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God wants you to experience the supernatural. Look beyond yourself at the needs of others. Miracles require you to take initiative in faith. Miracles require you to do what you can. Miracles require you to speak and act. Application: Do you see the needs around you? Are you moved? Not my problem? What's your response? compassion? What do you have that God could use? What will you do?
I want you to open your Bible with me in Mark, Chapter 6. Want to speak on five loaves and two fish. Want to show you some amazing insights, to how God does miracles. It's always the same, the outworking is a little different, but we all hunger for miracles. Miracles come, and you're going find there's certain things that are a part of it, and this passage is really, really a great insight to this.
So in Mark, Chapter 6 and Verse 30: The apostles gathered to Jesus, told Him everything that they had done, and what they'd taught, and He said: come on, let's go aside to a deserted place, have a rest; so there were lots of coming and going, and they didn't even have time to eat - typical ministry aye? And so they departed to a deserted place in a boat by themselves, but the multitudes saw them departing. Many recognised or knew Him. They ran there on foot from all the cities, and they arrived before them, and came together to Him. So there it is.
The first thing you need to understand is, God wants you to experience and to flow in the supernatural. You have to - your thinking about this is very important. If you think that this is unusual, that certain people, only certain people or certain places in the world, or certain times or seasons, if you think that that's the only way that things happen, then you won't position yourself for God to move. We need to believe that right here, and right now, God has made me both to experience the supernatural, and to flow in the supernatural.
Look what it says of the disciples. It says in Verse 13: they cast out many demons - Verse 12 - they went out and preached that people should repent. They cast out many demons, anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them. So Jesus' plan has always been that His ministry in the supernatural would flow through those who follow Him; in fact in the great commission, which is a commission to go into the world and change the community; the commission is never to sit around. The commission Jesus gave is dynamic, it is active, it requires commitment and perseverance to go and make your life count.
I think, you know, one of the greatest tragedies that I see is young people with no vision, no direction, no purpose in their life, wasting their life, wasting it on all kinds of trivia; when God has so much more for you. The Bible's very clear: Jesus moved in the supernatural. He trained his disciples how to do the same. He showed them that they are spirit people, made to move in the supernatural; and He commissioned them to go out. That commissioning has never changed; commissioning is here for you as well; to go out, to make Jesus known, to move in the supernatural; and it doesn't really matter what background you've come from. It doesn't matter what your past has been like. The possibility of God working through you is immense. It is immense.
God has not chosen just to do things through what Jesus did on the earth. He's chosen to work through you, if you can believe, if you can believe. Now we believe that Jesus does miracles. What we don't believe is: He'd do them through me, or He'll do them now, or He'll do them here. So what you're really struggling with is, a spirit of unbelief, that stops you accessing what God has intended for you. There's nowhere in the Bible it suggests it's not normal for the supernatural to follow, and be part of, a believer's life. These signs shall follow them that believe - 1 Corinthians 12:7 - the manifestation of the spirit is given to every man; so where does that put you? Are you receiving from God revelation, insight? Are you positioning yourself in prayer and hunger and desire for God to touch you?
I know of many that have come into this church, and they have set their heart and their face to draw from the supernatural realm, and that God has used them extremely powerfully to touch lives. I can think over the years of many people who've come, and got a hold of something that God put here for you, to draw from; but you see you have to draw, you have to reach it, you've got to make these things your own. If you've been baptised in the Holy Spirit, you can speak in tongues; every day you can arise, and you can be building an altar in your life where you begin to pray; you begin to put yourself in the presence of God, with expectation for God to move through you; begin to listen to His voice, begin to recognise His promptings. See, everyone can do that. Everyone can do that. There's no limit to what you can do in that area - it's just what you choose to do.
