Lately I have been keenly identifying with the apostle Peter, specifically his story of being called out upon the water. I’ve been thinking about all the emotions that he was experiencing in those particular moments- terror being in the middle of the storm on a boat, fear seeing a figure walking towards them where no figure had ever appeared before, awe when he realized it was Jesus walking towards them on the water. And then from among the emotionally charged moments, Peter shows his heart and calls out for Jesus to have him go closer to Him. I wonder what he was thinking when he asked. No matter, the terror and fear birthed a desire to be closer to the Lord and experience His power first hand. What a mountain-top experience attained through the hard trial. And yet it was as momentary and brief as the fear, for moments later, his doubt crept in and he began to sink into the waves and the terror once again. Of course, Jesus wouldn’t let the storm swallow him up and rescued him.
What a picture and how so very accurate a picture it paints of our lives. Can you relate to that sequence? I sure can. It seems as if I am perpetually stuck in the cycle of fear, awe, faith, fail and rescue. But without the fear and failure, we wouldn’t need a savior. We would be ok without Jesus and that is not where we want to be living.
I came across a devotional from Oswald Chambers and it made me pause to think.
“We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success. We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not. The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way. What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.
What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish— His purpose is the process itself. What He desires for me is that I see “Him walking on the sea” with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see “Him walking on the sea” (Mark 6:49). It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.”
found on My Utmost For His Highest
The purpose of our life is often found in the moments that make up our life, in those moments that we feel the fear and reach out to the Lord. Those are defining moments and moments that produce growth. Of course, we do have a higher calling and greater overall purpose for our lives, but it is the moment by moment walk with the Lord that will create the bigger picture and end results. Our focus cannot be on the bigger goals. When those bigger pictures are revealed, they should be a source of awe and cause for glory to be given to God, rather than just a goal that we accomplished with the Lords help. Its just one more way to embrace His sovereignty in our lives.
I love the suggestion of Augustine, for strive as we might, it is through His grace that we are able to obey His commands!
“Saint Augustine said, “Father, command what you will and grant what you command.” He knew God commanded certain emotions of him that he couldn’t make happen on his own. So he prayed, Oh God, if you are going to command me these things, grant that you would give them when you command them.”
found on DesiringGod.org
That’s just exactly what living in the moment with God is about- praying for him to grant what He commands to us and His guidance in our days. Sometimes, I listen to songs that are prayerful and wonder if we really even grasp what we are asking for. Hillsong UNITED’s song Oceans is like that. I absolutely love it but have you ever truly listened to what you are praying when you sing along to the verses?
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Hillsong UNITED Ocean’s
When our trust has no borders and we go deeper than we could ever wander often, we often find ourselves in trials and times of testing because we can’t fully and truly trust when life is all perfect and rosy. His calling us deeper than we would ever wander means getting pulled out of our comfort zone. It is an amazing place to be and a noble desire, but boy, does that put us in a place of not being able to do life without Him. Here’s the song if you want a listen and sing along if you dare!
In essence, that song is asking God for Peter’s experience. Like Peter, we are asking God to call us to Him across the waters and walking on the waters for sure requires trust without borders! It also opens the door for fear and doubt and danger that we will need the Lord like in no other way. But what a mountaintop!! And what amazing moments to live for Him and lean on Him. Those are the moments that bring Him the most pleasure and accomplishes His will in our lives.