When I was in my young twenties, I had three men who poured deeply into my life. Roger, Tony and Troy called me out on a number of gaps in my belief system. I went to church with these friends only one time, but we spent numerous hours in coffee shops and restaurants talking and working out our theology. The interesting part is that all three of these guys are associated with Pentecostal churches and I only have contact with one of them after all these years. I was blessed to have great friends who respected my baptist traditions, while challenging me to communicate why I believed the things I believed.
Unfortunately, in most cases, my best answer had to do with how I was raised rather than how I believed. I was raised in a very religious home. I went to Christian school most of my life. I finished AWANA books almost every year. I won prizes for the most verses memorized in VBS. I was baptized in elementary school. I was saturated by a church culture that did the right things, but really could never explain the theology behind those things.
My theology, even into my college years, had developed into a head knowledge theology. I am extremely blessed with the numerous opportunities in my life to expand my knowledge of God and His word. In the midst of that blessing came three men who helped push that knowledge into the core of who I am. Those guys were used by God to help shape me in ways they probably do not know. My friend, Troy, once said to me these words, “There is a huge difference between what we know and what we believe. If you want God to use you in ministry, your knowledge must become faith that can be communicated.” Troy lives these words as he communicates the truths of the gospel over the radio to thousands of people every week.
Fast forward to a sermon I listened to this morning…
Matthew 14 articulates the event when Peter walks on water. Peter and the other disciples were faced with a storm on the Sea of Galilee that could have taken their lives in a normal situation. Jesus comes walking on the water towards them and they were freaked out. Peter says in verse 28, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Shortly after, Peter gets out of the boat and walks on water.
Peter knew Jesus was capable of allowing him to walk on water. He had seen a number of miracles up to that point. He knew what Jesus was capable of without doubt. The fascinating part is when Peter gets out of the boat and walks on water. At that moment, a transference takes place. Peter’s knowledge become a belief that be communicated. That moment may have catapulted Peter into becoming the man we continue to read about through the rest of Scripture.
What about each of us? Do we live in the boat that is full of knowledge about what God is capable of? Are we willing step on the water in the midst of the waves in order for a transformation to take place in our lives?
The driving home line in this morning’s podcast was this; Jesus wasn’t hanging out in the boat. Jesus was hanging out in the water. For me, the conviction comes when I ask myself where I expect to find Jesus. Do I expect Jesus to remain in the years of knowledge and training? Or, do I expect Jesus to reveal himself when I submit to the transformation process of my life.
I am very thankful to a handful of friends who invested in a young man. The journey has been a blessing beyond measure.
Will you join me in not settling for the knowledge that we find in the safety of the boat? Will you join me in stepping into the waters of transformation?