Matthew 14:25 – 31(a)
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. (a)
I was talking to a brother in Christ yesterday, and he shared with me a story of a relationship between two people that was not ordained by God. That is, the relationship was adulterous. The brother described the female partner in this relationship as very beautiful, seductive, persuasive, and playful. From her mouth came complimentary words that were like sweet perfume [Note: this reminds me of Proverbs 5:3].
We began to share stories of our own involvement in such relationships and how the mind is affected. Oftentimes, the parties involved do not realize how they veer off-course, the course God has predetermined for them, due to their focus on something else. In other words, when we become preoccupied with anything other than God’s Word, His will, and His plan for our lives, we either miss our marks altogether or we are delayed seemingly.
Isn’t it interesting how Peter began to sink/slip, missing his mark to operate in complete faith when he took his eyes off the true focal point—Jesus? Instead, Peter focused on the distraction of the wind, which brought him immediately to a place of fear and panic—which is opposite faith.
“…distraction is anything that does not represent Christ and His righteousness.”
When we take our eyes off Christ (e.g. stop reading/studying the Word of God; stop talking to and hearing from God through prayer; stop attending Bible study and worship services; stop fellowshipping with those who are in Christ; reject who we are in Christ and the calling placed upon us), by default, distraction becomes the focal point. You may ask: What is distraction? The answer is this: distraction is anything that does not represent Christ and His righteousness. With this considered, the adulterous relationship—which does not promote righteousness at all—is indeed distraction from focusing on Christ and His righteousness.
Can you think of examples within your life that reflect distraction? Are there any idols in your life (e.g. food, sex, need for attention, degrees/associations, children/family, money, status, job, etc.)? Does church distract you from Christ and His righteousness? Our focus is to be Christ alone; all other things cause us to sink down into some very low places that can give rise to our ultimate demise or—at the very least—create some difficult situations from which we would have to be delivered.
Notice verses 30 – 31 of Matthew 14 above. When Peter realized his error, he cried out immediately to the only One who could save him—Christ! Our Savior, being who He is, though fully understanding that Peter had become focused on distractions, still reached out to Peter with a hand of compassion and mercy. He saved Peter!
So, as a reminder to those of us who need it and as a lesson to those who are new to God’s call on your lives, endeavor to focus on Christ even when distractions present themselves. Christ and His righteousness are your strength to endure and overcome all storms. But remember, should you take your eyes (focus) off Him for even a second and begin to sink, just call out to Him. He will save you!
In Jesus’ name, Amen.