God’s Devotion: Holy Spirit: Redirected: Sincerity of Heart

God delights in us and is pleased to give us the kingdom. – He is not looking for perfect rightness, but right heart-ness – sincerity of heart (that is) continually submitted to Him.

  • God loves, leads, and guides (John 16:13-15; Ps 23; 25:5; 43:3: 86:11: 143:10; Isa 26:7) “when the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth”

  • God can and does direct, redirect and redeem (Prov 15:33; 16:1,9; 19:21; Jer 10:23; Gen 15;16; 21) “to man belongs…, …the LORD determines his steps.”

  • God uses “…all things for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purposes" (2Sam 16:12; Rom 8:28-30; Eph 1:11)

  • God is close to and rewards a sincere heart (Psalm20; James 4; Heb 10:22-23)
    “May He give you the desires of your heart and make all your places succeed.”

As I have considered each of the person’s we have looked at in regard to God’s devotion toward us, the question of redirection keeps coming to my mind. I have had many ask me “how do I know what God’s will is in my life?” and “...what if I make a mistake or I’m wrong, I don’t want to miss what God has for me.” Well, I can’t, we can’t, answer all those questions definitively, but we can at least see the way God tends to speak to, lead, and use His people.

Romans 8:28-30 is actually telling us that God is a redeeming God - taking whatever is handed to Him (seemingly, good or bad) and turning it into good for His children. Now, that is not to say we can just careen through life doing anything we want and it will go well (Gal 5:6:1-10). It says “...for those who love Him…”.

Well, what is it to love God? According to Jesus it’s to trust Him enough to “...obey me…”. The life of the child of God will have the general trajectory of obedience, or, at least, of sin and repentance and continued attempts to obey - life as we know it. Or, more accurately stated - life as we know Him. (John 14:15-24; 15:10; 1Jo 2:3; 5:3)

What we are actually looking at in the case of Philip, Peter, and Paul (Acts 9-16) is that they were each and all – redirected. Their hearts were sincerely directed to God and by God, it was their understanding and plans of the heart according to that understanding, that needed to be honed – or – redirected. It is important that we see that God was so devoted to them that He obliged. They were all, with sincere hearts toward God, going the way they thought was right, and God, by His Spirit, rewarded their heart’s sincerity by guiding their steps on each of their chosen paths, as each, it would seem, were going according to their bent, or, person – how God had made them and were making them to be.

  • Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

  • Proverbs 16:1 To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue.

  • Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

  • Proverbs 19:21 Many plans are in a man's heart, but the purpose of the LORD will prevail.

  • Jeremiah 10:23 I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not his own; no one who walks directs his own steps.

  • Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

This may be more natural than it may seem, God knows who we are – He made us.

We may be thinking “how can this be? I don’t always ‘obey’ God or even know what I’m doing”. Well, sometimes, this is where faith comes in. We forget sometimes that everything I am has been ordained by God. Everything. Where do I tend to go? What do I tend to do? What tends to attract my eyes, ears, nose, steps, etc.? Is it not what appeals to me? Do I forget, that God knows exactly how I have been made and did that on purpose, for a purpose? And then, in the remaking, (He) is creating me, and how He made me to be, to now be like Jesus too? “…we are God’s workmanship…” (Eph 2:8-10)

God is a redeeming God and when He redeemed me and placed His Spirit in me and gave His truth to me He promised to work with me, to make me, more and more, like Jesus. And this, He has lovingly and wisely chosen to do with me over time - a process - sanctification - as He and I redeem each and every part of me, one part, one piece, at a time, as we go, together. (Ps 138:8; Phil 1:6; 2:13)

And that includes what appeals to me. What I understand as good, as right and just and fair, what is fruitful, what is tasteful and honoring - or - what is not good, wrong and unjust and unfair, distasteful, dishonoring (Prov 1-8). And all of this by His Spirit that guides me according to His Truth, which is, or better stated, Who is, Jesus. (Gal 5:13; Phil 1:10)

As I grow in Christ, though I am me, the me God has made me to be, my tastes, or, what appeals to me, will be refined and re-aimed toward that which is pleasing to God and the Spirit that resides in me. So that that which appealed to me before (and still may in some regard to my flesh) no longer satisfies or satiates like it might have before.

It does not taste quite the same or do quite the same thing for me… so, I go a different direction, I eat and drink different things, I begin hanging with other folks in other places…

...and really, I’m not even sure why, accept that, it, this new thing, intrigues me, it distracts me from what I used to concentrate on, it just “feels right”, it's beginning to agree with my soul, it is beginning to appeal to me, so, I go.

It’s a little bewildering, actually.

