Courting Miracles: Instructions for Walking on Water

The problem with miracles, I have found, is that they are easy to forget.  Already I hear dissent.  Unbelievers like to claim that if they were to truly witness a miracle, then and only then would they lay down their unbelief.  But pillar of cloud miraclesin my experience, miracles don’t even make believers believe.  Consider the Hebrews.  The Red Sea parted for them, and they were led by a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day.  Bread rained down on them.

Tangible corporate miracles and yet, no heart change was evident, and only two of the original generation set foot in the Promised Land.

I first noticed this tendency for humans to discount the miraculous in myself.  Numerous physical healings gave me a reverence for God, and I thanked Him heartily, unlike the nine lepers who practically scrambled over Jesus to get to the temple for cleansing. But I was not fundamentally changed.  I did not become super spiritual or even more pious than before. But how I truly learned that miracles are not quite what we think was through a person I prayed over for healing.

The whole experience taught me a number of things about miracles; primarily that I have no control and that miracles don’t change a person.

I once prayed over a man I knew who struggled with migraines.  And I confess, I did it to provoke more than out of a deeply compassionate heart.  I prayed for him because he liked to bait me over scripture.  My honest thought at the time was, “I’ll give you some scripture,” and so I prayed that God would cause his body to align with the Word.  The word I had in mind was, “…by His stripes we are healed.”  I prayed over him for thirty seconds and let him go.  I confess this lest anyone think I am more than I am or that my prayer was more than it was.healing miracles

By that evening his migraine disappeared.  By the following month, his surgery to remove scar tissue in his brain (which I was unaware of when I prayed) was cancelled.  The scar tissue vanished.  He was miraculously healed and had the MRI’s to prove it. I expected this to effect a deep heart change in him, but it did not.  He went on to continue what is, I suspect, a tortuous existence.  I was disappointed.

My first genuine healing miracle was a bit of a bust.

Now six or seven years later, I get it.  Not all of it, but a little more.  I used to imagine the scene where Jesus invited Peter to walk on the water as a one off kind of miracle, unrelated to the other miracles Jesus performed.  I hate the word, performed. The miracles flow out of Jesus, out of who He is. He is not a circus performer conjuring up tricks.  I imagined Jesus walking on the calm walking on water miraclesSea of Galilee (or lake, for that it what it is) and the water is calm.  I imagine the water cool under Peter’s feet.  He freaks out and then starts to sink.

But that is not how it happened.  It was a dark and stormy night.  Yes, I went there. The disciples, like all of us would be, whimpered in their little boat.  They see Jesus from a distance walking towards the boat.  They think He is a ghost.  Jesus assures them that it is just Him.  Peter, the one with the mouth, says, “Hey if it is really you, invite me to walk out on the water.”  Jesus complies.  Peter dared Jesus and then doesn’t have the guts to keep on keeping on, if you get my drift.  And to give Peter his due, walking in a storm, on wind-swept waves is a challenge. I imagine, at least.

But here is the difference between the Hebrews and Peter, or the Hebrews and you and me.  The Hebrews enjoyed the benefit of a leader, they witnessed nine plagues, and they had the safety of the crowd.  But only one had the anointing of the Holy Spirit and that was Moses.  Nowadays, revelation is available to anyone who seeks it.  The Holy Spirit makes Himself available to anyone who asks with a pure or even pure-ish heart.

And so Peter is alone on the water with Jesus. And so are you and I.

The Hebrews walked through their personal trials.  We, if we will, can now walking on stormy water miracleswalk over them.  True the water is tumultuous, but no longer do we have to be overwhelmed by the sea.  For the Hebrews, the Red Sea was their biggest problem, trapping them between Pharaoh and safety.  As an archtype, the Red Sea is predictive of the blood of Jesus.  Through the blood of Jesus, we are delivered.

The Sea of Galilee is different.  We have already come through the Red Sea, delivered from our slavery to sin.  Now we are up against the world, the flesh, and the Devil, all of which the Bible describes in various places as coming in like a flood, hunting like a ravening beast, and a fiery furnace.  Interesting that specific deliverances accompany each of those images.

So I come to my main point at last.  If you want to walk on water, give it a go.  Then what?

But if you want to walk on water, that is move through this tumult we call life in a way that saves you from drowning, the real miracle is unshakable peace. 

