Step Out of The Boat

From, The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson

Page 117
“The key to getting out of the boat is hearing the voice of God. If you’re going to get out of the boat in the middle of a lake in the middle of the night, you better make sure that Jesus said, ‘Come.’ But if Jesus says, ‘Come,’ you better not stay in the boat.”


I often comment to people who are trying to make decisions with the phrase, “Step out of the boat.” As I read the way Batterson comments on stepping out of the boat, I wonder if I should ever say it again. I need to evaluate what it really means to step out of the boat.

The easy assumption is that the phrase is calling people to be bold in their decision to do something. It’s probably time to precede the statement with, “Is Jesus truly calling to you?” If the answer is yes, “Step out of the boat!”

I know the idea of being bold for God, and being bold in our actions is applauded and encouraged by our society. But, as I read, and re-read, Batterson’s words, I’m thinking more time should be spent on intently listening for the still, small voice of God. Listening isn’t something I’m really good at, yet. It is something I can practice. I can develop a strong listening muscle. So can you. It takes time. It takes practice. It means being intentional with our time with God.

Right now I don’t have a developed habit of listening to God. I don’t have a developed habit of spending time with God. There have been starts and stops over the years, and more recently I have started again. Similar to physical exercise, the habit needs to be formed over time. There will probably be pain. There will be days I don’t want to make the effort. But, I know I will benefit from developing the habit.

Is there a time you stepped out of the boat? Did you listen first, or did you just take a leap? Have you developed a habit of listening for his voice?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply. Seriously. Let's have a conversation.

10 thoughts on “Step Out of The Boat

  1. I’m the opposite, meaning that I usually talk myself out of doing things. I listen to my inner voice saying to be careful or to be cautious more than I will be prone to take action.

  2. There is something weighing so heavily on me right now to step out of the boat… but the rational side of me cannot do it without some sort of “net”. Somehow I need to stop, really listen (as you said, for the quiet still voice) to see if this is truly what I need to do.

  3. Happy to see you back!!! Personally I tend to jump in without dipping my toes first to see if the water is cold…but maybe that is because I do listen. It says go see, go learn, go explore, see what’s around that corner. I always regret when I don’t listen and stay back in the boat.

  4. Man, I really need to get this book! I’m in the same boat (pun intended) as you: I’ve let my habit of listening for His voice fall away recently and need to build it up. Lately I tend to only try to hear him when I’m facing this kind of choice, and that always makes it so difficult to hear Him!

    But this also reminds me of the book by John Ortberg “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat”. Great book that talks about this more in detail.