Precious Testimonies Ministry Encourager
WANTED: SPIRITUAL WATER-WALKERS ' NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE REQUIRED ' JESUS WILL TRAIN
Jesus Did It!
By: Norm Rasmussen
Perhaps you are going through a season right now where it seems a bit difficult to trust Jesus for very much. If that's the case, rest assured the devil is loving it! That's not a putdown, okay? Christians who delight in constantly believing God to 'do the impossible' for the primary purpose of glorifying Him are the ones the devil hates the most.
The key to being trusted with faith, and more of it, is for the primary purpose of bringing glorifying to our Lord Jesus Christ. Lose sight of that, and one's faith can diminish very quickly. The Father absolutely delights when we constantly are pursuing ways to glorify Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit bubbles with joy when we refuse to let fear and doubt and unbelief have the final say in matters, but press on to continue to believe Jesus Christ no matter how painful it can get at times.
When a person reads Matthew, Mark, Luke or John with an open mind, the one thing we clearly see about Jesus: He was constantly admonishing His disciples to keep stretching their faith ' keep exercising great faith, in fact. Jesus knew how delighted His heavenly Father was when they believed Him to accomplish seemingly impossible feats, and He also knew the opposition they would face after Jesus resurrected and went back to heaven to be with the Father.
Take the incident out at sea. The waves were wild and the wind howled, but here is Jesus, walking on the water, just as cool as could be. Next thing you know, after a little dialogue with Jesus, out of the boat jumps Peter and starts walking on the water as well. Then we read where fear then doubt gets to him and he begins to sink. We tend to think Jesus evidently was upset at him for giving into fear then doubt, but I don't believe that was the case. The Holy Spirit dropped that in the Bible for us to understand how quickly fear and doubt will strangle our faith if we're not careful.
Jesus was absolutely tickled that one of his disciples would be so brave as to try to walk on water as well! What a thrill it must have been to Peter as the years rolled by to recall that moment of time in his mind. 'Wow. For a short while, I actually was able to walk on water just as Jesus was doing. While I kept my eyes focused on Him, I knew there was absolutely nothing I couldn't do if the Holy Spirit was leading me in doing so!
Peter didn't just jump out of the boat to walk on water without being certain God was okay with it, however. Peter was wise enough to know that assumption and presumption are two powerful weapons Satan always tries to use to frustrate us in our faith in God. That's why the Holy Spirit tells us in the water-walking account that Peter FIRST asked God if it was okay for him to try to walk on water. Had Jesus clearly said to Peter: 'No!', Peter would have sunk the first step he took out of the boat. But because Peter FIRST sought to know God's will in the matter, and heard Jesus clearly say, 'Come!' - the Holy Spirit activated faith in Peter to trust God to be able to start walking on water.
Okay, Norm, if that was the case, why didn't the Holy Spirit continue to increase Peter's faith in God, so he didn't end up sinking? I believe a key answer is:
To demonstrate how quickly fear can shut down our faith in God and rob us of having a testimony to share with others that will ultimately glorify Jesus Christ.
Fear is one of the most potent weapons the devil has to rob us of our faith in God. Doubt is usually the first step to fear.
The 'frightening waves roaring around us in our trial' are allowed to tempt us to fear. Not force us to fear ' but tempt us to fear. There's a huge difference. Realize that Jesus could have said to the boisterous waves, 'Be still!' The water would have flattened out, the wind would have ceased, and not only would Peter have stayed on top of the water, but more than likely, the rest of the disciples in the boat would have also desired to jump out of the boat to join Peter and Jesus and they all would have freaked out any demons observing the whole thing in the spirit realm.
Dear one, God desires that you allow Him to write a good testimony of faith in your relationship with Jesus Christ. (Ponder deeply Hebrews 11:39). No ' you may never be led of the Holy Spirit to literally walk on physical water, but God wants to exhort each of us to do something far more brave: be able to walk on top of spiritual water, by being courageous enough to walk up to complete strangers and ask them if they have ever had a salvation experience with Jesus Christ, and if not, would they like to have one? Would they like to have intimate friendship - intimate relationship with God? Now that is being brave and courageous.
