In Mark 6:45-52 Jesus walks on the water to the disciples. The first thing you did Lord was demonstrate your strength – you were about to pass them on the water. Then you told them to “Take courage.” And “Do not be afraid.” You called them to be brave and not have fear but faith in the middle of the storm. Then you got in the boat and the wind died down. Not until they invited you into the boat did it stop! And not before you asked them to be courageous and not fearful and have faith in you. “It is I.” You said. You are stronger than this storm. You are walking on the water and you need to be trusted and invited into my boat before it calms.
Gods first part was demonstrating his strength. The Bible says the disciples strained against the oars because the storm for them was unbearably strong. And it says that Jesus was about to pass them. It was nothing for his superman surpassing strength. Seriously you think the man of steel is overpowered. He never met Jesus. Then God calls us to several things here in the midst of the storm, after He shows his hand. They are almost chain reactions of one another, but we are going to look at each piece individually.
1. “Take courage” – Taking courage means seeing the storm. Recognizing our problem and our fear. Recognizing that there is a Lion in the street that could eat us. But choosing to step outside anyways and say “I am afraid, but regardless, I will be brave.” This is a blind leap of faith. Although can it really be called blind faith when we’ve just seen Gods power? Faith is standing face to face with a lion and taking a step toward it. The first step is being willing to give blood. But this only happens after God has shown us His strength! It’s saying “if this is your will, I trust you. Either I die, or I get through this. Either way, I trust you.” Which leads us into… 2. “It is I” – He just showed us his might and we know who he is. We can trust him, because not only have we just seen an amazing act of His strength, but we also know him personally. We know a deep relationship with Him and we know He loves us and His plans for us are best for us and for our best. Step one is faith, step two is trust. And trust is a different concept here. While faith moves our heart first to take action, trust moves our feet. Trust is saying “I believe with so much faith in what I have seen of your power and what I have seen of your personal love for me, that I will make my feet move forward.” 3. Do not be afraid – This third part seems oddly like the first “take courage”; however, it is possible to have faith and be courageous while holding on to fear. In fact, courage is being willing to do something, regardless of the fact that you are afraid. So after The Lord has shown us his hand, after he has asked for our willingness and just for good measure, reassured us that his promises are good and he loves us, then he calls us to cast away the fear and run after him. To know that He does have a plan for this and it does not involve fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” Fear is from the enemy, not God. He is asking us to cast away the enemy with the strength of the Lord. 4. Invite Him into the boat – Let him take control of the situation. The Bible says the moment Jesus entered the boat, the storm died down and the wind was calm. This was his plan all along. To build up in us faith, trust, to cast away fear, and to take on the Lord who will take control.
Lord, help me to follow your plans. Candace Payne puts it this way, “I think we all would do better to pray prayers that ask God to increase our faith before He increases our joy.” Micah Tyler said “Sometimes the best question is not, ‘Jesus can you change these things around me?’, but instead ‘God, can you change me so that I can handle the things that you’re walking me through?’.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.