I don’t know about you, but I’m a total comfort creature. I love hanging out around my house and I love wearing comfortable clothing. Give me a tee shirt, jeans and a pair of tennies and I’m good. Now don’t get me wrong, I like to dress up when the occasion arises, but don’t expect me to be wearing no five inch heels.
Just like I love the comfort of my home and comfortable shoes and clothing for my body, sometimes I think we all like comfort in the body of Christ as well (a little too much I think). We like to come to church on Sundays and then go about our week doing what we want to do, adding a “little bit” of Jesus here and there as we want, as long as were comfortable and it doesn’t interfere with our plans.
Don’t dare ask “me” to do something “I’m” not quite comfortable with. Or ask “me” to serve somewhere that might require “me” giving up some of “my” time. I know, I’ve been there, I have been guilty as charged. O ME, O MY, that’s what I call that problem, it’s centered around “I,” not God.
But the more I grow in my walk with Christ, the more I seek after him, the more I find out that God is not found in the “comfy places” in my life. I’m not saying he’s not always with us, but that he begins to reveal himself more and more as I get out of my comfort zone and as I begin to strip off that clothing called comfort and as I seek him and step out of the comfortable and into the open waters of faith.
I was reading the passage in Matthew 14 beginning in verses 22-31. Jesus had just finished feeding the five thousand. He had told the apostles to get back into their boat and cross to the otherside of the lake while he sent the people home. Jesus then went up into the hills by himself to pray.
During the night, the apostles were in out in their boat and were beginning to get into some trouble. They were fighting some strong winds and waves. Suddenly Jesus came toward them walking on the water. When the disciples saw him they were terrified and cried out, “it’s a ghost.” But Jesus spoke out to them and told them, “Don’t be afraid, take courage, I am here.”
One of the apostles, Peter who was in the boat called out to Jesus, “Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” Jesus called out, “Yes, come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But as soon as he took his eyes off Jesus and realized once again the circumstances surrounding him, he began to sink. “Save me Lord,” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him.
Wow, I love this story. There are so many parallels to our life of faith. Sitting in the boat Peter called out to Jesus and Jesus said, “Come.” Jesus wants us all to do the same. We need to seek after Jesus by calling out to him. Then we need to have the faith to get out of the boat as he calls us.
Sometimes we just want to stay in the boat. The boat represents the appearance of safety and comfort to us, but is it really? Don’t forget the waves and the wind, the boat could overturn at any point, then we would really be in trouble. But Jesus is out on the water, and if we are going to follow him, that’s where we as his followers need to be also. Following him at his lead, even if its out on the water (the uncomfortable places).
As we get out of the safety (our comfort zones and clothes) of the boat, it is there we find Jesus. Here on the open waters of faith He meets us. But when we take our focus of him, what happens? We begin to sink. Anytime we put our focus on our circumstances, our circumstances can become bigger than God. But with God as our focus, he can give the courage to do things that only he can help us to do.
So I ask you today, if your still in the boat, are you willing to get out? Don’t let the comfortable strip you from following hard after Jesus. When we call out to him, He is there. When we keep our focus on him, He sustains us. He tells us to not be afraid and to take courage, he encourages us with the words, “I am here.” Will we trust him today? I think it’s time to get out of the boat, how about you?