Chapter 40: A Night on the Lake

April 25, 2007

“Never before had a command from Christ seemed so impossible of fulfillment.” DA394

That must have been quite the command! What instructions did Jesus give that were so impossible to carry out? Was it when he told the disciples to get bread for the 5000? Was it when He instructed them to let down their nets on the wrong side of the boat?

Truly the battle is on the inside, because this comment come just after Jesus commands the disciples to get into the boat and cross over to the other side. For fisherman, nothing could have been more natural, but it seemed impossible because they were about to claim the kingdom for Jesus. Ellen White continues:

“The disciples had long hoped for a popular movement to place Jesus on the throne; they could not endure the thought that all this enthusiasm should come to nothing.” DA394

They were about to seize Him and claim Him King. This week, my friend Dave ranted at work about how much he loathed Christian witnessing. He was responding to a comment on his blog, and was vehement, that witnessing is the most selfish, and hateful thing a person can possibly do. Is this attitude the result of well meaning followers trying to seize the Kingdom for Christ? Amazingly, the disciples continued to grumble themselves into questioning if Jesus might himself be an impostor! After such a day as this!

This next quote about Peter’s walk on water irks me because it is so blazingly true of my life. I’m a stupid human; how quickly I forget!

“When trouble comes upon us, how often we are like Peter! We look upon the waves, instead of keeping our eyes fixed upon the Saviour. … Those who fail to realize their constant dependence upon God will be overcome by temptation. [but] We may now suppose that our feet stand secure, and that we shall never be moved. We may say with confidence, I know in whom I have believed; nothing can shake my faith in God and in His word.” DA398

God is simply not interested in making “super Christians.” We do not become stronger, we become more dependent on One who is strong. This is a key learning for me, and I repeat it often. I pray that this week you will learn to depend on God in work, relationships, the future, money, physical strength, peace, and emotional health. And if you must witness, don’t try to claim the earth for Christ, but allow Him to continue to attract seekers.

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3 Responses to “Chapter 40: A Night on the Lake”

  1. Uncle Len said

    So what is your definition of a “super Christian” Seth?
    Once I understand your meaning than I can determine whether I can support your statement or not.

  2. wallygoots said

    Good question Uncle Len. I use the term “super Christian” in quotes because I think we have a tendency to glorify human strengths. I actually buy the idea that God’s power is made perfect in weakness. (Such was God’s teaching to Paul). Not that God’s power is made perfect in weakness only at first and that He will help us become humanly strong after initial surrender. We seem to say with our lives, “Glad surrender is possible and that I found a Savior; but now I’m going to get to work.” This seems to be at the root of legalistic religion.

    I used to think of spirituality as a staircase up which I had to climb to reach Jesus. It was a very strenuous climb, and the further up I was on the stairs, the further I would fall, and the more painful the landing. I was trying to be a strong Christian. It wasn’t until I realized that Jesus had come down and already offered to carry me to the top that I realized that my model of spiritual strength was flawed. I was never to become stronger, but only more dependent. It was a great relief.

  3. Uncle Len said

    Your response makes perfect sense – from my corner of life “strength” is a descriptor of one who becomes more dependent on Jesus. I look to men like Joseph, Noah, Abraham, Daniel, Elijah, as men of “strength ” because of their tenacious grip on God. I believe we can say we are strong – growing stronger – in Christ. I read where you’re coming from and agree our strength is not in ourselves – our strength grows as our grip on Jesus tightens.

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