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Living Inside the Boat

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We all know that as believers, God wants the miraculous to be a normal part of our lives, and not the unusual? That's what Jesus was telling us in John 14:12-13 when He said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; Ö And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

John 15:16 ďYe have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you

This is something that God wants to see fulfilled in the life of every single believer. Yet sadly, the majority of Christians live their entire lives, barely scratching the surface of what God has for them. The reason for this is, in part, because of what I will call a boat people mentality.

I, for one, don't want to stay the rest of my life in the boat and miss out on what God has for me in life, and I believe the same is true of you. This is a message to help you step out of your boat and into what God has planned for you.

We're all familiar with the story of Peter walking on the water. We have all heard numerous messages about this story. But as you study this miracle you will find that there's just as much for us to learn from the disciples who stayed in the boat that night, as there is from Peter, who walked on the water.

Let's take another look at this awesome miracle and see what the Lord can speak to us through it.

Matthew 14:22-33 ďAnd straightway Jesus coast-trained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, 0 thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased 33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God

What would you have done, if you had been in the boat that night? Would you have asked Jesus if you could walk on the water to Him, like Peter did, or would you have stayed in the boat with the rest of the disciples?

Of course, most of us would like to think that we're more like Peter. That when Jesus bids us to come, we're going to step out into the stormy sea of life and come walking to Him. And maybe we are like that. But every one of us must admit that at times we've also been like the disciples who stayed in the boat, in the place of relative security and safety.

Think about it. If eleven out of the twelve disciples remained in the boat ó and we are talking about men who walked with Jesus, who experienced His miracles, and who sat under His teaching... if eleven of Jesus' closest disciples stayed in the boat, where does that leave us?

You might be thinking, but I Love My Boat! What's wrong with that? "I love God. I love my church. I love to go to meetings. I Pay tithes. I take care of my family. Life is good. I love my comfortable, secure boat. What's wrong with that?"

Brethren, Jesus didn't die on the cross so you and I could enjoy a comfortable life on earth and then go to heaven someday. He died on the cross to pay the price for your sin and mine and all that would come to Him, that we might become one with Him and part of His kingdom, where He is Lord of all. That we could be restored to the place of being His representatives in the earth. As a true Christian, your life is not your own. You belong to God, and He wants to use us to make a difference in this world!

This brings me to the first point we need to learn about the Boat People.

1. Christians who choose to stay in the boat: Can easily spend their entire lives watching others experience great moments with God.

All of the disciples had the opportunity to walk on the water that night. Jesus didn't say, "come, but only Peter". They could have asked to also got o Jesus, but for some reason didn't ask, so they were not bid to come. While the other disciples were allowing the waves to bring defeat in their lives, Peter allowed the waves to become a street on which he walked.

What does this mean for you and for me? Brethren, each one of us must make a choice when we are faced with adversity. Tests, trials, choices and the storms of life come to everyone. But you alone decide how you're going to respond. No one can determine that for you.

People debate what motivated Peter to step out of the boat on that stormy night. Many say it was his faith. Others, his personal, prideful ambition. Some say it was just another one of his impulsive, spontaneous acts that flowed freely from his uninhibited, sanguine personality (personalidad sanguine y optimista). I've read and heard this preached about for many years. Have you ever tried to imagine Peter's state of mind when Jesus came walking on the water.

Personally, I'm not convinced that there was a whole lot of faith involved in Peter's actions. But there's no doubt in my mind of one thing: Peter had great love for Jesus, and he was motivated by his overwhelming affection for his Lord! Love, true love, even of a brother or sister in Christ, or a family member, is the most powerful motivating force in our lives. (But it must be maintained. If we donít continue to live in that love, it can spoil and be lost. It is when we begin to take the one we loved for granted that we begin to fall Ďout of loveí, we lose that first love and backslide.)

Peter was one of those pillars (columnas) who was with Jesus from very beginning. He was the one who had declared, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, where else could we go?" He's the one who said, "Jesus, I'll die with you..." He's the one who sliced off Marcus' ear in the Garden of Gethsemane when they came to apprehend Jesus.