But, now, I begin to delight in the Lord and what delights Him. (Matt 7:7-8; 1Sam 15:22; Ps 37:4; 43:4; 81:10; 94:19; 104:31; 145:19; 149:4; Prov 3:12; 11:1, 11; 12:22Is 58:14; 61:10; Hab 3:19) “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

So, as a grow in Christ, I go, and as I go, I go as I know and understand, and as I go, God steers and corrects and redeems and redirects and uses, me. Together Him and me, we.

God: God's Devotion: Holy Spirit: Redirection

Fear of making the wrong read, the wrong move, doing the wrong thing. Remember: God delights in us and is pleased to give us the kingdom.

1. God loves, leads, and guides (John 16:13-15; Ps 23; 25:5; 43:3: 86:11: 143:10; Isa 26:7)


2. God can and does redirect and redeem (Prov 15:33; 16:1,9; 19:21; Jer 10:23; Gen 15;16; 21)


3. God uses all things for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purposes (2Sam 16:12; Rom 8:28-30; Eph 1:11)

As I have considered each of the person’s we have looked at in regard to God’s devotion toward us, the question of redirection keeps coming to my mind. I have had many ask me “how do I know what God’s will is in my life?” and “...what if I make a mistake or I’m wrong, I don’t want to miss what God has for me.”

Well, I can’t, we can’t, answer all those questions definitively, but we can at least see the way God tends to speak to, lead, and use His people.

Romans 8:28-30 is actually telling us that God is a redeeming God - taking whatever is handed to Him (seemingly, good or bad) and turning it into good for His children. Now, that is not to say we can just careen through life doing anything we want and it will go well (Gal 6:1-10). It says “...for those who love Him…”.

Well, what is it to love God? According to Jesus it’s to “...obey me…”. The life of the child of God will have the general trajectory of obedience, or, at least, of sin and repentance and continued attempts to obey - life as we know it. Or, more accurately stated - life as we know Him. (John 14:15-24; 15:10; 1Jo 2:3; 5:3)

What we are actually looking at in the case of each of the people we have identified with is that they were each and all - redirected. They were all going their own way, the way they thought was right, and God, by His Spirit, guided their steps on each of their chosen paths. And each, it would seem, according to their bent, or, person.

Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

Proverbs 16:1 To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue.

Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

Proverbs 19:21 Many plans are in a man's heart, but the purpose of the LORD will prevail.

Jeremiah 10:23 I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not his own; no one who walks directs his own steps.

Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

We may be thinking “How can this be? I don’t always ‘obey’ God or even know what I’m doing.” Well, sometimes, this is where faith comes in. We forget sometimes that everything I am has been ordained by God. Everything. Where do I tend to go? What do I tend to do? What tends to attract my eyes, ears, nose, steps, etc.? Is it not what appeals to me? Do I forget, that God knows exactly how I have been made and did that on purpose, for a purpose? And then, in the remaking, (He) is creating me, and how He made me to be, to now be like Jesus too? (Eph 2:8-10)

God is a redeeming God and when He redeemed me and placed His Spirit in me and gave His truth to me He promised to work with me, to make me, more and more, like Jesus. And this, He has lovingly and wisely chosen to do with me over time - a process - sanctification - as He and I redeem each and every part of me, one part, one piece, at a time, as we go, together. (Ps 138:8; Phil 1:6; 2:13)

And that includes what appeals to me. What I understand as good, as right and just and fair, what is fruitful, what is tasteful and honoring - or - what is not good, wrong and unjust and unfair, distasteful, dishonoring (Prov 1-8). And all of this by His Spirit that guides me according to His Truth, which is, or better stated, Who is, Jesus. (Gal 5:13; Phil 1:10)

As I grow in Christ, though I am me, the me God has made me to be, my tastes, or, what appeals to me, will be refined and re-aimed toward that which is pleasing to God and the Spirit that resides in me. So that that which appealed to me before (and still may in some regard to my flesh) no longer satisfies or satiates like it might have before.

It does not taste quite the same or do quite the same thing for me… so, I go a different direction, I eat and drink different things, I begin hanging with other folks in other places…

...and really, I’m not even sure why, accept that, it, this new thing, intrigues me, it distracts me from what I used to concentrate on, it just “feels right”, it's beginning to agree with my soul, it is beginning to appeal to me, so, I go.

It’s a little bewildering, actually.

But, now, I begin to delight in the Lord and what delights Him. (Matt 7:7-8; 1Sam 15:22; Ps 37:4; 43:4; 81:10; 94:19; 104:31; 145:19; 149:4; Prov 3:12; 11:1, 11; 12:22Is 58:14; 61:10; Hab 3:19)

God always goes before us

God, in His grace, always goes before us. 

We can trust, when invited, it is always His work we are joining. We get to join God’s work, as workers of the “harvest,” (Matt 9:37; Luke 10:2) when we position and posture ourselves to hear the Spirit’s whisper, allowing Him to minister to us, that we might, in cooperation with the Spirit, join Him in ministry and service to one another and mission to the lost to others.

