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Audacious Faith

By March 10, 2024March 13th, 2024No Comments

Rick and Louis Thorpe. Amazing people. They have three adult children living in London Riggers, the bishop of Arlington. And he is also being appointed by the Anglican Church in the UK as the bishop of church planting. I’ve seen a graph of the attendance of people in the Anglican Church in the UK and it’s pretty depressing.

As it goes down. And down. And down. And then it stops being depressing. Because God is doing a work.

And it starts to bottom out. And it’s starting to turn up. And how is that happening? Because yeah we should thank God for that. That’s good. Because there’s a a new work that the spirit is doing.

And a lot of that is actually church planting or what we would think of replanting. Where churches that have almost emptied. Now young leaders and actually not so young sometimes are being trained up to go and if you like replant or plant it back in those churches and see the life of God. See congregations come into that place. Let me just tell you one brief story because Rick took me once you may have heard of John Newton.

He used to be the slave trader who came to faith and wrote the the the the song Amazing Grace. He had a church in what’s now the banking district of London. And that church was one of these that had virtually emptied. And it Rick took me there because under his oversight he’s the official sort of rector of it. But under his oversight a twenty-seven year old young man by the name of Wally who who is from African descent is now the pastor of that church and it is bursting at the seams.

God is at work back in that place. That’s the kind of thing we’re seeing. In fact, under under its oversight, there’s a whole organization and their vision is to to see 10000 churches planted in the next 10 years. They’ve already seen a great work happening. A lot’s been going on but god is doing and wouldn’t that be brilliant, hey? So, so bishop Rick is here.

This in in Australia to talk to Australian church leaders about church planting and to inspire them and help them and bring his wisdom and his help. He landed literally an hour ago or just over an hour ago at Brisbane Airport. The plane was three hours late. The 830 service missed out but you didn’t. We got here.

We got here. So, how about a King’s welcome? Bishop, Rick up. Come on. Wow. Thank you, Barry.

That’s amazing. Thank you very much, indeed. Please have a seat. Um what a welcome. Thank you so much for having me.

I did arrive an hour and 20 minutes ago, something like that. So, it is it is lovely to be with you because you’re a friendly bunch. You’ve given me a warm welcome. So, I feel, okay, I’m still slightly on English time but I did get some some really good sleep on the plane as well. So, I’m raring to go and I’m excited about what I feel god has given me for you because I’ve, you know, because I’ve I’ve There are lots of talks I could give but actually I feel a particular one that’s for you today because and I know that because I’ve been wrestling and wrestling and kind of going around the houses slightly and going, Lord, what do you want to say this morning to these people? And so, I want to talk to you about audacious faith.

Now, the thing is with an Anglican talking to Pentecostals, it it feels slightly like I’m on you know, territory that you should be teaching me about this. Um but and the reason for that is god has been teaching me personally about audacious faith. Audacious faith, audacious. It’s like outrageous. It’s it’s how ridiculous that you could even think about doing that.

Audacious, bold, courageous. Is that kind of feel of faith which already is something which is the difference between where you are and where God wants you to to be, okay? So, that’s is that okay to kind of explore that a bit? Yeah you upfront. I mean, I’m loving this. So, let you just prayed but I’m just going to pray again if that’s alright. Do you mind? Yeah, Murray.

Murray got married here. Isn’t that amazing? Is it in this building? It’s beautiful. I feel like I’m on anointed ground. Um let’s pray. Father, thank you for this place but also these people.

Thank you Lord that you are here in the midst of us. And thank you Lord for this, this passage we’re going to look at. Peter walking on water. And we pray Lord that you would speak to us individually but also as a church about about audacious faith. About the faith you want us to be living in and stepping into.

So that you can do all that you want to do through us. But also that you you take us to a different place in our relationship with you. And our relationship with the world. And so please come Holy Spirit. Come amongst us.

Fill us. Give us that insight from you this morning. We pray both yeah individually but also corporately Lord. Do something today in us we pray. In Jesus name of your kingdom.

Amen. Amen. So haven’t got started yet. So I’m going to read from Matthew chapter fourteen. And I gave it away slightly.

