Getting Out Of The “Boat”…

If you are going to walk on water, you have to get out of the “boat”.

Who doesn’t like boats? There is a special thrill skimming across the water at a high rate of speed, particularly when you are only inches above the water. Yes, I have piloted a jet-ski across the water at highway-speeds before and it was quite the thrill. There is something about accelerating from zero to 60 miles per hour so quickly you can barely hold on. But, this isn’t about enjoying skimming across the water in a boat. It is about getting out of your “boat“.

The “boat“, in this case, is your comfort-zone. Our comfort-zone is defined by that set of people, places and activities where we are comfortable, confident and capable. If we are in any situation where any one of the “3-C’s” is breached, we are uneasy and want to escape back to our comfort-zone. Once in a while, we can be cajoled into dipping a toe in the water, but really stepping out of the “boat” is a real stretch.

I DON’T walk on water. I DON’T talk to angels. I DON’T leap tall buildings with a single bound“. I am NOT faster than a speeding-bullet“. I am NOT stronger than a locomotive“, and I DON’T fly through the air with the greatest of ease“. In other words, I am NOT Superman, and my “boat” is pretty small. If my “boat” was much smaller, I couldn’t even get out of the cabin. Over the last few months, I have added a small extension to the deck so I can look down at the water, but I made sure that the railing was plenty stout so I won’t fall overboard. Yes, I know. You aren’t impressed, and neither is God.

The problem is that if we don’t get out of the “boat“, there is no way that we will ever walk on water. God is looking for water-walkers, not “boat-lubbers“.

What keeps us in the “boat”?
If you are like me, you can remember plenty of times when you “stepped-out” and sank like a rock. I float like a rock. We are afraid we are going to sink – again, so what is keeping us in the “boat” is that not-so-little four-letter word…F-E-A-R. We are afraid, based on past experinces, that the water won’t hold our weight. Isn’t it amazing that great ocean-liners, aircraft carriers and freighters float just fine, but we sink like a rock, even though we are a tiny-fraction of the size of one of those great vessels. That is because we aren’t designed to walk on water…ON OUR OWN.

We CAN walk on water…
We CAN walk on water, but not on our own or by ourselves. What if Someone else stepped out of the “boat” with you? What if that Someone can walk on water like He is walking on a super-highway? We have Someone who HAS walked on water, our Lord Jesus Christ. He can walk on water because He created it. Our problem is that we are not Him nor do we posses His authority, or do we?

Only one other person has ever walked on water, Peter, and we will never know if he could have walked with Jesus all the way to the shore if he hadn’t gotten scared. What we do know is that, immediately after Peter’s water-walking escapade, Jesus and Peter got in the boat. Peter was back to “safety” in more ways than one. That boat WAS Peter’s comfort-zone, in more ways than one. Peter went back to that “boat“, literally, after the resurrection. Jesus had to call for Peter to get off the “boat” again so that he could get a new commission to a new job. Peter was going to do a different kind of “fishing“. Peter hadn’t walked on water in his own ability. He had help.

Taking a walk…
When I was at the Christian Naturist Festival, I was asked to check out the prospects of starting a ministry at Cypress Cove. There is only one “minor” problem. I would rather go into a burning building to fight the fire than be responsible for starting a ministry. I used to be a firefighter, so I was trained to fight fires. I was also a fire instructor, so I have trained other people to fight fires also. Firefighters use proper protective equipment, AND, they DON’T go in alone. When it comes to starting a ministry, just put feathers on me. Now if I had someone else to help me…

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

If that passage doesn’t shoot huge holes in our FEAR, nothing will. When firefighters arrive at the scene of a fire, the fire-ground Commander teams them up and gives them their assignments, however, the Commander stays out in the “safe-zone” so that he or she can observe what is going on, plan future assignments and direct the action. When our Lord said “GO“, He gave us our assignments, but unlike the fire-ground Commander, He has promised to BE our partner, to go into the thick of the action. Our fireground partner might get hurt or tired, but our Lord never tires of being in the thick of it. We may need some “re-hab“, but our Lord is always raring to go. Firefighters can’t go in until they are given their orders, but we, as Christians, have standing-orders to “GO“. Who would you feel safer going in with, another rookie like yourself, or the One with ALL the bugles? The One with ALL the bugles has been around. He has EARNED all those bugles, so He is the One I want going in with me. If He wants to bring another rookie along, the more the merrier.

Getting out of the “boat”…
Why have I used an example from the Fire Service for “getting out of the “boat“”? A rookie firefighter has the right to be afraid when he or she faces a fire, because even if they have some training, they don’t have the experience to confidently do their job. Two rookies are never teamed up without an experienced firefighter going with them. Part of their fear is allayed by who is going in with them…someone with experience. They get off their apparatus, gear up and go in because they are NOT going alone.

When God gives us an assignment, He doesn’t send us in alone. He has promised to be with us every step of the way. Does that mean that we won’t have a few heebie-jeebies when we first begin? If we didn’t have a few heebie-jeebies when we first begin, we wouldn’t be human. God is not calling us to be anything more or anything less than human. He created us, and He understands our heebie-jeebies.

My “boat” is still pretty small, but I hear some drilling going on. God is installing a new boarding-ladder and swim-platform. He wants me to “get out of the “boat”‘ and start walking…walking on water, with Him by my side. Yes, I still have a few heebie-jeebies…

Are YOU ready to “get out of the “boat”” and start walking on water? Our Lord has promised you help and companionship for the journey. Maybe you will come walk with us…

In Christ,
Steve

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5 thoughts on “Getting Out Of The “Boat”…

  1. One thing I’ve always liked about this story: Impetuous Peter asked, “Lord, if it’s really You, tell me to come to You on the water.” Then Jesus doesn’t give any kind of theological dissertation about why Peter should or shouldn’t get out of the boat. He just said, “Come.” He honored Peter’s impetuosity and even encouraged it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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