Don’t Doubt; Follow Instructions!
Have you ever asked someone you know for directions? Did you get right in the middle of them and think “Is this really right? This doesn’t look right, maybe I should go back where I started.”? I’m pretty sure we’ve all had an experience or two like this. We don’t set out to doubt our friend, but the unfamiliar surroundings invite fear and fear always causes doubt. What if they’re wrong? What if I don’t find it? Etc.. The next thing you know we doubt the words of the very person that we’ve asked for help. The trust we had in the beginning when we asked them has quickly been drowned out by the fear of all the things we can see around us. Maybe we didn’t see the thing they pointed out or maybe it seems to take longer than we thought it would. The more we look around, the more fearful we become and the more we lose track of what the directions actually were. We start putting more faith in what see than on the directions given to us in the beginning.
Matthew 14:25-33 NLT
About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost.” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed. Matthew 14:22-33
Peter tested Jesus by asking IF it’s really you then tell me to come to you by walking on the water. Jesus of course said “Come”. I was taught that Peter just stepped out of the boat and stood on the water and began to sink but that’s not what the scriptures say. It says Peter walked on the water toward Jesus. Jesus gave him directions and Peter followed. BUT Peter started looking around. He saw all the wind and the waves and fear entered his heart and down he went. Jesus immediately asked Peter why he had doubted Him. Jesus gave him a direction and Peter had faith to start out much like us in our example in the beginning. Everything was fine until he started looking around at his surroundings and he started to doubt the direction given to him by Jesus. The waves and wind became more real to him than the word “come”. “But maybe Jesus didn’t know that the waves would be this tall?” Maybe He didn’t really know that the wind was blowing so hard.” “Maybe He didn’t really mean to walk on the water?” These could’ve been some of the questions going on in Peters mind. He didn’t set out to doubt Jesus but he got his mind on his surroundings instead of on his instructions and suddenly the instructions seemed to be wrong. Jesus was fully aware of everything when He told Peter to come. He knew Peter had all the ability he needed to come to Him. Jesus said that by doubting His Word, Peter doubted Him and this was little faith..
In Contrast lets look at someone who Jesus said had great faith.
Matthew 8:5-10 NKJV
Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!
This Centurion believed that Jesus’ words had power. He knew that all Jesus had to do was speak a word and his servant would be healed. Jesus said it so it must be true. There was no doubt in this centurion’s mind and heart. He knew that Jesus could carry out His Word and that His Word would be obeyed. Jesus called that GREAT faith.
How is our faith today? Do we take God at His word and believe it or do we think it’s out dated or doesn’t apply to us? Do we read His instructions in the word and then get side tracked with the circumstances and surroundings of this world and forget His instructions to us? Do our circumstances let fear into our lives so that it drowns out the Word? Maybe we don’t see the answers to our prayers in our time or maybe we are standing on a promise in the Word and we aren’t seeing it come to pass and we get weary and allow our surroundings to get us in doubt about His Word. Maybe this won’t work for me? Maybe God doesn’t want me to have this? STOP! We are so blessed to be able to read the Word of God and actually own a bible. We don’t have to guess what God’s will for our lives is because He has had it written down for us. He has given us life’s instruction manual and our part is to read it and apply it to our lives. If God said it, then He has the ability to carry it out. If He said we can do it, then He has given us the grace and ability to get the job done. Read His instructions and follow them for a successful and happy life here and the hereafter. Don’t let your circumstances affect your belief in His Word. Let His Word affect your circumstances. Have faith in God! By having faith in God, we can trust and believe His Word and all things are possible to us who believe!