After a year or two of listening to Sunday sermons, it would be good if Christians would get up and begin to “walk in the Spirit.” Christianity needs more Holy Spirit walkers! Walking in the Spirit is like walking on water.
To follow the New Testament commands of “walk in the Spirit,” “live in the Spirit,” and “be led by the Spirit” requires that we be like Peter and step out of the boat of our comfort zone and on to the water of hearing and obeying the living Jesus. We must obey Him instead of holding on to the comfort of our own analysis, excuses, and emotions.
The “self-help” that Jesus wants us to focus on is to train ourselves to deny self, take up our cross, and follow Him in surrender and obedience. Just as Peter chose to deny His own desires, feelings, and evaluations by actively stepping out of the boat and moving his legs to walk on the water, we too must actively listen to Jesus and do what He says, especially when it goes against our perceived self-interest. The best way I can help myself is to moment-by-moment do what Jesus tells me to–to actively train myself to walk in the Spirit, not in my human nature or by pride in my own ability.
Instead of building up our self-confidence, Christ-followers are called to humble ourselves. By being willing to sink and appear like a fool to his friends, Peter humbled himself and received the grace of God. As he sank in fear and unbelief, Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him above the water and they walked together on the surface. God spoke to me recently and said, “Stop trying and start trusting.” Now I’m experiencing a paradox. It’s an ongoing struggle to put the brakes on self-effort and instead to simply listen, trust, and obey.
Unless individuals are being inwardly led by God’s Spirit, Christianity is mere religious institutionalism. Increase your receptivity to Jesus’ call to step out of the boat. Walk on water today!