But God's plan, very clearly, is to entrust to you and me, a flow of the supernatural, because of the needs that are in our city. How many of you know someone who's from a broken home? They need the touch of God. How many of you know someone who's been abused, or in an abusive situation? They need a touch of God. How many of you know someone who's without life, or purpose? They need a touch of God. In fact there's no place you can look, that there aren't people that need a touch of God; and God has placed you in this city, and area, to bring such a touch to them. In fact let me tell you something else: He's not going to do it, unless you do it. He's not going to do it, unless you arise, and let Him work through you. There are people around you, in your sphere of influence, and the only breakthrough they'll get, is if you will break through in prayer, and start to reach out to them; otherwise when the season and the opportunity goes, God has to move them somewhere else, to someone else, to bring them that breakthrough. What a great chance you have, what a great opportunity you have.
Ever since I became a Christian, I've been hungry for the supernatural. There's never been a place I've been, where I didn't experience and see it happening, not one, not one. But I hungered for it. When I found that there was a real spirit world, that you could get full of the Holy Ghost, and you could begin to start to do things, and prophesy - I decided that was for me. I wasn't a preacher then, and I wasn't a pastor - I wasn't anything - just a teacher in school. I saw God move - right through all of my life I've seen that happening, and this is the legacy that you have. You're in this church, and this is your home church, you've got a legacy of this. You've got to take hold of it. You need the power of God, and there's a desperate need around us for it.
Look at this, it says in Verse 33: the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him, and ran there on foot from all the cities - gathered, they all arrived, hungry people wanting God. They were sick of religion, sick of oppression, but when they saw and felt God moving, they wanted God.
Jesus is still popular you know, it's just Christians aren't always! And Jesus when He came, saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep, not having a shepherd; so He began to teach them many things, and the day was now far spent, and the disciples came to Him and said: this is a deserted place, already the hour is late. Send them away, so they may go to surrounding country and villages, buy themselves bread, for they have nothing to eat. And He answered, and said: you give them something.
Okay, so number one, God wants you both to experience the supernatural, and to be able to bring the life of God to others. That's the first thing to see. Second thing is, if you're going to move in this way, you have to look beyond your own needs to the needs of others. You notice that Jesus saw the disciples were incredibly tired. He Himself was very tired. In fact they were so tired, that they were on vacation; except the crowd followed them. Now the normal thing would be to say: listen, I'm tired, I've had a hard time, send them all away. Listen, I can't do this - but the Bible says that Jesus was moved with compassion. The disciples just wanted to get rid of the crowd, they were so tired; well we've done our bit for God. We've done our bit for God, that's enough. Some people, they come to church on Sunday - I've done my bit for God, that's enough.
How far that falls short! You've got to get your eyes past yourself, and begin to see people in need. You've got to lift your eyes beyond yourself. There are some people here have never been on the platform, and yet they touch people in need. They touch people in need. The supernatural's not always spectacular. It's often in the acts of kindness, and the small things, reaching out, extending out, but always you've got to look past yourself; and one of the ways of doing that, quite a simple way you can do that - I did this when I first came into the city, and I'm about to do it again, because I felt this thing burning in my heart again; one of the first things I did when I come in the city was say: oh dear God, what do I do, you know? This is a strange place and I didn't really like even being here, pretty miserable, it was sort of cold and wet about then. I wasn't very happy about being here at all, but I felt the Lord tell me to do this. He said: I want you to rise, and I want you to walk around the centre of the city, and I want you to pray in tongues, and I want you to look into the faces of people, and I want you to see the need of the city.
And I've done that on more than one occasion. I remember doing it with Ian - remember we did that one time? We went around, and we walked around the city centre, I don't know, maybe a week or something? Every night we walked around, Ian walked with me in those early days, so when I first arrived here I did it; and when I did it, then God was birthing compassion; and I remember walking around the streets, and looking at the faces of people; the far end of Hastings was very, very dark in those days. Gangs gathered down there. It was a shocking place. You wouldn't walk there at night, so I walked right around, and you would look at people, and I'd drive around some nights and I'd just pray, but most of the time I'd walk around and look in the faces of people, and just look to see what God showed me. I found that if you will ask God to open your eyes, and you start to pray, and just: look and listen, look, listen, ask questions; you will begin to see how desperate the needs our people have. They're everywhere - abused people, hurt people, people who are angry, people who are broken, people who are furious with how life has treated them so unjustly. But if you don't see them, you'll never reach them. You have to see them, and let it move your heart.
