Over the last year, I’ve realized that I had some wrong attitudes about directions the Lord has given me. For a while now, the Lord has laid things on my heart that He wanted me to do and instead of stepping out and doing them immediately, I took the attitude, “One day I’ll do that.” I hesitated. I stood on the sidelines.
Praise God for His correction and grace because I’m no longer hesitating! I’m no longer on the sidelines. Instead, I’m like the disciple Peter…standing…ready to do all God has called me to do. Instead of saying, “One day I’ll do that,” I’m saying, “Lord, bid me come. I’m ready!”
Obedience as Worship
Each of us has a primary mode of worship—obedience. That’s what the whole Bible is about. It’s about us giving ourselves—our thoughts, our ideas and our ways—to the Lord. He is the boss. It’s a fact—He doesn’t need to prove it. And if we allow Him to be in charge, He will bless us. He will fulfill an amazing plan for our lives.
However, if we assume we can handle everything ourselves or if we think we’ve rolled the cares of this life onto the Lord when really we’ve simply tucked them into our back pockets, we’ll experience stress. Of course, giving a situation over to the Lord doesn’t mean we won’t take action. We may or may not, but our actions won’t be decided by us. They will be decided by Him. He will say what we are to do.
We can learn this by Jesus’ example.
When Jesus was on the earth, He relied on His heavenly Father for direction. He said, “I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord—but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]” (John 5:30, The Amplified Bible). And since we are to be imitators of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1), we should listen to our heavenly Father and obey just as Jesus did.
Make It a Lifestyle
Look at Proverbs 22:17: “Listen (consent and submit) to the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge” (AMP).
We can’t let the Lord’s direction go in one ear and out the other, or hear without the intention of obeying what we hear. Neither qualifies as listening.
Once we “apply our minds” to hear the Lord’s direction—as this scripture says—then we must lay hold of it. We have to make the decision to say, “I believe what the Lord has said to me, and I’m going to do it.”
Proverbs 22 continues: “For it will be pleasant if you keep them in your mind [believing them]; your lips will be accustomed to [confessing] them.” As you begin to habitually say the Word that the Lord gives you, you become accustomed to saying it.
We put ourselves in a position to hear the Lord’s direction when we decide we’re going to obey it before we ever hear anything. Then when we hear it, we absorb it and decide, I’m going to do this. Once we have listened, applied our minds and believed the Word of God, we begin to say it habitually, and it becomes a lifestyle.
A while back, we received a criticism about Superkid Academy. Some people said, “We don’t agree that you should have kids saying the Superkid Creed when you know they aren’t obeying their parents or living up to what they are saying.”
I wanted to ask, “Do you listen to this ministry much?”
Many people don’t understand why we say what isn’t yet true. But we know that we must speak by faith to ensure that it becomes truth. When we say we’re healed while we’re hurting, or when we say we’ll walk in love even while we are struggling in our relationships, we’re retraining our minds. Our minds are being renewed “so that [our] trust (belief, reliance, support, and confidence) may be in the Lord” (verse 19, AMP).
After we begin to say His words habitually, it becomes easy to trust the Lord. It’s what God meant when He had the Apostle Paul write, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). We hear the Word and then speak the Word. We get so comfortable speaking it that it becomes habit…and then faith comes. I’m not talking about some spooky New Age experience. I’m talking about real, concrete faith. Faith comes because this process of hearing and speaking builds trust in us. Suddenly, trusting in the Lord is easy.
See Peter in a New Light
Just look at Peter. He’s one of my very favorite people in the Bible. So often we look at Peter for his failings, the times when he didn’t have faith, but I want to look at the passage of him walking on water in a new light.
And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away…the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God (Matthew 14:22-33).
Peter had found himself on a boat in the middle of a storm with the other disciples. We usually remember this passage because Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and sank, but I want us to consider it from a different perspective. First, consider what was happening at the time. In the midst of a life-threatening storm, Peter set his eyes on Jesus. He took his eyes off of the situation around him and instead focused on Jesus. What a beautiful thing!
Second, walking on the water was Peter’s idea, not Jesus’. Think about that. Peter called to Jesus, asking Jesus to allow him to do the impossible. He hadn’t been limited by natural laws. He knew Jesus superseded those laws.
Third, let’s give Peter props for even getting out of the boat. The other disciples could have jumped in behind him but they didn’t. Of all Jesus’ faithful pupils, Peter was the only one willing to follow the Lord into a seemingly impossible situation. And in fact, at first, the disciples had been afraid of Him. They had thought Jesus was a ghost. They had cried out in fear before the Lord responded. Then it says Peter answered Him. Peter overcame his fear and answered the Lord without hesitation.
Finally, catch this: Peter offered himself to Jesus when he said, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water” (verse 28). He stepped out where his feet would do him no good, where he should have sunk to the bottom. But he offered himself to Jesus in faith—and in doing so, he found a strong foundation.
Peter didn’t get into trouble until he took his eyes off of Jesus. Peter got out of the boat, began to walk toward Jesus and then noticed the storm and became frightened. It’s only when he stopped considering Jesus that he sank.
That’s a lesson for all of us. We fail when we take our eyes off Jesus. But if we keep our eyes on Jesus, He’ll take us to the right place at the right time. He’ll help us step out and do things He needs to have done. He’ll help us walk in the miraculous.
When Jesus tells us to step out and do something specific, we need to do it. That word might be different for each of us, but we need to say yes to it. Like Peter, we can’t hesitate. Instead, we must trust the Lord to lead us in the best way because He loves each of us.
And of course, when we walk in love, fear is cast out (1 John 4:18). When we remember, Jesus loves me, it drives out the fear of doing what He tells us to do.
When sickness and disease threaten, we need to think, Jesus loves me. By his stripes I’m healed. That truth casts out fear. If we’ll put the Word of God into our hearts and minds continually, then it will become a habit…making it easy to trust Jesus.
So let me ask you: Are you floundering in your vision? If so, go back. Ask yourself: What was the last thing the Lord said to me? What’s the last vision that came into my heart? Close your eyes and allow the Holy Spirit to bring back to your mind the things that He’s called you to do, the words that He’s said to you, just as He did with me. All you need to do is simply open your heart to Him—like Peter—and say, “Lord, bid me come. I’m ready!”
*Article taken from April 2015 issue of BVOV Magazine. Read the PDF version here.