Join us today for an episode about the reason that God is often found in the seeking more than the peace...
Today's episode is focused on Genesis 37: 1-4, 12-28 and Matthew 14: 22-33...
In today’s Spiritual Foundation Episode, I talk about both Genesis 37: 1-4, 12-28 and Matthew 14: 22-33. I talk about how we often think that God is peace when maybe God is found in the search. I also share how we often think God is calling us to do more when God may be calling for us to faith more.
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Episode 1347: What Are You Seeking?
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1, 347 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:00:09] Braden Douglas: I'm Braden Douglas. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent. And your treasures to live out your calling having the ability to lead with impact is key And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this the inspired stewardship podcast with my friend Scott Maderer
[00:00:41] Scott Maderer: Disciples feel like it's a ghost they cry out. It can't be real. But jesus says no it's me. I am Just like the voice from the burning bush I am trust me I'm here, even when you don't think I am But Peter, like so many of us, is doubting. He needs proof. He [00:01:00] needs to step out into the chaos and conquer his fears all on his own.
[00:01:05] Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence, so that you,
[00:01:37] In today's Spiritual Foundation episode, I talk about both Genesis chapter 37, verses 1 4 and 12 28, and Matthew chapter 14, verses 22 33. I talk about how we often think that God is peace when maybe God is found in the search, and I also share how we often think God is calling us to do more. When God may [00:02:00] actually be calling us to faith more.
[00:02:03] Genesis chapter 37 verses 1 through 4 and 12 through 28 says, Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Cana. This is the story of the family of Jacob. Joseph, being 17 years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers. He was a helper to the sons of Bela and Zelpha, his father's wives.
[00:02:23] And Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other children, because he was the son of his old age, and he had made him a long robe with sleeves. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and they could not speak peaceably to him.
[00:02:42] Now his brothers went to pasture their father's flock near Sheshem. And Israel said to Joseph, Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Sheshem? Come, I will send you to them. And he answered, Here I am. So he said to him, Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock, and bring word back to me.[00:03:00]
[00:03:00] So he sent him from the valley of Hebron, and he came to Sheshem. And a man found him wandering in the fields, and the man asked him, What are you seeking? I am seeking my brothers, he said. Tell me, please, where are they pasturing the flock? The man said, They have gone away, for I heard them say, Let us go to Dortha.
[00:03:17] So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan. They saw him from a distance, and before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him. They said to one another, Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what becomes of his dreams.
[00:03:38] But when Reuben heard it, he delivered him out of their hands, saying, Let us not take his life. And Reuben said to them, Shed no blood, throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him, that he might rescue him out of their hand and restore him to his father. So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves that he wore.
[00:03:57] They took him and threw him into a pit. The [00:04:00] pit was empty. There was no water in it. Then they sat down to eat, and looking up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead with their camels and carrying gum, balm, and resin on their way to carry it down to Egypt. Then Judah said to his brothers, What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood?
[00:04:18] Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh. And his brothers agreed. And when some midnight traders passed by, they drew Joseph up, lifting him up out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.
[00:04:38] Matthew chapter 14, verses 22 33 says Immediately, he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up to the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. But by this time, the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them.[00:05:00]
[00:05:00] And early in the morning, he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, It is a ghost! And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid. And Peter answered him, Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.
[00:05:19] He said, Come. So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened and beginning to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me. And Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, You of little faith, why did you doubt?
[00:05:45] I don't know about you, but I think when you think about family dynamics, if you're the youngest child, or if you're the oldest child, or if you're the middle child, or maybe you're an only child, there's always dynamics [00:06:00] to the family. Now, I'm the baby brother to an older sister, and there were dynamics between the two of us.
[00:06:06] There were things that I was jealous of about her, and there was things that I'm sure she was jealous of about me. There were a lot of things I wanted to be like her when I was growing up in a lot of ways, and in other ways, I didn't. As siblings, we often got along pretty well, and other times it was like we hated each other and couldn't stand each other.
[00:06:28] And any of you that have siblings know that experience of both being best friends and worst enemies at the same time. There's experiences that we go through that make us recognize that kind of family dynamic is real. And I think now thinking about the Joseph story, it makes you understand maybe a little bit about what's going on.
[00:06:52] There are a lot of dimensions to the Joseph story in the book of Genesis, but one of those dimensions is around this idea of [00:07:00] the family dynamic. There, there doesn't really appear to be a rather well adjusted family relationship represented here, and I would argue that there really aren't that many in the Bible at all.
[00:07:11] Jacob and his boys is putting the fun in dysfunctional. Joseph is introduced into the story, and he's basically... Quote, a tattletale. He's darking out his brothers. He's talking about what they did wrong, and it seems to get worse from there, and at some point, they decide that they're going to throw him into a pit, or maybe sell him into slavery, or maybe kill him.
[00:07:35] It's a little bit confusing exactly what's going on, but at the end of the day they grab him, and at the very least, he seems to get carted off to Egypt. It's a rather messy and... dangerous story and in some ways we're tempted to jump ahead and see if there's some sort of happy ending, a rainbow at the end of it.
[00:07:57] And there is, but that [00:08:00] would be cheating a little bit because most or many family stories don't necessarily end all that well. There's often trauma and stress and strain that lasts throughout time in the family. There's a lots of problems that happen in families. And here, to add to the problem, God, who seems to be present, maybe feels like God is absent.