This is the story. Actually it’s Jesus walking on water and then he invites Peter to join him. So Matthew 14 verse 22. Immediately, Jesus made the disciples. This is after the feeding of the five thousand.

Immediately, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side of the lake where where they were, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up onto a mountainside by himself to pray. And later that night, he was there alone, and the boat with the disciples in that, the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves, because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. It’s a ghost, they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them, take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid. Lord, if it’s you, Peter replied. Tell me to come to you on the water.

Would you ever said that? I’m not sure I would have said that. But anyway just we’ll come to that. Jesus says, come then Peter got down out of the boat walked on the water, and came towards Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and began and beginning to sink, cried out, Lord, save me. And immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.

You have little faith, he said, why did you doubt? And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, truly, you are the Son of God. It’s an amazing story. And we often if you know the story, if you’ve heard it spoken about before, if you’ve read it, I often think about Peter sinking in the water and Jesus saying, you have little faith, why did you doubt? But the thing that happened before he started sinking was that Peter was actually walking on water. So, outside God in Jesus, the only person I’m aware of who’s ever walked on water is Peter.

Is that he actually did it. He walked on water and of course, then, he looked at his circumstances. He took his eyes off Jesus and began to think actually what’s going on here. I can’t do this. And began to sink.

And he cries out to God. Lord save me. I just want to explore just for a moment as we kind of dig into this whole area, because the antidote to fear is faith. So fear is something that actually I think catches and captivates all of us in a greater leisure extent. Jesus says so many so many times.

Do not be afraid. Don’t be afraid. And I think he’s saying that because actually fear is a it’s a normal human thing. And I think that I want to address two levels of fear. There’s fear that’s like when you almost get run over by a car.

You know that moment where your heart just goes like this. Because you’ve stepped out without looking and and you and you almost get killed. That kind of there’s there’s fear involved there. Or you’ve missed a deadline and you know that you’re going to get into big trouble. Oh my goodness.

What’s going to happen? Or you know something happens where there’s a loss. And the fear of oh my goodness what am I going to do? So there’s that kind of level of fear. But I think there’s a low what I call a low grade level of fear in our lives. Which is a fear of stepping into a life of adventure. So, this is more difficult to discern because it’s like everyday I’m not saying you’re like this but many people are so boring.

Because they never step out and lead a life of adventure. Okay? Now, there is every day. We can’t do adventure every day but there is something I think that Jesus is inviting us into here. Which is a life of abundance. So, John ten 10, I have come that you might have life to the full.

So what is this life to the full and why why why do we not find ourselves in that space all the time? I think it’s about fear. Fear is the fear of stepping out. The fear of stepping into something of adventure. The fear of the unknown. The taking a risk.

So a few examples for us. So, when I used to be in marketing. So, I was do you have surf here? That washing powder? Domestos, anything like that, yeah? So, I was marketing those products for Unilever and I had an opportunity to basically I was invited to leave that job and go and work in a church. Half the salary, no prospects, lost pension. Um and I remember the the decision I had to make and I spoke to my parents about it.

And they’d have invested a lot of money in my education. They’d encouraged me to kind of aim higher in my life. They were thrilled about this job as good prospects and so on. And I said you know I was actually quite fearful about it. Actually I was fearful about telling them because I knew that they knew me well.

You know that thing with your parents where there’s sometimes there’s an awkward relationship and it’s you know but actually you know they love you and they’ll ask penetrating questions and you squirm. Anyway maybe that’s just me.But they they grilled me for like 2 hours. And at the end of that time they said we think God is calling you to do this. And so for me then it was actually the the thing of actually stepping out of a place of security and life prospects into the unknown.

To go and work in a church. Well actually my job description was to look after the book stall for two hours a week. That’s what it said on the job description. Because they were basically saying we wanted to do lots of things but they had to give me an official piece of paper. So telling my company what I was going to do they kind of went ballistic as well.

So there are kind of low levels of fear where it’s like oh what am what’s going to happen? What am I going to do? And actually it’s the best decision I made. when I kind of fast forward a few years, we were at a a thriving church like this one in in West London called Holy Trinity Brompton. It’s where the Alpha Course if you’ve come across that started. I was on the staff team and had a great role. And God called us to go to East London to a place of 45 percent Bangladeshi Muslims.

