Men that matter take steps of faith.
Peter, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, had a reputation for being the spokesman of the group of ragtag followers. He is also known for many other things, including denying Jesus during the crucifixion, cutting the ear of a Roman soldier off during Jesus’ arrest, and preaching a powerful message at Pentecost. One story about Peter’s time with Jesus teaches us a characteristic of a man that matters. Peter was on a boat with the other 11 disciples. Jesus had instructed them to go ahead of him in the boat to the other side of the lake while He went to spend some time in prayer after teaching a crowd of people and feeding over 5000 of them with two fish and five loaves. Matthew 14 tells us that later that night, Jesus came to the disciples walking on the water. The men were scared and thought He was a ghost until He called them and told them to “Take courage. It is I, do not be afraid." Then Peter calls back to Jesus and says he wants to walk on the water with Him. Jesus tells Peter to come on out. And Peter did! He stepped out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.
Men that matter take steps of faith. All the men in the boat had seen Jesus perform miracles. Most of them had performed miracles themselves in Jesus’ name when He sent them out earlier in Scripture (Matthew 10), but Peter is the one who took the step of faith and got out of the boat. They were all afraid. Peter was afraid as well but took a step of faith. In the face of fear, he took a step of faith toward Jesus. That is a critical part of this characteristic of men that matter. Peter took a step of faith toward Jesus. He didn’t have faith in the boat, faith in other disciples, or faith that the water would hold him up. He didn’t have faith in himself or his abilities. Jesus was the object of his faith. When our faith is in the right object, we can take courage in stepping out in faith. The warning in this is that if our faith is in the wrong object, the results will not be what we hoped for.
Peter had faith in Jesus and stepped out of the boat! This had to be an amazing experience. And then something changed. Scripture says, "But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” He took his eyes off of Jesus and looked at the wind. Seeing the wind around him caused him to put his faith in something other than Jesus, and that is when he began to sink. Hebrews 12:2 tells us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. He is the right object of our faith. And Jesus even told us that it’s not the amount of faith we have but the object of our faith. He said in Matthew 17, “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” In case you didn’t know, a mustard seed is a tiny, tiny seed. It’s not the amount of faith but the object of our faith. A little faith in the right object changes everything!
Men that matter take steps of faith. Even in the face of fear, they take steps of faith. Taking steps of faith is important, but it is the object of their faith that is the most important. Men that matter place their faith in Jesus and act on that faith in Him. They don’t place all their faith in themselves, in their careers, in their money, in their spouse, or any other great things they may have. They place their faith in Jesus, and they take steps forward based on that faith. Today, there is a step of faith that you can take in Christ. It may be to surrender your life to Him for salvation. It may be to start that ministry. It may be to have a conversation with your spouse. It could be a million different steps, but I bet you know what it is, and it is already on your mind. Place your faith in Jesus and take a step in the direction that He leads you. That is what men that matter do.