Updated: Jun 15, 2018
Let’s play a game called “What came next?”. First, Jesus fed the 5000 and retreated to a mountain to pray. Then The disciples took a boat across the Sea of Galilee. A severe storm arose and Jesus appeared to them, strolling across the waves. Peter joined Him on the water, Jesus stilled the storm, and they were suddenly transported to their destination (Matthew 14:13-34; Mark 6:30-53; John 6:1-24). So now the question is, what came next?
This part also fascinates me. Great crowds had been following Jesus, and it seems that nothing would deter them, not even when they realized He was across the water over six miles away. Some boats had come in from another town and the people quickly seized the opportunity to go after Him. When you consider they potentially numbered in the thousands, that would have been some very crowded boats! What came next?
Well they found Jesus all right, but His reaction was not what they expected. He told them, “You’re not really here because of Me. You’re just here because of the miracles.” (John 6:25-26, my paraphrase)
Wow, that made me think about my own motives. How many times have I carelessly approached the throne of Jesus only because I wanted something, or just happened to begin a conversation with Him because I was in a jam? I know the method by heart: we are to present our needs through prayer and supplication (asking for something earnestly or humbly) with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6). But I must admit, sometimes I hurriedly throw in the worship part in the beginning, followed by my needs, and add a “thank you” at the end. Maybe you have done the same. We have been reducing prayer to a magic formula devoid of true worship, much less affection or friendship.
After all, Christianity is a relationship. Any worthwhile relationship involves spending quality time with someone else, not out of necessity but out of genuine affection and love. Nobody likes to feel used.
I don’t ever want it to be said that I only came to Jesus because of the miracles. Melody Green, wife of the late Keith Green, wrote a song lyric that I love: “Make my life a prayer to you, I want to do what You want me to. No empty words, and no white lies; no token prayers, no compromise.”
As I read the Word I draw even closer to Him, get to know Him better, and have more opportunities for honest dialogue that is not always all about me, but more and more about Him. I spend less time obsessing and more time confessing, not just sins or shortcomings, but my love and devotion.
We are not separated by distance. He is always right here and we can talk to Him anytime we want without having to desperately crowd into a boat. And if we can stop talking about ourselves long enough we might even hear His voice. We won’t always get it right, but don’t let that stop you. I believe He would rather see us clamber after Him in desperation than to sit on the other side of the lake in misery.
Keep all of this in balance. Jesus does want us to bring our needs to Him. Just think about how much more wisdom we would have for avoiding problems in the first place if we engaged in a continual conversation. That means talking to Him throughout the day and pausing to listen, instead of making most of our interaction about a crisis.
Here’s the bonus: A healthy soul and spirit will lead to a healthy body. As the Apostle Paul said, “I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 2)
What comes next? Our bodies get left behind and we get a new one when the trumpet sounds upon the Lord’s return. And that is the greatest miracle of all.
COMING SOON! Deliverance seminar, dates and times to be announced. This two-part teaching series by Kathleen Peck could answer a lot of questions as to why you might be struggling in an area even after deliverance. Did you know that there are regions of darkness that can trap your soul? For example, your soul could be trapped in the Land of Forgetfulness, the Land of Wandering, or (gasp!) the Land of Jackals. Come and discover how the Great Shepherd of your soul makes the deliverance easy!