Preparing Yourself for a Miracle -- By Rob Chaffart

Is there anything we need to know in order to see miracles happen in our lives? We hear about miracles happening all the time.  Why do they not yet happened in our lives?  Here are some guidelines from Mark 6:35-44 that may help you:

"By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him.  'This is a remote place,' they said, 'and it's already very late.  Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.' But he answered, 'You give them something to eat.'  They said to him, '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?'  'How many loaves do you have?'  he asked.  'Go and see.'  When they found out, they said, 'Five-and two fish.' Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass.  So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.  Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.  Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people.  He also divided the two fish among them all.  They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish.  The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand."
(Mark 6:35-44)

Jesus had been preaching to a large crowd of 5000 men!  (They probably were not by themselves.  They expected Jesus to be the Messiah and probably took their families with them, which included their wife and children and believe me they did not limit themselves to 2 or 3 children in these days!  There may have been at least 25,000 people in the crowd!)  It was getting late.  Jesus’ disciples were getting concerned that these people needed to eat.  Shouldn’t Jesus send these folks away?

I love Jesus’ reply to His disciples "You give them something to eat."

“Excuse me?  How do you want us to do this?  There are at least 25,000 people out there!  Just the cooking itself would take months between the twelve of us.  The cost would be at least 8 months of wages.  This is impossible!  Jesus, are you serious?”

Here is principle 1: Acknowledge that you have a need.

If you want something to be given to you, ask.  It’s that simple.  What are some reasons why we don’t ask?

  1. We procrastinate (see v. 35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him.)
  2. We forget who we have on our side: Jesus, the Creator of the Universe

Principle 2: Find out what you already have.

"How many loaves do you have?"  he asked.  "Go and see." When they found out, they said, "Five-and two fish."

In John 6: 6 We find out that “He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.”  Why would Jesus test us?  Jesus wants us to trust Him with the seed so that He can meet our need.  God always looks at what we have in our hands.  Throughout the Bible God rarely acts alone, but acts in cooperation with us humans.  Wow!  I could only think 3 times of that God acted alone in the Bible.  These were:

  1. At the creation of the world.
  2. When fire and brimstone fell on Sodom and Gomorrah
  3. At Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

All other times He expected cooperation with us humans. "How many loaves do you have?" Every single miracle in the Bible God inquires, “What is in your hand? What can you do?” Here are some other examples:

    1. David had 5 round stones. Result: victory over Goliath and his army.
    2. Noah had wood. Result: Preservation of humanity during the flood.
    3. Moses had a staff. Result: Deliverance of Israel from slavery in Egypt.
    4. Luke 8:44 "She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped." 
    5. Mark 2:4-5 "Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.  When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.'"
    6. Matt 9:6-7 "Then he said to the paralytic, 'Get up, take your mat and go home.'  And the man got up and went home."

All these examples show clearly the cooperation that exists between God and humans.  God works His miracles in cooperation with His people.  He wants us involved.  He wants us to be active.

Some prefer to sit in a corner of their house, waiting for God’s miracle in their life.  They prefer to mumble “why does God not answer me?”  My friend He wants you involved with Him.  He wants your cooperation.  Why?  Because it will help you develop a relationship with God.  God is a God of relationships, not a genie that you can keep in a bottle.

Principle 3: Give to God what you already have.

This is confirmed by principle 2. 

You may ask, “If God is all powerful, why does He need that bread and fish?  Couldn’t He zap fish and bread into existence into a beautiful golden dish, and each of the 25 000 would have their own dish?”  Sure He could, but it is not His style.  God works in cooperation with us.  God has a variety of ways to answering our requests, but He always works in joint effort with us.

e.g. a. Lazarus: role away the stone!

       b. Cornelius, go out of your house and preach the gospel to Paul….

God’s style is “Let’s work together.  I want a relationship with you, my friend.”

You may wonder “But what can I give God?”  Ask God.  Develop a relationship with Him. He will let you know. It may be to go to a church that believes in God’s miracles.  It may be to go to a special crusade where healing is expected. It may be to give what you have in your hands right now.  Ask Him.  He will let you know.

Principle 4: Expect God to multiply what you give to Him.

John 6: 12 - 13 "When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, 'Gather the pieces that are left over.  Let nothing be wasted.'  So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten."

It’s a constant theme in the Bible : 2 Cor 9:6 "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously"

Can you imagine? With five small barley loaves and two small fish given to Jesus, He not only was able to feed 25 000 people, His disciples also collected 12 baskets full of remainders.  Wow!  God multiplies what we give to Him!  God is a God of abundance.

I like to speculate why 12 baskets were collected.  Some say 1 basket for each disciple.  Personally I don’t think this would be fair.  Weren’t they the ones who doubted?  Why would Jesus reward their incredulity?

Others speculate that those baskets were for the boy who donated these items.  This is more like it.  It would feed his whole family for weeks to come, continuing the miracle of feeding the needy.

But maybe, just maybe those 12 baskets were for the 12 disciples.  After all, just who were the doubters in that crowd, anyway?  Yup!  There were 12 of them.  Jesus’ disciples.  What if each had to carry a basket full of food back to that boy’s home? Would that not teach them a lesson about true dependency on God?

We will never know God's true purpose for having 12 remaining baskets.  The fact  fact remains that 12 baskets full of food were collected!  God is a God of miracles.  We can depend on Him, but let us not forget to have that relationship with Him.  Without it, you may better wait in the corner of your house for something to happen. 

Would you like to invite Him in your life now and have a relationship with Him?  He is knocking on the doors of your heart.  Will you let Him in?  The choice is yours. 

In His love,

Rob Chaffart

Answers2Prayer Ministries,