We need to walk by faith and not by sight 1. Many times we go through situations in life that seek to discourage us by saying: “Just give up, you’ll never reach what God has promised you.” We need to be very careful about what our eyes see. We need to bypass those signs that could undermine our desire to press-on ahead until we reach that which we have asked God for. Our faith will determine how we interpret everything that happens all around us. If you’re working on a project and you bring it to a stop because you see something negative, then it means that your faith still depends on what your natural senses perceive and not on what you hope to receive as a product of your effort and help from God. If you pray and still don’t see it come to pass, don’t give up because you need that certainty in what you believe in to see it manifest in the natural. If you really want to please God and show Him your faith, speak words of victory and never stop pressing-on!
Our faith is made up of levels. The 1st. level is experienced when we draw close to God expecting to receive something that we need from Him: health, restoration, provision or consolation. When Jesus worked miracles such as the multiplication of the loaves and fish, many people were blessed and their faith grew. We are born again at the feet of Jesus and everything changes for good, but we can’t afford to stay at that same level of faith, we need to increase it.
The 2nd. level of faith manifests when our relationship to God grows and we start obeying Him. It’s similar to the disciples when Jesus told them to get the boat ready while He prayed and said goodbye to the crowd. At this new level, we’ve already received the Lord, we’ve seen His power and we willingly choose to serve Him in love, which is the equivalent of “getting into the boat.” Of course we might go through some storms and face some challenges at this level, which people on the shore obviously don’t, because they’ve settled for the fish sandwiches and they do not want to commit. However it’s in this second level that we are able to witness many more signs and wonders, and it’s here where there is so much more blessing to be received.
The 3rd. level of faith allows us to be used as Jesus was, and Peter as well when He saw the Lord walk on water and tried to follow His lead. He took a couple of steps at first, but then he faced his battle of faith and started to sink. When walking down this path of believing for the supernatural, we need to understand that there will be battles to wage, trusting that God has already paid the price for our complete victory! We might even ask ourselves, “Is this really the right way to proceed?” Walking on water might make us doubt at times. Even if we have a deep and close relationship with Jesus, we might still fall into a trap and blink at times. We might also be lead to believe that our resources and contacts work much better than our Heavenly Father’s. We might believe that the words of discouragement are getting the better of us rather than the promises we’ve received from God. Don’t be trusting in the boat that offers the security your flesh longs for, but rather jump out and walk in Faith with your eyes set on the Lord!
The 4th. level of faith helps us believe that no matter what happens in our life, our loving Father will lift us back up again2. While Peter was sinking in the water, his first thought was to ask Jesus for help, which He did by stretching His hand out for him. The Bible however doesn’t say that Jesus carried him back into the boat, but I can just picture them both walking back together on the water. So why did Peter sink? The first level of discernment tells us that it was, “Because he doubted”. However a second level of discernment tells us this, “Because he dared to challenge his faith into a new level.” You see Peter was the only one that dared to imitate Jesus, and in the end, he came back into the boat WITH the Master! Because he dared to obey, he didn’t remain doubtful of what might have or could have happened! Faith is wonderful. Don’t you think so? Don’t be discouraged, but dare to challenge your faith, and if something happens along the way, Jesus will be ready right there to lift you up because your trust in Him is what He enjoys the most. There’s no doubt that Jesus must have felt proud of Peter’s faith. Though in the end He had to lift him up, that encouragement must have caused him to think, “This man is bound for great things!” Thus we learn that the probability of doubt and fear only exist in those of us that take leaps of faith, so GO FOR IT! Remember in spite of any doubt you might have, God has promised to lift you up out of any trap, because your FAITH is what pleases Him most. Just declare out loud, “I will walk on water, despite the possibility of sinking, because no matter what happens, Jesus will always lift me up again.”
The Lord is asking us to renew our understanding, in other words -the ability to calmly judge or evaluate a spiritual truth. If we are able to renew our judgment, which is based on signs and information, by the Word of God, we will be able to recognize a truth, after measuring it in God’s good and perfect will for us 3. In Peter’s case, his discernment was set on Jesus’ words that called him out of the boat. Once again, the word here is to leave behind the limitations of this world and to start walking by Faith. Don’t let your resources keep you from striving for your dream and vision in life.
When the disciples asked Jesus the reason why a young boy was blind from birth, He had to renew their understanding by urging them to see beyond the logical, earthly reasons and embrace the fact that every moment and situation in life is a perfect opportunity for God to move4. We must choose to see beyond our logic and reason. Don’t be trying to understand why things happen to you, but rather stand firm in faith declaring that no matter what happens, God is still in control, it hasn’t taken Him by surprise and He will finish His work in you. Don’t be griping or complaining, but rather fill your mind up with faith and rise to the following level by saying, “God’s got everything under control. He has something great in store for me. He is with me. He’s never left me nor forsaken me and He will raise me up if I fall.”
Your heavenly Father wants to change your level of faith, but you need to shift your understanding and be positive. From this day forward, you’re a new person, with a supernatural conviction that will manifest in power for your life and family!
1 2 Corinthians 5:6-7 says, “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
2 Matthew 14:20-33 says, “So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children. Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 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. 30 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?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
3 Romans 12:2-3 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”
4 John 9:1-3 says, “Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”