LIVING ABOVE THE PROBLEM 

NOT UNDERNEATH IT!

PETER WALKING ON THE WATER


Reading: Matthew 14:22-36

INTRODUCTION 

[a] Peter was always the impetuous one - always jumping in where angels fear to tread! Always speaking first and thinking afterwards-or perhaps moving before his brain was in gear.

[b] This was such an occasion - his surge of faith was highly commendable - but it didn’t last long!

[c] We knew someone in Ireland rather like that - He had always such wonderful ‘inspired’ ideas - and everyone about them had to fly into action - yesterday - if not sooner!! He couldn’t understand why everyone didn’t show the same vibrant enthusiasm! A good job really, because by tomorrow, he would have discarded that idea,and anyone foolish enough to get involved, and be toting support for his latest venture.

[d] So I can understand Peter’s jump first think later philosophy!

We’ve still got a few Peters around today - maybe in your church or corps.

[e] So often people have said to me, in a very hurt tone of voice, “But you haven’t taken up my idea!” Just maybe, there are certain things, which through experience, I can see,that haven’t occurred to that person yet. Possibly I can see difficulties, perhaps not with the commencement, but rather the continuance of the idea.

POINT 1 

[a] It reminds me a little of someone like me, who can’t swim, watching someone who can, and saying,“Well if THEY can do it, I CAN!”And then jumping in at the deep end to prove it!! I’m afraid I would have to be fished out and given the kiss of life.

[b] One of the times we went home for a family wedding my wife nearly drowned in the swimming pool, the same morning.

[c] When she got back and told me, I said,“Oh well, you’re doing the talk at the wedding service! It should be good - after all you’ve been so close to Heaven!” 

[d] It was NOT the suggestion of the Lord for Peter to walk on the water - it was Peter’s own idea!

[e] Haven’t we all seen difficult feats being accomplished, and said, Doesn’t he (or she) make it look so easy!” 

Jesus made it look so easy - Peter never for one moment thought that his own faith,or perhaps in this instance we could call it, SPIRITUAL INTENSITY, may not be up to it!

[f] Christians are inclined, even to look at each other, and say,“If they can do it so can I!” without due consideration of the quality and depth of commitment and faith required!

[g] How many people do you know, who begin brilliantly, and then begin to sink!! Just like poor old Peter! What a shock he must have got!!

POINT 2 WHY DID HE BEGIN TO SINK? 

[a] In Peter’s case, it was very simple to see why his great step of faith went wrong - HE BECAME TAKEN UP WITH WHAT HE WAS DOING!! HE SAW HOW IMPOSSIBLE IT WAS IN THE STORM AND THE WAVES!! HE HAD JUMPED OUT IMPERVIOUS TO THE DANGERS.

[b] It reminds me a little of the child who thought he was so wonderful riding his new bike - first time round the block - “Look Mum, NO HANDS!” Second time around, “Look Mum, NO FEET!” Third timearound, “Look Mum NO TEETH!” 

[c] When we begin to take stock of what WE are doing in ourChristian walk, witness, or work, THEN IS THE TIME WE BEGIN TO SINK SPIRITUALLY!!

And once we CONCENTRATE ON THE STORM MORE THAN THE SAVIOUR then we are doomed!

[d] All it took was for Peter to take his eyes of the Lord, and look at himself and WHAT HE WAS DOING, AND THE FORCES HE WAS BATTLING AGAINST rather than WHAT THE LORD WAS ENABLING HIM TO DO - at that very moment, his past life flashed before him, as he thought his end had come!

[e] CHRISTIAN, YOU TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE LORD AT YOUR PERIL!!

All of any worth that we do, is done through HIM!

[f] But let me say this, if you feel you are sinking, He is watching and waiting for your cry of dependence!

[g] The stormy waters of life are all around you,and if you allow yourself to be taken up with them, they will begin to overwhelm you.

YES YOU CAN WALK OVER THE TOP OF THEM, IF YOU KEEP YOUR EYES INTENSELY FIXED ON THE SAVIOUR IN FAITH!

POINT 3 

[a] We all know that grand old Gospel song so well, “I was sinking deep in sin, sinking to rise no more.” 

[b] Indeed the waters of sin are all around us,and without the Saviour, we sink down into them to our eternal destruction.

[c] The person without Christ, is drowning, and urgently needs to be rescued! We must point them to the Only One Who can save them, and set their feet on dry ground!

[d] He is the One who reached out all those years ago to Peter, when he began to sink, and lifted him up! As the song-writer puts it, “When no-one but Christ could help, love lifted me.” 

[e] “LORD SAVE ME!” said Peter, and how many people down through the years, have uttered those same words and found the Lord just as faithful to lift them, as He did Peter!

CONCLUSION 

[a] Melvin Banks in one of his books, says, that like Peter on this occasion, AS FAR AS LIFE’S STORMS ARE CONCERNED WE CAN, THROUGH GOD’S GRACE, GO OVER AND NOT UNDER!

[b] He quotes the following poem, 

If  you can make a promise, and by that promise stand, 

If  you can take a beating, and shake the victor’s hand, 

If  you can do a deed without looking for the glory, 

If  you can hold your tongue, when you hear a gossip’s story, 

If  you can make good better, and try to make bad good,

If  you can keep your soul alive with the grace of God as food, 

If  you can carry on till life’s craggy road should end, 

Then remember your life was a lend, 

To prove you can go over, not under........

So face the storm and go on right through,

Determined, for this is vital.....

[b] The only way to walk on those destructive waters, is to keep your eyes fixed firmly on the Lord Jesus.

[c] Maybe, as we’ve thought about these things, and as the Holy Spirit has spoken to your heart - you’ve been getting that SINKING FEELING, and realise, all is not as well as you thought it was spiritually!

[d] Maybe you need to call on the Lord for rescue just now!

SONG                         TUNE

742                182

SHEET - LOOK AND LIVE

PRAYER CHORUS NO. 124 - GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU.

768             715

CHORUS“TURN YOUR EYES UPON JESUS.”

730              97