Sunday, March 20, 2016

Peter, The Waves, The Sirens, and The Truth

Another thought that has been on my mind the last few days that I want to talk about....The story of Peter walking on the water toward Jesus is very commonly used. Most people know it well. Now, the one thing about this story that is focused on is why Peter looked at the waves and away from Jesus. Fear... Fear caused Peter to look away from Jesus, and he began to sink. BUT if you think about it for a moment, those waves represent so much more than fear... and fear is not the only reason why people look at the waves. Those waves represent the world and everything that we struggle with. Ephesians 6:12 says "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Temptation, lies, etc., all have a way of stealing our attention. And it would be so easy to give in to them because it's what the world does. Every single day, we battle against a world dead set on making us conform, which is what the bible warns us against in Romans 12:2. "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." A good example that I can give you comes from this book that I read recently called The Siren. Most of you know what sirens are. These people are out on the water in a boat, and they hear this beautiful singing. It calls to them, and they have to get to it no matter what. All these people go up to the main deck and begin to throw themselves overboard. Only when they are in the water, drowning, do they realize where they are and what they have done. They fight and fight to save themselves but they can't. They all drown. Those waves, the sin, temptation, lies... they all come in the form of a siren because if we knew their real purpose or intention, and the consequences, we wouldn't have any part of it. The part where all of this gets really difficult is when we know what we face... we don't know what form it will take, but we know that it's out there waiting for us. When Peter walked out on the water toward Jesus, he didn't know what to expect, but he stepped out of the boat anyway. When we put ourselves in Peter's position, we realize that we are walking on those waves everyday toward Jesus. We don't just face fear, but sin, temptation, lies, conformity... all of it. And to be honest, sometimes it is so hard to keep our focus on Jesus because we are human. We stumble, we fall, we make mistakes. While being human isn't an excuse for us to sin or give into sin, it does happen. Those waves are right there beside us and behind us, and they can crash down in front of us trying to block our path. It's impossible to NOT see the waves, but whether or not we choose to turn our heads toward them is another story.
BUT, here's the thing!!! A friend of mine recently talked about these two verses, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about them. There is a solution. The reason why I am talking about all this is because of an experience I had today. I was presented with a choice. I could have taken the wrong path and given into temptation. And, I must confess that it was tempting. I was at odds with myself because part of me wanted to, and the other part of me knew that it wasn't a good idea. That's when this first verse popped into my mind. James 4:7 says "Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." There is a reason why Jesus wanted Peter to keep his eyes on Him. The reason is that there is the world, and there is God and Jesus. There's no other place for us to look. If we aren't looking at God and Jesus, we are looking at the world, and the world offers us no solutions! When we submit ourselves to God, we submit ourselves to the truth and His will. God's will for us is perfect. He protects us from evil and harm. AND not only that but, John 8:31-32 says, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." The waves and the things of this world come in the form of a lie! Satan wants to draw you in, and he is willing to deceive you at any extent to make you stumble. They don't call him the father of lies for nothing. However, when you submit to God and stay in his word, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free! Satan will not be able to stick around Boom!

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