Yes, Peter was often reckless and sometimes put his foot in his mouth, yet he had the right intentions. He loved Jesus with all his heart. He was zealous for the Lord. I believe his overwhelming affection for Christ superseded, was stronger than his fear of the wind and waves, and motivated him to step out of that boat. As a result, he did something no one else has ever done, other than Christ ó he walked on the water!

A boat person on the other hand, allows fear to paralyze him. Consequently he stays in the boat, unable to do anything worthwhile in life. Unable to fulfill the call and destiny for which they were created.

If you choose to stay in the boat, you will forever stand on the sidelines watching others do great things for God. If, however, you step out of the boat, you will experience great moments in God in your life.

I love this next point because it goes to the core of our being, down to what motivates us in life.

2. Christians who choose to stay in the boat: Can easily spend their lives in paralyzing fear while watching others step out with reckless abandonment.

Brothers and sisters, if you're going to do anything worthwhile, anything of significance in life ó it will require youíre getting out of the boat.

My love for the Lord has caused me to step out of the boat on different occasions. Iíd be asking, "Jesus, is this You? Is this what you want me to do?" And when I was sure it was Him, Iíd† say, "I will go this way, Lord. I want to go where you want me to go. I want to go where you lead me."

1 John 4:18-19 says ďThere is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love. We love Him because He first loved us.Ē If stepping out of the boat is difficult for you, you need to fall more deeply in love with Jesus. Pastors Luis and Korey came to America because they loved Jesus and wanted to do His will. I want to add something else, People donít stop sinning because they fear hell, they stop sinning because they love Jesus more than their sin.

3. Christians who choose to stay in the boat: Never experience the thrill of having the rescuing hand of God take hold of them.

Sinking can become an awesome experience! Why? Because when you sink, you get to experience the thrill of Jesus coming to your rescue and lifting you up above the waves that are coming against you! When Peter began to sink, the Lord didn't rebuke him or let him drown. No, He graciously reached down and lifted Peter up and tried to encourage him. He does the same thing with us when we step out of the boat and walk, but then take our eyes off Him and begin to sink.

Some people fail one time and give up. Because of a failure, they withdraw and sometimes live the rest of their lives never trying anything new that requires taking a chance. They never step out into the deep. That, my friend, is the mentality of a boat person. But you don't have to live this way. Let's learn from Peter's failures as well as his successes. Peter faltered from time to time, but he never gave up, and he never quit getting out of the boat. And, I might add, Jesus never quit coming to his rescue!

Perhaps at this time you're more of a boat person than one who walks on water. If that's the case, I have good news for you.

4. Christians who choose to stay in the boat: By virtue of association, can reap the benefits of others who donít.

The good news is that every one of the disciples in the boat that night benefited from Peter's miracle. Each of them saw Peter step out and walk on the water to Jesus and then they saw Jesus pick up Peter and walk with him on the water and get into the boat. They all experienced Jesus coming to their rescue when He miraculously calmed the storm. Then, in awe they worshipped Him, declaring Him to be the Son of God. What an experience! What a church service!

Think of the great faith that Peter's miracle must have ignited in the hearts of the disciples that night. I can just imagine them thinking, "If Jesus enabled Peter to do the impossible, He could do the same for me.. . if Jesus rescued Peter when he began to sink, then He will rescue me too, if I begin to sink! The next time something like this happens, I'm going to step out like Peter..."

What an awesome God we serve! Even by virtue of association, those in the boat can reap the benefits of others like Peter who step out of the boat of safety and security!

5. Christians who choose to stay in the boat and have missed great opportunities -today: You need not fret. There will be other great opportunities tomorrow.

After it was all said and done, I'm sure some of the disciples must have regretted that they didn't jump out of the boat and walk on the water with Peter and Jesus that night. I know I would have.

But thank God, we don't have to live in regret. He's the God of a second chance! The disciples are living proof of the fact that missed opportunities yesterday or today don't keep us from having great opportunities which will lead to great possibilities, to come our way tomorrow.

