WALKING ON WATER
A Lesson in Faith Transcending Faith
The story of Peter walking on water stands out. Water is a picture of instability (Gen 49:4; Jms. 1:6,8). The Lord had urgently sent the disciples on a mission with a vision toward another shore. The shore is the place of planting and establishment. The vision—the goal—for this new planting was truly from the Lord. Even urgently so.
But in between, major life-threatening turbulence arises. Moreover, the Lord comes in the Spirit upon this turbulence and calls to Peter to come to Him directly on it. This was not part of the original mission.
The ship is what little Peter has left of stability on the intervening sea—his home, his job, and a few friends. But here, in the fourth watch of the night (the same watch as the parting of the Red Sea), it is just Peter and the Lord on instability in the midst of blackness—the two bobbing up and down on opposite waves—seemingly unable to connect. Here, the shore is forgotten. The only goal now is to stay in the Lord. It took one kind of faith to answer the call to the new shore. It took an entirely different faith to walk on water. The vision for the shore must now be surrendered for the sole vision of the Lord—faith replacing faith—a faith beyond first "faith."
After the encounter, they return to the ship, the storm ceases and the ship is mysteriously at once to its shore—with the Lord on board. The Lord's arrival on the ship does not only save the mission. It assures that once the new shore is reached, it is reached "in the Lord"—a certified kingdom advancement—and not merely an accomplishment of "our" own obedience galvanized by "our" first faith that ultimately "misses the boat."
The Lord does not will us to live in perpetual instability of situation. He wills to move us from shore to greater shore, from planting to greater planting. His kingdom within and without is designed to grow. But it must prove to be His planting in the end. Woe to any vision first given by the Lord that is not finally planted by Him as well. For this, the very life of the mission itself must be threatened, our first faith must be upstaged and its vision surrendered. This is true individually, corporately, and as a worldwide body in the earth.
But in the end, the original vision does not lie. It will live. It must live. Because no commission of the Lord can return to Him empty, especially an urgent one.
For those having never left land or who have stalled on a once-new land grown old past its season, there is a commission to discover and embrace the Lord's urgent new vision for life—and move out. For those having embraced the vision, the call is to endure the intervening instability, and even to forsake what is left of the ship—surrender the vision—and come to Him. It is to maintain steadfast gaze until the gracious meeting of divine Spirit, human heart and divine circumstance occurs that will support the originally commissioned enterprise.
Let the Lord show us where we are today in this picture of faith.
Page created October 22, 2003
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