“Peter, tell us the one where you walked on water.”
While we may never know, I want to believe that Peter heard those words often after that unusual day on the Sea of Galilee. Peter, in a whirlwind of fear, anxiety, and courage decided to get out of the boat and walk on water to his Savior.
Peter walking on water is one of the more iconic stories found in the Bible. I think many of us look at a story such as this and think to ourselves, “Could this be me?” We wonder if we might have the faith to do something like this in our own lives. It may not be walking on water, but we want the risk, adventure, faith and trust attached to Peter when he took those courageous steps we still read about, and that move us today.
In this series of articles, we have learned how important it is for you to be seeking risks and adventure in your twenties. We first visited an understanding of adventure and how it isn’t wrapped up in a trip to the farthest reaches of the earth but can be found right outside your front door. When we can learn to step outside our wounds, fears, and anxieties and take small risks, we can begin to grow like crazy.
In the second piece, we learned how important it is to take risks with those closest to you. When we can step into what adventure may bring in the unknown and unexpected, these experiences will cause our relationships to grow closer together.
But even still, there is another part of our lives deeply affected when we can learn to step out of the norm of who we are and into the unknown – our faith. Learning to seek out risk and adventure while we are young can grow our faith exponentially, which will lead to the full life Christ talks about (John 10:10).
Faith Grows When We Learn to Take More Risks
There is a misunderstanding about faith in the Christian walk.
We have been made to believe that the more faith we can muster up in God, the better life we will have – the problem of this belief is that it’s backward.
Why? Because there isn’t a faith meter our lives have that when brought to a certain level that life really starts to begin.
An amazing life of adventure doesn’t happen by getting more faith. Adventure ensues, and faith grows when we learn to take more risks. Our take away, then, is not to look at Peter’s epic story and wonder if we’ll ever have enough faith to walk on water. We are being nudged to look at the risk Peter took and live by his example.
There are three key areas to take away from Peter’s experience on the water, and the risk he took in getting out of the boat.
1. Seeking Adventure Forces You to Live Out the Spiritual Discipline of Surrender
What went through Peter’s mind as he got out of the boat? While we don’t know what he was thinking, we know what he said, which may give us a clue –
“Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”
Before moving an inch, Peter had to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that it was Jesus. Otherwise, it was a no go.
“Come,” Jesus said.
This word was all Peter needed. When Peter heard that one word, a significant but often forgotten spiritual discipline kicked into Peter’s heart – surrender. Having now heard it was Jesus, Peter decided to give up all control to Him and step out onto the water.
Now, I am sure you have figured this out by now, but without the supernatural, humans were not meant to walk on water. Oh, how I wish this were different! Without God intervening at this moment in a mighty way, Peter would have sunk – literally. Instead, Peter clung to surrender genuinely and tangibly by getting out of the boat.
When we choose even in the smallest of ways to seek out risk and adventure, we are practicing the spiritual discipline of surrender. We relinquish control of our lives because what lies before us is the unknown. When we don’t know what is to come, we need God to control it all. Peter understood that at the moment he stepped out on the water. We all can learn from Peter’s example. Surrender is only the beginning, though.
2. Seeking Adventure Seeds a Deep Trust in God for Provision
A shift in Peter’s trust happened when he took the risk of getting out of the boat. Any risk towards adventure will be the same in our lives. But it’s not about the size of the risk. It’s about trust growing in our hearts, knowing that no matter where provision needs to come from, God will provide it.
For some risks, it may be in the provision of finances. For others, we’ll need community and people to get the job done or just the absence of anxiety knowing that if you can trust God to provide peace, you can take steps bigger than you ever have. God’s greatest provision in our lives often comes in the form of clarity, our sanity and the renewed purpose of who we are in Christ.
3. Seeking Adventure Fast-Tracks Your Faith to Rapid Growth
While we love the climax of Peter stepping out of the boat and walking towards Jesus, none of us ever forget the ending as Peter saw the waves and took his eyes off of Jesus. “You of little faith…why did you doubt?”
We’re right to remember what happened. Peter could have run laps on the sea that day, but he didn’t. He began to doubt what he was capable of through Jesus. But in that moment of weakness, let’s not forget the difference from the man who first got into the boat and the man who took a risk in stepping out to be with his Savior. Peter had to have been a little out of his mind to take the risk he did. You sort of need to be for your faith to grow.
Peter’s faith didn’t grow by sitting in the boat. It developed after he took the risk, failed, and saw what potential was buried inside of him. When you and I can learn to practice risk and adventure on a regular basis, our faith will have the same experience. Sure, it may not grow as fast as we would like – but it will still grow – even through failure.
4. Seeking Adventure May Send You Into Your Next Season of Life
We have the story of Peter walking on water to first show us the almighty power of Jesus. Let us not miss that. But it’s not the only reason. We need a story like Peter’s so we can see the trajectory and change happening in his life.
Later in the story, Peter makes the biggest boneheaded mistake in denying Jesus – but that doesn’t negate the fact he had the faith to walk on water. Peter needed to experience risk and adventure with Jesus so he could enter the next season of his life fully equipped.
I have spent the last several years in a successful career in ministry. But over the last two years, God has been nudging me to take more and more risks, causing my faith to grow and ultimately so he can send me into this next season of my life – quitting my job and starting an online business. This risk won’t be easy, but I would have never made it here to this season without piling up the risks and failures before.
Your Life Is At A Crossroads
Life in your twenties is much like Peter sitting in the boat. Are you going to take the risk, get out of the boat and experience life to the full as Christ intended it or will you choose to stay in the boat for a mediocre life? From my short little time on this earth, I can tell you that your personal growth, relationships, and faith is all on the line depending on the decision you make. The choice is yours but know this. Christ is calling you further and higher into this adventurous life – and it all begins with taking one risk.
Where do you need to begin?