1% Christian in terms of church attendance in every denomination. It was kind of quite run down. It was actually where the Olympics were in two thousand and twelve. Something like that. But this is before the Olympics was there.

It was actually a very very difficult. My wife who’s was in Waiwan for many years. She actually said to God I’ll go anywhere apart from East London. I just said why didn’t you say apart from Bermuda or in the Bahamas or something. So anyway she didn’t.

That step of, you know, to go to a place that we didn’t want to go to, was for us actually, a step of great fear, because, the children, we, it was quite a rough place. We lived on literally six feet away from a a four-lane highway with no barriers in the way, from the front door. You know, just little things that actually all added up to an experience where we just were out of our comfort zone. But again, God was calling us to take a step of faith, to step in to a place where he was going to meet us in that place. And I have to say it was the best decision we made but it was a really really hard decision.

So, we get those kind of high moments but also those low-grade moments. We’re actually going, here’s a low-grade example, low-grade fear example, is of of fear. In the morning, I will try and pray. Lord just get in my way today. Prompt me if there’s something you want me to say to someone or if you want me to pause and to kind of have a conversation with someone.

Or you know because I’m quite busy in London and I’m just going you know just meeting after meeting after meeting. It’s actually quite awkward to break into that and and and delay things. So but when so when do pray that and when I act on those things, it’s incredible. God does lots and lots and lots of amazing things but when I don’t, I’ve just led the boring life. Again, do you see what I mean? So, that’s, do you see the difference? Okay, so that’s what we’re talking about.

So, I’d love you to think about tomorrow morning. What are you doing tomorrow morning? You find yourself say, let’s say 10:30 AM, Monday You might be at home, you might be in the community, you might be in school, or college, or you’re in a meeting, you’re in a car, you’re, whatever it is. What are you doing tomorrow morning? Okay, just just picture that in your mind. And where is God in that moment? In your life. Okay so that that’s what we’re talking about.

Okay? So I’m not, we’re not talking about, oh, it’s amazing time of worship. We’re talking about the real everyday stuff of life. That’s what we’re talking about. So, Jesus and Peter I want to focus on one verse He says, Peter says, Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water. So there’s a moment, 1030 tomorrow, you could ask that question, Lord, If you’re around, if you’re at work, all around me in this world, tell me to come to you.

Again, when Jesus has come, here’s the verse. Verse twenty-nine. Then Peter got down out of the boat. He walked on the water and came towards Jesus. Okay, so the first thing is he got down out of the boat.

This is the moment of change. Because the rest of the the disciples were in the boat. But Peter is the one who’s prayed, spoken to Jesus, and Jesus has said, come, and all the rest have stayed in the boat, but Peter gets down out of the boat. Okay, so first thing we need to do is to do something. Is that, do you see them? It’s really, this is really simple.

It’s like, it’s like not a complicated message. We’ve actually gotta do something. You could spend a boring morning tomorrow at 10:30 and not do anything or you could step out of the boat. If Jesus says, actually come. Okay, so that’s that’s that’s what we’re talking about.

I, really want to talk to your 10:30 AM Monday morning experience. Like you’re on your own and it’s, you might be in the middle of a really difficult meeting. So, a friend of mine, Henrik. He works for the European Bank. He was in a situation at a 10:30 AM on a Monday situation.

Where he was in a negotiation around a board table with a company and they were kind of trying to work out how to give them money. And lend the money and it was really difficult. They weren’t getting anywhere at all. It was really frustrated. He just said I’m just going to go and have a coffee.

And he goes to the side of the room where there’s a coffee machine. He’s got his back towards people. He’s he prays. He says God please can break into this space because we’re just really struggling please come.

Brings his coffee back to the table and he said it was like a different meeting. The kind of conversation opens up and they began to make progress and they made a deal. That deal happened here When Henrik prayed to Jesus, would you come? And and then I’m going to act on you being in this place. What’s happening with you? How what are you going to do? So the first thing to do is actually take a step out of the boat. To actually say I’m going to step out of my lifeless you know my ordinary life.

And step into a life less ordinary. I’m going to step into space where there’s the potential for adventure. Because I don’t know what’s going to happen. In my everyday life which we’ve all got. Could he take us into a different space in that everyday? He steps out of the boat.

