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Book Review: If You Want To Walk On Water, You've Got To Get Out Of The Boat

Book Cover

Do you wish to see your faith in God grow? Do you wish to see yourself in God’s will? If you have answered “Yes”, then you are in for a treat!

This book by Dr John Ortberg is about faith; faith in the living, loving, almighty, all-knowing and all-present God. It opens up a new horizon of blessings and benefits when we begin to step out of our comfort zone (the boat), onto the murky waters of uncertainty and fear, knowing for sure He is there to rescue us when we need it.

Dr Ortberg, who is the Senior Pastor of Menlo Presbyterian Church in California, expounds and explains Matthew 14:25–33 on the walking of water by Jesus in the midst of a storm towards the boat of frightened followers or disciples. In 2002, this book clinched Christianity Today’s Book Award winner. Each chapter ends with some questions for personal or group Bible study.

In the preface, the author says that there is a consistent pattern in Scripture when God wants to use and improve a life. There is always a call, always fear, always reassurance, always a decision and always a changed life.

Dr Ortberg believes that God has entrusted to us everything we need to fulfil the purpose for which we are created, but fear made us bury the treasure. To experience God’s power, we need to take the first step, to get our feet wet; and this is usually at the point of our fear.

But He gives His most frequent repeated instruction: “Fear not. Do not be afraid. Be strong and courageous. You can trust Me. Fear not.” Fear, he says, is the biggest obstacle to trusting and obeying God and when a person does it habitually, the person becomes a worrier and suffers losses in five areas: 1) The Loss of Self-Esteem; 2) The Loss of Destiny; 3) The Loss of Joy; 4) The Loss of Authentic Intimacy; and 5) The Loss of Availability to God.

The writer says that waiting on God may be the single hardest thing we are called to do, but the ability to wait is a test of maturity.

Mentioned above are some gems from the book, but far more are waiting for you to discover when you read through this eye-opener to trust God more. It will surely spur you on to step out of your cosy and comfortable boat, and to start walking on the water. When you do so, your faith will be seen as pleasing to Him.