Greetings again my Brethren. Okay let us continue looking at some places, what I call God’s “making places” in our lives where we can grow in the grace and knowledge of the LORD Jesus Christ. Spiritual growth and development just does not happen in our lives. Oh no, there must be a desire in us and there must be a pursuit to be willing to endure some things from the LORD, through His dealings and judgments, about us to get our attention. My friend nothing is free in God. Everything we get from God will cost either us or somebody else dearly. I hear many Christians glibly say, well, salvation is a free gift of God, well think again. Our salvation was bought, it was purchased at a great price. Our salvation cost Jesus His life. Our salvation was not free. Never think that for if you do then you will take what Jesus did (losing His life so that we can find our life) on the cross for granted. Last month we looked at prisons what a wonderful place to find God. You know we all are in a prison one way or the other. In our life we are either a prisoner of God or a prisoner of Satan. Some folks know prison bars and some folks have bars of the mind and heart. Never look down your nose at the men and woman behind the bars and wires of a prison. Karen and I go three times a month to Craven State Prison (State of NC indoctrination prison) in Vanceboro and share with the men there and would say we find more of a hunger for the word of God behind the bars at Craven than we do in most churches we visit and I minister in. This month let us look at another “making place” in God and probably one of the biggest areas we find in the Scriptures, a storm. In Matthew 14:24-33 we read where Jesus came walking on the water, but was planning to bypass the disciples at first. We read, “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. 26And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?32And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” (Matthew

14:24-33) Let me jump to the end verse 33, please notice after the storm and after they got back in to the place of provision Jesus provided for them they said, “of a truth thou art the Son of God.” Maybe that is the whole purpose (that is true my friend) of the storm, to shake us to the core, to bring us to our knees so we can get a good look at Jesus. You know they say the best view of Jesus is from the bottom of the barrel. I will let that sink in a minute. In verse 25 it said they saw Jesus, but in verse 26 they said it was a spirit and they cried out in fear. But, how long have they been walking with Jesus? Did they not know what Jesus looked like? And from the center of the storm Jesus speaks to them, “be of good cheer it is I.” Now I do not know about you my friend, but Jesus speaking in the midst of the storm ought to be enough to calm my fears and settle my heart. Now here is the lesson, not having faith to walk on the water as I have heard these verses preached for years, but when Jesus speaks telling us to “fear not” yet we leave the place of security and provision He provided to do something supernatural. We are filled with this desire to do supernatural things, do the impossible in God, but God just wants us to do what He tells us to do. My friend never leave what God has provided to do something greater in our eyes. If we do this then we will always get in trouble and sink deeper into what Jesus needed to save us from. In Peter’s case Jesus needed to save Peter from him self and the water. Yes, Jesus did say “come,” but Peter never walked on the water oh no, he walked on the word from Jesus to come. My friend never focus on Peter having enough faith to walk on the water, if you do then you will miss the lesson God is trying to teach us here. The lesson is not having faith, oh no, faith is God’s, He owns faith, He gives faith to us like with Peter and when we begin to doubt and not believe then the faith we receive dwindles and we have to be saved just like Peter. “Faith cometh by hearing a word from God.” (Romans 10:17 Geek) Jesus said to Peter, “oh ye of little faith” after he walked on the water. Never want to do the supernatural it will get you into trouble. Never leave a place of provision from the LORD stay in that place and learn what He is teaching you in it. I believed Peter learned nothing from this experience, because time and time again Peter failed Jesus in word and deed. It was not till Jesus could bring Peter to the end of his self in John 21:17, “He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”

More next month as we look at my favorite place and the last place the wilderness. Are you there my friend? In tough situations and circumstances? Have you heard His voice? Listen closely and you will. Written by David Stah