Matthew 14:28-31 / Acts 2;42-43
The activity and intervention of God fuels our faith. We believe all things are possible through God because we have observed God performing impossible things. Acts 2:42 lends credence to our position and belief as Christians where it states that “… the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.” Acts 2:43
We serve the God of possibility! For this reason, we can boldly ask for anything and everything, regardless of how bleak the situation appears. The Apostle Peter learned that nothing is out of the question. Nothing is off the table. You can see how radical, how seemly ridiculous, and how obviously outlandish his request was…
And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. NKJV
“Can’t!” It’s a word that we frequently use. We are presented with a possibility/opportunity/dream, and we want to get excited about it, we want to buy in, but then our mind is incarcerated by the one-word dream killer … “Can’t!”
Your mind starts a dialog with your heart in a flash, and the conversation is self-deflating. “Listen, heart, don’t get too excited. You and I both know why we can’t do that. You can’t do that. It can’t be done.” The voice of possibility shouts for our attention, yet, in most cases, we only hear the voice of reason.
We have it within us to change the dialog! We can reject the voice of defeatism and give our attention to the prompting of the Holy Spirit! As Mickey Goldmill from the Rocky would say, “there ain’t no can’t”
If you want to cultivate ‘possibility’ faith, start with the notion and belief that, with God, there ain’t no cant’s. God is a can-do God! There is nothing that He can’t do. And the Scripture says, “All things are possible to him who believes.” Mark 9:23 And Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
All things! Not some things, not most things, but “all things!” Now Paul wasn’t saying, “believe really hard and you can jump a hundred feet in the air.” His clear message is that you can do all things through Christ.
You know Peter (the disciple turned Apostle version); he was a possibility guy. He is the poster boy for “imperfect does not equal ineffectual.” He is the only fully human man in the OT / NT that has “Yea, I walked on water” documented on his resume’.
Simon Peter tuned out the noisy negatives and took a chance on Jesus! It worked!
In doing so he left us a working template for the miraculous. In two short verses, we are afforded four steps toward possibility. But first, a recommendation! To better prepare yourself for the journey, I suggest a fast from wrong thinking. As I deliver this message, reject the temptation to pick up the “reasons why I can’t” banner.
In Matthew 11 Jesus said, “Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Matthew 11:15 NIV) The CEV says, “If you have ears, pay attention!” And the MSG asks, “Are you listening to me? Really listening?
Fair warning … this is my new “go-to” verse while preaching! Are you listening to me? Really listening?
I am asking you to fast (give up, reject, refuse) wrong thinking for the remainder of this message. Noisy negatives will cripple possibility living! It would serve you well to fast wrong thinking for the remainder of the day as well. And if you could discipline yourself to forgo “can’t mentality” for the remainder of the month … That’d be life altering and spiritually empowering! And it’s possible!
Using the Apostle Peter as an example, today we’ll talk about four steps that will get you moving in the direction of possibility.
STEP 1: It was a PRAYERFUL Step
“Lord, if it’s you…tell me to come to you on the water.” Matthew 14:28
Prayer is the genesis of possibility living. It’s the platform upon which man and God meet together. This was a quick prayer that was offered in a turbulent moment. Only 13 words are voiced before there is a response. How encouraging! It doesn’t take long to grab the attention of God! Especially when He sees the ‘faith’ attachment.
If you look closely, you can see that the mind and heart are collaborating. They are having a power meeting! The mind is ready to take things up spiritually, and the heart confirms said desire! In modern vernacular, the mind is racing, and the heart is pumping! As emotions rise, Simon Peter belts out a passionate prayer…
“Lord Jesus, I want to take my faith next level, so I’m going to kick my trust in gear and motor my way past middle school and go straight to IMPOSSIBLE! I want to walk to where you are and join you on the water!”
Let me remind you that this disciple is in a boat that’s being tossed around like a cork in the midst of a raging storm. He is saying, “Jesus, I am willing to step out into a dangerous situation to transition from where I am to where you are!”