I found one of the reasons that we don't move is, we're so caught up with ourself; and when you're caught up with yourself, you've got nothing left over for anyone else, so get your eyes off yourself. Set yourself for - maybe for three weeks, that every day for three weeks, wherever you live or work, or wherever you're in a school or something, you begin to pray and ask God to open your eyes, to see the condition of people. Ask Him to show you what is really there, what He sees, and you'll be quite surprised what you see. Start to ask people questions. Just be determined to listen to people, and find out what is going on in their world. You'll be amazed how people will open up their heart and tell you. They will just tell you what's going on. You'll be quite surprised at the pain, and the distress stories, that are everywhere. It's almost overwhelming, it gets so big; but the first step is, you've got to get out of your own zone. You've got to look past your own need, so one of the things that Jesus modelled, and this is always so when miracles take place, is you look beyond yourself, to the needs of others.
So if we would just start to build that heart of compassion, looking beyond ourself - it always costs something to get a miracle. Now it's interesting, I was watching that programme Once Upon A Time. I see it's on TV just at the moment. There was an interesting statement that was made in there, and I thought - I heard it said a couple of times and I thought, it's very, very true, just talking about magic, it's the whole realm of fantasy. The guy said an interesting thing. He said: magic always has a price, because he was talking that if you get in the occult, then there's a cost to pay that you'll never ever imagine. Anyone who gets involved in the occult, there's a price you pay, that you would never know up front; and it was very true in this particular episode. The person made this agreement to get this magic to operate, and the cost was immense, and then of course when the price come, he didn't want to pay it, it was so high.
There's a lot of people are discovering the cost of being in the realm of the supernatural, in the occult area; but there's also a cost to moving with God. It costs you - it's inconvenient. You've just got to make decisions. I want my life to count for something. Young people, imagine your life counting for something. Imagine if you could step up above everyone else, and flow with God, and make an impact. Imagine if God worked through your life to touch people. What would happen in the people around you? You've got to get a dream in your heart, of God doing something great through you, and hold and pursue that dream, so you don't just live a normal, down-below average life. So it costs something, so look beyond yourself.
Here's the next thing. Now miracles always require you take faith initiative. Now this is the terrible part that people don't want. In order for miracles to happen, someone has to take initiative in faith. Someone's got to stretch out and believe. There'll never be a miracle happen, unless someone stretches out. Notice what happened here, that the disciples said: send them away. Get rid of them. What they're saying is simply this: they looked around, and they saw a hungry group of people. Basically they saw people with need, and this is what they were saying: it's not my problem. It's not my problem. You show me how you can justify living in a community, that the problems of the community are not my problem. They are indeed. See, they are indeed. This is where God has planted us. The problems in your school, actually they are your problem. They affect the whole atmosphere of the school, and your capacity and ability to learn and go forward, and until we actually own it - we keep thinking like the disciples - they looked and they said: this is beyond us, this is too big. We can't handle that, this is far too big - that school, that workplace, that unsaved person, it's all too big, it's all too big. So you know what their answer was, when it was too big, and the problems seemed too great? Get rid of them, it's not our problem.
Listen, we can't withdraw from our community, and engagement with people, by saying: it's not my problem. It's your problem, get over it, I'm moving on. Listen, that's not the heart of the gospel, that's not the heart of Jesus. You can't just say: it's not my problem. You say: it's not my problem, you're the problem; because you're God's solution. We are God's solution to people in need. We are God's solution to people who are broken. We bring Christ to them. It's not that we ourselves are the answer, but the answer flows through us, to people in need; and if we won't stand up, then we are the problem, as far as God is concerned. God's problem is not the working of miracles. God's problem is having people step out, and risk, and engage; and it's only in engaging with people, you start to see things happening. You say: well, that sounds scary to get out and engage. Yes, it is a bit. It's a bit scary, but do it anyway. Make that decision.
