The message was brought by Mark Osborne.
Jesus went off to pray. He was away from the disciples and we’ll see how they were affected.
Matthew 14: 22 And straightway Jesus constrained 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, O 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.
The best time is when we first get saved. You feel like there isn’t anything than can hinder you. Then trouble comes. Jesus went to pray and while he was away the winds began to blow. The devil has a way of getting the winds to blow in our lives. Day by day he tries to make problems for us. I Peter 5:8 tells us to be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Expect the devil to be on your back. He’ll do everything possible to discourage. He wants us to quit; so many have. The disciples were in the midst of the sea. Winds began to blow and they were afraid. We’re still in this body and we don’t have enough power on our own to handle the devil. He’ll tell us it’s okay not to read our Bible or pray or even go to church. There is a reason the Bible tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. We need that fellowship. It’s like raising a family. It’s hard enough to do with two. We need to stay together and do this hand in hand with Jesus. At our weakest the devil tries to get to us.
James 4:13 says Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain. The mentality of many today is only about gain. We’re so caught up in it that we forget the important things. The devil puts pitfalls in our path. The only way to be happy in life is when we stay right with God. We need to own up to what we’re to do and we can overcome the devil. The Lord gives us the way out.
In Psalms 73 David said Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. The devil gets a stronghold on people. Many leave the church because they just don’t listen to the Lord. I can’t do it but God can put us in the position to do it. He asks us to step up and glorify him. Why don’t many Christians have a smile? We should lift up our head and smile. Be proud to be a Christian. David was discouraged seeing the prosperity of those who didn’t follow God. We want what others have and lost sight of what we have. We can rejoice and overcome the devil. Don’t neglect God. David was almost down. How many times have you been down and didn’t pray; you didn’t keep reading your Bible? Even with being faithful to church the devil can get to us. There should be no hindrances between us and God. He’s there. Call oh him. David called on the Lord and got back his song.
The book of First Samuel tells us that King Saul was overcome by an evil spirit. He wanted someone to kill him so that his enemies wouldn’t. The devil works to destroy us. Saul desired death. The suicide rate is high today. The devil has a hold. Many times it’s because we don’t allow God to occupy the space in our lives that he should. God wants to hold us and the devil tries his best to take that away with the boisterous winds of life. In John 16:33 Jesus said these things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. He knew hard times would come. We may lose focus but if we keep our desire where it should be, the Lord provides. The world will hate us. Friends may put you down for being a Christian but remember the greater friend you have in Jesus. Live for him.
Not only does the devil try to get a hold he tries to make us fear. We have fears. This body has to die. We get into trouble by fearing what man does. Proverbs 29:25 says the fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe. There is an evil spirit in the hearts of men with a big pull on us. Don’t fear. Put your trust in the Lord. We’re terrified of what people might say or think about us being a Christian. Don’t be. Matthew 10:28 tells us fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Eternity is forever yet we put a lot of emphasis on the physical. It won’t last. Only the spiritual endures.
I don’t deserve what I’ve been given, but Jesus took my place. The pain of plucking his beard and a crown of thorns and Calvary were endured for us. We have much to be thankful for. Be of good cheer. The Lord is here. He knows all about our lives. He knows what we need. He’ll take our burdens when we give them to him. We bash Peter but how many of us would have even got out of the boat? The Lord is asking us to take a leap of faith. If you have a desire and burden to do something for God, don’t say in the boat. Peter told Jesus if it was him to bid him come into the water. Peter got out of the boat and walked on water. Then he looked at the waves and began to be afraid. Jesus was right there. He is right here for us. Lean on him. Peter lost sight of the goal. Acts 2:21 says whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. That’s what Peter did. He said Lord, save me. Jesus stretched forth his hand. He walked with Christ on the water. They walked hand in hand. After they got back into the boat the winds ceased.
It’s a wonderful life to walk hand in hand with Jesus.