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You Give Them Something

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When the twelve advised Jesus that the crowd was large and that He should send them away, He told them that they did not have to go away.  He said, “You give them something to eat.” [Matthew 14.16; Mark 6.37; Luke 9.13]  After He said that, the disciples went through a period of logical thinking, “That would take eight months of a man’s wages!  Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”  “Eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”  “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” [Matthew 14.16-17; Mark 6.37-38; Luke 9.13; John 6.5-7 The Testimony]

And so also it is the same with us.  We point out the problem to the Lord and give Him a solution that we think will make the problem go away.  He tells us to solve the problem and we go through the process of logic and reason.  All of which, as you can see from the words of the disciples, discount the availability of miraculous power.

Jesus, however, saw the problem and solved it as One who has the power… and told them to solve it as ones who also had the power.  For by the time of the feeding of the five thousand, the twelve had been sent out by Him a few times, and they had healed the sick, driven out demons and so on.  That is, they had been witnesses to the truth that they could do the things that Jesus had been doing.  It is just that, like us, when the problems arise, we forget to solve the problem based on the availability of miraculous power.

When we are sick, we take medicine and see a doctor instead of healing ourselves, even as we seek the doctor to confirm our healing.  When we are in a poor community, we look for financial support before we try to multiply the food and turn the water to good wine.  The reason for that is of course due to the truth that we know we have no power.  No one has been healed when we pray, and when they do get healed it is God who did it, not us.  So even when we have been witnesses of miracles, it is God who has done it, not us.  We are like the man who ate fish.  Every fish he has ever eaten was caught by someone else.  It is time to realise that Jesus expects us to do the miracles.  As He said, “You give them something to eat,” and, “Heal the sick… drive out demons.” [Matthew 10.8]

The work that we have been given to do is not just to preach the word we have been given to speak, but we have also been given the power and the gifts to do the miracles as well.  Of course, when you do not even preach the word to teach what Jesus commanded you to teach, there is no power to accompany you, for the power is a tool to confirm the word you teach and speak about Jesus.  Those churches that do not teach what Jesus commanded and do not testify to the truth of Jesus have no power to do miracles.  Miracles can happen in their midst, yes, because the Lord is honouring the faith of the individual who happened to be in the congregation, but not the congregation and certainly not the leaders themselves.  So when you hear ministers say that they do not do the miracles or the healing, they are really saying that they are not teaching the commands of Jesus and so they do not have the power, but the Lord is gracious and He is healing those He has mercy on.

However, for those who have listened to Jesus and believed the Testimony of the Holy Spirit about Jesus, the power is available to them if they are willing to do the work.  The twelve were unwilling to do the work, which was why Jesus said, “Bring them here to Me,” [Matthew 14.18] after they had found out a little boy had five loaves and two fish, which was not what Jesus told them to do.  Jesus asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” [Mark 6.38] not how many loaves do the people have.  In that alone, they failed to obey the command, and they were unwilling to pray for all the people to have food so that they did not have to feed them, like the little boy.  You see, the little boy with the fish was one less person they had to feed.  And if everyone had food, then they would not have to feed anyone at all.  They had seen the sick healed by their prayer, or rather, by their word, and demons driven out by their command.  So why not try to command that everyone has food enough so that they did not have to feed them?

So then, this is the attitude we must have:  It is not that God is not willing to answer our prayers and help us, but rather, we have been given the power and the word through His Son and His Spirit so that we can do the work, instead of Him having to do the work.  It is us testifying for Him.  It is us healing the sick, driving out the demons and doing the miracles because He has given us the power and the word.  It is not whether we have all power and all the word, but rather, it is what we have that counts.  For Jesus said, “How many loaves do you have?”  So it is, how many words of Jesus have you heard, practised and remembered?  And how much power do you have?  Give thanks for these and you will have more.  Use what you have and you will see the more, the multiplication, happen.  Speak to someone about Jesus everyday and see how many people you will end up speaking to about Jesus.  Practise healing the sick, driving out demons, turning water to good wine and walking on water daily… and see how soon you will be doing miracles yourself everyday.

As you are ‘recovering’ from Christmas celebrations, here is a conversation piece for you to ask your family, your friends, your fellow workers or a stranger you strike up a conversation with:  “What did you give Jesus for Christmas?”  “What did you do with Jesus for Christmas?”  “Did you visit Jesus for Christmas?”  And you will be surprised what the Holy Spirit will give you to say further.  As surely as the bread and the fish multiplied for the feeding of the 5,000, so now we need the multiplication of the words and powers we have to finish the work of bringing Jesus back in time for His real birthday.

Here are five words:  “Repent and listen to Jesus.”  And here are two signs:  “Heal the sick and drive out demons.”  If that is all you would say and do in your ministry, you will find that the miracle of multiplication will happen and you will be speaking to thousands and healing thousands.

So, then, it is not that God will send Jesus back when He wants to; it is God sending Jesus back when we have finished the work and we want Him back.

“If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” [John 15.7]

My wish, fellow workshoppers, is this:  To have the words and power we have multiplied into every believer so that the work is finished ahead of schedule and Jesus can celebrate His next birthday with us in Jerusalem.  We can do it because He said that we can.

Hr. Ed Kwan, manager of the Holy Spirit’s Workshop

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