God, working everywhere, all the time…

What is truly amazing is how these following events all occurred without each involved knowing the other was happening - God working all over the place - and our being a part, not only in that moment, but, how God’s working in this moment is intricately interwoven with all the other moments, and that we’re all a part by His Spirit!

Acts 8:26, 29-30, 35-38 Philip had no clue what God was actually doing when He set him on his journey, he heard the Spirit’s whisper, responded to His prompting and went. Philip did not see Gentile or Jew, he was made aware of an opportunity and took advantage of it and went on his way. He didn’t ask any questions, he just went…

...at the same time...

Acts 8:1-3; 9:1-19 Saul, a Jew and Pharisee, and persecutor of the church, would become Paul, now saved and commissioned to be the “apostle to the gentiles”. Even he, would go to Jews first, but would be chosen and commissioned by God to reach into the gentile world (Rom 11:13) - where God was already working.

Acts 10 Peter, the Apostle to the Jews (Gal 2:8) - (the Jews, those) who still believed that salvation through Jesus, the Christ, or Messiah, was for the Jew - is sent by God, to “officially” open the way to the Way for the gentiles to be accepted into the church (by the Jewish church) as they come to believe in Christ.

Act 11:1-18 Peter is confronted and called to explain to the Jewish church in Jerusalem his actions regarding his having gone into a gentile home.

Acts 11:19-21 Without Peter and the other Jewish leaders of the church being aware, the Holy Spirit had already lead believers (after the scattering) into Greek communities to share the gospel and were bearing fruit.

Acts 10 Peter on the other hand…

● Leader and spokesman of the Jewish church, Peter was Jewish through and through and maintained his purity and ceremonial cleanliness his entire life. Jewish Christians would continue to struggle with their ceremonial cleanliness and the role of the Law (of Moses, though now fulfilled in Christ) in their salvation and later the sanctification of gentile believers – including, even after this, Peter (Galatians 2:11-21)

...God’s about to do something new, from old...

This would be a pivotal moment for the young Jewish church as Peter would be given a vision of God declaring all food “clean” symbolizing God’s love and intentions for the Gentile world and their inclusion in the Kingdom of God and the Church.

● Mark 7:19; Matthew 15:1; Colossians 2:16 “For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

● 1Tim 4:3-5 “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”

● Ephesians 2:14 Jesus breaking down the wall between Jew and Gentile “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…”

Why is this important? 

Jesus had declared food clean before, but the disciples had not understood the underlying meaning of the declaration - as Jesus was softening the hearts and consciences of the Jews to receive “unclean” or “sinner” gentiles as believers (Isaiah (the nations/peoples)).

● Psalm 67

● Isaiah 11:10; 49:22; 62 “On that day the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples. The nations will seek Him, and His place of rest will be glorious.”

● Luke 2:32 “...my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

● John 3:15-18 “...For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…”

● Romans 15:12 “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations;

in him the Gentiles will hope.”


Why is this important for us to note?

 Because, it is in the midst of everyday life and circumstances that God works and that although each work is significant in itself, it reveals to us that each and every circumstance is woven into God’s omniscient (all-knowing, all-wise) and sovereign tapestry and that each circumstance, each event, has an affect not only those in that moment, but on every each and all this moment touches.

This is as true today as it was in Peter’s day and we need to see this story of God’s moving, working, inviting and prompting in this mundane context because it IS how God works, it is in and through the everyday stuff of life that God invites us in. And, just as important, this truth should relieve us of the pressure of thinking that we “have to do” and help us recognize that it is God’s “to do” and that we have the privilege of being invited to be a part. That is God’s work and He delights in our joining Him in it.

May we then delight in our being invited, being an instrument of God’s love expressed in mercy and grace, hope and joy.

May we delight in God’s truth, Jesus – the Way, the Truth, and the Life and in the Spirit’s whisper – calling, inviting, prompting, working.

May we delight in joining God in His work done throughout the course of the day in the context of the stuff of the day, using us and our everyday circumstances and events to speak His love into the hearts of those with whom we trod, those, in whose hearts He, our Father, is already working, there before us.

May we delight, in God, our Father; Brother – friend, Savior, Lord; and Holy Spirit – advocate, counselor, encourager and intercessor.

Side note:

And in fact, in 70AD God would allow the Temple to be destroyed keeping believers from coming back to their “mecca” as Jesus had declared “true worshipers will no longer come to this mountain nor Jerusalem…” to find God and worship, “...but a time is coming and has now come when true worshipers will worship in Spirit and Truth.” (John 4:21-24) In this, Jesus was now, in every way, establishing the dwelling of God in the hearts of people, removing any possibility for anyone to be tempted to not let go of the “old way” (for the Jews in particular) as to return to what was known.