Peter’s first thing was to decide and express to Christ his willingness to step out on faith. The other disciples were silent, but Peter prayed. He talked to the Lord before he took the first step. “Lord, I’m ready to take a big step of faith,” Jesus said; Come on!
STEP 2: It was a PROACTIVE Step
“Then Peter got out of the boat…” Matthew 14:29
This is important. After the Lord cleared him for action, Peter acted! Meaning, When you get the go ahead, GO AHEAD. Be proactive! Peter got out of the boat and into the water. It was Intentional. Deliberate. Decisive. It’s a BOLD step!
Recently I was praying, and I heard the Lord say, “Shake it off and put it on!” Can I tell you there are some things that we need to ‘shake off?!’ You know, things like anger, unforgiveness, bad attitude. Take inventory and make a list. You might need an extra piece of paper! And there are some things we need to ‘put on.’ Things like kindness, generosity, a smile! Again … take inventory. Make a list!
I see the application in this story. Peter had to shake off fear, and he had to put on faith. How do you know that? It’s in the previous verses. He and the other disciples thought they saw a ghost and, the Bible says, they “cried out in fear.”
Think about that scene for a moment. We have a boat full of grown men who are wailing because they saw something in the water! That’s YouTube fodder. Peter’s response to fear was instructive: “Lord, I’m ready to step out in faith. I’m ready to do the impossible. I’m ready for a miracle!”
Fear has an amazing capacity to get our attention. And fear is far-reaching. It could be the fear of your marriage dissolving, your children slipping away, or the fear of financial collapse. If you have recently been attacked by fear, attack it back! Settle the matter in your mind and heart, pray, and then you get out of the boat!
STEP 3: It was a PRODUCTIVE Step
“…walked on the water…” Matthew 14:29
How awesome is that? His simple prayer teamed up with a proactive step, and now he is living in and experiencing a miracle moment. A split second ago, he was clinging to the safety of the boat, but now he is defying natural order. The impossible is happening. It’s possible, after all!
Here’s what strikes me: This very risky move was Peter’s idea! Peter wanted to take the risk. He wanted to walk on the water – it was his idea. (Matt. 14:28)
We do not need to be called to something specific to be productive in the Kingdom! Peter was called to be a disciple, but he was not commissioned to be a water-walker. His eagerness to get to Jesus and his willingness to take a faith-filled risk produced a miracle. He stepped toward the possible and boom, the improbable ensued.
On the flip side, the remaining disciples stuck with the boat. Safe but unproductive. It was routine and predictable. Which pretty well sums up my walk. I want to be a water walker, but I fear I might be a boat dweller. It doesn’t need to remain this way. Let’s resolve to be bold and productive. It’s time to abandon the boat!
STEP 4: It was a POSITIVE Step
“…and came toward Jesus.” Matthew 14:29
Anytime you take a step that moves you in the direction of Jesus, it is a positive step! We are all moving toward something. There are two paths. One leads to destruction, and the other leads to life. It has been my experience that I am the happiest and most fulfilled when I move toward Him!
In which direction are you moving today? Towards Jesus or away from Him? To walk away from Him is to put your hope and trust in the system of the world. Scary! To walk in His direction is to put your hope and trust in the heavenly kingdom. I’ve experienced both. I choose the kingdom!
Peter understood that his only chance of possibility living was to walk in the direction of Jesus. When you’re stepping out in faith, you know that if Jesus doesn’t hold you up, nothing else will. Peter is not risking it all flippantly; he is stepping toward Jesus! He is stepping toward the one who authored possible.
His attempt to walk on water was not to prove something to his boat buddies but to prove what he believed about Jesus. That He was the Messiah, the Son of the living God! It was a positive step.
If you want to experience supernatural power, it starts with a step that takes you in the direction of Jesus. Deliverance, emotional healing, salvation, and restoration; It is all accomplished at the feet of the Messiah.
It could be that you’re in the boat today, surrounded by the wind and the waves, overcome with fear. You can begin to experience God’s power in your life; you can begin to walk in His direction to live your life at such a level that the only way you can succeed is to be sustained by his power.
It starts with prayer. That’s step number one. I invite you to take that step today!