Matthew 14:28-31 “Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Every night my 3 year old Gordon Setter Leo and I do an exercise. After a long walk while frisbee retrieving and fun, we end up on a hill near a large soccer and baseball field. I tell Leo to sit and stay while I walk around 100 or more yards from him. Leo focuses very intently where I am walking out to and waits patiently. It doesn’t matter if several baseball teams are practicing or what is happening, Leo stays focused. And with a call to him, Leo jumps up and sprints at a cheetah’s pace to me with full zeal and enthusiasm he approaches me. His ears pinned back and his eyes are a glow as he runs with full might.
I can almost see a giant smile from him as he gets closer. Every single night, Leo never wavers, his enthusiasm is always with the same heart and vigor. It can be 90 degrees and he is dead tired from our walk or 10 below zero and a sharp wind, Leo’s enthusiasm has amazingly been the same in the 3 years we have started doing this exercise.
I thought about how enthusiastic he is, and how focused he was in this, and how we as Christians should be to our own Master, Jesus Christ. Do we get up each day with a focus on Him and enthusiastically follow Him or do we half-heartedly get up and approach Him or some days not at all.
It would be highly odd to me if Leo stopped running to me with that excitement and vigor each day. I would think he would be ill, hurt, or something terribly wrong with him. Now view your heavenly Father looking at you the same way. He knows your heart, He knows your vigor, so those days you are not showing that heart, it is not sickness, it is not illness, but it is sin in your life which deters enthusiasm.
Sin impedes any wish to approach God with vigor, rather it tells you to run the other way or stay in place. So repentance in our daily life of sin is very important. God forgives your sin, but we must always strive in repentance to maintain that enthusiasm.
Paul says we are the examine ourselves if we are in the faith. Genuine enthusiasm for the King and His word is one of those measuring weights. Imagine others viewing your walk, some days you are so focused on the King, and other days you are not so much, they can discern your faith.
I say genuine enthusiasm because some can play the part really well externally. By genuine enthusiasm it does not mean singing in the choir on Sunday and then the rest of the week you live your life as a heathen. As Leo running towards me and viewing his genuine unabated enthusiasm, know that your King Jesus Christ is filled with the same type of joy when you are focused on Him and Him alone and running towards Him with all your might.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” So instead of dragging along and being ensnared with the world and its desires, rather focus on the eternal promises of Jesus Christ. And with that share the gospel, the Good News of your salvation with passion, vigor, and conviction!
As Peter was so excited and enthusiastically left the boat to walk on water to Jesus, do the same! But as the story goes, do not doubt, stay focused on Jesus and you will not sink. If you are enthusiastic about your King, your walk with Him will be of much of much joy as the person you are running to is the very Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who will never cast you aside. Peter started to sink as soon as he took his eyes off of Jesus. Sometimes in our human condition this happens, we may fall, we may doubt, just know Jesus is always there to lend you His hand, just let go of the world and your fear and trust Him!
Just as Leo on the hill, for those of you have yet to come to Jesus Christ, when you hear His call, run to Him with all your might, He will always receive you with much joy!
Remember enthusiasm is contagious!
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.