The real miracle is a faith that does not flinch in the wind and the waves.  The Hebrews could not grasp this, but don’t blame them.  They depended on another for their revelation.  You do not.  A spirit of power, love, and a sound mind are the revelations available to you.  How?  Don’t be like Peter.  Keep your eyes on Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Take hold of this revelation.  Take hold of Him.  Do that and miracles will flow into your life.

But more importantly, your very life will be the miracle.

And to give Peter his due, by the time the resurrection occurred, he so understood this revelation, that thousands were transformed on Pentecost. Miracles flowed out of the man.  They can flow out of you, too.

miracles flow


15 Replies to “Courting Miracles: Instructions for Walking on Water”

  1. Isn’t it great that we serve a God who STILL does miracles?

    1. everydaynatalie1 says: Reply

      Amen! I believe in miracles because I have seen them in my own life, but just to be clear, my faith isn’t in the miracles but the miracle maker. I am so thankful He is still in the business of performing miracles xo

  2. I love the reminder that miracles aren’t what saves us. I’m reminded of the parable where the rich man and Lazarus both die and the rich man wants to send Lazarus back to warn his family, but Abraham questions what difference it would make. If we aren’t ready to accept God’s gift, nothing will change that until God softens our hearts.

  3. Great post, Alice! I believe in miracles but I place the fruit of the Spirit over them because the workers of Satan are using counterfeit miracles to entrap credulous folk. As you rightly said, as we walk in the revelation of the Christ, miracles will follow us. But we must reflect the Lord in the way we live. I guess that’s why Jesus told the disciples who were rejoicing that demons were subject to them when they went on an outreach to rather rejoice that their names are written in the book of life. God bless your blog and family in Jesus’ name.

  4. A great post, Alice. Miracles are one of those things around which there is much controversy, but the reality is that God is God and He moves and heals and saves in ways that we don’t always understand. I agree, that the real miracle is His work in our hearts. Thanks for your insightful writing. – Amy

  5. He is the miracle working God.

  6. “The real miracle is unshakeable peace.” Isn’t that the truth! I love seeing and hearing about miracles (I attend Bethel church in Redding where miracles are the norm), but our hearts are of so much more importance. That’s where the real miracle happens! This also makes me think of Matthew 11:20-24 where Jesus is denouncing cities where he performed miracles. He says that if those miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented. In other words, the purpose of miracles is to draw people to Jesus and towards repentance. They serve as a sign for people, but people are then left with a choice. It’s unfortunate many still say no to Jesus even after seeing His power.

    1. I am a Bethel girl myself. When I lived in Sacramento, I went up often for conferences and the healing rooms. I can never get enough of Bill Johnson’s teaching.

  7. susanhomeschooling says: Reply

    “In my experience, miracles don’t even make believers believe.” This is sadly true. Someone who needed physical healing once told me that he would not believe, even if he was healed for real, unless he was still healed a year later, and then he wouldn’t believe then either, unless the sickness never returned for the rest of his life. I decided not to have people lay hands on this man because he would never bring glory to God and refused to have faith even if he would have been healed. Some people are so stubborn in their wrong doctrine that God doesn’t heal any more, and that it has to be complete for the rest of your life or not count.

  8. I think you are right – that we tend to forget God’s work in our lives. I think it is so important to write down our stories – to connect the dots of what God has done in our lives. Otherwise we forget.

  9. I am guilty of forgetting too quickly the miracles God has worked in my life. I love that I can hold on to the promises of the spirit and the miracles God has worked in transforming me to do his work. I am a completely different person than I was prior to having Christ in my life and that miracle I will always hold on to.

  10. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.” – John 6:35-36

    What a sad revelation! Right in front of their eyes and the disciples still had disbelief! Yet we do the very same to this day even though we can read of this account. So true that we must continually keep our eyes on Jesus or we will sadly fall into a state of “comfortably numb” in spite of all He does in our lives.

  11. It is so true that we have something the Hebrews did not have – the Holy Spirit! What a precious gift God freely gives to all of us who believe and choose to follow Christ.

  12. Yes!! Keep your eyes on Jesus. This simple Truth brings me through the long, hard days with a sense of peace.

  13. I’m seeing God do miraculous things in my traveling and in my mom’s battle with cancer. And yet, the greatest miracle is this joy and unexplainable peace we both have that everything will be just fine. God is good and worthy to be praised today regardless of whether or not everything is solved today. I thank God for being able and willing to do the miraculous, and more for being so awesome and so close to me at the same time.

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