as 2017 was coming to an end, like most of you, I was reflecting upon the last year – the joys, the experiences, the new relationships, the hardships, the frustrations, the dreams.
and now, here we are, in 2018 – with 365 new days. new dreams. new goals. new frustrations. new relationships. new joys. & all at our disposal.
maybe for some of you, the past year has been anything but what you would have dreamt for, or maybe it was everything you’ve ever dreamt of. maybe it brought heartbreak, or maybe it brought tears of joy and excitement. maybe you accomplished a big dream, or maybe you let that big dream slip through your fingertips.
I recently had a conversation with a friend about fear and dreams. unfortunately, our fleshly selves let fear invade our lives all too much, and that fear becomes deadening and paralyzing to us. it’s toxic and anything but godly. we see where we want to go and where we want to be, but staying on the shore is safer – more secure. or maybe you have ventured off the shore to the boat, but there’s no way you are taking the leap into the water…
fear. it holds us back from what God wants to do in and through us. it holds us back from our dreams and desires. it holds us in a place of comfort and safety and security.
I want to commit to that job. I want to relocate to that city. I want to move forward in that relationship. I want to mend that friendship. I want to start that business. I want to get out of the boat, but I’m terrified of the raging waters.
as believers, we try to smoosh God into this teeny tiny little box, and we often think His will for our life is black or white. but I would argue, if we would take Him out of this box we’ve created, our worlds would be radically changed. we would see Him for who He actually is, and believe He can and will do far more than our greatest desire… His will is not black or white. His will for your life and my life is laid out in the Word. following His commands, letting His Word guide us, and being aligned with His heartbeat will lead us to the path we are to take. it’s not always a complete, “yes” or “no,” but when you are walking side by side with Jesus, you will know the things that are not of Him and not within His will.
Peter paints a great visual of this war within us between fear and faith… as Jesus began to walk on the water, the disciples saw Him and thought he was a ghost. Jesus affirmed them that it was He, but Peter was the only one to call out to Jesus.
“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” – Matthew 14:28-29
Peter walked on water without sinking, because His eyes and focus were solely on Jesus. his faith was bigger than his fear. however, if you keep reading, one verse later, his focus changes – he becomes distracted by something so small as the wind, and begins to sink. Jesus calls out to him and points out his little faith. he lost sight of Who he was going to, of Who his focus should be on, and of Who he can depend on and put his full faith in.
apart from Jesus, we could never ever dream of walking boldly (or timidly) across the water.
Peter left the apparent safety of the boat to fully rely on Jesus… then his affection was taken by the wind. just like Peter, we may have the faith to start walking on the water, but as soon as we divert our eyes from Jesus, we will begin to sink.
taking that step, putting our faith in the One who is far bigger and grander, and learning to trust Him will have a ripple effect to those around us. the waters will ripple out and point back to the One who holds our devotion, trust, and faith and tramples out all fear.
in order to get to those desires and dreams and want tos, we have to take the step out of the boat onto the water. we have to leave the comfort zone of safety and security and familiarity. what are your dreams? what do you feel God calling you to, but fear is deadening and paralyzing you?
take the step out of the boat as you begin this new year, and keep your eyes on Jesus – you are never walking on water alone.