Hillsong United sings an amazing song called Oceans. Here is the chorus:
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Wow is that powerful. When I hear that song (and I’m not driving) I can close my eyes and imagine the men in the boat. You know the story. Jesus walks on the water. Here is Matthew’s account:
Matthew 14:25-32 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. (ESV)
Here is the question: Who are you in the story? When you see the story play out in your mind, where are you and who are you? For me I have always been in the boat. Sometimes I am Peter and other times I am one of the others watching Peter. Jesus is far off and comes closer but still it is hard to see Him clearly. This weekend our worship team did a great job playing this song. So I closed my eyes and imagined the story. I really wanted to see Jesus clearly, don’t we all? I was like Peter saying, “If it is you?” Then an amazing thing happened. The story turned in my mind and I was now on the water watching the story from Jesus’ position. I had just become the Jesus character in the story. For some of you I just made you flinch, didn’t I? This experience was powerful. I began to think back about other times this has happened. I have climbed out of the boat and saw the demoniac in the cemetery. I have seen the multitude on the hillside while they were getting a divine lunch. I have been in a Heaven-like place, standing next to Jesus and God points to me and says, “this is my son.” All the angels cheer. That is pretty cool. Are you still shocked?
Do you know that in the water-walking story you are actually more like Jesus than the men in the boat? The disciples were not born again. They did not have the Holy Spirit in them. They did not have a new divinely resurrected spirit. They didn’t have a new heart of flesh. They still had a sin nature (body of sin). They had minds that were not and could not be renewed. They did not have the mind of Christ. They were not a new creation. They were not under Grace. They were of the old covenant. Get the picture?
When I saw from Jesus’ perspective something amazing happened. I could see the fear on the face of the men in the boat. I could “feel” their fear. I felt overwhelming compassion for them. I wanted to reach out and comfort them. Don’t we ask for that very thing in our lives? Don’t we ask God to let us see as He sees? Don’t we ask for His love to flow in and through us? Aren’t we asking to be more like Jesus all the time? When you ask for a Jesus perspective, it looks like my experience with the boat dwellers? I can say God has given me the Grace to see people like Jesus does. Not all the time but when it happens it is powerful. You don’t see as the world sees but you actually see past what the world sees. You know that in that “place” you can’t help but love people like God does? This is precisely what Jesus did when He walked the earth. Maybe we need to believe we are actually saved and can move forward. To see ourselves as Peter in the story says we still need to be rescued, we have doubts. I am not arguing that fact but let’s work from instead of towards. Let’s move from salvation into transformation so we can be conformed to the image of Christ. Imagine how many people are land-lovers, boat-bound on a dangerous, stormy sea. Who else is going to call them out from the boat, calm the sea and bring them to the other shore?
This is what Jesus said:
John 15:15-16 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (ESV)
We have what we need:
John 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. (ESV)
1 John 2:20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. (ESV)
And He is in us:
Colossians 1:27 God wanted his people throughout the world to know the glorious riches of this mystery-which is Christ living in you, giving you the hope of glory. (GW)
It is not about me or from me or because of my strength, but it is all about Him. I am not the savior of the world but I host Him in me. I should be a willing vessel for His use. I should be surrendered to His life. He has prepared the vessel for His habitation. I just need to believe and learn to think differently, agree with what He has said. Let’s step into that identity and stop being afraid of water. Want to get wet? Soles of shoes only please.