[00:08:28] He stepped away somehow. He's left a voicemail or an answering machine and didn't leave a forwarding number. There doesn't seem to be any accountability or messages in the night. No wagging of the divine. feelings. There's no angel that steps in and rescues the situation or fills that gap that seems to be growing between the brothers.
[00:08:52] Verse four says the brothers could not speak peaceably to Joseph. There's a search for peace going on and [00:09:00] Jacob, winner of the clueless dad of the year, sends Joseph off to say if everything's all right with the brothers. They can't even speak peaceably. They can't find Shalom or peace. And there's a constant search for peace, even when peace eluded them.
[00:09:13] And maybe Jacob, the father, is trying to bring peace and force it by pushing them together. We tend to think that God is where peace reigns. And at the end of the story, that seems to be true. But in this part of the story, there's not peace yet reigning. Instead, this is a search for peace. And that's where God is found, even when it seems far away.
[00:09:38] God is found here in the search, in the effort, in the longing for peace. That's why many years later, Joseph says to his brothers, what you intended for harm, God intended for good. God was in the search, the attempt, the direction of peace, rather than just in [00:10:00] the moment of peace. Because that's the truth.
[00:10:02] I don't think we find permanent peace. We find moments of peace. And that's... What we're looking for in relationships and in community. We're not perfect people. There is no such thing as a perfect church. And if there was, they wouldn't let me in. Instead, there's moments of peace, moments of perfection, glimpses of it that we find.
[00:10:25] And that's where God is found. God is saying, I am here. Never doubt. Which turning to the story of Matthew, that's what happens here. Peter desperately needs to hear that as he's sinking into the waves. As he's sinking below the water. You've probably heard and read this story before. You probably have heard sermons on this story before.
[00:10:50] But the question that comes to mind for me is, Did Jesus actually want Peter to get out of the boat? And was the [00:11:00] reprimand here, the O ye of little faith, was that actually about the fact that he couldn't walk on water? We often look at this story, and I would say it's an accurate representation to say that part of the message of this story is keep our eyes on Christ, keep our eyes on Jesus, keep our eyes, it's when we take our eyes away that bad things can happen.
[00:11:21] It's when Peter looks at the wind and the waves that he begins to sink. So there's definitely that message is in here. And when he reaches out and Jesus grabs him by the hand, that's when he finds safety again. That message is definitely in there. Jesus is a better way to go, whether you're on dry land or water.
[00:11:39] But there's also a question there. Is Jesus actually asking Peter to walk on water? Don't get me wrong. I know we're told we can do mighty works in the name of Jesus. And I think that there are tremendous miracles well beyond us that we are only able to do because God does it. It's not us anyway. [00:12:00] We're not supposed to shy away from the difficult task or the hard conversation or fighting for justice in the eyes of injustice and power.
[00:12:08] We're supposed to be doing those things and those things need to be done. But here. There's oftentimes places where the proper response is that giving praise to God and seeking that moment of peace Jesus right before this has done some mighty works and then he sends the disciples away and in the story he's trying to maybe get some time alone to pray and rest in the presence of God.
[00:12:35] He got interrupted earlier and did the feeding of the 5000 and they don't establish with the disciples how they were supposed to meet back up or get back together. Often I think in the church and as the church, we are sent ahead sometimes without the physical presence of Christ exactly like what happened in this story and in that confusing moment in that storm that often happens as we're set out [00:13:00] ahead, we see a vision, a ghost, we see something we're not even sure if it's real.
[00:13:07] We're not even sure if it's a thing that we can trust in. We're supposed to work things out on our own. We're left to our own devices. We're supposed to solve all the problems ourselves, or at least that's what we begin to feel. See, the sea in the story represents chaos, things that oppose God, while the land represented stability and God.
[00:13:34] And yet Jesus calms the waters. He brings order even to chaos. He's present even when he felt like he was absent. The disciples feel like it's a ghost, they cry out. It can't be real. But Jesus says, No, it's me. I am just like the voice from the burning bush. I am. Trust me, I'm here even when you don't think I am.[00:14:00]
[00:14:00] But Peter, like so many of us, is doubting. He needs proof. He needs to step out into the chaos and conquer his fears all on his own. So Jesus, maybe with a heavy sigh, says, all right, come on. And Peter does it for a moment. He does it for a second. He steps out on the water with confidence and he steps forward and he begins to walk.
[00:14:23] But then he stumbles. He pauses for a moment. He recognizes the danger he's in. And he fails and he asked for help and Jesus's answer. Oh ye of little faith. Why did you doubt? But was the doubt about being able to walk on water? Or was the doubt that he didn't have faith that Jesus was there to begin with and Needed to prove it to himself needed to conquer it himself Is it because he got out of the boat?
[00:14:55] Is that the lack of faith? See, I think a lot of times the greatest [00:15:00] act of faith that we can have is to trust in the presence of God, even or especially when we feel like it is not there. When we have no external reason to believe that Christ is with us, when we have no reason to have faith at all, that is a tremendous act of faith, maybe even greater.
[00:15:26] Then walking on water. Thanks for listening.
[00:15:35] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor, go over to facebook. com slash inspired [00:16:00] stewardship and like our Facebook page and market that you'd like to get notifications from us so that we can connect with you on Facebook and make sure that we're serving you to the best of our abilities with time and tips there.
[00:16:18] Until next time, invest your time. Your talent and your treasures develop your influence and impact the world.
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In today's episode, I talk with you about:
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" Matthew 14: 31