God Always Goes Before Us

God always goes before us. It is His work we are joining. We join God’s work, as workers of the “harvest,” (Matt 9:37; Luke 10:2) when we position and posture ourselves to hear the Spirit’s whisper, allow Him to minister to us, that we might, in cooperation with the Spirit, join Him in ministry (in the church) and mission (to the lost) to others.

1Sam 3:1-11 Samuel learning to hear God’s whisper, same as us

What is truly amazing is how these following events all occurred without each involved knowing the other was happening - God working all over the place - and our being a part, not only in that moment, but, how God’s working in this moment is intricately interwoven with all the other moments, and that we’re all a part by His Spirit!

Acts 8 Philip had no clue what was God was actually doing when He set him on his journey, he heard the Spirit’s whisper, responded to His prompting and went. Philip did not see Gentile or Jew, he was made aware of an opportunity and took advantage of it and went on his way. He didn’t ask any questions, he just went…

But, meanwhile, down on the farm...

Acts 9 Saul, a Jew and Pharisee, and persecutor of the church, would become Paul, now saved and commissioned to be the “apostle to the gentiles”. Even he, would go to Jews first, but would be chosen and commissioned by God to reach into the gentile world (Rom 11:13) - where God was already working.

Acts 10 Peter, the Apostle to the Jews (Gal 2:8) - (the Jews, those) who still believed that salvation through Jesus, the Christ, or Messiah, was for the Jew - is sent by God, to “officially” open the way to the Way for the gentiles to be accepted into the church (by the Jewish church) as the come believe in Christ.

Act 11 Peter is confronted and called to explain to the Jewish church in Jerusalem his actions regarding his having gone into a gentile home.

Acts 11:19-21 without Peter and the other Jewish leaders of the church being aware, the Holy Spirit had already lead believers (after the scattering) into Greek communities to share the gospel and were bearing fruit.

Acts 10 Peter on the other hand…

● Leader and spokesman of the Jewish church, Peter was Jewish through and through and maintained his purity and ceremonial cleanliness his entire life. Jewish Christians would continue to struggle with their ceremonial cleanliness and the role of the Law (of Moses, though now fulfilled in Christ) in their salvation and later the sanctification of gentile believers – including, even after this, Peter (Galatians 2:11-21)

This would be a pivotal moment for the young Jewish church as Peter would be given a vision of God declaring all food “clean” symbolizing God’s love and intentions for the Gentile world and their inclusion in the Kingdom of God and the Church.

● Mark 7:19; Matthew 15:1; Colossians 2:16 “For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

● 1Tim 4:3-5 “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”

● Ephesians 2:14 Jesus breaking down the wall between Jew and Gentile “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…”

Why is this important? Jesus had declared food clean before, but the disciples had not understood the underlying meaning of the declaration - as Jesus was softening the hearts and consciences of the Jews to receive “unclean” or “sinner” gentiles as believers (Isaiah (the nations/peoples)).

● Psalm 67

● Isaiah 11:10; 49:22; 62

● Luke 2:32

● John 3:15-18

● Romans 15:12

Why is this important for us to note? Because, it is in the midst of everyday life and circumstances that God works and that although each work is significant in itself, it reveals to us that each and every circumstance is woven into God’s omniscient and sovereign tapestry and that each circumstance, each event, has an affect not only those in that moment, but on every each and all this moment touches.

This is as true today as it was in Peter’s day and we need to see this story of God’s moving, working, inviting and prompting in this mundane context because it IS how God works, it is in and through the everyday stuff of life that God invites us in. And, just as important, this truth should relieve us of the pressure of thinking that we “have to do” and help us recognize that it is God’s “to do” and that we have the privilege of being invited to be a part. That is God’s work and He delights in our joining Him in it.

May we then delight in our being invited, being an instrument of God’s love expressed in mercy and grace, hope and joy.

May we delight in God’s truth, Jesus – the Way, the Truth, and the Life and in the Spirit’s whisper – calling, inviting, prompting, working.

May we delight in joining God in His work done throughout the course of the day in the context of the stuff of the day, using us and our everyday circumstances and events to speak His love into the hearts of those with whom we trod, those, in whose hearts He, our Father, is already working, there before us.

May we delight, in God, our Father; Brother – friend, Savior, Lord; and Holy Spirit – advocate, counselor, encourager and intercessor.

Side note:

And in fact, in 70AD God would allow the Temple to be destroyed keeping believers from coming back to their “mecca” as Jesus had declared “true worshipers will no longer come to this mountain nor Jerusalem…” to find God and worship, “...but a time is coming and has now come when true worshipers will worship in Spirit and Truth.” (John 4:21-24) In this, Jesus was now, in every way, establishing the dwelling of God in the hearts of people, removing any possibility for anyone to be tempted to not let go of the “old way” (for the Jews in particular) as to return to what was known.