I want to tell you about someone called Emma. Emma Miles. Emma was brought up in the North East of England in a place called Bridlington. It’s on the coast. It’s a do you know Bridlington? Well, here we go.

Okay. This is amazing. Who who else would know Bridlington? So well, that’s the that’s part of it as well. It’s it’s a kind of isolated place. It’s she grew up in a housing estate on the edge of that town.

And she was really struggling. She got addicted to drugs. And she got into a terrible place where she kind of her family rejected her and in the end she ended up in hospital. Through that she came to meet a a pastor in in the town who prayed for her and invited her to church and she basically came off drugs and began to start attending this church and she went on an alpha course and came to faith in in that place. So then in that church he’s begin to start feeling that God is calling her to do something back where she lives on her housing estate.

There isn’t a church there. And she’s praying. And from the church’s point of view, they’ve been thinking, there’s this housing state over there. We don’t know anyone who’s there, but we need a church presence. We, we don’t, so they’re praying, Lord, would you raise up someone? And then there’s this extra drug addict who’s coming to their church, and she says, God is calling me to do something over there.

And so the pastor says, okay, I’d, I think, I think that’s right, we’re going to help you. So she starts something in her home. And, she begins to start inviting her neighbours to come and do a Bible study in her home. And they say yes. And they’ve seen the change in her because they knew what she was like before.

And so now they outgrew their home and they meet in a like a community hall. And there are thirty of them who are meeting as a little church. She’s not ordained. She’s never been to theological college, Bible College, nothing like that. But she’s being looked after by this pastor in the town.

And helping her to lead this community of people. That I would call a church. She would never call it a church because she’s too humble. But there are 30 people who are worshipping together, who are reading scripture together, who are praying and actually actively sharing the love of Christ with their community. Someone who said, yes to the call of Jesus.

And he said, Lord, I want to go back and do something new there. An everyday person planting a church in extraordinary ways. So what is God calling you to do? I want to encourage you tomorrow morning at 10:30. You could even set an alarm on your phone and say, God, what do you want me to do with me today? How could I step out of the boat and do something that’s for your kingdom in the place that I am? It might be that you’re on your own. You and God calls you to pray.

Or it might be that you just start being kind to someone who never experiences kindness. It might be that God calls you to to actually take someone out for lunch. And to encourage them and love them. It might even be that you invite them to church. The pastor said yes sir.

So, there are lots of different ways that God can use you. but it’s when we say, Lord, please Help me to step out of the boat and come towards you. That’s when things start happening. Get out of the boat is the first thing that we see in this passage. Second thing we see is that then he walked on the water.

So this is the supernatural moment. I mean, have you ever walked on water? I haven’t a clue what it’s like. Was it like right on top or did it was it like underneath? You can think about these things but so he walked on water. He did something supernatural. And I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this where you you meet someone and you have a conversation with them and you’ve prayed about it.

And some it’s like everything clicks. It’s a bit like Henrik with a board meeting. Something supernatural happens. It’s in some ways very natural. But it’s like supernatural natural.

So, when Peter’s walking on water, he’s exercising faith. He’s actually doing something more than just getting out of the boat. He started to do something supernatural. And for each one of us, God has enabled us to do exactly the same thing, not necessarily to walk on water, but to be, to live the supernatural life. And I think what this means is, it’s about living in communion with God.

It’s walking with Jesus in your day. You can choose not to walk with Jesus in your day. I find, I, like I say, I’ve got like 14, 15 meetings a day, and it’s kind of one to the other, to the other, to the other. And it’s very easy as a bishop in the church, to not involve God. That might sound strange.

But you can just get on with business, you can just talk to people and, and it’s like, oh, I don’t think I’ve even thought about you, God but if you invite him in and you begin to start asking this question, God, what are you doing? How do you want me to join in it. In this business meeting, in this classroom, in this workshop, in this supermarket. Lord, what do you, what are you doing? What what does the kingdom of God look like here? And I think one way to imagine it is if Jesus actually was here in person physically, I wonder, what would happen? But actually, he is with with you by his Spirit. So, it’s like, okay.

