November 1, 2022
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One of our staff came back from his vacation and he reported on how exciting it had been for him and his family to see the sights of Washington, D.C. I asked him if he had ever been there before, and he said, "No. In fact, none of us had ever seen it." Then he went on to explain, "You know I'm sort of a hometown kind of guy." I know that's true. He actually has lived most of his life within a relatively short distance of home base. Then he said, "I sort of had to stretch to do this, but I'm really glad we did."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Beyond Comfortable to Amazing."
My friend actually had to move out of where he felt comfortable to experience some exciting things he had never experienced before. So do you and I. That is, in fact, a fundamental principle of getting everything our Lord Jesus wants us to experience. And maybe it's important we talk about that today, because someone who's listening - maybe you - could be stuck in their comfort zone, missing some scary but exciting things that God wants you to see.
I love the picture that God gives of this dynamic in Matthew 14, beginning with verse 25. It's our word for today from the Word of God. Jesus had told His disciples to go on across the Sea of Galilee without Him. They encountered this violent storm. And during it, the Bible says, "Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake." The disciples were understandably freaked out. The Bible says, "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,' Jesus said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came to Jesus."
Peter did what no man, other than Jesus, had ever done before or has ever done since: he walked on water! Well, the boat was obviously the safe place to be. But Peter was willing to leave where it was safe on one condition, "Lord, if it's You." And that's got to be our bottom line, too. "Is that You, Lord, leading me out of the boat I've been in and out into the "wild water" of something new? Well, if it's You, I'm going!
Like my friend who saw some memorable new things when he moved beyond where he felt comfortable, you're going to see powerful things you've never seen before if you'll get out of the boat. God's leading you beyond where you feel adequate, where you can figure it out, where you can pull it off. But what a great place to be... you're in the miracle zone! He's leading you to a new episode where you'll need Him more than you've ever needed Him before and you'll have Him as you've never had Him before. It's not the water that's going to hold you up, it's Jesus. You're headed where it's going to be not much of you and a whole lot of God! That's something to be excited about!
One day this same Peter who dared to get out of the boat would be led by his Lord to preach the Gospel boldly on the streets of Jerusalem, calling to Christ some of the very people who had wanted Jesus crucified. (Talk about getting out of your comfort zone!) And Jesus would ask him to go where no Jew ever thought he'd go-to introduce those nasty Gentiles to Jesus.
Once you stop defining your decisions by what's comfortable, once you follow Jesus into a place where He's everything, you've begun to blow the lid off your life. Living by faith turns out to be the only really safe way there is to live! But you'll never walk on water if you never get out of the boat!