Step Out of the Boat

Faith has been such an emphasized topic from the Lord for me coming into this new year. And now, a week and a half into 2023, it continues to be an ongoing conversation with the Lord. Not only conversation though, but also training and teaching. The stories of people like Abraham when God called him away from what he knew, like Elijah when God told him that He would send provision through the ravens, and like Peter who Jesus called to step out of the boat and walk on the waves. Radical faith that left a mark. Then you throw in there the most recent episode of the Chosen, the episode that emphasizes the deep faith of the woman with the issue of blood, and the faith of Jairus when his daughter was deathly ill.

Faith is the foundation of following Jesus, but there is a deeper emphasis from the Lord on this word in this time. And a constant, recurring question of, “Do you trust Me? Do you trust Me like you say you do? To be your Sustainer and your Provider, no matter what comes or who stands in the way?”

I shared in my last article about firm faith. About making sure that our faith as believers is firmly rooted and planted in Jesus, and that it is not merely a cliche thing that we say. A reminder that faith is more than words, but it is action. Today though the Lord is having me write about faith that spurs us into action and calls us to step out of the known safety of the boat. Now hear me, this is going to look different for each individual person, and I encourage you to seek the Lord for how this looks in your life. But we have crossed into an era where our faith can no longer be sustained by playing it safe. We cannot expect the Lord to move in mighty ways while remaining within the confines of the boat.

No move of God ever came from playing it safe.

Think about it. God called Abraham to leave his family and the land that he knew, and to go to a land that He would show him. Abraham had no idea where he was going, yet he said yes. The result was a nation that has and still continues to play a central role in the world. Not to mention that the Messiah came through this very nation that was birthed from the simple yes of one man called by God. He stepped out of the safety and comfort of his home, and walked into the unknown with the Lord.

Then there is Elijah. God told him to pray for no rain to fall, and no rain fell until he prayer again for it to come. This led to drought and famine in the land. But God told him to go to a specific place, and the ravens would bring bread and meat to Elijah. Elijah said yes, stepped out of the known reality and trusted God. What was the result? One of the most epic showdowns! Fire flashed from Heaven and consumed the altar, which was drenched with water. It consumed even the water that was poured onto the altar. And the deaths of the prophets of Baal rapidly followed.

Faith requires us to step out of the boat of our comforts and our safeties. It requires us to step out of what we know, the things that we can control, and fully put our trust in God, letting Him have full control. Faith in God, true and genuine faith in God, looks like letting go of the steering wheel of life and saying, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” And most importantly, this requires us to not form preconceived ideas of what it will look like. Because it usually looks nothing like the way we think it will. And that’s just how God works.

Think of the disciples when Jesus called them. He didn’t say, “Hey, this is what we are going to do. Now that you know what it looks like, follow Me.” No, He only ever looked at them and said, “Follow Me.”

The way faith works is knowing when God is calling and what He is saying to do, stepping out and doing it, and not knowing anything beyond the simple fact that He called. We rarely know the end result/goal. We rarely know the purpose in the beginning. But we do know that our Father in Heaven is a Good Father who is Faithful and True, and every promise that He makes, He is faithful to fulfill.

As the Lord has had me on my own journey of going deeper in this, I continue to get this ever increasing sense that this is going to become reality once again in the Body of Believers. Not only will, but it MUST become reality once again. To not walk in this kind of faith in the days ahead will be detrimental.

Now with this comes encouragement and words of warning. The encouragement is that this kind of faith is the most amazing way of living life! Putting off all worry and anxiety, all stress, and resting in the confident hope and peace of Jesus Christ. Walking in the power of full submission, whole-hearted devotion. There is absolutely nothing else that can compare to this!

But the warning. This way of walking in faith will cost you everything, so count the cost before saying yes to it. The Lord wants your yes, but He wants you to say yes knowing what exactly will be required. When you walk in true faith like this, it requires you to leave things behind. Old ways of life. Those things that, though they may not necessarily be bad, distract you from fully being all in. And it will mean that you may have to leave people behind. Not everyone is willing to go to the depths, to step out of the boat and walk on the water. And because of their lack of understanding, or lack of willingness, they will not understand how anyone else can be so willing to do it, and especially when it is someone close to you. But this cost was made very clear to us in the Scriptures. All throughout its entirety, this cost was very clearly defined and portrayed. It was never sugarcoated.

So the question that I will leave you with is this:

Are you ready and willing to step out of the boat and walk on the water?

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