So when I've got a heart of compassion, compassion moved Jesus to engage. The disciples said: boy, this is too big a problem for us, get rid of them - so miracles will always require that you take an initiative, and take the risk of something happening. You notice what Jesus said: you give them something to eat. You do something. Now have a think about that. Just look into that parable there, and you have a think about what that means, in terms of our community. We can complain about all the problems, and all the issues, and we can say it's not my problem, and Jesus responds: are you a follower of His, by the way? Are you a follower of His? You give them something to eat - and they said: ooh, ooh, ooh, what do you mean you give them something to eat? We can't do that. That's all too big. You know, this is beyond us - but Jesus is still saying: you give them something. You give them something. You give them something. Give them something.
This is one of the great tragedies, when the church withdraws, and becomes caught up with just itself, and caught up with its own needs; then it stops engaging in the mission of the church, which is to reach people in need. Jesus placed us here to change and transform our community, so when I say: it's not my problem, I've just become the problem. They said well, it's all too big, and He said: you give them to eat; and you see Jesus answer is not some great thing that will just happen, and suddenly change everything. Jesus' answer is His people, His followers, giving something to people, to meet their need. Think about that - and so they said immediately: well, it's beyond us, we can't do that, you know? He said: no, no, you must take initiative. You're going to have to take initiative, so all miracles require that we extend our faith, and believe God could do something through us. You've got to extend your faith, and believe God can do something through me. I wonder what God could do through you.
I heard a story from a visiting minister I listened to in Auckland; great, it was amazing. He'd taken his daughter to India, and his daughter was just a teenager, and she was deeply touched by the plight of the Indian community she was in, deeply touched. She saw how poor they were - that's why it's great to go to India, Pakistan, go to any of these third world nations, and see how desperate the need is. If you can't see it around you, go where you can see it. Once you do see it there, come back and have another look. Then you'll see what the need is very easily. [Laughs] Ian would verify that, you've been out there and seen the need, you come back, you say: oh my! It really is needy here.
And so she looked, and she said to her father, she said: dad, I want to build a school, and I think the school would cost $30,000 US dollars. She said: I want to build a school that can hold this many students. It was going to cost about $30,000. She's only a teenager - and so anyway he nearly spoke up and said: oh that's ridiculous; but no, she was moved with compassion. Compassion moves you to step out, and start to engage. Now he could easily have said: it's not your problem. He could easily have said: oh well, you know, that's too big. I mean we could never do that, I mean that's a big amount, $30,000! Are you crazy? She said: no, I've got it in my heart to do it, so she went back, she took out all the savings in her account, which was $200, and she made her $200 available; and someone heard about it, and so they got her to testify, and she testified and someone else; the story started to get around about this girl who had taken all her savings, $200 and made them available for the school, to build a school in India.
And so there's another very big church locally, and they got to hear about it, and they had a TV programme, so they interviewed her on the TV programme, and next thing you know, money starts to flow in. Within a short time, she had got the whole $30,000, and put the school up - even had the trip paid to go back there to open the school. Here she is, just a teenager.
Now all of those things we've seen in that story apply in that story - the need was immense; but you notice this: she got beyond herself, and was moved with compassion, and said: well I'll do something. I'll step out and engage, and you know, there are family after family after family of Indian people, Indian children that will benefit from her step of faith. With putting up a school, she's ensured now that multitudes of young people actually get an education, and get help. Isn't that amazing? Just one person - you notice she had to look beyond herself to the needs of others, let God touch her heart, and she had to take a step of faith; and you notice what Jesus said: you give them to eat.
So here's the next thing about a miracle; miracles require you do what you can do. See, there's a part that you can do. Now what she could do was, take her $200. I wonder what you could do, if you really meant to make something happen, and make a change. In other words, instead of looking how big all the problems are, say: what do I have, that I could make available to God, to meet the needs of people? Go and see. Go check out what you've got. Now you'll be surprised. For every one of us, we've got a testimony. Your testimony was never just for you - it's to help someone; and when you share your testimony, it starts to help people. Think about it. Think about it. What else do you have? If you have a home, you can open your home. If you have - there's so many ways that we can make what we have available. You've got to decide to use what you've got.
