God Uses Obedience to Develop Our Faith
By Rick Warren
— December 17, 2010
"Come!" answered Jesus. So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus. Matthew 14:29 (TEV)
This devotional is by Jon Walker, editor of the Daily Hope Devotionals and author of Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's 'The Cost of Discipleship.'
"The mythology we live by is that the greatest safety is in the boat; the reality is safest place to be is with Jesus."
Remember when Jesus called Peter to step out of the boat and walk to him across the water. It was a call to voluntarily give up the security of the boat for the insecurity of walking on rough water (Matthew 14:22-31). With single-minded obedience, Peter takes the first step and, when his foot doesn't sink into the water, his faith is affirmed.
God uses our obedience to put us in a position where we can develop faith. Jesus calls us to take the first step and then, only after we've taken that step, he will reveal the next step. In this sense, you cannot develop faith if you are disobedient to Jesus. You may give intellectual assent to what God can do but unless you take the first step, you do not have faith.
Yet, this is where so many of us get stuck. We hesitate; we step back from obedience in order to speculate what we should do next -- even though Jesus has already told us what we must do. There is no other path than obedience to developing faith.
Only by leaving the "security" of the boat does Peter discover that the greater security is in Jesus. In truth, the only security is in Jesus. Peter learns firsthand - or perhaps firstfoot! - that Jesus is Lord over all circumstances.
Peter also learns that what we see and think, apart from Jesus, is not a reflection of reality. The mythology we live by is that the greatest safety is in the boat; the reality is safest place to be is with Jesus.