Ejecting From Our Comfort Zones

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Text: Matthew 14:22-33
Title: Ejecting From Our Comfort Zones
Introduction: The African Impala can jump to a height of over ten feet and cover a distance of greater than thirty feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a three foot wall. The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall.

Faith is leaping when you can’t see where you’re going to land. It is taking action based on the unseen fulfillment of God’s promises.

v1-12: Death of John the Baptist
vs13-21: Five thousand people miraculously fed.

  1. A Dangerous Dilemma
    V22: He sent His disciples
    Note: Constrained

    1) to necessitate, compel, drive to, to force

    V23: Jesus spent time alone in prayer.
    Note: The importance of solitude.

    Mark 1:35
    35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

    1. The Disciples were in a storm – v24
      Note: Tossed with waves—Grievously agitated; Torment.
      Note: w/o Jesus, seemingly. Jesus knew ALL about it.

      1 Pet. 4:12
      12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

    2. Jesus came to them – v25
      Note: The fourth watch—Anciently the Jews divided the night into three watches, consisting of four hours each. This division the Romans had introduced in Judea, as also the custom of dividing the day into twelve hours: The first watch began at six o’clock in the evening, and continued till nine; the second began at nine, and continued till twelve; the third began at twelve, and continued till three next morning; and the fourth began at three, and continued till six. It was therefore between the hours of three and six in the morning that Jesus made his appearance to his disciples.

      Note: He will always come to you in your time of need. He knows WHERE you are!

      Phil. 1:6
      6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

      1. Walking on the sea
        Job 9:8
        8 Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.

        Note: They were in a state of fear.
        Note: He was LITERALLY above the very thing that brought them fear.

      2. Jesus encouraged them by reaffirming His presence
        Quote: Peace is not found in the absence of trouble but in the presence of ChristHeb. 13:5
        5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

        Turn – Isa. 26:3

        Note: What you need is not an explanation, but the presence of God.
        You don’t have to understand, you just have to trust His hand!

        (A Dangerous Dilemma)

  2. A Daring Decision
    1. Peter Waited on a Command – v28
      Romans 10:17
      17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

      Note: “If” Bid me to come to THEE.
      Note: Come unto thee on the water. Not “bid me walk on the water;” for he does not want to perform a miracle, but to come to Jesus. His request is not due to the hope of making a show, but to impulsive love.

      Note: The Importance of the “Why?”
      Note: He did not want to begin anything without the command of God.
      God is always previous.

    2. Peter Responded Immediately – v29
      Note: He was out of the ship
      Note: He was already in distress to begin with, considering the storm.
    3. Peter Walked on Water! – v29
      Mark 9:23
      23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.Note: However impossible the thing commanded by Christ may appear, it is certain he will give the power to accomplish it to those who receive his Word by faith
      Quote: God supplies everything God commands – Oliver B. Greene

      Note: In all recorded history only two men ever walked on… water, Jesus and Peter.

      Eph. 3:20
      20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

      Turn – Jer. 33:3

      (A Dangerous Dilemma, A Daring Decision)

  3. A Dynamic Declaration
    1. Jesus shows Peter where he lacks faith – v31b
      1. Focus changed – v30
        Note: Before we criticize Peter for sinking, let’s honor him for his magnificent demonstration of faith. He dared to be different. Anybody can sit in the boat and watch. But it takes a person of real faith to leave the boat and walk on the water. What caused Peter to sink? His faith began to waver because he took his eyes off the Lord and began to look at the circumstances around him. “wherefore didst thou doubt?” Jesus asked him (Matt. 14:31). This word translated doubt carries the meaning of “standing uncertainly at two ways.” Peter started out with great faith but ended up with little faith because he saw two ways instead of one. We must give Peter credit for knowing that he was sinking and for crying out to the Lord for help. This experience was difficult for Peter, but it helped him to grow in his knowledge of himself and of the Lord. The storms of life are not easy, but they are necessary. They teach us to trust Jesus Christ alone and to obey His Word no matter what the circumstances may be. It has well been said, “Faith is not believing in spite of evidence, but obeying in spite of consequence.”

        Note: Saw Christ in the light of circumstances. It should’ve been the other way around.
        Note: It was not the violence of the winds, nor the raging of the waves, which endangered his life, but his littleness of faith.
        Turn – Heb. 12:2-3

        Quote: The secret of overcoming the storm and doing the impossible is simply to believe the Word of God and keep looking to the Son of God.

      2. He cried to the Lord
        Turn – Ps. 107:27-30
      3. The Lord helped him – v31
        Ps. 138:7
        7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
    2. Declaration of God’s Power
      1. The wind ceased – v32
        Turn – Mark 6:51
        Note: When they were in the ship. As if God was saying, “End of Session”.
        Ill: A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
        Note: Don’t waste your trials/wounds!
      2. Glorified God – v33
        Note: Trials & storms have a way of making us glorify God if we don’t quit and keep trusting Him!
        Note: Showing Christ to others
        Turn – 2 Cor. 1:3-4

Conclusion: This is the ultimate reason why God fills our lives with troubles is to ensure that we shall learn to hold him fast. The reason why the Bible spends so much of its time emphasizing that God is a strong rock, a firm defense, and a sure refuge and help for the weak is that God spends so much of his time showing us that we are weak, both mentally and morally, and dare not trust ourselves to find or follow the right road.
When we walk along a clear road feeling fine, and someone takes our arm to help us, likely we would impatiently shake him off; but when we are caught in rough country in the dark, with a storm blowing and our strength spent, and someone takes our arm to help us, we would thankfully lean on him. And God wants us to feel that our way through life is rough and perplexing, so that we may learn to lean on him thankfully. Therefore he takes steps to drive us out of self-confidence to trust in himself.
Quote: Being Broken is the first step to being Blessed!
J

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