Now here's the interesting thing about God; He will take what you have, not what you don't have. Most of us we look at what we don't have. Jesus said: what have you got? Show me what's in your hand. Moses said: I've just got a shepherds rod. He said: that's okay, I'll deliver a nation with that; and He said to the poor widow lady: what have you got? Oh, I've got nothing - got a little a bit of bread, that's all, we've just got a little bit here, and I'm making the last meal for - He said: that'll do. We'll start with that. He went to another widow woman, He said: what have you got? Just got one little vase of a bit of oil. He said okay, start with that, get the empty vessels and pour it out. God always starts with what you have. He doesn't start with what you don't have.
Most people think I don't have anything I could give. You have got plenty! - compared to the rest of the world, you're a millionaire! You have got so much. The problem is not what you've got, the problem is in the heart. When I say, it's not my problem, and I don't engage, I'm a block to the miracle. God just says: take what you've got. Find what you're good at, and use what you're good at, or love to love people with - so what is it you love? Begin to develop what you love, and use it as a way of loving people. You'll enjoy it, and they will too, and God will get the glory - and you won't know what you can do, by just taking what you've got, and making it available for people. It's just what you love to do. Take what you love to do - that's what you've got. Well then start to use it to be a blessing to people. You'll be amazed what God can do.
So Jesus made them go and check what they've got. What do you have? Don't sit there moaning about what you don't have. When you moan about what you don't have, you'll never see a miracle. Say: what have I got? Let's start with that, and make that available. I remember we just started, and we had a little school home. We made it available for young people to come and gather in. You'd be amazed the number of people that got saved, and got delivered, got ministered to, in that place. I didn't know anything. I can remember when I got first started, and I didn't have a clue. I wasn't water baptised, didn't know the Bible. I said: I'll help. I'll make what I've got available, and I made what I had available - God started to use it. See, take what you've got, and make it available. Believe God could use what you have. That's how He says: make yourself available! Here I am!
I've watched various people over the years rise here, and almost all of them had this in common: they made themselves available to God. They made their home, their gift, their talent, whatever they had. It isn't much, just a little thing, but I'll make it available to God, and God says: that's the story. I just need you to take what you've got - not what you haven't got.
Here's the next thing: the miracles always require you speak, and act. Now always with a miracle, you've got to say something; and do something. I've never seen a miracle happen easily yet, that didn't require someone saying something, and doing something. Now what Jesus did here - and we'll just finish with this. He said: they found out we've got five loaves and two fish, so He told them - now notice this - He commanded them, to sit down in groups on the green grass, or in table big parties, in other words in groups, just to eat and have a meal. So the whole - can you imagine, 5,000 men, plus all the women, plus all the children? He said to them: tell them now, everyone's to sit down, and get ready for a feed. Now you've got to understand, what He's doing is, He's building anticipation, and expectation.
I've found miracles always require an expectation. Now you see the crowd didn't know He didn't have any food. They just know, He told them all to sit down, and get ready to eat; So naturally speaking, there weren't the resources for anything to happen, but what He did was build expectation; and He got the disciples above, He said: get them all organised, and get them sitting down in table parties, and tell them to say Grace. Now you can understand what's going in the disciples minds - they said: well, how on earth is this going to work? And then notice what else He did, He said: looking up to heaven, looking up to heaven - so number one, you've got to actually build expectation for a miracle. Usually you talk, and get things set, that's how it happens. You have to have expectation. Miracles always seem to come when there's expectation for them.
I've found in New Zealand, often there's very low expectation for God to do things, and that's part of the reason you don't see quite the same moves of God that you do in other places; but I've noticed that when we have seminars, and people come with great expectation, that lots happens. It's always connected to expectation - so He built expectation.
