When stepping out becomes following – Part 1
How many times does something have to happen for it to be true? Do I need to experience things more than once to make the first time it happens real? The reality is that if it happens more than once it helps the first time seem more real if the first time seemed hard to believe.
Miracles in our lives can be like that. Well they are for me and there is lots of evidence in the scriptures that the disciples experienced this finding reality hare to grasp as miracles happened around them. The more they happen the more they seem real, but they were real the first time.
Experiencing the reality of the miraculous
Three months ago I was given the opportunity to be involved in ministering in a healing line and was praying for people as they lined up for the Evangelist to pray for them. After encouraging a lady to press in and me praying for her 4 times she was healed. I could go into the dynamics of what I said, how I said it and what I was thinking but the reality was she received a miracle. Did it seam real? The answer is no, well kind of. Did I feel qualified? Again the answer is no, well kind of. What qualifies us to perform miracles? The answer is when we step-out and recognize He is there with us, this qualifies us.
Just last Friday I was out with my Daughter shopping when I overheard someone say to the man at the till, “Is it arthritis?” This question stirred up in me the opportunity to go pray, or release heaven. Did I feel qualified? Did I know for sure God was asking me to go? The answer to both these questions is the same, no, well kind of. No I didn’t know, but I knew there isn’t arthritis in heaven and that God wants to give us heaven on earth so I stepped out, walked over, asked if I could pray, asked if I could lay hands on him, declared the power and authority of Jesus and asked him to stand.
When he stood up he said, “That’s most unusual.” So I said “Do you have any pain?” He replied, “No and I’ve been limping all week, I have no pain at all.” as he walked around the shop looking surprised while gassing at his legs and expressing over and over “That’s most unusual.”
He wants to give us more
Knowing God wants to give us more than just healed bodies I asked him if he knew Jesus. He said, “Well I’m a Catholic.” To this I found myself saying, “Well then, your God has healed you.” It was only after this I realized the dynamic of that statement. The reality of the unity in Christ. That everything he had learned as a cathlic he now needed to add the reality that God heals today and has healed his body.
This second miracle had a more tangible feeling to it. This also has helped to bring a greater reality to the first one as well. Where the first one was in church and orchestrated by a ministry situation, the second one was normal life with me just stepping out.
What conclusions can be concluded?
In the light of these miracles what conclusions can be concluded?
One reality is that they wouldn’t of happened if nobody did anything, and I wouldn’t of done anything with out hearing testimonies and teaching of miracles and Gods kingdom.
So now what? What conclusions then can be concluded as to what is possible?
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water. ”
“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
Mat 14:27 – 29
So what can be concluded from Jesus’s responses? What is he saying is possible and why?
How did my events happen?
The first of the healing miracle I experienced, there was a reality that others had orchestrated events to make a situation were people would be invited to come for prayer. These events were not something I organized, but I responded to them. This organizing situations of invitation for God’s kingdom to come and overcome sickness is a great way to support God’s kingdom to come to earth. People are invited to have an encounter with heaven and through agreement and co-laboring see victory over sin and death.
Building up Faith
In between these two events I was invited to go to the Isle of Bute and minister while there. Feeling really challenged to step out of the boat. I find it easier to go for it when others start something, but quite nervous when I’m feeling like I’m to be a pioneer or something.
The reality is that something was already happening, but God just want’s us to join with Him outside the boat. The focus isn’t the walking on the water or the sinking but the experience building faith. Stepping out of the boat changes things in us that can’t happen if we stay in the boat.
Life in the boat
There seems to be a holy hunger for more and dissatisfaction of not experiencing faith events in the boat. In experiencing this hunger we are being drawn to walk with Him outside the boat. If we wait for Him to pull us out of the boat these faith building moments wont happen. Peter asked, “if it’s you Jesus ask me to come out of the boat and walk on the water with you”. It was Peter who asked and then Jesus responded. Peter wasn’t even sure it was Jesus and it says he was afraid. Without faith we can not please God. Love is expressed through risk and hope. This stepping out isn’t usually clear but one where you wonder if it’s Him and ask Him to say come, and then you step out. Knowing we are loved, Jesus is King/Lord and focusing on this reality of being loved and He has overcome instead of expecting disappointment, this is what will draw us out of the boat. Peter was the one who pioneered the idea to join Jesus on the water. He was also the one who set out the fleece of just say come and I’ll step out.
What happens out of the boat?
The reality is that Jesus responded with “Come”. He was already out there. There was a reality dawning in Peter that Jesus was inviting him into God’s world of miracles. In this new reality, anything Jesus was doing, God was inviting anyone who believed in Him to do the same. The kingdom of God was at hand.
Peter was drawing conclusions by the things Jesus said and did that gave him that stirred the confidence to ask Jesus to say to him to come. More than this, Peter was realizing whatever Jesus said could be acted upon with confidence because he was trustworthy.
Back to Bute
Let’s Go back to the Bute trip story.
Sooz and I were to be taking the evening service.
On the Monday before going, I woke to a dream/vision. I saw a burning coal, small like an ember. If left alone it looked like it would go out. Then I saw the church consumed with fire that brings life.
I knew the ember needs dry fuel placed around it and fanned into flame. Maybe Not to much dry fuel at first or it will clock the fanning of it and be smothered. With the fuel the coal needs breath blowing. Again, not too much at first, don’t want to blow it out.
As the coal sets the fuel around it on fire, then dry fuel and fanning it can handle can be increased without quenching the burning coal.
What if there were just one stick along with the dry sticks that was soaked in wet fuel, what if instead of breath we came with a baptism of fire. Oh how that would change the situation completely.
Poor conclusions and petty parties
Faith builds overcomes
- Jesus is already out of the boat.
- Jesus wants to give us the kingdom
- God’s kingdom is at hand
- I have authority over sickness
- These are not isolated instances
- God wants to release His life in and outside the Church
- The church is hungry and willing to step out
- Stepping out can be orchestrated by organizing events
- God responds to people stepping out
- People stepping out can be an organized event or just a part of your normal day
- People need equipped by hearing others talk about stepping out
- God is with us even if we are nervous
- and so much more
So what is God inviting us into?
One of the obvious conclusions is that there is an amazing reality on offer by God that we haven’t been walking in. This conclusion then draws us to the question of why haven’t we been aware of the full reality of what’s being offered and How can we support this to change?
We will talk about some possible steps to making this reality that God offers more clear, how to organize events to practice faith (walk in this reality), stepping out in greater boldness and the reality of God’s kingdom in every step of the way over the next parts to this post.
Let us walk together, sharing His joy.