Jesus is “the way the truth and the life” and has opened the door, torn the curtain, made the way as the Way, and now has given us His Spirit… And the Spirit is joyfully obligated to finish the deal. As the Father and Son and Holy Spirit dance the dance of pleasure and joy, victory and look forward to the wedding feast – when all of this comes together, they cheerfully, joyfully, together, stride with us and in us, for us and through us… (Mk 15:38)

…believe the One who was sent… John 6:29

This is why the work of the kingdom is to believe in the one who was sent. We isolate this to Jesus, but it is not only so. Yes, Jesus was sent and dwelled among us, and we can know God‘s heart and intentions and gracious and gentle and humble way through the One who laid down His glory and walked with us in suffering (Heb 2), and it is in Him, who we are to believe and be saved. But there is another One who has been sent. The Holy spirit. And it is (also) work to believe in this One who is sent. We must work that work, taking time in the quiet, becoming more acquainted with God’s truth, praying quietly as to hear, listen, and learn, we must listen to the voices closely and pray for discernment and insight and wisdom in guidance – to hear and know this One sent, the Spirit of God, in us (1Jn 4:1).

We must trust this truth to be real whether seemingly off in the vague distance or concrete real, the fact is, the Holy Spirit is among us and in us and takes pleasure in being with us and connecting us to the Father, enabling us to harmonize with the Trinity - the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - that our voices, empowered by His voice, join Their voices in that altogether sound. (Rev 5)

The Spirit tells us of the Father’s love, reminds us, keeps us, escorts us, into Abba’s arms

John 7:37-39 - Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

John 14:16-17, 26 - And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you do know Him, for He abides with you and will be in you… But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you.

John 15:26 - When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father--the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father--He will testify about Me.

John 16:7, 13 - But I tell you the truth, it is for your benefit that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you…. However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come.

Acts 1:4; 2:1-4, 33 - And while they were gathered together, He commanded them: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift the Father promised, which you have heard Me discuss… 1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues a as the Spirit enabled them… Exalted, then, to the right hand of God, He has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

The devotion of God: the Holy Spirit - Go… Matt 28:18-19; Acts 8:26-38

The promise of Jesus to send the Spirit was another proof of God’s devotion, that He could be trusted, and in being trustworthy, would show Himself as being One to whom we could, can, entrust ourselves - eternally and temporally, that is daily, moment to moment.

The coming of the Spirit in Acts 2 reveals to us God’s loving intentions for His children - that Jesus was telling the truth when He said “i will not leave you or forsake you…”, and “I will not leave you as orphans”, and “...my peace I give to you… I do not give as the world gives…”

We must be careful to not be duped into thinking that the Holy Spirit is so mysterious that there is no way to know who He is, what He is doing, or understand His movements. But, in fact, though His movements and ways are mysterious, He desires to be known and heard and followed - and with our cooperation -

● Guides, leads, corrects - Gal 5:1,13,22

● Philip - Acts 8:26-38 - prompted by the Lord, went on a journey, as he went he was led by the Spirit to the side of one with he was to share - God already there working, gives Philip permission to join the work.

● Peter - Acts 10 – entranced in prayer, the Spirit led Peter to Cornelius, where they are waiting - God already there and working

● Paul - Acts 16:6-10 - to the mountains Paul would go if left to His own, but the Spirit would lead him to a place where there some are waiting - God already there and working - with a greater more expansive and inclusive plan in mind: a strategy to reach the world, to expand the kingdom exponentially not linear

Reminds, instructs

● “Abba Father”- Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15; Gal 4:6

● “(you) are a child of God” - Rom 8:12-17

Reveals, provokes - Acts 16:9

● The Spirit will bring up to us

○ Names and faces - of people to remember and for whom to pray

○ Circumstances - we find ourselves in that God is trying to guide in and through and to see the significance our being in - (remembering) that we are His representatives

○ Insight - little clues, hints, metaphors, examples - to help us better understand or gain insight and discernment in His moving and intentions for us in this moment

○ Conformations - affirming us that the promptings we have sensed are from Him

Prays on our behalf - Romans 8:26-27

● Continually advocating and interceding

● Praying for us what we would be cannot, because we know not

Gives us words, will speak for you - so that we need not worry - Mark 13:11

Is faithful even when we are faithless… 2Tim:2-13; 1Cor 1:9: Phil 1:6; 2Thes 3:3; Heb 10:23

Immediately, Jesus reached out His hand and caught Him

The reaching and catching, preceded the declaration of lack of faith

If had not come first, Peter would have been shamed and sheepishly slinked to the back of the boat (guilt ridden and ashamed)

Instead, Jesus, having revealed, first, His otherness, then His saving intentions - as a loving friend - evoked from the men, the proper response, the response God delights in, not fright and distance, but from near, astonished, humble, heartfelt and spontaneous, worship. As Jesus is BOTH, the divine Other that commands our worship AND the loving Brother and Friend who saves. And this, is His devotion to us.