Second thing He did was, very simply this: He looked up to heaven. You've got to look to the source. The word look, means to gain your sight again; or in other words for example - I'll just pick someone out just to pray for - here we go, you'll do. Would you come and just let me pray for you? Now if I look at the need - well there's a need for me to come through, there's a need for me to have word for her. Immediately I just don't know what to do, because I haven't got anything, not one little bit. So if I look at the need, my heart will shut down with fear, and my thinking won't be right. Now what Jesus did with this, the Bible says: He looked up to heaven. Now it doesn't mean He went like this [Laughter] no, he didn't do that. Now what it means is this; it means, in His heart, He looked to the source. He looked into the kingdom. He looked into where God can meet every need; and when He looked in, and became aware of the source, then immediately the miracle [exhales] starts to happen - the power of God starts to come and flow. Miracles start to come when you look to the source, and I have learned in flowing with the things of the spirit, keep your eyes on the source, so let me just look and see what God is wanting to say to you.
Well, what I see is generosity is in your life, generosity and compassion. You're an extremely generous person, and you have got a passion growing in your heart. It's been growing now for some time to help people, just to help people who are in desperate need. This whole area of compassion has been growing. Tonight something's been resonating in your spirit, when I talked about compassion to see people, because you see people differently to where a lot of other people do. You've had something you've been praying, God has touched your heart, and there's been a rising compassion for people, and a desire to help people, and you just - you just did something recently didn't you? You just went and cut your hair off? [Yeah] Well isn't that amazing. Who would have thought of doing that? How much did you raise cutting your hair off? [$1,090] A thousand-and-ninety dollars for - what did you raise it for? ... [For Leprosy Mission.] ... For Leprosy Mission, how 'bout that! ... [Applause.] ... Leprosy Mission, $1,090 and what did you have? Your hair. Now how about that? That was worth $1,090 - that actually meant an awful lot to some lepers. See $1,000 may not be a lot in New Zealand; but to people who are in a Leprosy Mission, and they're desperate, $1,000 is a lot of money. It supports you, 50,000 rupees, 30,000 rupees - oh, my accountant has quickly calculated 30,000 rupees. [Laughs] Does that take into account the commission? [Laughter] and the tax? Oh, praise - well you see isn't that amazing? But anyway, I better get back to the prophetic word - so God's saying that there's been a compassion that's been growing in your life, and this first project was like your first major step out, but God says there's other projects. He said: what you raised this time, you will multiply at other times. God is going to then cause significant favour - you just said: I want to do something, you took what you had, and did it; and God has done a miracle. I tell you what, God's going to do much, much more.
As you close your eyes, the presence of God is going to come on you - there it is right now. Thank you Lord right now, Holy Ghost come on in. Now. Isn't that wonderful? [Applause] So all miracles, you have to look to the source, the supernatural, where God can supply. Then it said of Jesus: He took the bread; and it said: He blessed it; or He spoke over it. Normally when miracles happen, you have to speak something. You have to speak over your circumstances, speak over the hair, speak over whatever it is you're doing, speak over - you've got to speak blessing over it. This will increase. This will grow. I decree growth. I decree enlargement. I decree my class shall open their hearts to the Lord. I speak, my workmates shall come to Christ. You've got to actually speak something. Jesus said: have the faith of God, if you'll speak to the mountain: be removed.
Look at the miracles that happen. They spoke something. He said with a loud voice: raise up! There's always someone who's got to give voice to God's plan to do something, and then they have to act, so isn't it interesting. First He built expectation; got them all in crowds ready to have a meal. Secondly, He took what they had; thirdly, He looked up to the source that could make this have impact; and the next thing He did was, He spoke over it; He blessed it, or spoke positive creative words over it. Then He said: now go do something with it, and you notice this; the bread never multiplied until they took it, and started to give it out. It was in the actual giving out, that the miracle happened.
So when I just asked her to come up, I had no idea what God was going to do; but I expected that if I would just look to the source, something would start to happen, and it started to happen. That's how the realm of the spirit operates. Now here's the last thing. The last thing is this: Jesus made him pick up all the pieces. Now was that because He's a Greenie, or what? He made him pick up all the pieces, and put them all in baskets, and when he finished he had 12 baskets. Twelve is symbolic of God's government, or God's kingdom; so what it's saying is, this is how the kingdom operates.
