Tools for the New Year!
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:22-33, NIV
As we have approached a new year one of the constants in life is to create goals, resolutions, etc. to help us make the year impactful. This year I have been on a journey of losing 25 pounds by the end of the year, 12 days in and I have successfully lost 6lbs. While contemplating this year’s goals I began to ask myself what tools are necessary for me to achieve the goals that I have set for 2023 and I was reminded of this passage in Matthew’s gospel. Jesus instructs the disciples after feeding the 5,000 to get into the boat and head to the other side, while Jesus went up on the mountainside praying. This brings me to my first tool, after you have successfully accomplished an assignment ensure that you have moments to pray and take time for self. The topic of self-care has been widely discussed more now than ever because in order to serve others you must first take care of self. The next tool I encourage is don’t be afraid, the disciples are afraid as they see Jesus walking on the water suspecting it was a ghost, if Jesus has provided instructions on where the disciples are to arrive why then would they be fearful. Whenever Jesus gives us instructions fear must never become an option because we’re not following our instructions but rather the Savior’s. Even amid their fear Jesus speaks to the disciples “it is I”, proving himself again. Constantly Jesus is always proving to believers who he is, could you imagine if Jesus required us to constantly prove ourselves to him?
Again, the proving ground continues when Peter says “tell me to come to you on the water” and Jesus grants the request, while coming to Jesus Peter begins to see the wind and starts to sink. How interesting that Peter see’s wind, fear is defined as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined. I wonder if the wind was visible or was it imagined because of the threat of fear to walk on the water. Peter needed to understand that this step out of the boat wasn’t on to the water but rather on the word. This disciple stepped out on Jesus' instructions, John’s gospel reminds us: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. This leads to the next too, l ensure that your steps are directed by the word. If God doesn’t say it, I will not do it. Psalm 119:133 “Order my steps in your word”. Beloved my desire is that you excel in every area of your life this year, but you need the right tools to make it. God has provided all that you need, now walk in it.