Thursday, March 24, 2011

THE 72-HOUR RULE: PETER

CONFIDENCE
1. full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing:
2. belief in oneself and one's powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance


Matthew 14-22-33
22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.
23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.
24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
29 so He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
33 Then those who were in the boat came and[c] worshiped Him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

I have recently taken up the challenge to "liken myself " according to the scriptures. I am sure that means to find a person in the scriptures whose life was similar to yours, and if they eventually turned out OK,then there is hope for me.
I love Peter. I think that he is the "Patron Saint" of all the wise and foolish. The record in Matthew 14:22-33 is about confidence. There are quite a few records of the dialogue between the Savior and Peter, concerning his somewhat rash behavior? His habit of speaking before giving thought to what is being said and it seems that most of all Peter tended to take everything at "face" value. Meaning that if he saw something and it was extraordinary, he may have reasoned that it really wasn't. He seemed not to believe what he was told was true. He did not believe his eyes, he didn't listen well with his ears, and as in the case of walking on the water, he did not hold on and believe what the Lord was showing him.  
I believe that at times Peter had issues with authority, as we all do from time to time. What I have learned is that obedience is the key to fulfilment.

How did Jesus walk on that water? It is obvious that He is the Son of God and surely,Heavenly Father made it so. Are you sure?
The first two verses state that after a long and hard day of teaching and ministering to many people, Jesus told the apostles to push out ahead with their boat, he probably told them that he would meet back up with them. "Yeah, Yeah sure boss". they said. He probably said, and I am just guessing, "Wait for me, I will meet you at the boat at the fourth watch which is about dawn. He probably told them to stay awake. I'm just saying, given the text.
I was in the Navy, and we had duties to perform, called "Watch duty". Guess what we did, we patroled an assigned area, we made sure all was secure, and we "watched". We were alert and watchful for any signs of the unususal. If someone was expected we looked for them.
 
So Jesus went up into the mountain and he was alone and he prayed. He was there until the fourth watch of the night, until dawn.
He started out to meet them, and he took the most direct route, the sea. The men thought he was a spirit or ghost, he called out to them "Fear not, be of good cheer, it is I".
Why didn't they recognize him?
Here is the good stuff; Peter said Lord "If" it is you bid me to come to you on this water, with the winds blowing like crazy,swells and waves. Why did Peter do that? Was he trying to overcome his own fear or to help the men overcome their fears? He seemed to establish doubt and a shakey confidence with his first word, "If". Sort of like the confrontation between Satan  and Jesus. "If" thou be the son of God, prove it. Peter seems to say are you really the son of God? Prove it, and then help me in my own unbelief. I will walk out on faith, if you command me to do so.
The Savior always had a teaching moment in everything that he did. The sea was calm when he started to walk out on it. How did he do it. He commanded the elements to remember and obey.    
Abraham 4:9-10
9 And the Gods ordered, saying: Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto bone place, and let the earth come up dry; and it was so as they ordered;
10 And the Gods pronounced the dry land, Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, pronounced they, Great Waters; and the Gods saw that they were obeyed
So why did Peter start to sink? Why didn't the water obey Peter? Did he remember previous teachings concerning faith?
Matthew 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

So this is where I put my name into this record,is this me Lord?
Sister Julie Beck has a powerful talk that I love to reference. To me each quote is filled with power. 
QUOTE:Let us talk now about how we choose to walk with the Lord. First of all, we have to know what our responsibilities are and how to fulfill them. We know that, as women of God, this is a time when we need an increase of faith and personal righteousness. Never at any time in the world have we needed more faith from the women of God. By this I mean a faith of power as was taught by Joseph Smith. The kind of faith that creates miracles and calls down the powers of angels and heavenly help. That kind of increase of faith and personal righteousness will strengthen us.END QUOTE Julie B. Beck
Relief Society General President
There it is, how we choose to walk with the Lord is pivotal. Do we only walk with him on Sundays, or only on bad days, or when we want to look good in the eyes of others.
Peter started to sink. Did he sink because the other men in the boat started to call him back, or scream more in fear. Were they quiet, did anyone else get out of the boat, did Peter expect others to follow? Sometimes we tend to believe bigger in a crowd.
He cried out "Lord save me !!". Jesus said, I got you, ye of little faith, why did you doubt? Did Jesus berate him for his foolishness. Was it foolishness? Jesus loved him.

For my own self, I struggle with self doubt a lot. I have to believe every minute of my day, that my life has a purpose and I am at this moment living this purpose. Like Peter, I need to listen with heart and ears, when the Holy Spirit affirms what I am doing. I have to keep on walking in the direction of the Savior, regardless of what is going on around me. Most of all, I have to put away doubt, be quiet, not talk so much, but listen more.

QUOTE:With the Lord’s Spirit, weak and simple women can know what to do. I have been to places in the world where women aren’t able to read. They haven’t had the opportunity or have not been taught, but because of the Lord’s power that is placed upon them, the covenants they have made in the temple, and His Spirit that is poured out upon them, they are powerful women. They can discern His will, solve major problems, and feel peace, comfort, and guidance in their lives. Education is wonderful, but being able to feel the Lord’s power and Spirit upon us is the highest education we can achieve. With that, we have power and influence. Without it, we will not be able to navigate in this life. The adversary will pick us off one by one, and we will be drawn off course by the many, many voices that are out there distracting us. With the Lord’s Spirit upon us, we are strong and solid and will be able to walk with Him.END QUOTE
Julie B. Beck   Relief Society General President
Amen Sister
I feel better already.

2. Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be Still, My Soul"
by Catharina Von Schlegel, 1697-?

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