From the Pastor’s heart
Joh 6:4And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. Joh 6:5When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? Joh 6:6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.
We often find this word ‘prove’ coming up in the Bible. We see it in Deuteronomy 8 when God reveals why He took Israel through the wilderness. Deu 8:2And thou shalt overcome by all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. Why does God have to prove us? I believe that word ‘prove’ means test us and our faith. Jesus asked the disciples during the storm when He was sleeping in the boat, “Where is your faith?” What has all this to do with team work? You will notice that after Jesus proves Philip, He partners with him and the disciples to show them that, when we partner with Christ we can do all things that are faith based.
The deeper implications of the statement of Jesus was to show the world that He was the bread of life. That the need of the natural was easily overcome by the power of His own life given on the cross and the need of the natural was not greater than the need of the spiritual. The broken bread of His body on the cross met the needs of the hungry who are dying for the lack of a Saviour not the natural food.
I am convinced that we are co-workers with the Holy Spirit in this journey of life. The fact that the Holy Spirit has been given to us is for this very reason. Till He came to this earth, men of God partnered with God but on a non-permanent basis of His presence and power. Since the giving of the Holy Spirit to dwell in men, the co-habitation and working together with Him achieves greater works. This is the most fundamental basis of our faith. Many have partnered with the word but not the Holy Spirit. Such people have remained comfortable in their thinking that they know the scriptures and have not deviated from it. Yet, many have fallen into legalism and error and often time caused death and disaster to many in the true faith. They have crucified believing Christians because of this. Others have partnered with the Holy Spirit (so they think) and have deviated from the word and fallen short of the truth and have also caused shipwreck of their own lives and others 1Ti 1:18This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 1Ti 1:19Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 1Ti 1:20Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
Many in the modern world of Christianity want to do their own thing. This independent spirit is a brain killer because it elevates an individual to heights that cannot be sustained. Pride is that brain killer which is the original sin in heaven. Independence can take on the insidious nature of self so subtly that often time the victim of pride is unaware of it. This is why God comes to prove us. The moment the prick of the conscience happens it is to prove us through the Holy Spirit in us. He wants to know if we will listen to His voice. His voice is the commandment of God. If you can receive this revelation, you will be blessed. That is why Jesus said in the book of Revelation; ‘If you have an ear, listen to what the Spirit is saying”. Pride is not just a bragging of self or pompous show of one’s beauty and riches. Pride is a lot more subtle than that. It is the ruler of stubbornness and self. It refuses to give in to any other form of wisdom other than its own. It is self assured that it is right even when everyone sees that it is naked and poor. It refuse to bow down or do anything constructive till it has full control of the situation. It works tirelessly to achieve its own ends that are independent to others.
Team work, requires humility and the acceptance of a higher power over all of us and God’s sovereign choice of anointing over each individual. Miracles, signs and wonders are mere products of a God who does them with no effort at all and who uses earthen vessels. So, when Jesus said to Philip to feed the five thousand, He was wanting to co-work with the disciples. What He Himself would do was to create the miracle of multiplication and the disciples were to administer the miracle. This is called the working of miracles. The miracle of feeding continued on till all five thousand were fed (this took some time) and so the disciples faith was also to extend till that was done. Though the disciples were not doing the miracle per say, their faith in Jesus coupled with implicit obedience produced the ongoing power of the miracle. This is team work.
If we are to see God move in our midst, it is not just my faith in Christ that will make it happen but your faith in Christ and His faith in us.
You will notice in this miracle that Jesus did not go around feeding the five thousand. It was the disciples. They had to physically go and carry out the distribution of the food that was continually multiplying in their baskets. Many in Church want to be fed but they do not want to do the feeding. The time has come for the Church to work in unity as Christ produces the miracles. As we pray together, love one another with unfeigned hearts and reach out to this lost world together, we will see the unfolding miracle of God’s love and provision.
To put team work into perspective, each one of has been given faith, gifts and talents. Even secular gifting and knowledge is given by God. Though we attain much through education and experience in this life time, we must come to the realisation that it is God who gives us what we need. When the food was not there to feed the people, no amount of education or knowledge of this world sufficed to feed the people. It was the miracle working presence of Jesus that made it happen. To take a closer look at the God kind of team work, we see, that Jesus worked with God His Father and the Holy Spirit to produce this miracle. We see the heavenly partnership of Father & Son in these verses Joh_5:19Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. Then we see Son & Holy Spirit in Luke 4, 18 & 19. Let us endeavour to do what the Lord Himself has commanded us to do. It will surely try our faith and cause us to grow. The journey is not an easy one but a safe one in Christ. Take your cue from the suffering of the disciples who worked tirelessly with the Holy Ghost after Jesus had left them. They faced many trials of their faith but produced salvation and miracles when they partnered with God and each other. No man is an Island. Joh_14:12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
The words of Jesus tell us clearly that we can do greater works because He goes to the Father. What does that mean? It means, He obtained the promise of the Father which is the Holy Spirit, to send Him to us. Now, He is here so that we can do the greater works.
In team work, one must choose. Think of a football team.
1. Cease the opportunity.
a. That means, do not allow even one opportunity to be missed to be a blessing. The goal is a big net but if you hesitate..? He who hesitates is lost.
2. Consider others as you make your decision
a. This means; understand how your decision will affect others. Pass on what is only good.
3. Share the fruit of your labour
a. This means; whatever good comes out of your actions, bless others with it even as you enjoy the fruit of your labour. This means, acknowledge the involvement of others that got you to that place of victory whether you see their involvement in your life or not. None of us got to where we are by our own efforts nor are we kept by our own efforts.
4. Stay in your own area of authority
a. This means; hold your own position no matter how small you think it is because without you the team does not get the victory.
5. Do not be the weak link in the team
a. This means one must endeavour to grow and become strong and knowledgeable in what one is called to do.
b. This means; the anointing is available to all and all can possess it in abundance if we seek God and receive by faith.
I am sure that in the days ahead many of you will be endowed with power from on high. This will help you work the things of God that will glorify God, edify the church, save and bless many in the world. This will happen when we come together as a body dedicated for the Master’s use. This will be the year for you personally to find great increase in your life and ministry as a child of God.
Lots of love