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IN THE ZONE!!! A Walk on the Water

May 23, 2011

(refer to Matthew 14:22-36, Mark 6:45-56, John 6:16-24)

Jesus says, “Come.” Come—walk on the water. Come—take the water of life freely. Whosoever  will, come. Pick up your cross and come. Leave your baggage behind and come. Knock down the walls around you and come. I want you with me. Where my servant is, I am. Come to your place at the feast table. Come to your place to receive. Come and walk the path I have blazed for you.
In the account of Jesus walking on the water in Matthew 14, Jesus tells Peter, “Come.” In that instant when Peter stepped out onto the sea, Peter had full faith and focus on Jesus. He was “in the zone.” It is a place where we walk in total harmony or oneness with Jesus in His power. It is a place where we have singleness of vision—a single eye on Him. The challenge is to keep that resolve when the wind and waves come upon us. Our tendency is to reach out in our own strength and find our own life preserver. We can see Jesus walking on the water, but can we see ourselves walking on the water. Jesus is saying,  “Come—as I am, so are you. The same power that is in me is now in you my bride.” The bride of Christ, His Church, is to walk in His power. His body will come to walk in His fullness, “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph 4:13)”.
When we have singleness of vision, the waves do not strike fear into our hearts. If you have ever fallen or nearly drowned, without a thought you reached out in desperation for something to save you. Peter had the sense to reach out and cry to Jesus, “Lord, save me.” In my own personal life, I had a similar experience in the ocean when I nearly drowned. As I became overwhelmed with panic and exhaustion, a cry from within came forth saying, “Lord help me!” Being the merciful God He is, He did physically save me, and a year later He spiritually saved me. There is a feeling of helplessness when you have an experience like that. You are at a point where there is nothing in your strength that can help you—Jesus is the last resort. In that moment for me, there was nothing else but Him. We should not have to come to desperation to make Him our primary source. Jesus seeks to draw us in a relationship with Him where He is the first resort, and it is His strength from which we draw. His well is deep and overflowing. We must learn to draw from it.
When Jesus was walking on that stormy sea and “drawing nigh” to the disciples, they had rowed out to about 3 to 3 ½ miles from the shore. He walked straight through the storm. When we take the path that Jesus has for us, the wind and the waves serve to strengthen us as we overcome and walk on through. Jesus set out for the disciples in the “fourth watch” of the night. The term “watch” is a military term denoting the different hours of the night that soldiers would stand guard. The fourth watch would have been the last few hours before sunrise, from 3 to 6 am. So as Jesus was walking on the water, a new day was dawning—the Son was rising. A new thing was coming, Christ in you, and Jesus was putting it on display. 
For a short time Peter could see himself empowered by God to walk on the water. Perhaps the thought crossed his mind, “If He can do it, maybe I can do it.” In Christ we can do all things—all the things He has purposed us to do. Once Peter put his focus on the wind and waves raging around him, his mindset was brought back to the natural realm in which he knew that he could not withstand the waters, not to mention walk on the water. And he was right. He could not walk on the water. Not in his strength and abilities. Once your focus is on what you can do out of your own natural abilities, you have put God in a box. When we limit ourselves, we limit the power of Jesus working through us. The challenge is to keep focused on Him and having faith that He will enable you through all the challenges that you are being led to step into. As we step into those things more and more, we experience His enabling power. We come to know that despite how things may appear, Jesus will give us His ability whenever and wherever he is leading us.
Are we willing to follow his lead? The wind of Matthew 14:24 and Mark 6:48 was contrary, or blowing opposite to the direction the disciples were heading. Jesus saw them “toiling” against the wind. We can think of that contrary wind as the Spirit of God coming against the flesh. How many times do we find ourselves toiling against the wind? The wind is blowing one way, yet we insist on going our way. As soon as the disciples “willingly received him into the ship”, the “wind ceased” and “immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.” Your sense of the wind is a matter of perspective. You can be as an eagle letting the wind carry you—soaring with little effort. Or perhaps you are as a seaside cliff, allowing the wind and waves to constantly beat and erode you. If I am floating with the wind, its force guides me; but if I am resisting or going against it, I become weary. Are we toiling by doing things our way, or are we willingly receiving Jesus into the ship and allowing Him full access.
The disciples showed great fear in seeing Jesus on the water, as if He were some sort of ghost. Put yourself in that ship in the midst of the storm and waves, and you can easily see how they would have that kind of reaction. Mark 6:48 says that He “would have passed by them.” But they “cried out.” The Spirit of God can easily pass us by when we give into our fears and our preconceived mindsets of who God is and how He operates. Jesus told them, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” In the original Greek, you find “Be of good cheer” to mean “be courageous.” The word “afraid” is “phobeo” in the Greek, a derivative of “phobos” from which our English word “phobia” comes. So you could translate Jesus to say to His disciples that with Him in their presence they should be courageous and let go of all their phobias. A courageous church will greet the physical return of Jesus. His bride will be focused on Him, not our adversary and the ills of this temporary world. 
It is often human nature to fear the purposes of God in our lives. Our natural selves are creatures of habit and complacency. In seeing Jesus, the firstborn among many brethren, walking on the water, the disciples were witnessing the enabling power of God’s Spirit in a man. A new day was dawning and Jesus was illustrating the power of walking in oneness with Him.  
