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Seeds of the Kingdom

Is It Really You?

by Ron Scurfield

19 February 2024

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Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10, NIV

The boat was being buffeted by the waves (Matthew 14:24). ‘The wind was against them.’ Have we been there? We’re struggling to move forward but feel helpless because of the storm. We’re pulling hard on the oars and making no progress. We can’t go back. The situation is looking desperate. “Jesus, where are you?”

“I am with you always.” “Yes Lord. I know you’re with me, but ...”

Do we know it? Can we believe it? Our lives seem to be regulated by our needs and wants. Sometime our needs are greater than our wants. Jesus can help us if we ask him. Does He? So often He doesn’t seem to respond. But do we see Him as our servant, only to appear when we need Him?

He must be central in our lives. He has to take first place in all that we are and do. Love the Lord your God with all your heart”. Jesus is Lord, and we must recognise Him as such. Are we God-centred, people-centred, or even self-centred? Jesus will guide us in all our ways, but we must acknowledge Him for who He is, not just when we need Him, but always.

Then a figure appeared, walking on the water. Its a ghost,they said, and cried out in fear. They were terrified’ (Matthew 14:26). Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid.”

His ways are higher than our ways. We know this and believe it, but when He comes in a way we don’t expect, we look at the situation according to our understanding, and don’t see Him. Perhaps Jesus is trying to show us something? Jesus is not ‘trying’ to do anything. He doesn’t have to try. He just does. It’s we who must try to receive it.

“Is this really You?” Jesus said, “Take courage. It is I.” Then Peter challenged Him to prove it. “If it is You ...” He still wasn’t sure.

God is gracious and kind. He will supply all our needs. He lives within us by His Spirit, and we must live in Him. He knows us. Do we know Him? Do we recognise Him? Do we receive Him, and love Him as He loves us? “Tell me to come to you on the water”.  Jesus said, “Come.”

Now we’ve heard Him. Now we know He will rescue us. Now we can trust Him. ‘Peter got out of the boat.’ He walked on the waves of the storm. He was walking on the water. Then he took his eyes off Jesus. He looked at the size of the waves and began to sink. “Lord, save me.” There it was again. The moment God does something special, something wonderful, can we believe it? In our natural understanding this is not what we expected. Perhaps we too are beginning to sink.

“You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Forgive me Lord for doubting You. They climbed back into the boat together, and the storm died down.

Ron Scurfield with his wife Jill, are part of the Associate Ministry Team at Ellel Grange and occasionally Ellel Scotland. Ron enjoys walking and writing and meeting interesting people, but his greatest joy is seeing God transform lives, setting people free to live the abundant life that Jesus intended.

 

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