ command (Word). It was looking at Jesus that gave Peter the courage and confidence to obey Jesus’ calling. God will sometimes ask us to take a risk in serving Him and others but we must keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
I am sure there was some fear and trepidation in Peter, but Peter faced his fear, stepped out in faith and trusted Jesus and His Word. The disciples didn’t recognize Jesus at first because they weren’t looking for Him and their fear clouded their vision. The very thing they feared – the wind and the storm – would be Jesus’ steps to come to them! Many times it is our trials and tribulations that Jesus will use to draw us closer to Him in deeper faith and trust. They are the steps for Jesus to come to us and we to Him.
Jesus walks on water just as He asks us to walk on the water of His Word anointed by the Holy Spirit. Jesus came to His own walking on water, and He wants His own to come to Him walking on the water of His Anointed Word. Humans tend to walk by sight, not by faith, but the spiritual is the reverse.
Peter Begins to Sink
Courageous, bold Peter walked a short distance on the water. For a short time, Peter experienced God’s power to do the impossible. Then he took his eyes off of Jesus and looked at the circumstances and began to sink. Fear drives away faith! Growing spiritually sometimes requires us to face our fear and leave our comfort zone. Peter attempted the impossible!
Like Peter, Christians must keep our eyes upon Jesus, His Word and the wind of the Holy Spirit to carry us through the trials of life and walking toward Jesus. It is our partnership with Jesus and the Holy Spirit that makes all things possible – including walking on water. It isn’t easy walking on the water of the Word of God because it is contrary to our fleshly nature. In this account of Peter and Jesus walking on water, Jesus wants to show His disciples and us that all things are possible when we walk with Him and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus sent His disciples into the storm; He will also save them from the storm.
                                    (to be continued)

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