But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" and they cried out in fear.
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid."
And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water."
He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me."
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" -Matthew 14:26-31
Okay so let me first explain my BC addiction/ fear of ghosts. When I was about 6 or 7, we lived in the Philippines. The base we were on was filled with stories of ghouls, goblins, ghost, vampires and demons. I can remember even the school I was at participated in this nonsense of telling ghost stories to us kids. I believe that's where my spirit of fear was conceived. It was also where my love/ hate relationship with the unknown began. For every story that scared me, I needed to know more. I needed to get to "the bottom" of it and see if I could see "it". I remember imagining a story that I had watched earlier with our house girl that even further warped my young mind. It was of a barrel that you could jump in and it had fish in it and.... apparently no end. To the seeing eye, one could only see the bottom of this barrel that held fish to buy. But for those who wanted more, it was a doorway to another time. There were monsters in the movie, what kind I don't remember, and the flashes of it I have in my head now are so ridiculous you would've thought the movie was a Filipino version of Disney's Fantasia (my dad swears that the director had to be on acid while making that cartoon... and I tend to agree). I also remember another time of being told yet another local horror tale right before bed. I don't remember how long it took me to fall asleep but I do remember that I thought I woke up to my bed shaking like crazy and jumped straight out to go to my parents room! You'll be happy to know I have since renounces all of that mess and even though my desire to see what new horror movies are about, I won't watch because I know that all made now are doorways.
When the Disciples saw this figure walking on water, they freaked out as much as any of us would have. I mean we weren't talking about shallow water where you couldn't see ones feet but their ankles were visible. This was the Sea of Galilee!! How I would've gone from frightened near death to in awe and instant worship at the point of realization that this was my Lord and Savior walking in this huge body of water which was, I'm sure 50ft or more deep! How magnificent is HE!!
But, the Bible is also clear about there appearance of ghosts. There are several verses, including this one, that mention seeing, thinking of seeing and hearing ghosts. But when I think of the power of my JESUS, NOTHING stands more powerful than He!!
Well that brings me to my first vision, in plain sight. On my way to church for a prayer service last Friday evening, I was in full worship, music loud and me singing! I pulled into the parking lot to see a truck in the middle of the street and slowed down to see if anyone was in there. As I turned back to look straight, there was a car in front of me (All normal things). It happened to be a woman that I knew from church once I got closer, and as I parked, I watched her go in the building but not before quickly turning her head my way. Everything after that was routine and a powerful prayer session. So much so that I hadn't really paid too much attention that I hadn't seen this woman. I thought perhaps she was somewhere else in the building. Things didn't turn odd for me until another sister in Christ came to me to ask if this certain woman frequented the Ignite prayer worship. I said yes and told her she was there somewhere. To make a long story short, another woman told us she wasn't there. That's when I started to freak out. Two other women got into the same conversation with us and after it was determined that, in fact, she was NOT present that night, we learned of her recent suffering and decided right then to pray. It was nothing short of GOD that did that! I still dwell in that "in plain sight" vision I had of her waking upright and turning her neck (she had bulging disks the day before) while going to praise her LORD!
My recent stint with this has even more so turned my unbelief into belief! I have to admit, I would pray certain things as led by God and then not believe it was possible. Have you ever done this? Unbelief is a bondage to keep you from experiencing God's lovingkindness, grace, mercy and blessings. It is the very same, age old trick of the devil that kept Adam and Eve from being who God had created them to be. The serpent asked in Genesis, "Did God really say, 'you must not eat of any tree in this garden?" A tricky seed of doubt quickly turns to unbelief when left unattended. The serpent misinterpreted, on purpose of course, what God commanded and even though Eve KNEW what God said, by even entertaining the liar, she made room for that seed of doubt.
There is someone suffering from a battle with doubt and unbelief. There is someone who is losing that battle. Please know that we are all there at one point. I was not too long ago. But if you hold on, He will bring you out even if He has to carry you! In mark 5:36, Jesus comforts a man who has just been told his daughter, whom he came to Jesus to ask to heal her, had died. Jesus COMFORTED him!! He does care!! But The Alpha and Omega did not stop there! He then commanded this man ever so gently, I believe, to "only believe." I extend that release for you today dear ones. "Do not fear, (which is where doubt and unbelief stem from) only believe."
Father, thank You for that vision to remind me of who You are. Thank You for bringing me out of my temporary jail of depression. Lord, I stand in the gap of all who read this and are going through that same battle, asking themselves and You the same questions I did. Comfort them, Lord and help them believe. Be that gentle voice guiding them back to You, Holy Spirit. Pour great hope into their spirits as they sleep and when they toss and turn, give them rest. Let them know, remind us that You are still on the Throne and you will never leave not forsake us. In Jesus mighty name. Amen!