Because Jesus’ “rebuke”” came second, it was meant to be an honest question meant to console and provoke further understanding - greater faith and trust

  • In other words, saying this while in Jesus’ grasp shows Peter His care for Him has nothing to do with the size or amount of faith or his position of doubt

  • Instead, it is an instructive moment of truth of the condition of Peter’s heart and mind in regard to truly knowing (Jesus) and trusting that knowing

  • Remembering contextually, that the Jews always looked for a demonstration of power for proof of God and proof of God’s favor, or something or someone being of or from God

  • Jesus means to dispel the notion of what is proof of God’s favor, concern, or working - that it is not that “I (AM)” would do something for you, but that “I AM, ‘Abba’” would be here with you”

Fear, prove it - power/otherness - God -

“It is not good for man to be alone “(Gen 2:18), not because man/Adam was alone, as Adam was not alone in the truest, or most basic, sense of the word, but because man could not truly and fully relate to the otherness of God.

God‘s power is a demonstration of His otherness, His being other than, greater than, His being incomprehensible and unrelatable, as in, God is outside of the realm of relating or what is most necessary in relationship, as He is One who cannot be related to in the human/divine sense.

This is (also) why Jesus had to join us in our flesh, as He had “...a body prepared…” for him (Heb 10:5-10), to come and do life with us, as one of us. So that we could have a relationship, that we could relate to God, because He has made Himself relatable and came to relate. Knowing this, Jesus in essence, laid down his otherness, to come to be part of mankind, to be with mankind, (with) one another, as another. (Phil 2:5-8)

So, although according to Col 1:15-23; Heb 1:1-4; 2:14-18, Jesus was “the radiance of God and the perfect representation of God here on earth”, Jesus did this by taking the “form of a man” and became a man, because, the otherness of God, His divine Self, was so unrelatable.

Jesus proving himself to Peter by power, would certainly reveal his otherness. But, it was Jesus’ overlooking Peter’s lack of faith, His reaching out to catch and save anyway, and then, His climbing into the boat with Peter, that made Jesus’ God-nature safe and brought the divine otherness into relationship – His otherness, came into one-another, with the others.

You see, here’s the deal…

The purpose at the heart of Jesus’ mission, was to bridge the gap between man and the divine Otherness. And a mere demonstration of His divine power to Peter, would have only reinforced the separation between God and man.

It is in Jesus’ loving wisdom to just merely flit away the veil of flesh momentarily, giving just a wink of His divine power, to Peter, that assured Peter (of who He was), by revealing and proving to Peter His divinity and with it His divine otherness, but (wisely), putting it quickly away, Jesus (humbly) allowed Peter to be distracted from that revealed glory, by the chaos around him, which allowed Jesus to establish and reinforce the true reason for His being here, revealing the true nature of God's heart toward man: that it is God the Father‘s desire to bless His children with the enjoyment of knowing who He is, knowing Him! That we can know Him, whose we are and who we are, and that God, the divine Otherness, would not merely visit man, but truly become a man, by taking on our flesh, and make His dwelling among us, not just walking on the water, but getting in the water. Climbing together. As friends.

So Jesus progression from the phantom ghost that terrified, to the climbing friend who saves and stays, is a microcosm of God’s[1] loving and faithful intentions for us and His work in us. From a distant God who is other and scary and incomprehensible, right through to the friend who climbs in and embraces each man.



Manifest wisdom and his progressive revelation to mankind over time and to men themselves.

● God who is scary

● God who is drawing near in an attempt to allay fears

● God who is powerful and other - from whom I maintain a respectful distance

● God who is near and reaches out, catches, forgives, and saves - Who penetrates my distance

● God who remains and is a brother - Who reveals to me, not only His divine otherness, but His gracious likeness

● God of love, a friend, who sticks closer than a brother - Who ignores my occasional desire for distance and remains and fights through my feelings and failings

● God of grace, faithfulness, of majestic glory, and yet, beckons, come - Who is worthy of worship, adoration, praise and thanks. Who is glorious and powerful and wonderful and kind…

● The God of wisdom and love - Who knows that the best way to be in relationship is not to just wield His power and do everything for us, but to join us in the water and do everything with us.

