There are times in each of our lives, in each of our ministries, in the things that the Lord has us involved in, where we wind up losing sight of who He is and where He is in the situation. We become overwhelmed by fear. We take our eyes off of Him and put them on the circumstance(s). And this can cause major damage in those “good works, which He prepared beforehand for us to also walk in”.
We see great and mighty things where as others around us see only stormy waves and winds. We hear the Lord’s voice and find courage where others around us are overwhelmed by fear. We have the faith to cry out to the Lord and say things like, “If this really is You, Lord, command me to take a ‘step of faith’ and come out of where I am now and come to where you are!”
And to our shock and amazement, He does!
And we step ‘out of the boat’! And the work that He has called us out into is birthed and begins to take shape…even in the midst of the storms raging around us. And we seem to be momentarily unaware of the full force of the winds, and the height of the waves, and the ‘perilous risk’ we are taking, the apparent foolishness of leaving the comfort of where we were and stepping out to what seems to others as certain doom. From our vantage point we think ‘What a miracle! Look at what God is doing in and through us! God is so good. He is faithful to His word.’ And we become like men obsessed. Men who have a laser-like focus. We set our faces like flint to forge out into the thing Jesus has commanded us into and nothing shall dissuade us nor deter us! And we take those first steps, those crucial steps that must be taken, and we are happy to be the one to lay down out lives and all we are in order to be fully pleasing to Him.
But, after a step or two, we begin to hear the voices from the boat we stepped out of. Questioning, complaint, accusing…
…And we begin to sink. We lose sight of the Lord and His miraculous command which miraculously enables us to step out. We begin to ask ourselves, as we sit in the Lord’s presence, “How did I get here? What am I doing in this mess?” And we may even begin to wonder out loud, “I don’t know what to do…I don’t know what to do…”
When I hear a man say something along these lines (and believe me, I’ve said them myself) I often envision the Lord (played by Don Corleone) listening to me (played by Johnny Fontane) bemoan the fact of not knowing what to do now, leaping up grabbing me by the shoulders and yelling out, “You can act like a man!” ‘smack’ “What’s a matter with you?…”
A man, more specifically, a godly man, one who has seen the Lord in the storm and sought the Lord as to His command to ‘step out of the boat’ into the impossible and has actually done it, knows what is to be done in this situation. They put their trust in the Lord and place all of their eggs into one basket, so to speak, banking on nothing else and no one else to grab them by the hand and pull them from their floundering state and place their feet on “solid ground” again.
They cry out, “Lord, save me!”
Brethren, let us not lose heart if we find ourselves floundering and flailing in the work that He has gifted, called and enabled us for. Take your eyes off of man and cry out to the Lord…for He is mighty to save.
Don Corleone goes on after ‘exhorting’ Johnny. He says, “Do you spend time with your family?”
“Of course I do.”
“Good, because a man that never spends time with his family can never be a real man.”
Happy Valentines Day. Bless those wives and kids of yours by spending some time with them.