Remember that show that was popular in the early 2000’s called “Fear Factor?” (click on the link to refresh your memory) http://www.nbc.com/fear-factor/ It had contestants facing off with fearful situations ending up with one winner and the host always saying, “Fear is not a factor for you.” Whether it was eating live larva or getting into a box full of snakes, they overcame their fears and they were able to mentally push aside what they saw as an object of fear and see beyond that fear.
In Matthew 14:22-36 (NLT), we see the same thing happening. This is the passage of the Bible where Jesus walks on water and the disciples witnessed it all. In fact in verse 26 it says, “When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”” What I want to point out here is that ALL of the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water. Yet Peter was the only one who called out to Him (verse 28). As you know, the rest of the story is focused on Peter walking out onto the water towards Jesus while the rest of the disciples were frozen with fear on the boat. Then Peter’s fear gets the best of him and he begins to sink. Jesus then reaches out and grabs Peter and they both climb back into the boat.
So why was Peter the only one to experience this?
1) They all had the opportunity to speak to Jesus –but they were all afraid, except Peter
2) They all had the opportunity to walk on water to Jesus; Jesus would have invited any of them –but they were all afraid, except Peter who stepped out in faith
3) Peter was the only one who was fearless enough to even speak, to what they thought, was a ghost
4) Peter received Jesus’ words that were directed at all of the disciples, in verse 27, “Take courage.”
What was the result of Peter’s courage?
1) Peter experienced an overcoming of fear that led to the impossible becoming possible
2) He saw the reality of the kingdom of God manifest into the reality of our space and time
3) What was once never done before, Peter was experiencing
The disciples in that boat were living in fear at that moment. In fact, if this group of men were on the show “Fear Factor”, then Peter would have been the winner with the host declaring, “Fear is not a factor for you”. When we live in fear, it prevents us from experiencing Jesus and we can’t walk where Jesus has walked or go where Jesus has gone or do what Jesus has done. We become frozen much like the disciples in the boat that night.
~WHEN WE VIEW LIFE'S CIRCUMSTANCES THROUGH A LENS OF FEAR, WE MISS OUT ON EXPERIENCING THE MIRACULOUS~
We can choose to either take fear or to take courage. What are you going to take in the daily decisions in your life? Are you going to step out of the boat, in faith, when Jesus calls out to you? Will God declare over you, “Fear is not a factor for you?”
What area in your life have you stepped out of the boat, in faith, toward the call of God?