In or Out? by Staci Stallings

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If you’re a Christian, you’ve surely heard the story of Peter out there in the boat on the wind and waves. Then out from the waves there comes a figure–walking. At first Peter and his friends think it’s a ghost, and they freak out.

Through the wind, they hear a voice call out: “Don’t be afraid!”

Okay. I’m a scaredy cat. Truly and honestly. In fact, me and fear go way back. So I can tell you if a ghost came toward me, walking on the water, and said, “Don’t be afraid!” I would probably veer toward afraid even more!

But Peter didn’t.


Because Peter knew that voice. It was the voice he had heard many, many times. It was the voice of his best friend, Jesus Christ.

Have you ever heard that voice? Maybe it was a whisper in your heart. Maybe it was someone talking about a dream that’s been on your heart, but you’ve not really listened because it seemed so very unattainable.

Then out there from the waves, the voice calls to you, and you think you recognize it just like Peter did. So Peter tested the voice (ever done that?). “Lord, if it is You, tell me to get out of the boat.”

And Jesus says, “Come.”


Oh, it sounds so simple! Right?

At our church we’ve done this scene in VBS a couple of times, and when Peter starts to get out of the boat, the other disciples FREAK OUT! “Peter! What are you doing?! You’ll drown! Don’t Peter! NO! Don’t go!”

Have you ever been there? Wanting to strike out and follow what God’s put on your heart with your family and your friends trying everything and every way they know how to talk you out of it? In fact, maybe you are even good at talking yourself out of things.

“I don’t have the money.” “What will other people think?” “Well, it probably won’t even work.”

You know Nike’s slogan… Just Do It?

Clearly you are not alone in this indecision because that campaign slogan is one of the most successful in all of advertising.

Peter made the decision. Just do it. Just get out of the boat. Listen to Jesus. Don’t listen to all these people who are not Jesus.

And now we come to the pivotal moment that trips so many of us up… getting out of the boat.

I’m sure the first touch of his tooties on that water made Peter seriously question his own sanity. “Wow! Is that water cold! Maybe this isn’t a good idea. Maybe being in the boat would be better. At least there, I’m safe.”

Have you ever been there? Half in, half out? Have you ever wanted to get out of that boat so badly you could feel your heart dragging you, and yet…

And yet…

Here is a spiritual nugget of wisdom. The most dangerous moment of all for Peter was being half-in, half-out of that boat. With the wind and waves picking the boat up and dropping it, he very likely nearly capsized the whole thing.

What happens a lot is, we as Christians get to this moment and freeze. Our decision become indecision. Our faith becomes doubt. And we stop, clinging there. Half-in, half-out.

I want to encourage you today not to stay there. Do not let analysis-paralysis set in because it’s a cancer that kills dreams. Your dreams. And God’s dreams for you.

Listen to the voice. Make the decision. Breathe and realize that yes, there are going to be challenges. This will not solve everything. But if it’s on your heart to do, God is the One Who put it there. If you believe through the wind and waves, the fear and the doubt, that this really is Jesus calling you out of that boat, then it’s time to Just Do It!

Take a breath. Make the decision. And get out of the boat.

Don’t stay in that most dangerous moment any longer than you absolutely have to because it truly can and will drown your dreams and you just as surely as staying in the boat will.

The boat will not save you. Clinging to the boat with one foot in, one foot out will not save you. The only way to truly be saved, to be truly free, is to be out dancing on the water with Jesus. He’s calling to you. He’s waiting for you. What are you waiting for?

In or out? Which will it be?

Copyright, Staci Stallings, 2013

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About the Author:

Staci StallingsA stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, Staci Stallings has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading.

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