That is the kingdom of our Glorious God and our loving and faithful Father - the divine other, brother and friend - teaching us how to be like Him, that is, to love like Him - with one another, devoted

For further study: Moses went through the same basic process - Exodus 3

● Moses mysteriously chosen and living hostage in a hostile world, trained in all things world (Ex 2:2; Acts 7:20; Heb 11:23)

● Moses senses something about “his people” needing a savior and miss interprets who the savior is to be (not him, but God, using Him) (Ex 2:12; 3:7-10)... life, as it were, moves on. Later… (Ex 2:13-25; 3:1)

● Moses’s eyes are drawn… sees something strange - almost ghostly (Ex 3:2-3)

● God speaks to Moses (Ex 3:4-5)

● Moses is afraid to look, shrinks back out of fear (Ex 3:6)

● Moses doubts (Ex 3:11; 4:1, 10, 13)

● God assures and reassures (Ex 3:12-22; 4) and demonstrates His divine otherness so prove to Moses who He is, “I AM”

● Moses finally agrees (Ex 4:18)

● Moses does what God says, but doubts and fails it is forgiven; God reaches and rescues, assures and reassures (Exodus, the rest of the story, as God demonstrates power, yet, but more profoundly walks WITH Moses, as a friend)

● God speaks to Moses as a Friend (Ex 33:11; Num 12:8; Deut 34:10)

● Emboldened by God’s declaration, Moses desires to see and be closer; God acquiesces to Moses’ request and let’s Him see - a glimpse, a peek, a promise for more (Ex 33:12-23)

● Jesus, comes now, and instead of putting His hand between us and His glory, instead of speaking to us as a “man speaks to a friend”, actually comes and puts His glory down, clothes Himself with our flesh, and declares that we are His friends, and speaks to us that way.

● Not just His presence being with us (Ex 33:14), but Him, being present with us. (Isa 7:14; Psa 2:7; 85:9; John 1:14; 1John 1:1; 4:2; 2John 1:7; Col 1:15-23; Heb 1:1-4; 2:14-18; 10:5-10; Spirit in us: John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7; Acts 1:4; 2:3-4; 1John 5:6; Rom 5:15; Gal 4:6; Eph 1:13-14)

Jesus, there, even when it doesn’t seem that way, peace | Matthew 14:22-35 (January 27th)

Vs. 24 “...they were buffeted by the wind…” or, the wind was opposed to them

● Struggle and strain

● Tired and discouraged

● Their strength, we can be sure, was sapped - it’s the fourth watch of the night

● Mark 5:48 says “...He saw they were in serious trouble…”

It is that of the world… it is opposed to us, the children of God, it buffets to the point of exhaustion and discouragement and there are times that we find ourselves in what seems like “serious trouble”

And, it’s never at a good time...

Vs. 25 “...during the the fourth watch of the night…” 3-6am

Jesus sees and goes out to them

Long day, longer night…the disciples had just returned from their own missionary journey, Jesus had just heard of John’s death and had taken to mourn Matt 14:13 "He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place" as He sailed the crowds gathered to meet Him, “when Jesus landed and saw the large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick”

and as evening approached, the disciples came to Him and said… it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away…”

He and the disciples fed them all…

After all of this, Jesus sent the disciples “ahead of Him to the other side” while He dismissed the crowds

Vs. 26 They were terrified… “...it is a ghost!”

Mark 6:51-52 says that “the disciples did not understand about the loaves and fish”

  • What was to understand?

  • Jesus’ “compassion” for people (Mark 6)

  • Jesus’ power and provision

  • Jesus’ love and comfort

But, this wasn’t Jesus’ first demonstration of power…

Sometimes, it takes many times, for us to get it, to see, experience, and trust, to experience more, to trust more, that we finally entrust ourselves, to Him

Mostly, they were still misunderstanding Jesus’ intentions…

John 6:14-15 tells us “After the people saw the sign JEsus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by Himself”

How might we know that this is the point of misunderstanding? Even after His resurrection, before being given the Spirit, they still did not understand:

Acts 1:6 “so when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, ‘ Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” NLT

● Mark 4; 5; 6 Jesus had…

○ Commanded the seas and they obeyed

○ Driven out demons

○ Healed without even knowing it

○ Raised the dead

○ Sent them out with power, and, they experienced that power “that even the demons obeyed us!!”

○ Fed 5,000, really 18,000 thousand people, and the disciples were part of that, too!!


Do we believe God for who He is? Will we trust Him to do what He promises? How do we know God? He IS devoted to us… and yet we doubt. And, He knows this and sees and comes and calls and beckons and receives and saves… anyway

● Jesus’ approach is

○ Missed - they did not expect Him to arrive in this manner

○ Mistaken, misunderstood, and misinterpreted - what they believed about God determined how they saw Jesus - and so it does not appear to be Him

● Could it be that Jesus’ appearing in the midst of our circumstance may not occur in the way we expect Him to appear?

○ They knew He was going to meet them there

○ They expected Him

○ They trusted this to be so and would have assumed His being there

○ But they missed it, anyway

Just like us:

● We know that He will meet us

● We expect Him to do so

● We trust this to be so and assume His being there

● Can it be though, that when it seems as though he is far from us, or even when He does “arrive”, it is not in the way we anticipated, and so we are “terrified”, and He is

○ Missed

○ Mistaken, misunderstood, and misinterpreted

○ 11 men froze

○ 1 man stepped out

Vs. 27 Jesus immediately said them “Take courage! Is it I. Don’t be afraid.” (Joshua 1)

● Jesus immediately identifies Himself

● Assures the disciples of His presence

● Calls them to courage, not based on their own abilities, but His being Him to them.

