Friday, January 23, 2009

The danger of God's "permissive" will

Everyone loves Peter: loudmouth though he was, there's a fighting spirit about him that just doesn't quit. One of the best-loved and oft-preached stories is that of Peter walking on the water. Let's recap:

Matt. 14:22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
Matt. 14:28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.

First point: Jesus told them to get in the boat. Jesus never left room for getting OUT of the boat: He said GET IN AND GO ACROSS.

Second point: Peter did NOT ask permission to go across: he said "Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water." In effect, he was QUESTIONING Christ's claim about Who He was, and giving Jesus an ultimatum about His identity! Peter was AGAIN shooting off his mouth without using his head.

Like one preacher said, Judas was a better example of FAITH and OBEDIENCE than was Peter: he (and all the others) stayed in the BOAT like Jesus told them to, and they didn't question Jesus when He declared Who He was!

This just goes to show us that God's permissive will requires faith as well, but should we really be there? Christ allowed Peter to come to Him, and all the while Peter was flat disobeying and showing off. Time and again Peter gets into trouble: before AND after Christ's resurrection! Even Paul stood him up for being out of line! How then are we going to view direct disobedience and LACK of faith as a great example for us in our Christian walk?


1 comment:

Forrest said...

Hello Brother Vince. It's funny how we see things from different perspectives.

Personally, I've always been impressed with the great faith Peter demonstrated by getting out of the boat in the first place. If it were me, I would have probably said: "Jesus is that you? If it is, get out of the tempestuous waters and come on in the boat!"

I've always preached you better stay in the boat unless Jesus invites you to get out. When you get out...keep your eyes of faith on Him!