Matthew 14:25-29 (NKJV)
25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
Recently at one of our early morning prayer sessions the Lord began to speak to us about the importance of participating in what He is doing. For many believers around the world what often started out as a move of God, has slowly over time turned into a traditional observance.
In this instance where Jesus’ disciples saw Jesus walking on the water, there was one man who wanted more than to just be an observer. No, Peter didn’t want to just observe the miraculous he wanted to participate in the miraculous.
It can be a very easy thing for believers to slip into a sleepy, state of mind and heart. While they may be going through the motions of religion, they are missing out on the very power of God.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NKJV)
3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
Many believers have fallen into this trap of having a form of godliness but denying, or not engaging with the power of God. There is great power in unity, and in those who are passionate about their relationship with God and His word. This power is the inheritance of the child of God and resides within every born again Christian (Eph. 1:17-23). This power is Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38).
There were others in the boat that day when Jesus walked alongside Peter’s boat. Why was Peter the only one who walked on the water? There is a very simple answer to that question, faith, and desire. Peter, first of all, had a desire to be in the middle of the miraculous, and second, he believed it was possible. Even though many churches are having a hard time filling their pews, and many baptismal tanks have run dry. God is still on the move and the miraculous is still available. One of the biggest threats to the power of God being in demonstration is religious tradition. It is the traditions of men that strip the word of God of all its power (Mark 7:8). Desire and faith are heartfelt. Desire and faith move you to action and position us to receive from what God has already provided to mankind by His grace. This desire is hope.
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
In this passage, the word hope is used. This word hope isn’t the same thing as wishing, or dreaming of. Rather it is the Greek word “elpizó” which means confident expectation. When this kind of hope is mixed with faith, there is a natural compelling to act in correspondence to what you believe. I believe Peter was a man of faith and passion. We see passion in Peter’s life demonstrated throughout the gospels and in his life and ministry in the days of the early church. Peter didn’t want to just sit on the sidelines and be an observer, he wanted to by right in the middle of what God was doing, experiencing the miraculous.
Heartfelt passion and confident expectation mixed with steadfast faith is good, but without a point of release, your faith will die. There must be something that we do, in order to release our faith and tap into the power of God. James (the brother of Jesus) tells us, “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? … 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. … 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. … 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:14, 17-18, 24, 26). This word works actually can be more accurately translated as corresponding action. Faith is dead when there is no corresponding action.
In the early church, the power of God was present when the whole body was united in their hearts and in their mouths. When God is moving and you recognize Him on the move don’t sit by with a complacent attitude, or you might fall into the category of only having a form of godliness, and your faith will die. When faith dies, man’s tendency is to fall back into manmade, religious traditions.
Instead, here are some practical ways that you can engage with God, and release your faith.
- Verbal agreement in Prayer
When you are praying with other believers, don’t just sit and listen to what is being prayed, if what they are praying agrees with the word of God, come into agreement in heart and in your confession. As an example, if someone says, “I thank you Lord for revival in our church and community.” You should open your mouth in supportive agreement and say, “Yes Lord, thank you for revival!” or in the very least, “Have your way Lord in this church and in our community!” Find ways to connect your faith with the prayer. Faith without corresponding action is dead, so it is important that we participate with the words of our mouth. You see faith works a certain way, we see in Romans emphasis on faith in the heart and corresponding action when it comes to receiving salvation from God. “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10 NKJV). Here is a perfect example of how faith in the heart when connected to the words of your mouth (corresponding action) positions you to be a part of what God is doing.
2. Participate in Praise and Thanksgiving
If you are in a gathering of believers and the leader of the service is praising and thanking God with intensity, rise up and be like Peter, jump on in! Don’t wait for God to move on your emotions, or kick you in the seat of your pants. No. Step out by faith, especially when you don’t feel like it. It is best to match the intensity of the person leading the service and not try to overpower them, the goal isn’t to bring attention to yourself but to connect with the move of God in the moment. Praise and thanksgiving is the language of faith and is a great way to have a breakthrough in your life and overcome the power of the flesh. Remember praise and thanksgiving silences and stills the avenger (Phil. 4:4).
Romans 15:6 (NKJV)
that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
3. Pray from the heart (with emotion and volume)
Although your outward disposition doesn’t always reflect how you feel inwardly, it is oftentimes a great sign of where your heart is. God cares most of all about the condition of your heart, not volume, but the truth is when you are engaged with your heart, your emotions will be involved and out of the abundance of your heart, the mouth will speak! Sometimes you need to turn up the volume just to overcome your own flesh! Especially if you are in a group of believers and the leader’s prayers are increasing with volume, again be bold to step out by faith and open your mouth and pray a heartfelt prayer. Of course there is an balance to this, I am not saying to operate in the flesh but to dig down deep in your heart and connect in faith to what is going on in that service. There are ditches on both sides of the road, there are some who try to be the loudest, and draw attention to themselves and “their gift,” and there are those who do nothing and just sit back and watch others and do not step out by faith to be a part of what God is doing, there is a middle of the road, find your middle of the road and walk it out by faith!
4. Don’t become sleepy or lethargic
It is easy to be lulled into a state of complacency. It is easy to become sleepy, and dull to the move of God. The spirit of this world works on your flesh all the time with the goal to disconnect you and blind you from the truth of who God is , and who you are in Him (2 Cor. 4:4). Watch that you don’t become lazy spiritually. Always be expecting, excited and passionate about your God and what you believe. Sometimes to fight off lethargy, you will have to do something uncomfortable to your flesh. It may be necessary to change your body’s position, maybe you will have to walk and pray, so you can stay alert and engaged. Sometimes you will have to give a “sacrifice of praise!” Your flesh won’t always “feel” like doing it, don’t let your flesh control you and your destiny, instead you take control of your life and engage God by faith!
Romans 13:11-12 (NKJV)
“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”
I hope that this will encourage your faith to step out of the boat (that comfortable, safe zone) in your life. If you want to see and experience a move of God in and through your life you are going to have to engage with God and what He is doing by acting in faith.
Pastor Jesse Knight
Pastor Jesse Knight has served for close to 20 years in ministry. He has a vision for awakening in Canada and a heart for God’s people, including pastors and the local church. Pastor Jesse has worked with multiple churches, traveled as an itinerant minister and traveled nationally and internationally teaching and preaching the kingdom.