Lifestyle Evangelism: Part 11


Faith vs. Fear

"Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:22-33

After three months of studying Lifestyle Evangelism, it's time that we get out of the boat in faith. The disciples in this story saw what seemed to be an impossible miracle: "It's a ghost!" they cried. Witnessing Jesus in his splendor, walking calmly on the surface of the water was inexplicable and terrifying. For the disciples, because they couldn't explain what was happening before their eyes, they were overcome with fear. In our own lives we can be overcome with fear. We know and are aware of the things Jesus is capable of doing, and we've even seen him work miracles in our lives before. But Fear tells us that when we step out of the boat, we will sink. This is probably the reason the disciples stayed inside the boat. They were convinced that staying safe in the boat during the storm was the best, most logical decision. They were all in agreement. All except one. Peter didn't want to waste time fearing. He didn't want to feed Fear one more meal. He wanted to overcome Fear. He wanted to go to Jesus, the one he knew had the power to calm a storm, the one he had decided to follow time and time again. He was laser focused on Jesus. That is, until he was reminded of Fear. He recalled the power of the wind, and remembered the crashing of the waves all the times he was fishing at sea. The Fear inside of him was starving, and Peter fed his Fear. He forgot how much more powerful Jesus was than the storm. He forgot that Jesus called him into the water in the first place. His faith dwindled and his fear grew. Today, don't let Fear stop you from walking on water. Don't let Fear dictate the conversations you have and the people you have the opportunity to share the Gospel with. Don't let Fear triumph over Faith. Feed Faith and starve Fear within you. You have the chance to walk on water, to change the world, to see a miracle. Don't let Fear convince you otherwise. Decide now to be intentionally faithful when fear attempts to control you.