Cultivate Faith (Exodus 14)
When we really receive the testimony of the scriptures, our faith ought to be vastly increased. We see over and over the rewarding wisdom of trusting God with reckless abandon, while we also discern the foolishness of doubting Him. I am not speaking about faith in the sense of believing on the Lord Jesus for salvation. Of course, that is very the foundation on which our entire life stands. But what kind of house has a foundation with nothing built on it? In everyday life, we ought to be building the testimony of a faith-walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. We ought to allow our faith in what Jesus has done for us on the cross, and in how the Holy Spirit has transformed us from the inside out, to influence us for present-day demonstrations of unearthly trust in God! We have believed on the Lord, and in His grace we now stand. But there is something He is calling us to believe Him for today that we have not yet seen!
Receiving the truth of the Word of God will birth in us the kind of faith that Peter had when he said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water” (Matthew 14:28). When Jesus had first called Peter, he experienced the power to leave everything behind and follow Him. Peter had watched Jesus cast out demons with a word, and the demons could not stand against the power of His command. Peter reasons, “If Jesus calls me, I can even walk on water.” His faith was noteworthy, as he “got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus” (14:29). But there was a point when Peter’s eyes looked away from Jesus, due to the raging waves; he doubted and began to sink. Pulling him up, Jesus says, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (14:31).
Of course, Peter was bold to step out and to do the impossible through faith. But the resistance and opposition of the waves overwhelmed his mind. As has often happened with you and me, Peter began in faith but at the raging of unfavorable circumstances, the strength of his faith was interrupted. Jesus’ message to us is not, “I understand; you did the reasonable thing.” Instead, He shows us that we should have never let anything interrupt our faith in Him.
This is where God finds the people of Israel in Exodus 14. Israel had seen the power of God’s plagues against Egypt, the distinction He had made by shielding His people from harm, and even the salvation of all of Israel’s firstborn! They had watched Pharaoh finally let them go. But when they looked back to see the Egyptians in pursuit, like Peter, “they became very frightened” (Exodus 14:10). They immediately accuse Moses of taking them into the wilderness to die! What is the word Moses hears from heaven? “Tell the sons of Israel to go forward” (14:15).
Has your faith in God’s power to do the impossible been shaken by intimidating circumstances? Is there anything for which you need to hear the command, “Go forward”? Is it possible that Jesus is saying, “Why did you doubt?” I want to encourage you that, all throughout the Bible, God is working in His people to cultivate a tenacious and unwavering faith in Him! It is no different today. To those who are His disciples, He says, “all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matthew 21:22). Take Him at His Word today! His kingdom is at hand.
The Rock Church