Walking on the Water

Matthew 14:22-32; John 6:16-21
Pastor Dan Turpin, P.O. Box 496, Mulberry, FL 33860, email: turp72@aol.com
Objective Sentence: Everyone can turn adversity into victory by comprehending the precepts that Jesus taught his disciples by putting them on the water and walking to them.
Initial invitation:

#1. Avoid the tendency of presumptuously assuming the will of God

A. Matthew 14:22 + John 6:14-15 (Why?) Every person should seek the Lord and not assume His will for their lives. Christ forced the disciples into the boat and dismissed the crowds from His presence because they were presumptuously assuming the will of God.

1. We must not attempt to mold God into our understanding of things we must allow God to mold us into His understanding of things
a. John 6:14-15 Jesus sent the multitudes away because their actions were not pleasing to Him. They made plans for God instead of allowing God to make plans for them.
b. It took time for the disciples to learn how to follow the Lord and not try to have God follow them. Be patient with yourself.
c. Israel sought to pour Christ into their mold for Him instead of allowing Christ to pour them into His mold for them
d. John 6:16 This is the prophet (Genesis 49:10; Deut.18:15-19; Acts 1:6). The crowd, motivated by a miracle, believed that Jesus Christ was Messiah and were ready to lead a rebellion against the Roman Empire.

2. Purge Yourself From `the Desire to Sit On the Throne of Your Own Heart (Matthew 14:22 + John 6:14-15)
a. Pastor Dan: Christ forced the disciples into the boat to teach them the importance of self sacrifice and of purging their lives from the desire for power and position. They had to learn submission, which only occurs when there is a conflict between wills—our will and God’s. They got on the boat, submitting to the Lord even though they were initially reluctant. The twelve harbored a thirst for power so Christ demonstrated from His mentoring position how they were to resist any and all golden opportunities not sanctioned by the will of God.
b. Dorothy Kerin: Obedience is the key that unlocks the door to every profound spiritual experience
c. Charles Haddon Spurgeon; 1834-1892: Faith and obedience are bound up in the same bundle. He that obeys God, trusts God; and he that trusts God, obeys God
d. Pastor Dan: Obedience to the Word of God nurtures and empowers faith, helping us to trust God in every situation seeking to dominate our priorities.
e. Oswald Chambers: It is not what we do that matters, but what a sovereign God chooses to do through us. God doesn't want our success; he wants us. He doesn't demand our achievements; he demands our obedience because only through obedience will we understand the teaching of God
f. Matthew 16:24-25: God uses the shield of service to protect us from the lofty desire
e. Matthew 14:24 Pastor Dan: Just like the disciples faced contrary winds on the sea of Galilee so we will face difficulties threatening the security and peace we receive through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
f. Unknown Author: Failure is the path of least persistence.
g. James 1:2 Pastor Dan: Knowledge is that which transforms the trying of our of faith into a positive benefit in our lives.

3. God’s will does not always direct us towards the places that are compatible with the comfort zones of our lives.
a. Matthew 14:22 Jesus made (constrained or forced) his disciples to get into a boat and get away from the multitudes. The Greek word the Bible uses there to force or constrain, according to Vine Expository of New Testament Words means to employ force; to necessitate or compel or require.
b. Matthew 16:21-23 Peter said no to the will of God and tried to change the course of divine destiny for his life
c. 1 Samuel 15:15-17 King Saul assumed that every thing would be fine if he took some of things which God told him to destroy for himself if he also offered an offering to the Lord (1 Samuel 15:3).
Middle Invitation

#2. God often launches his programs from the platform of our failure and despair (Matthew 14:22 + Matthew 8:26)

A. Author Unknown: The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails ... But rather the one who moves on in spite of failure. Pastor Dan: We can accomplish great things through God’s grace by believing His will for us is not limited by our past failures, our weaknesses or by the circumstances we encounter in life.

1. God is not limited by past failures (Matthew 8:23-26)
a. Matthew 8:23-26 Christ constrained the disciples because he was not content to allow their past defeat to be a hindrance to that which He planned for their future
b. Teddy Roosevelt believed: far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
c. Pastor Dan: The Disciples denied Christ in the Garden of Gethsemene by running away into the darkness and leaving Christ to face the hostile mob alone. Peter follows the crowd from a distance and denies Christ to His face later in the evening, cursing and swearing by a solemn oath that he did not know Christ.
d. Pastor Dan: May the glory of my latter years consume the shame of my early years
e. Henry Ford: Failure is simply the opportunity for us to begin again more intelligently.”
f. Lam.3:22-23
h. Author Unknown: The mighty oak tree is just a little nut that refuses to give up it’s ground.

2. God is not limited by our human weaknesses or circumstances
a. John 20:24-29 Thomas didn’t believe Jesus had risen from the dead until he got a second look at Christ
b. 2 Corinthians 11:30; 12:9; Hebrews 11:34 Paul boasted in his weaknesses and counted his strengths as hindrances to God’s will for his life James 3:2; Proverbs 24:16
c. Jeremiah 1:5-8 I cannot speak because I am a youth
d. Ephesians 6:10-12; Isaiah 41:10-11; 49:25-26

#3. Every problem is a possibility in disguise (Matthew 14:24)

A. Pastor Dan: One night I prayed, “Lord, I can’t do it. Christ spoke to my heart, “Who called you? If I called than I see in you that which you don’t see in yourself. Are you willing to believe in what I see and believe about you?” Henry Ford: When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it (Henry Ford)

