I woke up yesterday morning with an overwhelming spiritual attack of being a fake and a failure. I mean…it was really bad. We have a relatively large group of men who have been meeting every morning to pray for our nation. Some are on site, and some dial in to a conference line which we have set up because God has blessed us with technology.
But again…I was really battling whether I was doing this for me or for God. I think that when we are doubting…we ask ourselves a tough question, “did God really ask me to do this? or is this something that I have cooked up on my own? Now I want you all to pause and hear that question again….and it was asked to someone that we are all related to…
Genesis 3:1 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” (NASB)
You see….if God puts something on your heart…it is called a burden. What is a burden? It is something that you just can’t shake….like you are carrying a load on your back. You want to get rid of the burden, but the only way that you can do that is to do something about it…make sense?
Well God has burdened me with getting men to get in the game, challenging men to be men of repentance, and challenging men to be men of prayer. And I have met with a HUGE amount of minimal success, which is termed by the world…as failure. Because it hasn’t turned out like “I thought” it would….but that is not the point. God doesn’t care what we “think” and He doesn’t care what we “feel”….He only cares that we do what we are asked to do…or what He has burdened us with.
I have been wrestling with this for a while…and today it reminded me of a story that most of you have heard….
Matthew 14:22-31 – 22 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?”
I have one thing to say to preachers who say something stupid like, “Peter shouldn’t have doubted”…and I say, “SHUT UP”. Be a human for a minute. This wasn’t some little getting breeze…they were on a storm, and straining to keep from sinking…they were scared to death! And then some guy comes strolling on the water….and by the way, the waves were probably 8-10 feet high…which makes that even more impossible. If you have ever been in a howling storm on the sea…you are scared to death. Get out of the boat? Are you an idiot?
And then Peter…when Jesus “burdened” him with the challenge….trust me…and PETER GETS OUT OF THE BOAT! For a seasoned fisherman…that is a death sentence…but he gets out! And then Peter realizes that what he has just done is not possible…..HE (Peter) was walking on the water. So his rational mind tells him…DOES NOT COMPUTE…Peter…you are gonna DIE….this was all in your mind? …there is no Jesus on the water…it is just you and your foolish mind…and you are gonna die because of it…(JUST like in the garden of Eden). Satan doesn’t change his strategy…because it works! He just wants to plant seeds of doubt.
And Jesus reached out His hand and caught Peter. Listen again, and let me turn up the volume…JESUS REACHED OUT HIS HAND TO CATCH PETER! Peter was a dead man in his doubt…JUST LIKE WE ARE when we doubt that God burdened us with what He wants us to do. But IF we will get out of the boat….God will be there to catch us when we get scared. BUT…you MUST get out of the boat.
Be encouraged…God won’t let you fail. He can’t!!!! It is not in His nature. How silly would it make God appear if His children are left stranded. He just won’t do it…but He does command us to walk in faith. Try it!!! If you will get out of the boat…you may doubt some days, and you may get scared…but God will be there to catch you!
Grace and Peace, Dan