Don’t Be Shut Down by What Won’t Shut Up

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:27-31)

We are all looking for security and stability, but it may look differently than you think. One time I was invited to speak at an anniversary of 9/11 in the open air on Sproul plaza at U.C. Berkeley. There were various speakers representing differing philosophies, each sharing their beliefs for ten minutes. I was given a Karaoke microphone, a mini speaker system, and a moving (crowd) target. As I was getting into the flow, a demonized man stood in front of me and started cussing me out. Right in the middle of my talk, I felt myself losing altitude due to this abnormal resistance.

God is not intimidated by chaos.

Sometimes there’s a tendency to become too dependent on the external state of things to dictate our internal state of things. As I was about to drop the microphone and wait for order to be restored, I felt God drop in my heart the thought, “Don’t be shut down by what won’t shut up.” This thought caught me as off guard like the disturbed man did. Immediately, I sensed Jesus rise up within me and I spoke on, only to watch the man get unusually agitated and storm off.

We’ve stepped into a realm in modern America where abnormal resistance and the unexpected striking against our sense of well being have taken on a whole new connotation. Not very long ago, a foreign exchange student was responsible for the greatest murder spree on a university campus. No one was prepared for this tragically violent eruption at Virginia Tech., campus police were overwhelmed and initially misdirected.

In many ways, the darkness of this age brings confusion, disorientation, and a woundedness that can be inexplicable.

In the midst of modern storms, people feel powerless next to the shakings around them. Peter and the disciples should have suspected something when Jesus didn’t get into the boat with them. The disciples found themselves tossed by the waves, threatened by a watery grave, and the sighting of what they deemed to be a poltergeist on the sea moving towards them. Sometimes, Jesus doesn’t take us out of our problem. Sometimes, He reveals more of Himself through our problems.

Peter saw this “ghost,” but recognized Jesus in the midst of the storm. Upon this revelation, Peter made a bold request to join the Savior on the water. Hearts full of revelation inspire us to take steps of faith and radical risks. You too will be summoned by coming situations and make no mistake, history will call us out! The other disciples “played it safe” and stuck to their comfort zone. Sometimes, I think a culture of convenience is ripping us off. Jesus’ response to Peter’s request was, “come.”

Hearts full of revelation inspire us to take steps of faith and radical risks.

The reality of a word given by God in your life makes the present situation uncomfortable and unsuccessful. It can cause circumstances beyond your control, but isn’t that what our world throws at us incessantly anyway? A collision with God will either produce a yearning for more of Him or a vulnerable experience that can cause one to throw in the towel. Peter had a series of God-ordained assignments and he had to learn to enlarge his territory Jabez-style when the heat was on. With every step away from the boat on the water, Peter occupied a larger inheritance. You don’t need room temperature conditions to occupy your promise land. All you need to do is move ahead in your assignment!

When you tackle God’s assignment your edge surfaces:

  1. Your “edge” is when you’re at your optimum spiritual focus, intensity, and flow.
  2. Your “edge” is the pathway of not duplicating what others have done out of complacency.
  3. Your “edge” takes you off the dusty shelf of stagnancy and places you on the destined stage of human history.

Like the other eleven disciples, a growing number of people feel trapped in the lives they’ve created. You must know that God wants to raise you above your current situation to fulfill your destiny. You may feel stuck in a no-win dilemma.  Your hope and outlook maybe “boat docked.” There may be a certain storm that has cornered your faith, but you’ve got to look and see that your release from a barren situation is on the horizon. It’s not just any ghost, but the Holy Ghost! It’s been said that, “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, under prosperous conditions, might have remained dormant.” Everything happening in your life has a purpose to push you into a choice: you’re either going to choose what God proclaims or what your history proclaims.

When Peter was well on his way to the Ripley’s Believe it or Not wax museum, God allowed the sound effects of the storm to bump it up. Focus is the adjustment of your spiritual eyes so God’s picture is produced. We must not let the un-silenced storm unplug our supernatural walk. Whatever is sounding off doesn’t have the power to stop your miracle unless you let it. Even as Peter was sinking due to the wrong focal point (the storm and not the Savior), he knew enough to cry out for salvation. We are going to see a fresh harvest of souls crying out to be saved! God is calling you to a new level of authority, anointing, and boldness. Looking to step out with the Savior amidst the storms of modern life sets in motion a staggering series of events that will expand the Kingdom and trigger your destiny. While the world’s models walk on runways, Heaven’s models will walk on water. Do not be afraid to get “wet” to walk as Jesus walked!

Sean Smith has spent approximately 28 years un full-time ministry, 10 of which was spent direction campus outreach ministries at the University of the Pacific and California State University Chico Campuses. He is currently active in outreaches to universities and colleges all across the nation and involved in full-time evangelism all over the U.S. and overseas. His messages are prophetic, challenging people to fulfill their destiny in Christ. Sean’s services witness the Holy Spirit’s supernatural release to meet people with a heart of compassion and to touch their needs. In addition to his evangelistic ministry, Sean is partnering with Jesus Culture to see a generation of revivalists raised up. In May of 2001, Sean received a Masters in Ministry from the Wagner Leadership Institute. The Smith family resides in San Ramon, California.

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