Do you see what I mean? So, this begins to, this is normal things but if you start thinking in this way, walking on water, you will find actually that you’re encountering God in different ways. So, Jackie Pullinger, you might have heard of. She was a a music student in London who felt called by God to be a missionary. She said I God I don’t know where to go. So she got on got into a boat in Southampton and which went to lots of ports around the world and she just prayed God show me which port to stop in.

So she’s on this you know she’s going round and she ends up in Hong Kong and she feels that that’s the place where she needs to be. In Hong Kong she then starts finding these drug addicts who are addicted to heroin. Amongst triad gangs who are kind of their their introducing almost like slavery situations with the people that they’re controlling. And there’s a huge amount of prostitution that’s going on. And she feels that’s that’s where she needs to minister.

But she just for many many months she doesn’t get anywhere. No one has any any response at all to the gospel. And she’s just thinking well I maybe I shouldn’t be here. She meets an American couple who say they pray for her. She is filled with the Holy Spirit and they help her to to pray for the gift of tongues and so she she receives that gift and she starts using the gift of tongues and they say, pray in tongues to the clock for 15 minutes every day.

So, not actually praying to the clock but actually looking at the clock and just you know, watching the minutes and so 15 minutes a day, she’s praying in tongues and she finds after three weeks that the people she’s talking to are interested in in faith. And so it’s almost like God’s letter to the right people. Because she’s been praying in a particular way. And so it’s from that moment that people start coming to faith. She finds that when she prays prayed for them they receive the gift of tongues.

When they receive the gift of tongues. When they started exercising that gift they began to come off heroin painlessly. And so she set up something called Saint Stephen’s Society which is still going to this day and I’ve visited it. You know there’s her passion is to see the kingdom of God happening here and now. And all all she’s doing is she’s you know activating this gift of tongues.

And I want to encourage us. If you if you are a Pentecostal Church. I don’t know if you’re kind of going for this so you know use this gift. It’s a gift from God.

And I tell you when you start using that gift you will find your day changing. Because you’re aligning yourself with a supernatural God who wants you to live the supernaturally natural life. Yeah? So walking on water is something that all of us can do. I mean, maybe we weren’t actually, oh you could try it here. But is it in response to Jesus saying, come.

Now, that supernatural thing could be quite normal. So, women in just a few miles away from me in in London called Bernice. Bernice has a daughter who has down syndrome. And she finds that in when they’re worshipping in their local church. The local church loves them but it they don’t quite fit.

And the worship doesn’t quite work. And the and she knows a number of other people who’ve got children with disabilities of various kinds. And she begins to think actually what we need is something where my daughter is valued for who she is. And where she can fit in and feel that she can have a part to play. But she can’t in the in the current situation.

It’s not that she’s she loves the church. But it’s like it doesn’t quite work for them. And with her friends it’s the same thing where they’re going well with with we’d love to do something. So she set up something called Wave. W A V E.

We are we are all valued equally. And in that it’s it’s a worship service that is specifically geared around the people who would not normally find a place in church. That community has grown to about 40 or 50 people. And I remember speaking to about four years ago just over four years ago. And she said I would love to see this go to other places as well.

Because it it can’t just be something which God has given to us here. And so Again, she’s someone who hasn’t got a Bible degree or anything like that. But she’s got a passion from God to do something. And just in the last literally the last few months she has developed something where it is like a training course to enable other churches to set up their own congregations that are wave congregations. And so far there are five of them.

Just in the last 4 months. Whereas like saying actually let’s enable other places to have these specialist worship encounters for who would kind of maybe feel awkward in church. So that’s her walking on water. That’s her just saying, actually, I want something for my daughter and her friends and the the people who are on the edge of the community. Can we do something for them? And she’s taken that step and she got it out of the boat and she started walking on water.

What’s the final thing we say? We see here that Peter came towards Jesus. Do you know how many times it says things like, you know, in Hebrews, fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith. Hebrews twelve. Jesus saying, come, follow me. So, something in the Christian life, which is about going towards Jesus.

Again, this is really simple stuff. Every day, I have to remind myself to go towards Jesus. And when I go towards him, I find myself looking at him and this kind of supernatural, natural life begins to start happening more. When I’ve got my eyes fixed on him. Peter knew Jesus.

