When we say the Lord told us to do something, how can we be sure it’s really Him?  I remember the story of Jesus walking on the water, in Matthew 14:22-31; 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.  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.  But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.  And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  And he said, Come.  And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

            Now, this was a pretty amazing story on several points.  First of all, I believe Jesus had a sense of humor about Him.  Imagine the scene, if you will, in the fourth watch of the night Jesus came walking to them on the sea. The disciples were scared, thinking they’d seen a ghost.  Here’s where it gets funny, as described a little better in Mark 6:48; 
And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.  

Imagine that, the disciples hard at rowing, trying to get control of the boat, and along comes Jesus, walking on the water, heading for the other side.  He’s making headway.  They’re not. What’s going through the disciples’ minds right now?  Hey, Jesus, you’re crazy walking around out here in this storm!  Everyone knows people don’t walk on the water when it’s stormy, right? Uhhhh, You’ll get your feet wet…. He’s gotta be smiling, if not laughing hysterically, when He said, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

            The guys in the boat are experienced mariners, yet they’re probably a bit sea-sick about this time, after being tossed about so long.  So Peter is ready to be OFF this boat.  What perfect timing!  Here comes Jesus….”Hey, Jeee-sus, if it’s really you, bid me come unto you out on the waaaa-ter!”  So Jesus said the only thing He could…COME! I mean, what is Jesus supposed to say? “Don’t come!!”?, because it really is Him.   

            But what if it had not been Jesus, what if it had been the devil instead?  I can also imagine that scenario, as well.  The devil would have also said, COME.  What’s the devil going to say, It’s not me, DON’T COME?   And Peter would have stepped out, promptly sunk and drowned, and the devil would have said, One down, eleven to go!

             Which brings me to my point; how can we be sure it’s really God when we hear GO, or COME, or DO THAT?  Peter got off lucky that time, because it really was Jesus.

But fast-forward that to today.  If you or I was in the same boat (pun intended), what would we do?

            Would we take the time to “try the spirit” as we are warned in 1 John 4:1-3? Most of us would do what Peter did, and just jump right out of that boat, thinking we heard from God.  Well…. I would anyway.  Peter isn’t the only one who has done some dumb stuff in his day.  But there’s more.  When Peter jumped out, his faith really wasn’t planted firm on the Rock yet.  So he began to walk to Jesus on the water, and actually did ok for a while, that is, until he looked around and realized, you can’t walk on the water when it’s windy….

            You see, when you start doing something you thought you heard God tell you to do, the devil is always there quick on the scene to remind you that you’re in way over your head this time, and it can’t be done.  That’s when you really have to know you heard from God.  Because if the devil can make you doubt, even the least little bit, then you’re done for. 

    Then it says Peter was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out to Jesus.  How many of us have ever stepped out on the water and just began to sink?   Peter didn’t sink all at once, but was gradually sinking.  If it was you or me, you’d better believe we would have gone down like a rock.  But Jesus was there to help him, just like He’s there to help us.  And if Jesus had not been within reach to pull Peter up when his faith sunk, Peter would have been down there on the bottom of the sea looking around for his faith that night.  (I wonder, is faith waterproof?)

            Even though Peter actually heard from God, and stepped out in faith, and even succeeded for a while doing what no other man but Jesus has ever done, Jesus still had to say, O you of little faith, why did you doubt?

            Listen, friends, you better never see me walking on the water and tell me I have little faith!  It takes some heavy duty faith to walk on water.  If you don’t believe me, just try it sometime when you’re feeling real “holy”, ok?  And yet, Jesus knew Peter was capable of MUCH more.  But doubt cancelled his faith, and right there in front of God and all his friends, even.

             But thankfully, Jesus didn’t say, O you of NO faith.  He recognized Peter for the little faith he had. And like I said, it wasn’t as little as you might think.  Until you can walk on the water, you don’t even have Peter’s “little faith”.   I think it was more than the other disciples had that night, because I didn’t notice any of the rest of them getting out of the boat…..

            But when you believe you have heard from God, then try the spirit.  If it’s really Him, then get out of the boat and leave the doubters behind. God wants to show you a thing or two before you get old.  One of them being, a walk on the water beats a dunking in it any day!  Just ask Peter!