We think we have God all figured out. We put our own ideas about who God is or isn’t. We have a mental image of what he stands for and we almost make him fit into our world the way we want him to. The truth is, he is much bigger than we could ever imagine. I don’t believe for a second we can put God into a box and have him all figured out. Or we would be God. His ways are not our ways! See Isaiah 55:8 if you don’t believe me!
Today’s post is based around Psalm 78 and some verses from the book of Matthew. I cannot believe the attitude some people had toward God in biblical times. I said this a few posts ago but it is so true of today. It says in Psalm 78:22 ‘for they did not believe in God, or trust in his deliverance.’ Sounds very similar in today’s society. Yet despite their unbelief God still provided for them by giving them the food they asked for. Despite blessing them in this way, God became angry with them. They kept on going against what God knew was best for them. It says, ‘In spite of all this, they kept on sinning, in spite of all his wonders, they did not believe’ (Psalm 78: 32).
I feel that we are surrounded by countless wonders every day. But we choose to turn our eyes away. Looking for something bigger, better. Even when Jesus walked the Earth that was not enough! We wanted a miracle. The Son of God in the flesh walked the earth (and water)… God put to death all of the sins of the world. God rose again on the 3rd day with eyewitness accounts. But this was not enough for some. And over the ages, it seems that the idea of God is being dismissed all the more. It is being taken out of the curriculum. People are being brainwashed by sexualised media (50 shades of grey…, half naked music videos). Children are abusing their parents and vice versa. Christians are being silenced over other religions and ideas. People within the church are becoming corrupt and picking and choosing bits of the bible. If it’s faltering inside the church, well what are the outside looking in meant to think? Pretty awful.
We have become selfish and have turned our backs on God. If we choose to not listen to God and separate ourselves from Him then surely we are already deciding that we want to be apart from God. This is in essence what hell is. An eternity away from God. If we choose to not follow God, then we are already making that decision to be struck off from him. It’s choice.
But if we examine these verses more carefully, through circumstances that appear awful, people seek God again (Psalm 78: 34). They once again return to him and want to know him more. So in desperate times, maybe God is trying to get your attention, to change your heart and make it less about you and realise that it is ALL ABOUT HIM. God restrains his anger over and over again (verse:38) . Maybe the reason he has not wiped away the planet in an instant is because he is giving you the time to come to him. He wants hearts to come to him by choice, not by force.
Therefore, I believe it is vitally important to turn back to God; away from what the people of this world want but instead to focus on God at all times. In Matthew 14: 28-31 something caught my attention. This is the infamous ‘scene’ in the bible where Jesus walks on water. Peter is sitting in the boat and says, if it’s really you God then let me come to you on the water. Jesus told Peter to come to him. Peter began walking on the water toward Jesus. But then it got windy. Peter saw the wind and became afraid. He began to sink. He cried out to Jesus shouting, ‘Lord, save me!’
‘IMMEDIATELY , JESUS REACHED OUT HIS HAND AND CAUGHT HIM’.
If we genuinely call out to God, he will hear our cry and he will save us. As soon as Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the circumstances around him, he began to sink and doubt. But God did not leave him. If you cry out to God he will hear you. Sometimes he may not answer us in the ways we envisioned, but if you genuinely want to know God he will not close the door on you. I promise.
As my baptism gets nearer, I will not be walking on the water (unless God wants to use his sense of humour that day!). However, I will be in the water to symbolise a new life; turning away from the patterns of this world and focusing on God’s plan. And I cannot wait! Going back to the title, I believe we can walk on water today – maybe not in the sense that Jesus did even though I know some people have had a good go at walking on custard for comparison… or ice…! But we can walk on water by taking that step of faith, focusing on Jesus throughout our lives and trusting God. We can be like Peter and step out of the boat.
As Rafiki in the Lion King once said, “It is time.” Simba is like us searching for God. And God lives in each one of us when we accept that Jesus is the Son of God. ‘He lives in you,’ says Rafiki. Slightly alternative ending – but the truth never changes. God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Oh and for your information… this is just meant to be symbolic; I do not worship a lion or a baboon or anything created by man 😀