When Desire For A Miracle Keeps Us From Knowing The Miracle
These two verses will seem cryptic without a bit of context.
Jesus has just provided food supernaturally for 5000 people. Next, he appears in Capernaum after walking on water and instantly appearing on the other side with his disciples. And the crowd of 5000 is chasing him down. After they find him, Jesus confronts them about their motivation for following him. Then comes the question they pose in this text.
Then [the 5000] said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” — John 6:28-29
This is pretty descriptive of initial belief in Jesus. Some people come to Jesus for externally attractive reasons. It may be because of a captivating teaching, a provision of something, the attractiveness of community, or a need for personal connection. And there is nothing wrong with this. The church and Jesus should be attractive. But at some point, we must learn that these attractions are only secondary at best.
That's what Jesus is trying to get the 5000 to understand. He wants them to transfer their attention from the miracle and the messenger to the miracle worker, who is God. He wants to ensure their belief is anchored in the right thing. And the right thing is not his miraculous works.
So let's apply this teaching to our time. I believe God still does miraculous work like this. He never ceases to do miraculous works. God can break into time and space anytime he wants and do anything he wants. And we can ask him to do these works. Sometimes he will. But we should never allow our desire for his works to become the focus of our attention. This would be spiritually immature. As we see, his miraculous works can be a distraction from the God who works them. But Jesus reminds us that we can experience miraculous works every moment of every day. Believing in Jesus is our miraculous work. That's because believing in Jesus is the fountain for every miracle in the believer's life.
Turn your attention from every secondary matter and believe in him.
ASK THIS: Are there secondary matters keeping you from believing only in Jesus?
DO THIS: Sacrifice those second attractions (share them below)
PRAY THIS: God, some attractive things have kept me from you. I bring those things to you. I want only you.
PLAY THIS: I Need A Miracle.
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I need a miracle today. Please pray that God would soften the heart of my son, Spencer, that he would hear Gods voice and know that it is Him, and that he would respond in love and obedience to His call. Please pray that Spence would have a change in heart and would find a way to deal with his anger related to some perceived wrongs in the past so that he can build and restore some healthy relationships with other believers, especially his Mom.
I will pray for that!
I really struggle sometimes with saying “I believe” in the miracle that is God.
While I believe that I try to act like God exists, it seems that if I truly “believed”, I would never do some of the things I allow myself to do. It is an awesome responsibility to “believe” that I fall short of on a regular basis.
I end up feeling ashamed to call myself a Christian when I don’t always act like one.
It seems very difficult to lead others to Christ when I wander off the road myself on a regular basis.
I am praying for you today!
I think as a teen ager I was after what Jesus and the Church could give or not give ME. Me me me me. I fell away fast for 25 wasted years. I now see people and without judging their heart, I wonder about their motives. Eloquent description today Mr Vince. And yes, day in and day out is hard, great work you are doing for our King. Great job!
Well said CC! He is the King!
I believe, help my unbelief !
I love it when our small group, sermon and devotional time all share the same verse !
Thanks Vince for being here, day in and day out . From a small group in the Philadelphia area … the City of Brotherly Love .