Submitted by the Rev. Rebekah Simon-Peter
Rebekah Simon-Peter Coaching and Consulting Inc.
While in Cincinnati a few weeks ago, I met up with my friend Lia. Lia works out on a trampoline. Before she can get much air, she warms up with smaller bounces. Her story reminded me of the quantum spiritual leaps Jesus invites us to take. Warm up bounces are a necessity here, too.
Chances are, you’re not going to leap straight into believing like Jesus. It’s too big of a leap.
But now that you’ve got some momentum with the first leap: being fruitful and multiplying like Jesus; the second leap: being empowered like Jesus; and the third leap: being accountable like Jesus; it’s time to get some air. It’s time to launch into the fourth quantum leap and believe like Jesus.
Jesus makes it clear that he wants us to have the same kind of faith he himself has. He sends his disciples/apostles out to perform miracles. They heal the sick and cast out demons. Later, they participate in multiplying loaves and fishes. After that, Jesus even invites Peter to walk on water. How do they do all these things?
When it comes to walking on water, we usually look at the story of Peter sinking as a morality tale that centers around the problem of having too little faith. “You of little faith!” Jesus says when Peter begins to go under, “Why did you doubt?”
Reducing this story to a morality tale, however, misses the bigger picture. First, Peter did actually take some steps on the water. That meant he manifested some water-walking faith. Second, Jesus wants Peter to share the same level of faith that Jesus himself has, the kind that allows Jesus to traverse the seas on foot. Otherwise, Jesus never would have said that Peter lacked faith; he never would have asked Peter why he doubted. He would simply have called Peter a fool and told him to be humble. Third, Jesus is all about sharing his power and duplicating his capacities in his followers.
In my mind, the story of Peter walking on water brings up the question, “What does Jesus believe?” If we’re going to take this quantum leap of faith with Jesus, we need to know what it is he wants us to aspire to have faith in. Let’s pause for a minute and consider what we’re talking about here.
I don’t think Jesus wants us to simply give our assent to the fact that Jesus believes these things. I think Jesus invites us to believe these things about ourselves. This is where the quantum leap of faith comes in. So try the following on for size, reading each statement out loud.
The difference between the two sets of bullet points is the difference between having faith in Jesus and having the faith of Jesus.
So, what does it take to make this quantum leap of faith?
Notice where you get a glitch when you repeat the above statements. Ask God to show you what causes you to sink. Ask God to show you why you doubt. Ask God to answer your prayer, the Prayer of the Apostles, “Lord, increase our faith.”
Moving into apostleship takes more than one leap of faith. It’s about constantly refining the faith you do have, throwing out beliefs that limit your faith, being willing to let go of doubt, and to step out on the water.
The level of faith you currently have is enough to have gotten you to this point. But it’s not enough to go where Jesus is calling you next. Next week we’ll look at the final quantum leap of faith for the new year: Love Like Jesus. It will bring all this together.