The invitation of Jesus to Peter comes in response to Peter saying, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water’(Matthew 14:28).
We may wonder what those terrified disciples in the boat thought of Peter when he said this. We can imagine some of the thoughts they might have had about him, and the criticisms they may have made. But the difference between the men in the boat and Peter was that Peter had both heard, and listened to the words of Jesus, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid’ (Matthew 14:27).
Could it be said of us that there are times when we only hear part of what the Lord might be speaking to us, so that we miss the more challenging parts? We all love to hear the comforting bits, but when it comes to the challenging bits, do we also fail to hear and listen?
In my own experience, it was in responding to the invitation, ‘Come’, that led into the most exciting and fruitful period of life. Responding meant getting out of the boat of a successful and secure career, to step onto the unknown and untried waters of church leadership.
This step of obedience led into some amazing experiences of ministry of prayer for healing and deliverance. All of this would have been missed by only listening to the comforting words and not responding to the challenging words of God’s call.
It is in taking the first steps of faith to carefully listen to God as He speaks, and responding to what He instructs that we begin to see how He is able to use an ordinary person like you and me to become effective for Him.
Prayer. O Lord God, please sharpen my hearing and enable me to carefully listen to Your voice. Then give me the courage to trust and respond to Your words of instruction. Please help me to discern what is from You and to respond in obedience I pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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