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Hello 2013 (part 2)

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. (Matthew 7.24: 27)

“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)

 

Jesus gave the word, but Peter still had to respond to it. The circumstances didn’t look different; in fact they weren’t any different. They were still in the storm at the dawn of the dawn. Peter and the other disciples were very wet and very weary after battling against the elements all night long to save their lives. They were probably still feeling desperate, still afraid.

Yet to walk in this miracle, he had to take some steps toward Jesus. He had to do something practical in response to the supernatural call. There was no room for talking a good game here; he just had to live it. Jesus faithfulness more than met Peter’s faith, even when Peter lost  his grip.

If God wants you to say hello to something in 2013, you will need to do something in response to His word to you.

When I think of Peter in this moment and I imagine his first step out of the boat  into, onto, the water, I’m instantly reminded of the wise and foolish builders Jesus speaks of in Matthew’s gospel. They both represent people who hear Jesus’ words for their lives.

The  foolish builder who builds on sand symbolizes someone who heard Jesus’ life changing, circumstance transforming words but didn’t do anything about it. He built his house in the wrong place, and it couldn’t withstand the wind and the rain and his home came down crashing around him. How many times have I done that with my own life! There are times when I’ve known what the Lord was asking of me, calling of me. But it didn’t stop me running, in the opposite direction. There were times when I’ve heard his word, but my desires were louder, so I dismissed them. There were times when my heart and mind were so cluttered, I just forgot them, didn’t take time with them. Until life came crashing down and I called for mercy. Grace rebuilt me again.

The wise builder who built his house on rock symbolized one who builds their lives on the Rock. They hear  what Jesus says , they do something about it. When  Simon, known as Peter( “little rock”), stepped out on Jesus word, his very practical action was a step on the big Rock. That practical step was supernaturally transformed.

There are some things that Jesus is calling me to this year that are personally challenging. And then there are some that are just impossible. I see wind and  waves, I feel like I’m drowning and still I hear “Come”. The storm is still there , but the call is to step out of the boat, put His words  into practice in my daily life.  He’ll do the transforming, but I need to engage with him. If he says come, I don’t need to wait around for the next instruction. The issue is obedience.

So what  could you do in response to His word to you?

If 2013 is about saying hello to investing in your marriage

If might mean investing financially in a regular date night, going on a marriage retreat, some honest conversations , getting mentoring or counseling, asking forgiveness

If it’s about saying hello to a healthier lifestyle

If might mean clearing the unhealthy food out of the cupboards, a trip to the doctor for the long ignored medical, joining a gym,( or going to that gym you’ve paid for!) doing some research, getting some advice, going to bet earlier, bidding farewell to some comfortable vices

If it’s about saying hello to growth and maturity in your leadership

If might mean seeking out a mentor or coaching, reading some books, getting some advice, scheduling a regular day off and sticking to it, booking your vacation time at the start of the year rather than waiting until you’re exhausted. It could be asking the  Lord to show you who to disciple and invest in, and finding a friend you can pray with regularly and ask you the difficult questions that other people wouldn’t.

If it’s about saying hello to a life where you’re not held captive to wounds and brokenness formed by your past 

It might mean counseling,  prayer ministry, a commitment to digesting relevant Scriptures and memorizing them, it might mean facing some unhealthy patterns and habits, it might mean extending and receiving forgiveness. It might mean an end to avoiding vulnerability and transparency and building healthy friendships, committing to one church, one community.

 

Whatever your word – it will call you out of the boat. It might not feel great, in fact will probably feel pretty tough at times. It will be hard work and it will stretch you to your limits. You may want to give up, think you were crazy for stepping out. It might, demand more of you than you hoped. It  might require the investing money, thought and research and planning, time and energy, honest conversations in trusted relationships, prayer and fasting. You are not earning a breakthrough in your life grace does that; but you are putting in the effort  in response to God’s word to you. You’re taking Him at his word and laying your life out before Him. You may not have a heart for or  feel a passion for the step you need to take.it may be ordinary and not a little bit dull at times. You might start out well, but get  scared, and feel like you’re drowning and then feel like a failure. But Jesus will  pick you up, and you’ll walk with him  holding you. He will do a supernatural work in your very  practical steps.

When  Jesus and Peter returned to the boat the storm stopped.  The disciples were freaked out by Jesus (Wouldn’t you be? How do you explain that night to your friends?). But they worshipped Him declaring that He was the Messiah & Peter  carried a new testimony in his heart.  Jesus and the disciples landed Gennesaret  and the miracles and signs and wonders continued, but  this time beyond the small group of disciples. The Word brought truth, life and healing to an entire community.

 

What is God calling you to say hello to in 2013?

What are you going to do about it?

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