Men’s breakfast: fear!

October 17, 2010 at 9:43 PM Leave a comment

This past Saturday I had the privilege of speaking at our church’s men’s breakfast. When I started to prepare for my talk/devo I thought about what we all have in common. The one thing that really came to the forefront for me was FEAR!

And then right away I remembered one character in the Bible that needed to confront his fears head on: Peter! As we look at Matthew 14:22-32, we learned what fear did to him and can do to us:

1. Fear paralyzes us: even though Peter steps out of the boat to walk on water, something he has never imagined he could do, it doesn’t last long. He sees the wind and waves and fear paralyzes him and starts to sink. This same thing happens to us, when God puts us in a tight spot we are paralyzed with fear that all we can do is wallow in our situation.

2. Fear overcomes our faith: Peter takes his eyes off Jesus only an instant and he begins to sink. His fear overcame his faith because he allowed his mind to be filled with fear rather than faith in Jesus. We do the same thing, we get focussed so much on our problems that we forget that we need to have faith in God.

3. Fear distorts our vision: for a moment Peter saw the wind and waves as more powerful than Jesus–forgetting that Jesus actually was in charge of the wind and waves and everything else.

I did the same thing with trying to sell our house. We have had the house on the market for so long and it isn’t selling so instead of realizing God has everything under control what do I do? As a guy I try to come up with my own solutions. Maybe do some renovations, or drop the price, or if that doesn’t work, why not yell at the real estate agent?! When I should really be taking it all to God because he has never failed me in the past, and he isn’t going to now!

Even though we give Peter a bad rap and talk about how little faith he has we can also learn from him what to do. 2 things come to mind:

STEP OUT!

28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.

Unlike any of the other disciples in the boat Peter chose to step out in faith and stepped out of the boat and walked on the water. Most likely because he had faith in Jesus. That reminds me of a story from Wayne Rice I read a long time ago…

A family was awakened in the middle of the night by a smoke detector which they quickly discovered their house was on fire. The father ran into each of the bedrooms of his children and carried his 18 month old in his arms while dragging his 4 yr old by the hand (half asleep). They were halfway down the stairs when the little 4 yr old realized he forgot his teddy bear. In the commotion and confusion the little boy broke free from his dad and went upstairs. The father didn’t notice he was gone until it was too late. By now the 4 yrs old was trapped by the flames and smoke in his 2nd story bedroom. Smoke swirled around him and he coughed and cried out from the upstairs window, “Daddy, Daddy! Help me!” His father yelled from below the window “jump out the window Billy, I’ll catch you!” in the darkness and smoke the little boy yelled back “But Daddy, I can’t see you!” The father yelled back “that’s okay, I can see you. Jump!” The little boy jumped into his Dad’s open arms...

This is exactly what Jesus was asking Peter to do…”Step out and walk to me.” Peter had to have faith that Jesus would “catch” him as the father caught his son.

This is so true of us as men, we need to step out in faith even when we can’t see the future. God tells us to “jump” and says “I can see you, just trust me…jump.”

I’ve had to make that decision many times in my life…I had to trust that God would “catch” me. If he asked me to quit one job and start another … I needed to do it. Or to quit my job and go back to school … I needed to do it.

***What is he asking you to do today? What is it you need to step out in faith and do?***

LOOK UP!

30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Bottom line: Peter took his eyes off Jesus. The Jesus who just hours earlier had fed over 5000 people with only a small lunch and the same Jesus that had calmed the storm in chap 8. Things that couldn’t be done by a mere mortal. But Peter forgot all those things and became focussed on his doubts and fears and started to sink!

To walk by faith we need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Imagine what Peter could have accomplished if he had kept his eyes on Jesus… he would have been able to walk on water, just like Jesus, and into his caring loving arms.

Imagine what we could do if we keep our eyes on Jesus… imagine!!

I am talking about being men of faith… walking by faith NOT living in fear!

I would describe walking by faith like a tightrope. When you look down, your fears overcome you and you start to wobble and most of the time fall. However if you focus on the target ahead and continue to look at it, in no time you will reach it without falling!

If we focus on the fears in our lives instead of Jesus, we will begin to sink just like Peter.

In my own life, just recently, I went through a very difficult time. My Mom became very ill just before Christmas. At first it seemed like it was nothing, then my younger brother called me and told me to come to the hospital right away because the docto said Mom was not going to make it through the night. So I rushed to the hospital in Brantford and Mom was in the emergency ward. I said hi to her and she said hi back, but that was it. Then we found out that she was going into ICU in the next few hours. Eventually Mom did pass away but after 4 difficult days of waiting and watching her get worse, then having to make some very difficult decisions. It was a very difficult time for my whole family. Instead of focussing on loosing Mom, and what life will be like without her, we focussed our eyes on Jesus and the fact Mom was going to be with him whole again and in no more pain.

It’s almost been a year since she has been gone, I’m not going to say it has been easy, but we have looked to Jesus for his strength and comfort as we miss her.

That’s what I think we can learn from Peter, if we keep our eyes on Jesus he is going to get us through those difficult times.

Think of a step of faith that Jesus is asking you to take: ex. befriend a co-worker and invite him to church, witness to a friend or family member. Deal with a conflict, trust Jesus for a family problem…whatever it is…

Write down that FEAR that has been preventing you from taking this step of faith. ex. worried what ppl will think of you, you might fail, etc.

Now take that piece of paper and rip it up and ask Jesus to help you overcome your fears!

Advertisements

Entry filed under: City Centre.

Day 30…Genesis 34: I’m ALL in!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


My Twitter

Recent Posts

Blog Visits

  • 31,040 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,059 other followers


%d bloggers like this: