Someone once said, “Failure isn’t an event, but rather a judgment about an event.” In other words, failure isn’t something that happens to us, it’s the way we think about the outcome of what has happened to us. As a result, many people, for fear of failure, will do nothing; while those who don’t fear failure, will do something. Many people would point to a familiar story in the gospels as evidence of Peter’s failure. In fact, however, it’s one of the great stories of success in the Bible.
Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:48; Romans 8:38-39; Psalm 55:16
“Lord if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. (Matthew 14:28-29)
If Peter hadn’t gotten out of the boat he would have missed a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Jesus manifest His glory and power through him. Think about it: we only know of two people who ever walked on water—Peter and Jesus. Peter had to get out of the boat to see and experience this miracle. We all know that when he did get out of the boat that wasn’t the end of the story. After some time on the water, he began to sink into it. But here’s the key: he did not fail. The failures of this story were the other eleven disciples who stayed in the boat. But because Peter was willing to exercise his faith and get out of the boat, he witnessed, up close, the saving grace of the Lord Jesus.
Have you ever experienced a storm on a large body of water? Do you think some followers of Christ believe they should get a pass on the “storms” of life? Why do many people see Peter’s walk on the water as a failure? Why are the “stay in the boat” crowd sometimes dismissive to those who get out of the boat? How is God calling you to get out of the boat? What’s keeping you from walking on the water?
God has given Christ followers everything they need to do something for Him and His cause, yet many never get out of the boat. Life is short and the choice is yours to make. You can stay in the boat and do nothing or you can get out of the boat and do something to advance the kingdom of God in the world. Pray and ask God for the faith and courage you need to make the right choice. So what’s it going to be: “In or Out?”
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for the story of Peter and his courageous decision to get out of the boat. I want to do something for you to make your kingdom grow in my part of the world. I know that I need to get out of the boat because you are calling me onto the waters. Increase my faith and give me the boldness and courage to do just that. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.