1. In every adversity there is a seed of an equivalent or greater benefit
a. E. Stanley Jones: When the storm strikes the eagle, if its wings are set in a downward tilt, it will be dashed to pieces on the earth; but if its wings are tilted upward, it will rise, making the storm bear it up beyond its fury. The set of the wings decides defeat or victory
b. Russian Saying: A hammer shatters glass but forges steel (Russian saying
c. Romans 8:31-37 If God is for us who can be against us?
d. Bruce Wilkinson; Secrets of the Vine: Tests of faith are various trials and hardships that invite you to surrender something of great value to God even when you have every right not to
e. Problems are:
§ Predictors—They will mold our future.
§ Reminders—We are not self-sufficient. We need God and others to help us.
§ Opportunities—They pull us out of our rut and cause us to think creatively.
§ Blessings—They open up doors that we usually do not go through.
§ Lessons—Each new challenge will be our teacher.
§ Everywhere—No place or person is excluded from them.
§ Messages—They warn us about potential disaster.
§ Solvable—No problem is without a solution.
f. Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 8:28; Philippians 3:7-8

2. Trials help us narrow our interests and look to God for help
a. Chambers: It is not true to say that wants to teach us something in our trials. Through every cloud He brings our way, He wants us to unlearn something. He purpose … is to simplify our beliefs until our relationship with Him is exactly like that of a child—a relationship simply between God and our own souls, and where other people are but shadows. Until we can come face to face with the deepest, darkest fact of life without damaging our view of God’s character, we do not yet know Him (Chambers).
c. Oswald Chambers: Our difficulties, our trials and our worries about tomorrow all vanish when we look to God
d. 1 Peter 5:7-8
e. Pastor Dan: The storms aimed at causing us to become distracted from Christ are often the very things that God uses to help us learn to focus on Him
f. Warren Wiersbe: A faith that can’t be test can’t be trusted

a. God does not keep us from trial He keeps us in trial
b. James 1:2 Knowledge transforms the pain of trial into benefit
c. Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors (African proverb)
d. 1 Peter 4:14 There is an anointing present in proportion to the need presented.
e. Instead of praying and asking god when are you going to get out of trial rather ask: What am I going to get out of these trials.
f. There is something more important than escaping from trials - it is learning what our heavenly father wants us to gain from them
g. Isaiah 54:17; 59:19
h. William Secker: Times of trouble have often been times of triumph to a believer. Suffering seasons have generally been sifting seasons in which the Christian has lost his chaff, and the hypocrite his courage (William Secker)
i. Mark 6:48 + Matthew 14:25 Jesus saw them straining and came to them

#4. Fear creates doubt and paralyzes faith (Matthew 14:30)

A. A young soldier who was fighting in Italy during World War II jumped into a foxhole just ahead of some bullets. He immediately tried to deepen the hole for more protection and was frantically scraping away the dirt with his hands. He unearthed something metal and brought up a silver crucifix, left by a former resident of the foxhole. A moment later another leaping figure landed beside him as the shells screamed overhead. When the soldier got a chance to look, he saw that his new companion was an army chaplain. Holding out the crucifix, the soldier gasped, "Am I glad to see you! How do you get this thing to work?"

1. Whatever you fear (or supremely respect) the most—you will serve (Rebecca Manley Pippert) (Matthew 14:31)
a. E. Stanley Jones: The man or woman who fights life’s battles without fear fights one enemy—the real thing confronting him. But the man who fights with fears within him fights three enemies—the real thing to fight, plus the imaginary things built up by fear, plus the feat itself. And the greatest of these is fear.
b. Latin Proverb: Our fears always outnumber our dangers
c. Andy Stanley: Everybody with a vision must face and work through some “what if” scenarios. Like anger, fear is a form of focus. We can get so focused on what might be that we lose sight of what could and should be.
d. Shakespear: Our doubts are traitors; And make us lose the good we oft might win; By fearing to attempt
e. Norman Vincent Peale: Fear is a conglomeration of sinister shadows, a shadow that has no substance
f. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: When a man is defeated by life it is always due, ultimately, to the fact that he is suffering from a spirit of fear …. The spirit of fear is the real, the ultimate cause of all failure in life, and of all unhappiness.

2. We create our own fears by failing to nourish ourselves in the faith
a. 1 John 4:17-18 Fear involves torment Fear has torment
b. Oswald Chambers: All of our fears are sinful, and we create our own fear by refusing to nourish ourselves in our faith. We should battle through our moods, feelings, and emotions into absolute devotion to the Lord Jesus.
c. Matt.14:28-30 Peter focused on the storm instead of the savior and began to sink.
d. Fear is the wrong use of imagination. It is anticipating the worst, not the best that can happen."
e. Oswald Chambers: The wind really was boisterous and the waves really were high, but Peter did not see them at first, He didn’t consider them at all; he simply recognized his Lord, stepped out in recognition of Him and walked on the water. Then he began to take those things around him into account, and instantly, down he went. We step right out with recognition of God in some things, then self-consideration enters our lives and down we go.
f. 2 Timothy 1:7; Romans 8:15; You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear…
g. Joyce Meyer: Fear only becomes a problem when we receive it and act upon it instead of standing against it and confronting it with the truth of God’s Word
h. Harry Emerson Fosdick 1878-1969: Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable-and, most of all, fear puts hopelessness at the heart of life, while faith rejoices in its God
i. Joyce Meyer: I have found that the best antidote for fear is faith. Although we can’t do anything to keep the enemy from bringing his thoughts of fear against us , we can choose what we are going to think about. Through the powerful force of our faith and the words of our mouth, we can overcome Satan’s attacks
j. Proverbs 29:25; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:7

Closing: Driving from Padukah, Kentucky to West Frankfort, Illonois after learning that God had opened a door for us in Oklahoma with two of the greatest missionaries who lived in the 20th century. ‘