Matthew 14:30 (KJV)
“But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.”
Dearly beloved, I bring you greetings in the name that is above every name, Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God and our soon coming King. Today, I’ve come to charge you to refuse to be distracted, regardless of the form or appearance of the distractions. More especially in this day and age where so many things are happening concurrently, refusing distractions is a must if you will achieve anything tangible.
Our text this morning, is a very familiar scripture. Peter found himself doing the impossible; he was walking on water, after the Master called him. The key to this great accomplishment, was the instruction he received from the Lord, and his quick obedience to that instruction. Look at the preceding verses;
“v28 – And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
v29 – And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.”
One might be quick to think and assume that since Jesus had said to Peter “come”, then, that was all that he needed to succeed, and I agree with you; After all, Jesus’ word to Peter was not a mere command, but a command backed by the full creative power of God, with no margin for failure. In fact, as far as Jesus was concerned, Peter walking on the water, was already a concluded issue the very moment He spoke the Word. So, why then did Peter find himself sinking?
He took his eyes off Jesus, and started to pay attention to the boisterous winds, and unstable waters beneath him. Question, was the wind there when he got off the boat? The wind was there, but as long as he maintained focus, as long as he fixed his gaze on Jesus, the wind was immaterial. I have said this before and it bears repetition, when you look down, you will see discouragement and disappointment; when you look back, you will see regrets and mistakes; when you look around, you will see distractions, but when you look up, you see victory, triumph, hope. God wants us to be victorious this year, and our victory is already concluded, but to see the manifestation, we must keep our eyes on Jesus.
All Peter had to do was to maintain focus on the One who began the journey, and his victory was guaranteed, but then he allowed the distractions.
At the beginning of the year, God gave us His word as a ministry that this year is our year of Commanded Blessings, and throughout the year, the Word has gone forth letting us know that we are already Overcomers. Many of us as the Message translation describes, like Peter, “jumped out of the boat” with the word. However, the important question now is, are you still holding on to that word that you received? Are you still keeping your eyes on Jesus, irrespective of your challenges? Or are you amongst those who have for a moment, been distracted by the tales of woe of the economists, politicians, and the news media? Do you still judge God faithful in your family, business, career, health and all, to do that which He said He would, even in the face of seemingly contradictory evidence?
If there is one thing which is very crucial that you do as you live this life, it is to keep your eyes solely on Jesus, and avoid distractions. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; …”
Isaiah 50:7 says, “For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” You cannot trust in God wholeheartedly and fail; you cannot look unto Jesus and see shame. As the song writer sings: “I cannot call on Your Name and end up in shame, no way! I cannot bow before You and bow before men, no way!”
I declare to you that God will do you good. You will not see shame. You will not be disappointed. God will favour you. Everything is working together for your good. There is no shortage with God, therefore there shall be no shortage in your life. This is your year of Commanded Blessings and you shall surely testify. I will hear your testimony!
I bless you in Jesus’ name.
In His Royal Service
Dr Mike Okonkwo
The Presiding Bishop