January 4, 2021
As soon as the people were fed, Jesus told his disciples to get into their boat and to go to the other side of the lake while he stayed behind to dismiss the people. After the crowds dispersed, Jesus went up into the hills to pray. And as night fell he was there praying alone with God. But the disciples, who were now in the middle of the lake, ran into trouble, for their boat was tossed about by the high winds and heavy seas.
Matthew 14:22-24 TPT
You ever feel like your forward progress is being met with resistance? You start out with a plan, and everything seems to be okay and on track, and then suddenly, you find yourself struggling to gain forward momentum. You know you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, but now suddenly, you are being met with resistance. Sometimes our moments of resistance are setups for God encounters. These are moments not to distract us but help redirect and build our faith, attention getters preparing us for significant moments in Christ. They are designed to get our attention. The NIV’s choice of wording concerning the wind is this –
“buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it” God wasn’t against them because God is for us and not against us. The devil wasn’t holding them up. The wind and waves were. A set of natural circumstances were at work against them and about to reveal a supernatural event. Without the wind’s resistance against the boat (the buffeting), the Disciples of Jesus would have made it to the other side a lot faster. And quick passage would have caused them to miss a spectacular moment in God. I don’t know about you, but I’m always in a hurry to get to the other side of things. My wife calls me Rambo because she says I always want to ram ahead. She’s right. It is just my nature. I’m sure the disciples seeing Jesus on the other side would have been great, and they may have wondered how He got there, but Jesus had something better in store for them. Resistance can sometimes teach us so much, make us stronger, teach us lessons of trust, and set us up for the supernatural experience. Look what happened in the middle of their resistance.
Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
Matthew 14:25-29 (NIV)
Sometimes our resistance may be because the Lord wants to reveal to us not only His supernatural capability but ours as well when we put our faith in Him. Complaining can cause us to miss these moments. Giving in to fear can cause us to miss these moments. Getting too comfortable can cause us to miss these moments. Getting frustrated and going back to the start can certainly cause us to miss out on these moments! Getting out of the boat of our natural comfort to step into the new will take faith action. What is critical in these moments is being grateful, attentive, patient, aware, and sensitive to the Holy Spirit! I’m always having to work on the patient part. In the middle of times like this, we may have to continually remind ourselves that God is in control. Listen for that still small voice! Remember, the disciples had never experienced Jesus in this way. This new encounter of a greater level of supernatural would take a great deal of faith and courage! Though Peter didn’t see clearly, he knew in part and acted on faith to clearly encounter God’s power. It takes faith to see God clearly.
For now we see but a faint reflection of riddles and mysteries as though reflected in a mirror, but one day we will see face-to-face. My understanding is incomplete now, but one day I will understand everything, just as everything about me has been fully understood.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (TPT)
We may start out only seeing in part but acting on our faith in Jesus will allow us to meet Him in new places and see Him in new ways. His authority is revealed to us as we learn to trust in Him. It’s essential to make sure our resistance isn’t God trying to get our attention and get us looking for Him in the storm because He wants to prove something to us. When we sense Him, be ready to respond like Peter!
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
(James 1:3-4 NLT)