Now, in case you thought it was not important, each time Jesus did that miracle, He made them pick up the remains. Is it because He's green? Not at all. There was a purpose in it. What He wanted them to do, was to see the 12 baskets, and remember what they started with, and have a visual picture in front of them of what a miracle can do. This is just the scraps. This is the stuff they didn't eat.
Later on, when their faith failed them at a certain point, He said: haven't you learnt anything? Remember. Remember the miracle of the loaves and the fishes, the 12 baskets. In other words, what He's saying is: go back and remember the miracle, and what you saw; because that's crucial to teach you about flowing to the next level that I want you to grow in.
Now how many people have had God move in your life, at one point or another? God's come and broke through? I think most of us here have something you remember, something. Remember it, because what God did then, that's your learning step to actually believe Him for more to happen. You've got to remember things God has done. I'll just finish with this simple thing.
I was in a meeting one time. I walked in this meeting, there's a guy a wheelchair there, and I was a bit upset - thought oh, they'll bring Him up at the end of the meeting, and I'll pray, and nothing will happen. I'll be a bit disappointed. I just hate wheelchairs, and I'm thinking like this you see, and sort of by the time I got to my seat, I was sort of in a state about wheelchairs - just don't like them. And anyway, so the Lord said: you need to change your attitude; meditate on the miraculous, meditate on the healing - and I stood there meditating for quite some time, and suddenly in a moment I knew in my heart, he would be healed. And at the end of the meeting we prayed for him, the guy got up, walked, and then he was saved.
It was the first time, I ever in my own ministry, saw someone come out of a wheelchair, and I learnt from it. I learnt the power of setting your mind on the source, and seeing in the spirit God at work doing things through your life. It's incredibly powerful. In fact, until you train yourself to see like that, you probably won't see much actually out-work.
So there it is, how miracles happen. Notice, you've got to take what you have, you've got to take risks, you've got to be willing to step out and engage, and allow God to help you, as you take what you have, make it available to God, and you know, build expectation; today when I pray for someone, something will happen for them. You've got to build that expectation around your life, and then look to God, look to the source, and start to speak and act on what you believe God is showing you - and you might be surprised.
So let me just finish with a couple of questions. I want you to close your eyes, and just have a think about this for a moment, just a few questions; and then we're going to just open our hearts, just respond to the Lord tonight, because I believe He wants you to see things happening in your life. Here's the first thing - do you see needs around you? Number one, do you - can you, see the real needs around you; or do you need to start prayer walking, or praying and looking for people, starting to ask God to open your heart to the need. See, what is your response to the needs around you? Do you say: it's not my problem; or are you feeling that compassion is growing? You see, notice in that example that we had tonight, just the wonderful way when someone was moved with compassion, God came through, and a tremendous amount was raised to help people in need.
So what is your response normally; it's not my problem what's going on. It's not my problem what's happening in my neighbourhood, not my problem which is happening in the school, not my problem, not my problem. You are the problem - it's time to make a change, say: God, I want to engage and bring hope to people. What do you have that God could use? What is it that's in your life that God could use? What is it that you have that God could use, that you could put into practice? Do you have some kind of gift or something like that?
I was talking to one man - this is amazing - and God said to him: I want you to learn the guitar. He said: really? He said: yeah, I want you to learn and become a great - able to run a concert. He said: but that would take me years. He said: yeah, start to learn; and so he committed to learning, and then he was in Israel visiting, because he was living in Israel for part of the time. He said: God, how could I reach Israelis? The Lord said: why don't you go to a music shop? He went to a music shop, and he was in the music shop; and the Lord said: pick up the guitar and play it, so he picked it up and began to play it, and all these Hebrew boys started to gather round him. Do you know what they all said? Can you teach us how to play the guitar? He said: I would love to teach you how to play the guitar, and so now he's got a whole group of Hebrew kids in his home, teaching them how to play the guitar, while he talks to them about Yeshua Messiah. See, the guitar was the key.
