Oceans Instead of the Boat

One of the most popular Christian songs in recent years has been “Oceans” by Hillsong. It may also be one of the songs most frequently sung in vain… along with “I Surrender All”. Here’s a sample of the powerful lyrics:

“I will call upon your name, and keep my eyes above the waves, when oceans rise… Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me. And take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.”

I think the reason for its popularity (besides being beautiful) is because our souls are desperate for these words to be true. Our souls are desperate to get out of the boat and live supernaturally with our Savior.

If any apostle was going to get out of the boat and walk on water, of course it would be bold, strong, confident, and spontaneous Peter. The first of many things I find interesting in Matthew 14 is that as long as Peter’s sight, focus and desire is on Jesus, he manages to walk upon the water and he is supernaturally positioned above the dangerous waves. But then he loses focus. Distracted by his fear of the wind and waves, he suddenly sinks into the very thing he was fearful of.

Then, he yells “Lord save me!” Jesus quickly offers His strong hands of grace and pulls Peter up from the water and the consequences of his doubt. This scene is such a powerful image of grace!

But what strikes me the most is Jesus’ response to Peter, “You have so little faith! Why did you doubt?” Now this is a reprimand that we are familiar with, because Jesus said it multiple times to His disciples. But in this case He is saying this to a man who just walked on water! What???

Unlike other instances, I hear this reprimand with more of a lighthearted laughter, than in a firm frustrated tone. Like “You silly goof, you were doing so good! What happened? Where’s your faith?” (While He puts Peter in a headlock and messes up his hair). Now if that reprimand is for Peter who got out of the boat, how much more is it for the rest of the guys who are white-knuckling the rails in the boat?!

It is important that we identify what our boats are. It’s definitely our comfort zone, but maybe it’s also the security blanket we call church. Maybe it’s our fast-paced, over-scheduled lifestyles, or perhaps it’s a Titanic-sized boat made up of our doubt, apathy, disbelief, guilt, pride, idols and self-reliance.

I am done with staying in my boat, and I pray that you are too! By leaving our church home and my youth ministry position to become the Campus Missionary to secular colleges and young adults here in Denton, I think I have at least one leg out of the boat … but now it’s time to go all in and let go of the rails!

We need to help each other get out and walk on water together! So the next time you see a need that you can help meet, when you feel prompted to pray with someone, you have an opportunity to volunteer and serve in a challenging area, maybe it’s adopting a college student, or even a baby! And when you have an opportunity to actually tell a non-believer about the good news of Jesus, please listen to Jesus’ voice say “Come”… then get out of your safe little boat and follow Him!

It’s not as scary as we have imagined it to be. Remember, God can do more than we can ask or imagine. (Eph. 3:20) He said “HE will make us fishers of men”, (Luke 5:10 and Matt. 4:19) and “He will be with us always until the end of time”! (Matt. 28:20)

Our new, empowered lives in Christ are meant to be lived above the roaring oceans with the Lord, not in our boring boats that rock us to sleep! So let’s pray daily for the Spirit to truly leads us where we would not venture on our own, and to work miraculously through us, where our trust is without borders and our faith is made stronger in the presence of our Savior!


Other Posts You Might Like:

Too Busy Not to Pray - Casey McCollum

Fruit - Beau Davis

Jesus for Women - Laurie Templeton

The Valley of Baca - Bob Bentley

Things I See - Bob Bentley

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