Scripture: 25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28″Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29″Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:25-31
Ever have anyone say that to you? “Whatcha lookin at?” It typically tapers off after highschool, but certain people never quite grow out of it. In high school I remember that someone starring at you too long was usually threatening your manhood (and sense most of us were still tweeners — half man half boy we took everything as a threat!). The braver (or dumber) people would answer with the high school standard replies which were as follow, a. “Not much” b. “A wimp” c. “I’m not sure” and finally, for the cocky youth who found himself a bit closer to a fight than he ever intended there are the 2 emergency answers we all had on standby, 1. “Nothing” and 2. “I wasn’t looking at you”
And there you have it, a lesson on high school intimidation. I hope you found it useful (if no longer applicable). But for me, it raises another question, one of eternal significance. Instead of asking, “Whatcha lookin at?” we should be asking, “Who are you looking at?”
As we all go through life (especially Christians) we are constantly focused on someone or something. Sometimes it’s money or stuff. Sometimes it’s a person. But, if we want to live a victorious Christian life, it had better be the person of Jesus Christ. For one, He is the only one who will ALWAYS do what is best for us, the only one who loves us unconditionally, the only one who puts up with our fickleness, wrong attitudes and outright foolishness. But another reason is that He gives us the strength and power to live the victorious Christian life that so many of us long to live.
And now, the big danger of NOT having your eyes on Christ. What happens if we put our focus on someone else? Maybe even someone really, really good like, Mother Teresa? Or Billy Graham? Well, for starters, people (even like them) will let you down. They can’t help it. They are sinners saved by grace just like the rest of us. But, even more importantly, sometimes, they will REALLY let you down. In fact, you can count on it. And when they do (as inevitably we all do) great will be the fall of those who hung on their every word.
We experienced this last week with the latest scandal to hit a spiritual leader (I’m referring to the Ted Haggard ordeal). Let me play, Omar the magnificent and make a prediction for you all. Ready? Here it is. Those who looked to him rather than God will take a giant step away from God and His beloved bride, the church, in the next few days, weeks and months. Those who had their eyes on Christ will keep right on going. They will pray for Ted and his family and the long painful road of recovery that lies before them, but they themselves will not waiver. How do I know this? Easy, I read about Peter doing it in Matthew 14. You see, while Peter had his eyes and focus on Christ he could do anything (even walk on water). But when Peter shifted his focus to the waves and the wind, he began to sink.
Isn’t that the way it is in the Christian journey? While our eyes are on Christ He sustains us but when we take our eyes off of Him we are in for a world of hurt. Think about it.
Who are you looking at?