Daily Devotional for Sunday November 17, 2013
Walking on Water - Part Two of Two
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, what do you think about this? Brown University was founded in 1764 by a group of Baptist ministers. It has held its commencement services in First Baptist Church of Providence, Rhode Island (the first Baptist church in America) since 1776. Now it has become the 37th American college to include "sex reassignment surgeries" in its student health care plans.
ANSWER: It is a stench in the nostrils of God, much like ANY church or "pastor" that condones in any way sins like homosexuality and abortion. God didn't make any mistakes when he made a man a man or a woman a woman. Yes, through modern medical procedures, you can physically change your sex, but it doesn't change who God made you. To do such a thing is to literally tell God He was wrong!!!
WALKING ON WATER PART TWO OF TWO
I was greatly encouraged by the incredible number of people who were challenged and motivated by yesterday's Devotional on getting out of the boat and WALKING ON WATER. However, as I was about ready to fall asleep last night, I immediately shot up, wide awake in a cold sweat. Have you ever been almost asleep when all of a sudden you remembered something important? You were just about to fall into a deep sleep when you remembered something important you forgot to do? What caused me to panic was the fact I forgot to mention in that Devotional yesterday that when you get out of the boat, exercise your faith in the Lord and start to walk on water, you will come under attack by satan. Oops! Sorry for forgetting to mention that little detail.
You see my freind, the closer we get to the Lord, the more we exercise our faith, the more dangerous we become to satan. A mere Christian does not intimidate satan, however, a Christian fully surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ, living in the Spirit and not the flesh, walking by faith and not by sight is satan's worst nightmare. Peter, the one who walked on water was never much of a threat to satan during the life of Jesus. Peter's transformation into the powerful man of God he became really happened during the time of his greatest failure. After denying the Lord, then being restored by Jesus, it was clear that Peter was no longer the same old inconsistent man he used to be. During that process was that special moment when the lightbulb went off in his head and Peter fully surrendered himself completely to the Lord and became the Peter we read about in the Book of Acts.
It is that time in the walk of every Believer when you know you are saved, when you are doing your best to live for the Lord, when you know you need to fully and completely surrender your life to the Lord, but you are still hanging onto a bit of the old man. You are following the Lord, but you haven't really made that 100% commitment to Him. Deep down you know that you need to just sell out and trust the Lord and not look back. Each person comes to that place in different ways at different times. It rarely happens immediately but is a process of events and experiences that happen in your walk with the Lord that lead you to that place of complete surrender.
One big reason it takes a while to get to that place is because of the fact that every time you get close to the Lord, you start to get serious about Christ, the attacks start coming in waves. To be blunt, you either get overwhelmed in fighting the attacks or just plain scared and back off of that total commitment to the Lord. It is like being excited about going to the beach. You get there, it is a beautiful day, you can't wait to get into the water, and you rush in. Within minutes you see a fin sticking out only a hundred yards away and you run for the shore as fast as you can. Guess what. Getting back into the water really doesn't seem like such a good idea any longer. This is what happens when you boldly step out in faith to serve the Lord. You will see sharks!
Sadly, most people are never really told anything about spiritual warfare. Paul, in closing out his letter to the church at Ephesus, did his best to make sure they understood that following and serving the Lord was not going to happen without a fight. Possibly a literal fight, but for certain a spiritual fight. You see he made sure they understood that the real battle we fight is not against flesh and blood, but it is a spiritual battle. Satan is a defeated foe, but for this brief season that he is loose, he is not just going to sit back and watch someone serving the Lord without doing his best to take them out. The closer you get to the Lord, the more you do for the Lord, the fiercer the attacks will get.
*PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT AS YOU EXERCISE YOUR FAITH AND GET OUT OF THE BOAT TO WALK ON WATER, SATAN WILL ATTACK YOU!
However, God knew this and has given his children not only the armor they need to withstand the attacks of satan, but the weapon we need to fight with. Did you think God would ask you to follow Him and serve Him, knowing satan would come after you and not take care of you? He has given you the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, our feet have the gospel of peace, He has given us the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation. If you notice, there is something special about the armor God. THERE IS NOTHING TO PROTECT THE BACK!
Do you know why? (Good thing this is a written Devotional, this is where I could break into about a 1 hour "preach.") GOD'S CHILDREN DON'T TURN AND RUN WE FIGHT MOVING FORWARD, PRESSING FORWARD TO THE PRIZE. COWARDS RETREAT, GOD'S CHILDREN PRESS ON, KNOWING THAT WE HAVE ALREADY WON THE VICTORY AND THAT SATAN IS A DEFEATED FOE!
Also, the child of God only has ONE offensive weapon. The sword, God's Word! The Bible says that it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even to the dividing of soul and sprit, joints and marrow. It is the only weapon the child of God needs. There is AUTHORITY in the Word of God. There is POWER in the Word of God. When Jesus was confronted by satan he didn't have a conversations with him, he QUOTED THE WORD OF GOD TO HIM!
I love you and care about you so much. I apologize for challenging you and encouraging you to have the faith to walk on water, without also warning you that when you get on the water the sharks will start to circle. My friend, count it joy when you see the sharks since that means you are a threat to the enemy! Do not be afraid, but know that God has provided you with not only the protection you need, but the weapon you need to fight with.
Getting saved is the most important decision you will make in this life since it determines your eternal home, but once you are "born again," you need to then grow and mature in your faith. Getting to a place where you trust the Lord enough to get out of the boat and walk on water is a sign of that maturity. I will pray for you as you take that next step in the maturation process, and that is in being able to stand and fight the spiritual battles that come from serving and following the Lord. After all, it is easy to stand and fight when you already know..YOU WIN BECAUSE HE WON!!!
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,