Links Daily Devotional

Christian or Disciple?, Part 2: What Is Your Wind?

“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30-31, NIV)

We see it every spring at the Masters. The world’s best players and their caddies stand on the twelfth tee, looking up at the treetops, trying to determine which way the wind is blowing. The players are trying to figure out how the flag on the eleventh green could seemingly be blowing the opposite direction to the one they are hitting to on twelve.

It is important for these players and us to figure out the direction of the wind. But what I’ve learned over the years is that even more important than your knowledge of the wind is hitting the ball with conviction, regardless of your certainty of the conditions. Solid, well-executed shots are not nearly as affected by the wind as miss-hits and swings made without conviction. Tom Watson, arguably the best wind and bad weather player of all time, never tried to adjust his swing, or hit knock-down shots, or change his ball flight for the wind. He just slightly adjusted his aim and/or the club he hit. Then he made the same confident swing and tried to hit the ball solidly.

As in golf, the “winds” in our lives can affect our confidence and focus on the Lord—and ultimately our ability to execute obedience to God’s master plan and individual calling for each of us.

Most of us are familiar with the story of Jesus walking on water in Matthew 14 and how Peter was the only one willing to get out of the boat and follow Jesus. But when Peter was distracted by the wind and waves, he took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink. He needed Jesus to save him.

What we often forget, is that these same disciples had previously been with Jesus in a boat in a similar situation, described in Matthew 8 (also Mark 4 and Luke 8). In that case, Jesus simply spoke and calmed the storm. They had already seen and been amazed by him saying, “Who is this man? Even the winds and waves obey him!” However, despite them having the head knowledge of Jesus’ power and a belief in him, when it came time to act on the calling from Jesus, they were slow to get out of the boat. And when Peter did follow Jesus out onto the water, he got distracted by the same things that he had previously seen Jesus overcome.

I’ll be honest. I often muster the desire to get out of the boat and follow Jesus when the effort seems easy and the path is clear and without obstacles. However, that’s not typical of life. Life has wind. It distracts us like it did Peter. Peter stepped out of the boat on faith, but it did not take long for him to take his eyes off Jesus and his calling and get caught up in the fear of the wind.

Are you waiting for a calling with an easier pathway, or at least one that has a more solid footing than water? Jesus is calling each one of us to follow him regardless of the obstacles in our lives. Following him may well come with a difficult price here on earth. However, the reward is worth it. I truly believe that!

Take some time today to think about the wind in your life. What is keeping you from boldly and confidently following Jesus? Is it your love of money and financial security, your friends and family, or could it even be the “Christian” influence around you that misleadingly tells you that if it was God’s will it would be obvious or easier? Don’t let the complacency and lifestyle of many professing Christians keep you from truly following Jesus.

Josh Nelson

July 10, 2012

Copyright 2012 Links Players International

The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.