Going the Distance: Faith to the End

It takes courage to walk by faith, for it is not enough to be able to step out on what you believe, you must be able to endure.

Peter, one of Jesus’ boldest disciples, asked the Lord to bid him to come out on the water after seeing Jesus walking on it. Imagine what Peter must’ve experienced after he got out there (see Matt. 14:28-32). All was well at the beginning, then the winds and the waves got angry. Inundated with fear, doubt and varying degrees of regret, Peter probably wondered, What in the world was I thinking? This is the craziest thing I’ve asked God to do. How can I get myself out of this? Nobody can walk on water.

The winds and the waves agreed. His companions too; after all, they didn’t join him on his foolish expedition. In addition, he had neither plan nor vision beyond stepping out the boat onto the turbulent sea. So, he sank, Jesus saved him and he wound up back on the boat. The winds and the waves quieted, forgiving his arrogance. His friends consoled him, glad to see him come back to his senses.

I wonder if Peter was angry with himself. And if so, was he angry that he tried something stupid or that he couldn’t see it through?

Sometimes we’re glad when the Lord deliver us when we sink because we realize we didn’t want to pay the cost for the whole thing. What we were after turned out to be more expensive, required more than we were willing to pay or do. It was okay as long as the Lord was doing all the work; didn’t realize or understand the part we’d play in it.

The Lord said if we ask, believing and do not doubt, we can have whatever we ask (Mark 11:23), but He didn’t say it would suddenly materialize into existence like magic. And He didn’t say it would cost us nothing. It is through faith and patience we inherit the promises (Heb. 6:12).

So, when you believe God (take Him at His word), you must be prepared to go all the way. Better count the cost. Believing God is the surest way of receiving His blessings, but it’s not easy. At times it will drain you more than the most toiling job you ever worked on, not because of the faith, but the resistance.

Have you ever walked against adverse winds? You must steel yourself and press forward while its pushing against all your efforts; stinging your eyes, making it difficult to see; swallowing your voice when you cry out; howling in your ear, deafening you so all you hear is its angry protests. The wind is determined to prove to you it’s stronger and it threatens vengeance should you dare to defy it.

Every time you choose to step out on God’s word, you will encounter resistance. The winds and the waves are your naysayers warning you against attempting the impossible. To cross over to the land of promise, though, you must pass through the wilderness of Can’t. There, your resolve and your beliefs are tested to the extreme. Many never make it out of the wilderness; so many get lost there.

Others take up residence in the barren lands of Can’t and follow the ways of the inhabitants. They become grateful to the Can Nots for showing them the error of their ways and become content living in a state of mediocrity. It’s certainly more comfortable and a whole lot easier since there is no more resistance.

Going with the flow is always easier. But if you are seeking more, you must commit to go all the way and be prepared to push back with everything you got.

— D.L. Lunsford

D.L. Lunsford

Saying a lot with few words.

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