What is it you've got? You've got something. You've got something. What do you have? If you don't know, go home and have a look, and think about it; and then make it available to God.
Father, we just thank you right now, for a growth and increase of miracles of the supernatural, of your hand working through our lives. Father, we pray for people here tonight, that hearts would be stirred to look again at the harvest, to look with compassion and begin to start to engage meaningfully, taking what we have and making it available to others. Listen, while our eyes are closed and heads are bowed, is there any person here right at the place where you want to receive Jesus, this would be a good place to do that? Your miracle could begin just very simply, by opening your heart to Jesus Christ. I'll just give one more opportunity tonight; if you're not a Christian, and want to receive Jesus, would you raise your hand right now?
I wonder how many people here tonight, and you know that God is speaking to you very strongly, to start to look around, look again at the community, you look again around you at the people there, and begin to look at what you have, and make it available. If you felt God speak to you that way, I want you to just raise your hand right now, just raise your - God bless, many hands going up right now. Won't you come up to the front, love to lay hands on you, just believe that God's power and presence to touch you, that God will make a way. God will make a way. Come quickly those who put their hands up, just come up, come up now. I want to believe with you, that God will create opportunities for you, that harvest will be ahead for you, harvest will be ahead for you, harvest of miracles, harvest of souls saved.
I've found it's not the cleverest people, it's just the one that says: God, well here, I don't have much, but I'm available, use me. Those are the ones that God seems to use, over and over and over again. Praise the Lord. Let's believe together for the supernatural to flow through your life, that there would be people touched by what you have to offer.
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Mark 6:30-44 Miracle of multiplication
1. God wants you to experience the supernatural
· V.30 “You are designed for the supernatural”.
· V.13 Jesus plan – multiply ministry.
· Jesus gave authority to followers.
· Spiritual problems require spiritual solutions.
· Generation is hungry for the supernatural.
· Desperate need for the power of God.
2. Look beyond yourself at the needs of others
· V.34 great multitude of people in need.
· Moved – stirred to take action.
· Compassion – church? to heart of God.
· Jesus overlooked personal needs for rest, food.
· Most caught in the small world of own need.
· Western countries wealthy – self-absorbed.
· Miracles come at a cost.
· Pray – Look – eyes opened to what is around you.
3. Miracles require you to take initiative in faith
· V.36 “Send them away – buy for themselves”
· Disciples saying “not my problem”.
· V.37 “You give them to eat”.
· Jesus offers opportunity to extend faith, move into miracles.
· Until willing to engage3 in meeting needs of others – don’t see miracles.
4. Miracles require you to do what you can
· V.33 What do you have? Go and see!
· God uses what you have.
· Don’t limit what God can do.
· God expects you to do what you can.
· Make yourself available – make what you have count.
· How available are you?
5. Miracles require you to speak and act
· Notice how the miracle took place:
(i) Jesus built expectancy
V39 – make them sit down in ‘table groups’.
(ii) Jesus focussed on the source
He looked up to heaven (v41)
“Looked” = to recover sight that was lost.
(iii) Jesus spoke faith words
He blessed and broke the loaves (v41)
Bless = praise, acknowledge God’s goodness
= to speak well of, speak life into
= He spoke to the loaves
(iv) Jesus required disciples to take action
He gave them to disciple – to set before them.
Miracles always require action.
The multiplication miracle took place when the disciples acted.
(v) Jesus required them to remember the miracle
12 baskets full of fragments.
Each creative miracle they gathered fragments.
Gathered fragments – tangible record of the miracle.
Mark 9:20:21 – how many baskets? Do you remember?
Remember what God has done.
It is seed for the next miracle.
Don’t focus on lack but on possibilities.
Remembering past miracles can stir faith for the new miracles.
· Do you see the needs around you?
· Are you moved? Not my problem?
What is your response? Compassion?
· What do you have that God could use?
· What will you do?