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How to Walk on the Water - Part 3

How to Walk on the Water (Faith)  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Text: Matthew 14:22-33 THEME & INTRODUCTION We conclude this series today and it is my prayer that the Word that has been & will be shared will stir and change us and motivate us into Holy Spirit led action. The Bible tells us in: (James 2:17 KJV) Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. (James 2:17 NIV) In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. The same apostle tells us earlier in James 1:22-25: (James 1:22-25 NIV) Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-he will be blessed in what he does. Faith is like yeast. It must be mixed with something before it goes to work. It is important to point out, concerning the development of our faith, that we will never see an increase of the faith we presently have until we use and exercise what we presently have. It was mentioned in an earlier lesson the different levels of faith: 1. Little Faith of Peter - Matthew 14:31 2. Great Faith of Woman of Canaan - Matthew 15:28 3. Marvelous Faith of the Centurion - Matthew 8:10 Paul writes in Romans 12:3 in the latter part of the verse: (Romans 12:3b KJV) . . . God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. A. Someone needs to hear this - Something has convinced you that "Someday" you'll have the faith to move mountains, & "Someday" you'll finally have enough faith to see great things done for God. My friend, you have the faith now! I want everyone to say this with me whether you believe what you’re saying or not. "I HAVE THE FAITH NOW!" Some of you are saying in your mind, "Well Pastor, if I have the faith now then why am I not seeing things come to pass that I'd like to see happen?" Let me give you some possible answers. 1. Your faith is not being exercised. For some, you're praying the right words but nothing else. a. When one of the pastors I had the privilege of mentoring under, was an evangelist, he began believing the Lord for a new Air Stream trailer. To express his faith, he went & bought a sewer hose for that trailer. 2. Your faith is being hindered by your unbelief. (Mark 9:24 KJV) "And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." Notice what this man says - it's very important. He admits that within him there are two forces at work - faith & unbelief. "Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief." A. I've heard people say, "Faith & fear cannot exist in the same life." This passage shows they can. However, one of the two will eventually win out over the other. One of the two will drive you & determine your actions on a day-to-day basis & whichever of the two motivates you will determine your harvest. This man recognized his unbelief, but he did more than recognize the problem - he dealt with the problem. B. Our tendency is to make ourselves "victims" by justifying our unbelief. "Well, my daddy was a worrier and that's the reason I worry so much." "You know, I'm Irish, or Native American, & that's always been a trademark of our people." It's obvious to me that you've been listening to the wrong information. I don't care how much your dad worried & how short your mother chewed her fingernails, or what trait may have characterized your tribe or race. YOU'RE A NEW CREATION! YOU HAVE NEW CITIZENSHIP IN ANOTHER WORLD! (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. SIN (WORRY, DOUBT, UNBELIEF, AND ANXIETY) SHALL NOT HAVE DOMINION OVER YOU!) (Romans 6:14a KJV) "For sin shall not have dominion over you . . ." REVIEW Walking on the water has its requirements. There are 4 requirements & 4 rules. 1. You must be weary of riding in the boat. 2. Your desire to be with Jesus must be greater than your fear of the unknown. 3. There must be a commitment to Jesus. 4. There must be a commission from Jesus. Those are the requirements. Here are the rules: 1. Don't listen to the boat talk. 2. Don't focus on the wind and the waves. Today, we're going to look at two other rules for walking on the water, and then look at three benefits of walking on the water. VII. DON'T LOOK AT YOUR FEET A. Looking at your feet is representative of "Look what I've done." I believe one of the reasons we don't see more miracles than we do is because by the time we've told the story twice we're wording the story in such a way where we'll get just a little of the spotlight on us. God calls it PRIDE. 1. Satan - (Isaiah 14:12-15 KJV) "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit." 2. Nebuchadnezzar - (Daniel 4:33 KJV) "The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws." 3. The Rich Fool - (Luke 12:18-21 KJV) "And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." 