Although the eleven disciples missed out that stormy night because they chose to stay in the boat and be good boat people, every single one of them, with the exception of Judas, ended up giving their all to Jesus. They all stepped out of the boat and accomplished great things in Jesus name.

We were never meant to be content with but a small bit of what we could have, a small part of the whole, a little of what He has and wants to give us and do in us. Are the things you are living for worth Christ having died for? (REPEAT) Itís time to re-examine our lives, repent of our ways, so that God the Holy Spirit will come into our lives like fire. We need to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire, as John the Baptist said Jesus would do, to those to come to Him in repentance. We need that cleansing fire to cleanse up of all impurities of the soul and spirit and we need the fire that burns within that will make us witnesses or martyrís for the kingdom. That we will come to the place where we can say with all our hearts, Lord, I will go where you want me to go, I will say what you want me to say, I do what you want me to do and I will be what you want me to be. †

Life Outside The Boat

No matter what I may go through tomorrow ó whether I'm on the mountaintop or in the valley, whether I'm experiencing smooth sailing or stormy seas, I can love and enjoy life. I can live with a sense of excitement and expectancy, all the time. Why? Because I have decided that I am not going to be a Boat Person. I have determined that I am going to step out of the boat and follow His plan for my life. As a result, I believe that He will bless me beyond words and He will take me places I never could have gone on my own.

The same can be true for you, brothers and sisters. No matter where you're at in your journey as a Christian, God has more for you. He's asking, "Will you choose to live outside the boat of mediocrity and casual Christianity? Will you step out of the boat of comfort and safety and take a chance with me? Will you step out of the shadows of others and receive my calling for your life. Will you choose to follow My plan for your life instead of yours?"

Say "yes" to the call of God the Holy Spirit! Determine that you're not going to be a boat person who passively sits back on the sidelines of Christianity, watching others do great things for God, taking no chances, putting nothing on the line, being safe and risking nothing.

If you do, then like the disciples you will learn the value - and will experience the sheer thrill of living your life out of the boat and even being picked up out of the waters by Jesus, like Peter was, so you can continue walking with Him because He is the God of the second chance.

(AD LIB)We have two relationships with God: who we are in the present, and who He says we are in the future. Jesus occupies the space between those two identities as He stands in the gap, interceding for us before the throne of God (Hebrews 7:25), that we can make it to the place and destiny He has designed for us. Jesus is doing His part to get us to where we can go in Him. The rest is up to us. He desires our success and victory, but we must become co-laborers with him in the process.

I want to close with this: You have this treasure in earth vessels. You have a treasure within you because God deposited it there. The Kingdom of God is within you because He has put it in you. There are rivers of living water within your innermost being. We need to dig down deep and tap into new rivers and wells of anointing. Jesus said out of your innermost being shall flow rivers {more than one} of living water. Water brings life. We must tap into the rivers deep within our spirit and let them rush forth to bring life to all that will drink!

Let the destiny that is in you come forth out of you! I speak to the treasure within your spirit and I call it to come forth! I call you to go higher to the place where Jesus is seated on the throne of the Universe Ė for as He is so are we in this world!! Let the Kingdom of God come forth. Let Gods Government, the Government of the Kingdom come forth in your life!

Jesus is saying to His church, I am calling forth my Bride in this hour. I am coming back for a Glorious Church without spot or wrinkle. Itís time for my army to arise and take back the land that the enemy has stolen! It belongs to you. Itís your inheritance.

There are deep wells within the people of God that have been hidden for too long. It touched me recently when Bro. Terry told Sue and I that we had not yet realized what the Lord had deposited within us. Itís already there. May the Holy Spirit open our eyes, that we might see what He has already done and deposited within us for His kingdom purposes.

Itís time for a fearless and Glorious army to come forth and redeem the time we are living in! Itís time to arise and step out of the boat of security and comfort Ė by faith, believing He will not let us drown.† If we step out of the boat by faith in Him, saying, Lord I want to walk with you, there is no way we can lose.† The light of His glory is shining and getting brighter.† He wants us to walk with Him and share in that glory.

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