Saturday, October 11, 2008

As An Angel Of Light!

"Watch Out Peter! Be Careful! That one almost got you!" Peter's eyes divert their focus and turn towards the waves. It was a stormy night that night, and Peter had never before walked on water. "Don't let that wave hit you Peter. Watch it! Watch it!" Peter turns and faces the wave head on. His companion continues, "If it does you'll surely sink". Fear begins to rise in his heart as the wind throws fistfuls of stinging sea spray into his eyes. With his attention now fully trained on the raging waters, Peter's companion cries out again. "Peter! Look down! Watch Out! You're sinking". Fear grips his heart. He can feel the cool fingers of water wrapping themselves around his ankles and pulling him below. Panic sets in. His earlier bravado has all but evaporated, sheer terror has now engulfed him. The elation of leaving his footprints on the surface of the deep is quickly swept away by the rising waters. He pauses, waiting for the voice of his companion who had been watching out for him, who had drawn his attention to the breaking waves. Nothing. Nothing but the howling silence of the wind. As he slowly sinks he turns back around. Back to where he was headed. His wide eyes lock upon a beacon of hope standing there amidst the rolling billows, the one who can save him. "Lord! Save Me!", Peter cries out. Immediately Jesus stretches forth his hand, and catches him.

I have been thinking over the account of Simon Peter walking upon the stormy sea, for it seems to be an accurate account of my own life of late. Faith turning to fear in the face of the stormy trials of life.

Peter's rebuke has been ringing in my own ears "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" Oh Lord, I lost sight of you! I lost sight of your glorious face! My eyes and ears turned upon the trials of life. My attention was snatched away by this vanity fair. Oh Lord, I fell in with doubt because I lost sight of you! Please forgive me Lord!

Faith has its birth in looking to Christ and its death in looking away, and so it is that the enemy tries with such tenacity to distract a believer and draw his gaze onto something else... anything else but Christ.

One thing I have come to learn the hard way is that the enemy doesn't always prowl around (outwardly) like a roaring lion, though he is always one within. More often than not he will come to you as an angel of light. Full of trickery and deception, his subtle means of drawing your focus from Christ oftentimes come in seemingly innocent forms, and from the least likely places.

Take the story above for example: the enemy comes to Peter as an angel of light while he is walking on the water, and with the appearance of helpfulness veiled by a false concern about Peter's well being, he whispers in his ear: Careful Peter, watch out! Here comes a wave, watch it.

So subtle are his means at times, that before the believer knows it, he will find himself full of fear and overwhelmed by the approaching storm - without even realising that he has lost sight of Christ!

To my own shame I have found myself many times coming to the realising I have lost sight of Christ! Woken up to find fear in place of faith.

But praise God he is faithful!

Thank you Lord that when we call to you, you immediately reach out your hand and catch us from sliding completely beneath the waves!