4. King Herod - (Acts 12:23 KJV) "And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost." God and I cannot both get the glory. I will either try to take the credit or give the glory to God. If we are going to walk on the water, it will require that we not look at our feet. Someone has said, "There is no limit to what God will do through a person if that individual is not afraid of who gets the credit." If you want an example of the right attitude we are to have, look at what Paul writes in I Corinthians 1:31: "That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." VIII. KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS (Matthew 14:30 KJV) "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me." A. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that Peter took his eyes off the Lord. His focus was broken. Ladies & gentlemen, it is impossible to walk on the water when you're looking and listening to things that contradict the promises of God. This is why it is so very important that you guard your associations. Don't allow people to walk into your life & break your focus. There are Christians who have associations with other people who are also Christians, but they have a problem - the words they speak make Satan believe he is winning. After you've listened to them for 30 minutes to an hour you feel that the devil is winning also. Whoever cannot increase you, will eventually decrease you. Your words are evidence of your focus. They reveal the direction you are headed and what has your attention. You will never reach the palace talking like a peasant. Your life will always move in the direction of your strongest thought. This is why it is needful to keep your eyes on the Lord. B. At a minister's breakaway several years ago a pastor was skiing with a neighbor from Red River, & he was helping him to get his skiing down better. He suggested to him, "You ski in front of me & let me follow you & I will make the same moves you make." He watched his every move & as he kept his eyes on the instructor, he saw his skiing improve. C. Church, we need to remember that we've been told ahead of time there will be occasions when we have to walk through the fire and through the water, but we've also been promised safe passage if we will keep our eyes on the Lord. (Isaiah 26:3-4 KJV) “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. 4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:” NOW LET’S LOOK AT THE REWARDS OF WALKING ON THE WATER: IX. IT SEPARATES YOU FROM THE CROWD A. Sometimes it's not a bunch of bad things that robs us of the rewards God has for us - often it's the crowd. Sometimes it's the other people in the boat - nice people but they just have no desire to walk on the water. There's a saying we've all heard - "If you're going to fly with the eagles you can't walk with the turkeys." Look at the people God uses & you'll see that they don't march to the same drum beat as the crowd. X. IT BRINGS YOU INTO INTIMATE FELLOWSHIP WITH JESUS There is no greater reason to get out of the boat than this. It's like soaring with eagles - it's a dimension where few travels. This is more than the run-of-the-mill Christianity. A. In the Song of Solomon we read about a secret meeting place that King Solomon and the Shulamite had. It was nothing inordinate or sinful - simply a place that others knew nothing about. (Song of Solomon 2:14 KJV) “O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.” B. We know from the Gospels that Jesus had twelve disciples. Yet out of the twelve, Peter, James, and John went places that the others never went. But of the three there was one - John, who leaned on Him & Scripture says, "Jesus loved." (John 13:23 KJV) “Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” C. My wife & I can be here at the church together all day & be around each other but it's not the same as the two of us being alone. We need that time together. You see, there's a difference between ministry and fellowship. 1. You can come to church with others & enjoy the ministry of Christ as He moves throughout the congregation, but you'll never enjoy intimacy with Him until you step out of the boat. I believe that short trip that Peter had with Jesus as they walked back to the boat made an indelible impression on him. XI. YOU EXPERIENCE THE GLORY AND THE JOY OF DIVINE PROVISION (Matthew 14:31-32 KJV) “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.” Not only did Peter have the joy of walking on the water initially, he also experienced the miracle of being rescued by Jesus. I believe that stuck with him his entire life. You will never know what it is to be rescued unless you step out of the boat. A. I wouldn't trade the times I've seen the Lord rescue me. Spiritually, financially, physically, etc... B. Andre Crouch - Song: Through It All - "If I never had a problem, I'd never know that God could solve them, I'd never know what faith in God could do." C. I believe the Lord is speaking to someone & you're hearing Him say "Come" to you. He's calling you to step out of the boat. You've seen miracles before & had answers to prayer, but God is leading you to greater things. The final picture of this text is not one of Peter sinking - it's one of Peter & Jesus walking back to the boat together on the water.
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