He could’ve just walked around the water but he walked towards Jesus. So, when you walk towards him, that’s again, the this life of adventure begins to happen because when anything, when you’re with Jesus, unpredictable things happen. And so this desire, this move towards saying, I, okay, what can I do? How can I move towards you? So, for us, when well, let me tell you another story. So, there’s this guy called Phil. Phil loves the gym and in twenty seventeen, he gave up he was a policeman.

He gave up being a policeman to be a full-time strongman contender. So, strongman, you do these competitions where you is, who can lift the most and who can pull the most and and that kind of thing. So, he start, he won England’s strongest man competition in in like 2017. In 2019, he’s taking part in the a national competition. It’s on television.

10,000 people watching locally, loads more on TV and he’s doing really well in this competition and it gets to this this thing called the Atlas Ball which is a hundred and sixty kilogram. I think that’s right. 160 kilogram boulder. I think which you gotta lift. You lift it from the ground and then you gotta put it onto a drum.

Something like that. So he’s doing this. And live on TV he drops it onto his leg. And the leg is shattered. And he just said at that moment my life changed.

So they stretchered him off. He’s in hospital for two weeks where the surgeon’s trying to rescue his leg. They’ve they’ve kind of managed to kind of put it back together again. But it’s while he’s in hospital that he starts reflecting on his life and just thinking what what am I doing with my life? And he used to go to church as a child and kind of dropped it and he began to start saying, actually Jesus I want to fix my eyes on you. I want to turn towards you and and he was kind of feeling that stirring and off the back of that, he began to say, God, what do you want me to do with, with my life? And so he said, I, he was already working in a gym, and he decided I’m going to make this gym a place where you are welcome.

And so, he invested in, in, in expanding that gym with a Christian businessman, and they began to start praying for people, who, you know, just on the side of, of the exercise stuff. And, they running an alpha course. They’re now on their, this is just a few years ago. So, they’re now on their fourth alpha course and 30 people have become Christians in the gym. So, they call it the station gym.

It’s in Sheffield and he says that that’s now like a church. These those people, they wouldn’t normally go to church and he actually he the church Phil went to. He said, can can I have a couple of pastors to come and look after this group of people because I haven’t a clue what I’m doing? This couple came from the church and this they’re looking after the church. So, it’s like having, you know, something happening a mile away and you send, you know, a couple to go and help pastor that new group and they’re they’re part of you but they’re just starting something new. So, you know, God, again, using ordinary people to start something supernatural amazing.

Transforming people’s lives in a gym. Gyms are like the new churches for in society. More people go to gyms probably than churches. So it’s like well oh do we want them to come to us or should we go to them? And Jesus was calling Phil to say go to them Let me come into land with with this this call. Peter could have stayed in the boat and experienced fear.

There’s a lot of terror, fear going on this boat. But he chose instead to speak to Jesus saying, if it’s you, can you come, can you ask me to come to you? And Jesus says, come. And Peter gets out of the boat. He walks on water and moves towards Jesus. It’s a little thing at the end.

Remember where he takes his eyes off Jesus and starts sinking. And Jesus says you of little faith, why did you doubt? Now often, if you’re anything like me, I read that and think, you have little faith. Yeah, it’s a little bit of rebuke. I should have a lot of faith. I actually think it doesn’t mean that.

I think Jesus is making a statement to fact. You have little faith. This is like, you don’t need much faith. We do you remember somewhere else Jesus says, if you got a mustard seed of faith that if you plant it, it can grow into a big tree. So, it’s not about how much faith you’ve got.

This is not whether you’re a mega Christian or not. This is about having this much faith. You have little faith. It’s all you need. You, you know, if you got a little faith, that’s enough.

Yeah. What does Jesus say? Don’t doubt. If you want to walk on water, John Ortberg wrote a book about this. He says, if you want to walk on water, you need to get out of the boat. You’ve gotta take that step and say, Jesus, I’m up for this.

10:30 tomorrow morning, Set your alarm. Just say, Jesus what do you want to do? Would you invite me to come towards you in whatever you want me to do, whatever you’re doing, and I will join in with it. It might be planting a church amongst the people in your workplace. Or it might be just speaking a word of encouragement. Or a kind act.

