In the last several messages, we consider the faith of Peter as he stepped out of the boat and walked on the water. We saw the importance of properly hearing the call and of keeping our eyes focused on our Lord as the waves are crashing at our feet. This story contains many lessons for our walk with Christ. But a lesson which is often overlooked is the motivation of our heart.
We know that the heart contains our true character and true relationship with our Heavenly Father. When God was showing Samuel who to anoint as king of Israel He reminded him: “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Our outward actions are a “reflection” of the condition of our heart; but they are not a true image and they can most certainly deceive!
God saw this deception long ago in the hearts of His children. We are all susceptible to the trap of going through the motions of worship without really having a heart devoted to God: “These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. Their worship of Me is made up only of rules taught by men” (Isaiah 29:13).
Yes, without considering the heart we lose the real message of Peter getting out of the boat. This story becomes just another self-gratifying motivational speech for those who want to climb up another rung of the ladder: “If you want to go further and accomplish more, you must leave the security of the boat!” Taking a “step of faith” will often lead to “successful” advancement in worldly as well as ministry endeavors, but neither are pleasing to God without the proper heart.
We sometimes forget that there was another time when Peter got out of the boat, but this time Jesus was a little distance away standing on the shore.
“As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, ‘It is the Lord,’ he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.”
Peter wasn’t motivated by the thrill of walking on the water, not by the praise he might receive from the other disciples or even by the thought of doing something wonderful for God. Peter got out of the boat simply because that’s where Jesus was; and walk, sink or swim, he desired to be with the one he loved.
Let’s pray for an increased faith which allows us to follow more closely after Jesus. Let’s pray for the courage to leave the confines of our worldly security and follow where Jesus is calling. But let’s diligently examine our heart and make sure that with EVERY step, we abandon all and step toward Jesus.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries