Back on March 4th of this year, I did a lesson entitled, Not Always a Straight Line. I would like to revisit this idea and the life of Peter once again in hopes that we can possibly grasp a couple reasons why growth is not always a straight line. I know in my life, even after all these years in Christ, I have much work to do and am thankful for God’s patience, grace and mercy as I strive to become more like my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So, the question I want to try and answer today is this, “What are some things I need to be attentive to that may at times hinder me from transformation?”
So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down
out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
Distractions: This scene amazes me, and the reason is not simply that Jesus walked on the water or that Peter did as well. What amazes me is the fact that Peter, without hesitation, steps out of the boat! All life experiences up to this day would not give reason to such a move! Jesus is what he responded to and by faith, he did the impossible. Have you ever stepped out in boldness of faith before? I suspect most, if not all of us have at one time or another. Notice something about Peter’s story: back in v24, before Jesus came on the scene, there were rough seas. This was the condition when Jesus invited Peter and he faithfully stepped out onto the water. But, in v30 begins, “But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid…” Nothing had changed in reality, other than what his focus was on at the time. Sometimes, what hinders me from going forward are the distractions of life. They were always there before, it seems at times I lost focus and became distracted.
But he spoke more vehemently, “If I have to die with You,
I will not deny You!” And they all said likewise.
Pride: This scene is from the previous lesson, and although Peter was my focus, it should be noted that the rest of the disciples were equally convicted. They had given three years of their lives to this Jesus and His teachings. Family, friends and jobs were all set aside as they walked with Him during His ministry. This was evidence of their confidence. But their faith would be tested that night and their response is sobering, “Then they all forsook Him and fled” (Mark 14:50). Jesus had warned them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night” (Mark 14:27). Could it be that their confidence was absent of humility, which left only pride, a very big stumbling block to growth.
Our walk with Christ will never be a straight line, I think we all know that already. I also think it is beneficial to try and understand some of the reasons why that line is not so straight. Two things, I know in my life, have reared their ugly heads on more than one occasion: First, there are the distractions that often take my focus off from Jesus. Then, there is pride within me. This idea that “I” can do all things. Do these ever hinder you? May God guide us toward home, a place I yearn for more and more.