God or ghost

God or Ghost

(Reflection from Matthew 14:25-26)

God or ghost

“Bible reflection on Spiritual Sensitivity


Matthew  14:25-26 (CEV)

A little while before morning, Jesus came walking on the water toward his disciples.  When they saw him, they thought he was a ghost. They were terrified and started screaming.



Sometimes God and ghosts are very difficult to distinguish.


At least twice in the Bible, there have been incidents in which God was mistaken for a ghost. Can you remember when this event occurred?



The first happened in when Jesus walked on water, His disciples mistook Him for a ghost.


While the disciples were in an overwhelmed situation because the ship they were on was swamped by a storm, God's presence to help them made them unaware of HIM.


Even the disciples were said to be terrified because God's presence was mistaken for a "ghost".


And this event did not just happen once.



The second time is when the Lord Jesus has risen from the dead.


When Jesus was able to break through doors and walls to enter a closed room (* John 20:19), He was also mistaken for a ghost by His disciples.


Luke 24:36-37 (CEV)

While Jesus' disciples were talking about what had happened, Jesus appeared and greeted them.  They were frightened and terrified because they thought they were seeing a ghost.



This happened with the Lord Jesus' disciples! Who lived very closely with the Lord Jesus for years!


But it can still be hard to tell the difference between this is God or maybe it's a ghost!



Surprisingly, it is so easy today for someone to say something in the name of God. The words that come out are usually like this: this can happen because of God, or I do this because God told me to, God gave me the opportunity to do this, God asked me to speak, and so on.


The name God can be used to justify our behavior.



Then how can we be so sure that this really is a direction from God or a "ghost"?


I think at least these two principles we can use to differentiate between God's direction or the other side.




# 1 God Doesn't Like to Corrupt


The first principle is that God doesn't like to destroy, He likes to build.


If we follow God's direction in life, our lives will be awakened and not even damaged.


For example, God's direction in life is unlikely to cause your marriage to break.  Even if there is a pastor, who says that you should divorce and marry him - because it was "ordered by God"; obviously it must not be from God.


God likes to wake up life, not destroying it.



And building is a process.


Building a building, for example, means the process of becoming a building. Which means it takes time. Cannot build it instantaneously finished.


That means we have to be loyal to the process and not look for shortcuts for our lives to be "awakened".


Don't look for "how to get rich quick". Or "how to quickly find your soulmate".


Indeed the world offers us a lot of "fast ways", or shortcuts, or "straight paths". But let the word of God always make us aware.





# 2 Never Contradict His Word


The second principle for ascertaining whether this really is God's presence is that God's voice will never contradict His voice written in the Bible.


If God's word demands honesty, then God's voice that we hear in our hearts or through other people will not lead us to lie to someone.


If God's word never approves adultery, then God's voice that we hear through other people will also not allow adultery.


If God's word never allows stealing, then any reason cannot justify someone's action to steal.



Let at least these two principles, can help us to remain sensitive and be able to distinguish between the true presence of God and what is false.



Read also: Not Even When

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