Oceans - A Mindset of Faith

I have listened to "Oceans" by Hillsong probably over 100 times in the last few years. I've always sang along. I've always felt something when I heard it. Until a few days ago, in my quiet time, when my entire perspective on the lyrics changed. If you've never heard it, here are the lyrics (you can also click the link above to listen):

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus, you're my God!

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Before we dive into the song, let's take a look at Matthew 14:22-33, the story of Jesus walking on water and calling Peter out of the boat. We know that Jesus had been praying on the mountain and the the Bible makes it clear that the fishermen were a considerable distance from shore, when he began walking towards them. Isn't that a testament to how God pursues us? No matter how far we have drifted out to sea, he will still come after us. In verse 26, it says "When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified." I can certainly relate, when it looks like God is doing something out of the ordinary in my life, I get scared. Verse 27: "But Jesus immediately said to them: 'Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.' 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” Sound familiar? How many times do we ask God "If it's You, show me by doing x, y, z". We don't always get the clear cut signs and confirmation in the way in which we ask, but in verse 29, Jesus replies "Come". The next few verses we see that Peter does indeed get out of the boat and walks on the water, until he realizes what is actually happening, sees the wind, takes his eyes off Jesus and stumbles and begins to sink. But, immediately, Jesus takes his hand and saves him and offers him reassurance. 

Essentially, I would conclude that the song "Oceans" was written as a depiction of Peter coming out of the boat onto the water. It's easy to listen to the story or hear the song and still miss the meaning and the intensity of what is actually happening here. Close your eyes for a moment and image that you are Peter, but it's 2017. You're on a cruise with your family and in the middle of the night you feel the Holy Spirit lead you to the deck. You hear God asking you to step out on faith onto the water. Really imagine it. Can you feel it? The fear, the anxiety. If we're being honest, we wouldn't take that step. Common sense and Human nature tells us we would drown and that it's probably not God speaking to us. We love God, but sometimes we treat Bible stories like fiction or like they apply to everyone but us. For Peter, I'm sure it seemed just as ludicrous and yet he still got out the boat. Now, substitute the Ocean in this scenario for something in your own life. Your career, family, children, ministry, singleness, finances, purpose. Are you really willing to trust God with those things or do you treat them like a Bible story? One of my favorite verses in the song is when it says "Your grace abounds in deepest waters, your sovereign hand, will be my guide". Wow. So, God's Grace abounds when we are not in our safe place. When we step out of our comfort zone and completely trust Him is when we experience the most Grace and are guided by His sovereign hand. My second (or maybe equally favorite) part of the song is where it says "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you will call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior." I want more than anything to be able to completely rest in God (Matthew 11:29) so much that my trust has no borders - no limits. That I'm willing to follow him to the ends of the earth, "in oceans deep" and stretch my faith in the process.

As I meditate on this passage of scripture and these lyrics more and more, I realize that this song has to almost become a daily prayer. "Oceans" is a mindset of "Lord this is what I want you to do in me. This is who I want to become." Even though, I may not see it or fully believe it now, if I sing it enough, prayerfully one day, I will. Do you have an "Oceans" mindset or are you afraid to get out the boat?


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