● Tells them there is no reason to fear, to be afraid.

So, we put Jesus to the test, and He, seems to be ok with that…He’s doesn’t seem to be threatened, or angry, or felt put upon, but in fact, He complies…

We should see that sometimes His compliance to our assertions can mean our own humiliation… and in that, growth in humility - which is not such a bad thing, as only the humble see God

Vs. 28-29 Peter and the waves… “...Lord, if it is , tell me to come to you on the water…”, in essence “prove it, show me”. Jesus replied “Come”

● He has Jesus before, He knew Jesus and watched Him work miracles in the lives of others

● Confident and focused, Peter challenges Jesus, and when called, goes out to Him…

● Peter sees and experiences Jesus’ power - that he had seen, but not understood - it had always been for someone else… but this, this is him!

Vs. 30 “But when Peter saw the wind… he was afraid, beginning to sink, he cried out ’Lord, save me!’”

● Distracted by the winds, having taken His eyes of Jesus, his courageous wains and he is afraid and begins to sink (Phil 4:4-8 “The Lord is near, be anxious about nothing”)

● Peter is reminded of his utter weakness and now is, and now, overwhelmed by his circumstances, he calls out

Vs. 31 “immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’”

● Jesus uses this moment as an opportunity to reveal Himself, that in Peter’s weakness, Jesus shows Himself, strong (2Cor 12:9-10)

● Peter humiliated/humbled, calls out, Jesus responds… as Peter finds himself in peril Jesus’ proves Himself

○ Faithful

○ Able

○ Devoted

● Peter and the disciples grow a little more in trust and let Him in

○ John 6:21 “then they were willing to let Him into the boat…”

Vs. 32-33 “And when He climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him, say ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’”

● When Jesus moves…

○ Truth, replaces lies

○ Clarity, replaces illusions

○ Relief, replaces dread

○ Peace, replaces tumult

○ Gratefulness, replaces despair

○ Trust, replaces doubt

○ Entrusting, replaces self-preservation

○ Reverent awe, replaces being afraid

○ Worship, drawing close, replaces reluctance, holding at a distance (Isa 29:13; Heb 10:1; 21-23)

Jesus, there, even when it doesn’t seem that way, peace… Matthew 14:22-35

And so it is so often with us… Jesus sends out, to go ahead of Him… it is not that He wasn’t , isn’t there, and won’t be there, He was, He is, and we can trust, that He will be.

Jesus, in sending them on ahead of Him is Implying that He will meet us there, Jesus knows the way, and we must trust Him – even if we didn’t hear Him say “I will be there”

  • Do we get that?

  • That every time we go out, Jesus lets us go ahead of Him…

  • Trust is not trust until it is put to the test

  • He did not say “I will see you there”, He just sent them “ahead of Him”, implying, “I will meet you there… this is important, because it becomes a matter of faith, to know, that if we go, He will be there – whether we hear it, or not.

  • So, we are then to “Go… make disciples… “ and trust in faith that He will meet us there

In the midst of life, Jesus lets us go ahead… and we can be confident that…

Jesus sees

Jesus comes to us in the waves, but not always...

  • How we imagine

  • Doing what we imagine

  • The way we imagine

...in fact, sometimes, though His appearance may be to us startling, scary, even frightening

Sometimes we challenge Jesus to prove who He is and ask something of Him that will challenge us in a way, stretch us in a way, that we might not realize will place us even deeper into our circumstance. And this may be because we can only see Jesus in the deepest seas… and He knows that… And then, even there, seeing Him, feeling His effect, we look around and see the wind and panic, and lose sight, and now… Sometimes, wanting to be rescued, wanting relief, we move in faith, but maybe, without

  • Wisdom

  • Fully established trust

  • We might get ahead of ourselves…

Jesus calls and beckons, “come to me…”, trust me…

And He lets us come. Does not let us sink, does not give up on us, neither is He angry with us, but He does chasten us as to challenge us to trust Him more and not doubt

Peter did exert a certain amount of faith and trust, enough, to entrust his welfare to Jesus… but

  • Our attention can be drawn away

  • We are easily distracted

  • We are easily shaken

  • We are easily filled with fear and doubt

But, even if we do doubt… Jesus, knows all of this and so, remains, and not just… sees, comes, meets, and calls, but, knowing what we are made of, is patient, tolerant, kind, and there. In a very real way, Jesus is there. Jesus’ devotion to Peter is not affected by Peter’s doubt, but in fact, He responds with kindness (Rom 2). It is not that Jesus is rewarding doubt, but assuring Peter in the midst of doubt. Trust is built over time as Jesus demonstrates His devotion to us, His tending to us in spite of any opposition