It’s Not Me, Peter. Stay in the Boat…

When we start down the walk of Faith we get a lot of “advice” from our friends. Our families will “support” us by telling us what we “need” to hear.

It can throw us off.

Several years ago I was in a strong church community. I had left a job to start my own business and my youth and inexperience had left it drained and failed as a venture, so after much prayer and soul-searching I found the answer. I spent the next few months waking up in the morning and the first thing through my head was “Lord, what do you need me to do today?”

For that time, to start with, I had support from my friends. I had no formal income, I just trusted the Bible where it said “my God will supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phillipians 4:19)

I did my listening on a daily basis and began to do exactly what God told me to do each day. I visited people I wouldn’t normally visit, met strangers and spoke into their lives as He led me. And through all this my needs were met. Completely. A tax rebate, gifts of finance and food. The only person I discussed what I was doing with was God. He met me where I was and I kept walking on the surface He gave me to walk on.

Then I talked to a few people about it. That’s when the “helpful” advice started.

Despite the fact that I’d been living this way for several months, maintaining a positive bank balance and not missing a payment of utilities dates of any other bill for that matter, petrol seemed to multiply in my car, in fact I got almost double the average milage I was used to getting from a tank of fuel, I was advised that what I was doing was wrong. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 was thrown at me repeatedly by these helpful advisors “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” I got knocked off my vision and what God had placed in my life by this thought. 

In short, I was out walking on water and my friends started unwittingly throwing wind and waves at me.

Peter called out to Jesus and said “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”. Jesus replies “Come” and Peter climbs out of the boat and walks to Jesus. It’s not in the Gospel, but what do you think the other 11 disciples thought of Peter getting out of the boat? Crazy perhaps? It’s possible they thought it. It would be natural to think it. Peter climbed out of the boat and walked on the water towards Jesus. When he noticed the wind and the waves he panicked and began to sink. Did he notice the wind and the waves because of the wind and waves, or did the other 11 call to him telling him about them inspire the fear? We’ll never know in this life, but I’ll be asking when I meet him!

The point is Peter backed Jesus into a corner. His question forced God’s hand. Jesus could hardly call back “it’s not me Peter, stay in the boat” the question forced the response, the response produced the miracle.

I was distracted by the wind and waves that were pointed out to me. I saw the shortfalls, the unpredictability of the income, the risk involved in the lifestyle. So I asked God to give me a job to keep these “helpers” off my back. The answer was a resounding “no” initially, but I pressed and eventually God gave me a job – one day a week working with a very good friend from the church who had never questioned how I was behaving.

I took the job, the questioning stopped, but so did the divine supply. I began looking at the job as my source instead of the Divine supply I’d been receiving up to that point. I realised too late that I had become the widow with the oil. The miraculous supply stopped, and I had been the one to cut it off. I a week I went from abundance and continuous supply to the point that people would chase me down the road because God had inspired them to give me finances – every time the exact amount I needed for a bill that had come in during the preceding 24 hours and every single time, the amount was to the penny what I needed, and instead I looked to the job to meet my financial needs.

My first thought each day became “how am I going to pay bill x” instead of “what is Your will for me today”. I lost the ability to receive from God, a gift which had been growing for 6 months, in place of a certainty that God would supply my need.

The moral of my story here is simply this: If God leads you into something, do it with all your heart. Surrender your own will to God’s and do what He calls you to.

I’m very blessed now, almost 20 years later to have a new friend in my life. I’ve known Thuli a year now, and God has blessed us with a friendship tempered through fire. Her call on her life has rekindled God’s call on me and restored His promise to me. I’m moving back towards the man God called me to be all those years ago

I’m scared – and I don’t scare easily. Back then I was alone with limited responsibilities, now I have a responsibility to my wife. We want children in the next few months, that carries more responsibilities with it, and not only financial ones.

I want to trust, so I’m stepping out onto the water. It scares me, but it’s just one step. I’m fixing my eyes on Christ and trying to ignore the wind and the waves.

The alternative is to stay in the boat. And never know what God has planned for me.

That scares me more.

So my heart’s cry is Lord bid me come to you over the water. I believe He rejoices at this, and I will do whatever He calls me to do, and I know if He is with me, No-one can be against me.

I pray this will touch people. I want your comments, your feedback. Your Testimony. Let the World see we have a Mighty God. Let our Faith move mountains.

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