Is What You Are Seeing Causing Doubt?

  • For the last week I’ve been digging into and thinking about Peter walking on water with Jesus. You can find the story in Matthew 14:22:32. Each day the Lord is showing me something else about myself in these verses. Today, I was drawn to verses 26-30. “When the disciples saw him walking on top of the water, they were terrified and screamed, thinking he was a ghost. But Jesus spoke to them at once. ‘It’s all right,’ he said. ‘I am here! Don’t be afraid.’ Then Peter called to him, ‘Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on the water.’ ‘All right, come,’ Jesus said. So, Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. Save me, Lord!’ he shouted.” 

    I really connected with the disciples today. Like these disciples, what I see can and does affect my thoughts causing me to sometimes doubt what God says to me. This happens more times than I like to admit. How often do I hear Him tell me something and like Peter, I step out in faith, but then start to sink. I start to sink because I look around too long. There’s always big waves that scare me. My own mind tries to make sense of it all. It tries to measure and analyze what I am seeing which in turn gets me to doubt what God said to me.

    Our relationship with God our Father is all about love and trust and yet, so often we spend all our time trying to figure out how this thing He called us to, or asked us to do could possibly work, because it looks impossible?  I’m pretty sure Peter felt afraid. I mean when is the last time you saw someone walking on water? 

    In these few verses we see Jesus spoke to His disciples. He told them not to be afraid. Trust is what got Peter to step out of the boat, but it was doubt that caused Peter to sink. Jesus didn’t set him up to fail and He didn’t expect Peter to figure out how to walk on water by himself either. Jesus said “Come.” If the Lord calls us to something, He will see us through to do the very thing He spoke. The problem isn’t that we don’t listen to Him at all. The real problem is our own lack of trust. When we struggle to fully trust we then listen to and consider other voices as well. He is a good Father and totally trustworthy. 

    This made me flash back to when my kids were little and learning to swim. My husband would get in the water and hold up his arms, calling our kids to jump to him. “Come on Jump! I got you. I’ll catch you,” He’d say. When they were really young, they would jump without fear or reservation into his arms never doubting a word he said. As they got older though, they became a little more reserved. Why? They’d stare at the water and waves which caused them to wonder about what could happen IF he didn’t catch them like he said he would. They’d ask questions like, “What if I fall in? What if you don’t catch me?” They took their eyes off Dad and onto what they were staring at, the deep water and waves. They held back and didn’t jump. We do this in our walk with the Lord. 

    Fear is a liar but our Father is true to His word. 

    This is what caused Adam and Eve to fall as well. God spoke to them. He gave them specific words on what to do or not do. Then enemy came in and convinced them to stare at the apple and whispered some doubts which affected their mind and actions and they bit the bait, ate the apple and fell. The Lord is after our hearts. That’s why He tells us to guard our hearts because it affects everything we do. 

    Be careful what you allow yourself to look at and listen to. Our problem isn’t that we don’t listen to God at all. The problem is that we entertain other voices just as much as God’s voice sometimes and allow other things in the natural to influence us and get us to doubt what God is saying. Peter didn’t sink until he looked at the big waves. It will be the same for us. 

    Whenever the Lord calls you to get out of your comfort zone, I want to encourage you to keep your focus on Him above all else. Don’t let go of what He says. It’s everything. He is a good Father and faithful to do all He says. He will not go back on His Word. All He is asking is that you trust Him. If He is asking you to jump, JUMP! He will catch you. There will always be waves and things around you that can cause you to doubt and sink. You can guarantee it. Just don’t stare at them too long because it will affect your mind and your actions. Listen to Him! He is worthy of your trust.