But ' but ' God ' what if that person flies off the handle and starts yelling at me and going into some fit of rage? What if that person clearly tells me, 'No! I'm not interested in getting to know God or being friends with Him, and furthermore, how stupid do you think I AM to even want such a thing, you Bible thumping homophobe religious fanatic?!'
Fear. Can you feel it rising up in you?
Can you picture the fearful waves raging? Can you picture all the things that might go wrong if you walk up to that total stranger and ask them that question? Or ' can you picture Jesus Christ smiling at you for your bravery of getting past all the possible fearful negatives, because you walking on the water at that very moment may make the difference between that stranger spending eternity in heaven or hell?
Every time you walk up to a stranger and ask them if they have ever had a personal encounter with God - ever heard that God desires that we become one of His closest friends ... and if they say they haven't and you ask them if they would like one ' and it's quite possible many of them won't ' you are doing something much braver than desiring to walk on physical water, my friend. You are demonstrating bravery and courage to God that far surpasses the bravery Peter demonstrated at sea.
Please don't take this the wrong way. I'm not trying to imply that we are to walk up to every stranger and ask them this question about having a salvation experience with Jesus Christ. We are ALWAYS to ask God if He WANTS us to walk up to that stranger FIRST. If we don't sense Him saying 'Yes!' ' don't! Again, assumption and presumption can do our thinking for us, and when it is, Satan is grinning.
Yet assumption and presumption can work in a reversed, sort of perverted disguised kind of way in our 'spiritual farming' endeavors as well. We can get into a mental mode of assumption and presumption that convinces us that God NEVER wants us being courageous and brave to walk up to a complete stranger and asking them if they have ever had a salvation encounter with Jesus Christ, and if not, would they like to have one?
If you were God, would you be more inclined to want to bless one of your followers who constantly is asking complete strangers if they would like to get to know Jesus, verses those who are NEVER willing to step out of the boat and fear making a fool of themselves, and/or experiencing possible angry confrontation?
Jump back to the beginning of this writing. One of the greatest ways that we can glorify Jesus Christ and the Father is to be willing to walk on top of fearful raging spiritual seas - to share the truth of the cross with others ' that God Himself died for their sins on that cross. The worst that can happen is hear them tell you they aren't interested in you giving them a free gift that is more valuable than a trillion dollars and all the rest of the wealth of this world. Rather than walking away frustrated ' you can smile in your mind and tell yourself: If they only KNEW what they were refusing.
Remember as you do so, He is right nearby, ready and willing and able to 'catch you.' Afterall ' He is our Lifesaver. Peter can attest to that.
And we'll end this with another reminder. That stranger may reject your offer at the moment ' seem to reject the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ ' but it might be the most precious and priceless seed ever planted in that person's spirit. Most likely, you and I will never know in this life how much that seed gets watered after that. You can take that all the way to the bank in heaven, where moth and rust doesn't exist, and everyone employed at that bank was once a lost soul Jesus Christ redeemed from having to spend eternity in hell.
Be someone much more brave than a mere physical water-walker for Jesus. Rescue as many lost souls as you can that are sinking into the sea of eternal suffering. Trust God to give you a way to share with others that God desires above all else to become intimate friends with us. Jesus will supply all the faith to believe Him for the courage you need to accomplish each mission ' if you don't focus on your fears, but rather, focus on the huge smile beaming from the faces of Jesus, the Father, the Holy Spirit, the angels in heaven, and all the redeemed souls.
That person you are willing to confront might end up being one more redeemed soul in heaven ' one day smiling down at you as WELL if he or she gets there before you do.
'Heavenly Father ' I ask in Jesus name that you help me become a more brave and courageous spiritual water-walker from this moment forward. And I'm going to trust You that You WILL! Amen!'
PLEASE HELP SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON!
"And this gospel of the
died for sinners] shall be preached in all the world for a witness
unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
(Quote from Jesus Himself: Matthew 24:14).
Consider how many children in "all the nations" have never heard YET what Jesus accomplished for THEM at the cross? PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS TO THE LITTLE CHILDREN!
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Dear Reader -are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To be at peace with God; to have your sins forgiven; to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity; to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... pleaseclick here to help understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life.
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