Pastor Joshua Goodin
Matthew 14:22-36 (NIV)
“The Place Between Sinking and Saving”
*Every now and again you must remind people around you that you have power. God doesn’t just meet the needs; he always goes beyond the need. When people see that you are connected to a superstar, it’s easy for them to want to celebrate you, and you get caught up in the attention. Thank God for people in your life who are leading you, and even while you’re enjoying yourself, they are praying for you. Thank God for people in your life that hold you accountable, that when you’re doing things you don’t have any business doing, they are somewhere praying for you.
*In this next season, you better make sure you can recognize the presence of God. You don’t have time for possibilities, you need to know that the next move you make is being led by God’s spirit. Your decisions must be led by God’s spirit. God may have spared you in the past doing things on your own, but in this next season, God isn’t going to spare you for a whole lot of stuff. There are some things you’ve been able to make through in the past, but you won’t be able to make through in the future. In your walk with God aren’t you at a place where the decisions you make are led by the spirit or are you still leaning on your own understanding. When you have to make a big decision what do you do? You call people for advice, but you have to learn how to take your stuff to the Lord and stop taking things to people that do not have the ability to change things. You have to understand when it comes to making decisions for your next move that you’re able to recognize God’s presence in it, and if God’s presence is not in it then you should not do it. There are people that you actively engage with that don’t really know you. People have been in your life for quite some time, and they don’t know what annoys you. When you know that you’re not in right position you will always be afraid of the Lord’s presence. Position is not limited to proximity. Position can be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, that when you’re not in the right position you’re not trying to go near God. You stay as far away as possible so you can keep doing what you’re doing. Even when you don’t recognize his presence, he affirms himself to you.
*Jesus tells you to be courageous and don’t be afraid because you spend time being afraid of things that can do you no harm. You’re afraid and worrying about the opinions of other people that can’t bless you, can’t keep you, can’t regulate your mind, can’t provide for your needs, and even if they say they can, they can only do it for a moment, because their supply will run out. The Lord will let it run out because he wants you to be dependent on him and not other people. It’s not that they wanted to cut you off, but God said stop leaning on them and lean on him. He does this so you can make changes and build stability in your own life. In this next year the people you counted on in the past, God has to have to move them, because he’s trying to get you to depend on him and be self-sufficient. Sometimes in your needs always having to be met by other people and they love you, you don’t realize the change in dynamic of the relationship from being mutual love to mutual need. Your deficiency has placed added weight onto people, and sometimes your weight can hinder other people from getting to where God is trying to take them. Learn how to pray for yourself in this next season instead of picking up the phone for a prayer partner. Learn how to be a good steward over your finances, because the word you’re going to hear will be no.
*God is requiring a higher grade of faith. Before you would give God 20% and he would give 80%, but now God is saying if you give 20, he’ll give twenty, not because he can’t give you eighty, but at some point, for you to step up your faith he has to stop giving abundance and get you to match what he gives. If you’re not excited about that, it’s because you are content with the mustard seed faith that you have. You can’t get situations to move in your life because you have been walking with the Lord for some time and are stuck on mustard seed faith.
*Be careful what you ask God to do in trying to get him to prove himself to you. You want the position, but don’t want the perplexities that come with position. You want blessings, but don’t want the burdens that come with the blessings. You ask God to make you rich, but you don’t want the problems that come with being rich. If God made you rich, could you handle what comes with it?
*In the place between sinking and saving has to do with an increase of growth in your faith level. You have to step out of the boat and do something that you feel like you are not qualified for. God is requiring you to take a step of faith. Even if you don’t get it that’s ok, but God’s calling you to take a step in faith. You are just a step away from where God is trying to take you, but do you have enough faith to get out of the boat? The boat represents comfortability and familiarity. Can you step out of what you are comfortable or familiar with to go to a territory where the only thing you need to know is God? You’re sitting on the boat waiting for Jesus, hoping you get it right on the boat, but your faith can’t be tested until you take a bold step out of the boat. You won’t know how strong your faith is until you move from your comfort zone. If it can’t be tested then it can’t be trusted, and not just your faith, but every area of your life. Sometimes you run away from tests, but you won’t know how strong something is until God tests it. You may feel like it’s another affliction, but God is using your afflictions to test where you are, to test your faith. Do you have enough faith that God can work out the situation?
*When God is trying to take you somewhere you have to be prepared for the distractions that will come to confuse you as you are going along the journey. When the enemy wants to stop you from getting to the Savior, he will allow your mind to be perplexed in such a way that what you’re only supposed to feel you will actually begin to see. What you see is not really there, it’s a figment of your imagination used to hinder you from getting to God. The enemy has told you and convinced you in your mind that you are stuck. The battleground is in the mind, if the enemy can get in your mind to think certain things and gravitate to certain things, he has won the battle. You must be transformed and renewed in your mind, so you won't be alluded to by the distractions of the enemy.
*There’s a difference between sinking and sunk. Even though you’re sinking, because you haven’t sunk that means it’s not over. Your issues and problems don’t care how much you love God and trust him; they’re still going to come. They’re not concerned with your relationship with God, they’re concerned with impeding your progress. When you’re in prayer with God he will reveal some things that are getting ready to come your way. God wants you to grow in faith so you can move beyond doubt. A characteristic of little faith is doubt. When your faith is small, you’ll allow a small slip to start doubting God. To enlarge your faith, start doing business with God in deep waters, wrestle with some things that put you to a place where you have to turn down your plate and pray. That you shut people out and tell them you can’t talk right now because you need to hear from God. Do some business with God until things change in your life, allow God to test your faith so it can strengthen it to grow. Going from the sinking place to the place where you are saved requires an upgrade in your faith. God is saying he’s trying to get you somewhere and make your system stronger, but he needs you to allow the update to install. Because you keep holding on to the same old thing, you’re not getting the fullness of the update. You still have bugs and problems, and you can’t do what people are doing that have greater faith because you are still stuck on the same old little mustard seed faith when God’s trying to get you to have watermelon faith.