And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea (Matt 14:25). 
The word “walking” is “peripateo” in the Greek. One of its meanings is to walk all about as if to show ability. Peter got a taste of God’s ability in us when he stepped out. Jesus has great purpose in each of us. His image of us is so far greater than what we can imagine. If we are truly open to Jesus, our natural lives may be totally redirected, but He will see us through the wind and waves.  
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren (Rom 8:28, 29). 
Peter is often given a hard time for having doubt, but who among us would have stepped down into that sea. He had the zeal to step out of his comfort zone, the ship, and walk in God’s enabling power on top of that sea. In every believer’s walk with Jesus, there are many baby steps. Peter was taking spiritual baby steps on that sea. How many babies never stumble and fall? Peter had the sense to call on the only one that could save him. Matthew 14:31 tells that Jesus “caught him”, which can also be translated as He “seized him”. Yes, we may stumble and fall when we follow the winds of the Spirit, but Jesus is there to seize us and pull us back up at the call of His name. Walking in the Spirit is a constant learning experience, and just as Peter began to sink, our carnality will cause us to sink at times. We have to learn to make Him our source and soar with the wind, but we only learn by stepping down out of that ship. We can trudge through that sea of carnality, or learn to walk on top of it.
Can we see ourselves walking on the water? Can we see a body of Christ that is tightly knitted with its members acting on one accord, with everyone operating in their unique giftings? It will not happen by our ability, but by His Word, it will happen. There will be a Body of Christ walking on top of that sea of carnality, pulling up those who are reaching up and crying out “Lord, save me!” His Bride, His Church, will not be hidden as He is perfected, or completed, within His people. So many Christians are frustrated because they are toiling in their own strength and will. We must have a realization of His power within us. We must constantly seek our Lord in prayer, worship, fasting, and His Word; and hear from the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers He has appointed for our spiritual maturation. As we let our will go and allow Jesus to have His way in us, we come to step into those things that He has predestined for us. At each step, there are things for us to attend to. Those things must be done faithfully and heartily in His name before greater purposes are bestowed on us. When we are open to God’s will, we are always being prepared, and we have to be wary of complacency at each step. There are always things He must purge out of our lives before we can be more useful to Him, and His purposes are brought about in His time.
Our life is hid in Him. It is all there waiting to be revealed. The Spirit guides us in all truth and we must seek to be fully immersed in it. Just look at Peter—his doubt and spiritual misunderstanding are constantly evident in the Gospels even though he witnessed miracle after miracle. Peter was transformed into a new creature once he received the Spirit on the day of Pentecost—he was truly in the zone that he had previously only glimpsed. We must seek Jesus first; He is faithful to add to our understanding and wisdom when we hunger and thirst after Him. As He takes us through situations, we develop the confidence in Him to do the things that once frightened us in the natural. That includes the most basic things of being a Christian. For example, if the Spirit is leading us to give a word in season to those who are weary. And let me stress His leading—it is His words that give life, not words from our flesh. How many times do we shy away from speaking to someone, when we know for certain that the Lord is beckoning us, because we doubt our ability? Well, we have to come to experience His ability in us, and crossing that threshold of fear allows it to come forth. We must recognize that the enemy uses fear and doubt to keep our life and destiny hidden. In an instant, fear and doubt will sink us into the sea of carnality. The ascension gifts of Ephesians 4:11 (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher) are to bring the saints towards maturity. It is imperative to be planted in a ministry that is truly teaching the Kingdom of God and the present truth of God’s word. It is the responsibility of each saint to be used as an instrument of God, however He may lead, to seek and to save the lost. And those He saves He desires to bring to spiritual maturity. It is our Lord’s will that none should perish, and He has created us to be His instruments of righteousness in the earth. 
It is so often said that God can do anything He wants to do. Well, of course, our Lord is All Mighty, All Powerful, and All Knowing, but He is a God of order. The fact is He has done exactly what He wants to do for us, His people. He has given us avenue to live as one with Him, forever. He has setup a certain order in which His will is done. He works through His people. His living waters flow through His vessels. In whatever capacity He has predestined you; He wants to flow out of you. Whether He wants you operating in a ministry gift  or an occupation or situation of our natural world, He wants the rivers flowing from you to those amongst you. So much of religion and societal influences have hidden God’s desire to work in and through each believer. He made you for His pleasure, and it is His good pleasure to give you His kingdom—so much so, that He placed it inside you.
The Kingdom within wants to shine out. Do you see yourself walking on the water? Do you truly know that all things are possible through Christ who strengthens you—all the things that He has predestined for you to do? We say God is awesome, but do we truly expect great things from God? We are each wonderfully and fearfully made for His unique purposes in each of us. Imagine how glorious His body will be when all of its members are walking in His purposes and in one accord. Can we see past what the natural world has defined us to be, and see the greatness we each possess in Him? God is great, and He is great in us. Let Him shine!

From → Jesus, Peter, walk, water, zone

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