Or praying for someone who needs your prayers. Or inviting someone to take the next step of their own faith journey. But God will use you. Because all you need is this much faith. So, have you got this much faith? Don’t do it yet.

I’m going to invite you to stand in a moment. And I want to encourage you, when you stand, that is making the first act of faith because the standing is saying, it’s not to me, it’s all to the worship reader. It’s saying, God, I want to lead. I want to live that kind of life. I want to be, I’m not sure I’m up for walking on water, but I am up for having, you know, doing a bit more, getting out of the boat in my life.

I’m up for the 1030 tomorrow morning, saying, Jesus, what are you doing? And can I join in with it? So, if you want to do that and you want to live like that, would you stand? And can I can I just do a response thing? Is that right? So all of us are in this boat. Well, we’re out of the boat now because we just stood. If you feel that god is there’s something specific that you feel, you need to be empowered to do. It’s like there’s a risk that you need to take which is like, oh my goodness, I cannot do this alone. Holy Spirit, I need you to activate something more to to to be able to do it.

It might be having a difficult conversation with someone. It might be a a project you’re working on in the workplace that’s just like you just need a breakthrough. It might be something in the home where there’s something underneath doing that needs a breakthrough. It might be that you’re you’re at school or college and you’re just looking for that breakthrough. It’s like this is not coming.

You need God to do something in particular to empower you. If that’s you I want you to exercise audacious faith. Step forwards, we’d love to pray for you. There’s another group of people perhaps, who you are fed up with with your faith. And it’s like it’s it’s dull.

And you would love it to be invigorated. You would love a bit more audacity in your faith. You’d love to see a bit more than what you’re seeing at the moment. And if that’s you we’d love to pray for you because here’s what happens. Two things happen when you come forward.

One is the act of coming forwards as a step of faith. Because it’s actually quite difficult. You know Well, people either side of me think that I’ve, I’ve, I’m, I’ve, I’m confessing sins or something, or, you know, whatever, that’s difficult to make that step out. I’m not saying that, it’s more about empowerment this morning. The second thing is that when you ask someone else to pray for you, something powerful happens.

Because where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I’m in the midst of them. Jesus is particularly present when two people or more pray together. There’s something here going on that’s absolutely right. But when you take a step and say I want someone to pray with me, you are in humility. So, I’ve got, you’ve got something I need, which is, you can pray for me.

I cannot do this on my own. And there’s something very special. There’s something powerful that happens in that. So, if that’s you, stepping out is, is, is something, and then, asking someone else to pray, is something as well. So, if you’re an ivos caterers, or anything else, prayer for you, want something supernatural to happen this morning.

Just come forward. Come forward. And if you are, is this right? Ministry team? Is that what you call them? If you’re used to praying for people, do come forwards and line up with some of these people. Um Let me encourage you not to get into kind of deep conversations but to to be praying that God would meet that person where they’re at. Just to to come there’s a little space in the middle here.

Push forwards. And why don’t we all pray for these people particularly? But it might be that you’re wrestling with something yourself and you want to encounter God where you’re where you’re standing. Father in the name of Jesus we pray for your Holy Spirit to come and to help us, help each one of the people here. Both those come forwards but maybe those who are wrestling with things. Lord, would you meet us in this place? Um of of needs, of a desire to be empowered by the Holy Spirit.

That desire to take a step of faith, to get out of the boat, to walk on water, and to walk towards you. We pray, Lord God, that you would activate faith in us. You would activate your, the spirit’s power at work in us, that that enables us to do what you’re calling us to do. So Holy Spirit, come. Rest on each person right now.

We pray for a supernatural work of God. Come Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit. Thank you Lord. We’re going to continue in worship.

This is part of activating that faith. Of saying, okay, this is not about me, this is about you. And as we worship, that, that, that activity is a supernatural activity in itself. In that passage, when Jesus got into the boat with them at the end, they worshiped him. They recognized that truly you’re the son of God, the son of God is in our midst.

By his Holy Spirit. Let’s, let’s worship let’s allow something supernatural to happen in your heart and in this community. Even as we worship.

Guest Bishop Richard Thorpe

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