Chapter 10: Wade in the Water
P140 What Jesus had been suggesting, Mack finally allowed into his consciousness. He was talking about walking across on the water. Jesus, anticipating his hesitation, asserted, “C’mon, Mack. If Peter can do it…”
Q: What is Jesus trying to do with Mack when he asks him to walk on the water? Why does this request make Mack hesitate?
Matthew 14:25-31 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“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!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
P141 Jesus: Such a powerful ability, the imagination. That power alone makes you so like us. But without wisdom, imagination is a cruel task master. …do you think humans were designed to live in the present or the past or the future?
…now tell me, where do you spend most of your time in your mind, in your imagination; in the present, in the past, or in the future?
Q: How much do we live our lives in our imagination? Why do you think God planted that ability within us? When does our imagination help or hinder our faith?
Deuteronomy 28:64-67 Then the LORD will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods–gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the LORD will give you an anxious mind , eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”–because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see.
P142: Jesus – Mack, do you realize that your imagination of the future, which is almost always dictated by fear of some kind, rarely, if ever, pictures me there with you?
It is impossible for you to take power over the future because it isn’t even real, nor will it ever be real. You try and play God, imagining the evil that you fear becoming reality, and then you try and make plans and contingencies to avoid what you fear.
The person who lives by their fears will not find their freedom in my love.
Q: What things make us insecure and unfaithful to God? Why do we rarely picture Christ as being at the heart of our future? What does this tell us about our faith?
John 14:1-3 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
P144 Jesus – Our earth is like a child who has grown up without parents, having no one to guide and direct her. Some have attempted to help her but most have simply tried to use her. Humans, who have been given the task to lovingly steer the world, instead plunder her with no consideration, other than their immediate needs.
Q: Why do we dominate the earth and abuse it? How do our modern lifestyles affect our planet’s ecosystem? What should we be doing as Christians to change this?
Psalm 24:1-2 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.
P145 Jesus – have you noticed that even though you call me Lord and King, I have never really acted in that capacity with you/ I’ve never taken control of your choices or forced you to do anything, even when what you were about to do was destructive or hurtful to yourself and others.
To force my will on you, …is exactly what love does not do. Genuine relationships are marked by submission even when your choices are not helpful or healthy.
Q: Why doesn’t Jesus take charge over our lives? Would we expect Him to change things to suit ourselves if He did? How can we allow Him to influence our choices? Why are we sometimes resistant to this?
1 Peter 4:1-2 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
P146: Jesus – I don’t want slaves to my will; I want brothers and sisters who will share life with me.
That’s because like most men you find what you think of as fulfillment in your achievements, and Nan, like most women, find it in relationships.
Q: How can we fulfill our lives in Christ? How would that affect our accomplishments and relationships?
John 17:21-23 Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me . May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
P147: Jesus – Women, in general, will find it difficult to turn from a man and stop demanding that he meets their needs, provides security, and protects their identity, and return to me. Men, in general, find it very hard to turn from the works of their hands, their own quests for power and security and significance, and return to me.
Q: Why do we find it so difficult to return to Jesus? What obstacles get in our way?
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me , all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
P148: Jesus – Power in the hands of independent humans, be they men or women, does corrupt….remember, I am not about performance and fitting into man-made structures; I am about being. As you grown in relationship with me, what you do will simply reflect who you really are.
I came as a man to complete a wonderful picture in how we made you. From the first day, we hid the woman within the man, so that at the right time we could remove her from within him. We didn’t create man to be alone; she was purposed from the beginning.
Q: What makes us identify ourselves through what we do, instead of focusing on who we are in God’s eyes? When we end up glorifying our achievements, do we cheat God?
Isaiah 46:5-7 “To whom will you compare me or count me equal? To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?
Some pour out gold from their bags and weigh out silver on the scales; they hire a goldsmith to make it into a god, and they bow down and worship it.
They lift it to their shoulders and carry it; they set it up in its place, and there it stands. From that spot it cannot move. Though one cries out to it, it does not answer; it cannot save him from his troubles.
P149: Jesus – Seriously, my life was not meant to be an example to copy. Being my follower is not trying ‘to be like Jesus’ it means for your independence to be killed. I came to give you life, real life, my life. We will come and live our life inside of you, so that you begin to see with our eyes, and hear with our ears, and touch with our hands, and think like we do. But, we will never force that union on you. If you want to do your thing, have at it. Time is on our side.
Q: Are our lives meant to copy Christ? Is he not an example to us? What is the author trying to convey by making Christ speak these words? What do you think he means by ‘time is on our side’?
John 13:15-17 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
1 Peter 2:21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example , that you should follow in his steps.