PRAYER OF CONSECRATION
Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.
Jesus, I belong to you.
I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body as a holy and living sacrifice to you.
Jesus, We belong to you.
Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen.
Luke 9:10–13 (NIV)
When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.”
He replied, “You give them something to eat.”
Imagine the stories the Twelve were telling each other. Imagine the joy of Jesus hearing them all. Not too long ago they didn’t even know him. They were fishing and tax collecting and who knows what other day jobs consumed their lives. Now they are working miracles as Jesus’s agents in training. I like to imagine being on that attempted retreat. The momentum of the Spirit was so strong among them. Thousands of people converged on them and Jesus kept on teaching and I suspect they were all overrun with people and needs. This is what awakening movements look like. The gravity of Jesus and his kingdom is so strong you can’t keep people away. The Twelve were ready for a rest, urging Jesus to call it a day and send the people on for dinner and lodging. Jesus turns the tables on these junior apostles.
He replied, “You give them something to eat.”
Jesus wants them to sit in his seat and to feel the weight of his responsibility. This is a test. They punt.
They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” (About five thousand men were there.) (Luke 9:13–14)
They see scarcity. Jesus sees abundance. What will become an extraordinary meal for the crowd will prove an extravagant miracle for the disciples.
But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. (Luke 9:14–15)
He wants the disciples to see the scope of this crowd. Some estimate there were as many as fifteen to twenty thousand present all in. Only the disciples had the count. Only the disciples had the count on the five loaves and two fish. The absurdity of the situation is staggering. Then this:
Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. (Luke 9:16)
There they are, those four standard movements of every Jewish meal: took, blessed, broke, and gave. So where did the miracle happen? Those four verbs all look to be past tense verbs, but one of these verbs is not like the others. That last one—gave—is in the imperfect tense in the Greek language. It means something that happened and yet keeps happening repeatedly. Yes! You got it! The miracle is literally happening in Jesus’s hands.
Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people.
Because the disciples were distributing, each one of them kept coming back to Jesus and witnessing the miracle of exponential multiplication happen over and over and over again. Then there was the even bigger miracle—these twelve disciples of scarcity graduate into agents of abundance. The crowd would be hungry again tomorrow. The disciples could never return to their former state. Something tells me they glimpsed their now surrendered lives with all their limitations and absurd inadequacies—like a few fishes and loaves in the hands of Jesus—being mysteriously and miraculously given and given and given and given to a world starving for God. Then we get this little P.S.
They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. (Luke 9:17)
Something tells me they saved those twelve baskets.
Jesus, what a fellowship! What a joy divine! Leaning on the everlasting arms. I can almost picture the miracle of those few fishes and loaves continuously multiplying in your hands. I can never get tired of beholding it in the imaginings of my mind and heart. Sometimes, I glimpse my life like that, in your hands, so limited and yet in your hands I am received, blessed, broken, and made into the unending gift of you in me. Holy Spirit, vivify and revivify this vision in my inmost being. To remember it is to imagine it unfolding again. Oh wow, Jesus. Oh wow! Praying in Jesus’s name, amen.
Can you go to this place in your imagination and behold it as it unfolds? This could just be the kind of meditation that leads to miracles. Will you dare to remember it so deeply you can imagine it? This is the joy of the kingdom. How are you growing from a scarcity mentality to an abundance mindset? Finally, would you like to have one of those twelve baskets?
That hymn, “‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus,” sings in my soul today. Let’s sing it together. It is hymn 154 in our Seedbed hymnal, Our Great Redeemer’s Praise.
For the Awakening,
J. D. Walt
P.S. Registration for our Prayer and Fasting Course is Open
We all struggle with prayer and especially with fasting. I find I am having to unlearn some things I thought before and re-approach with Jesus as my teacher. It has been life changing. I am excited to share some of these discoveries with you. We will meet three Monday evenings in March (6th, 13th, 20th) for 90 minutes on Zoom. Jesus will guide us as only he can. It will be stretching at times yet practical throughout. There’s an optional book bundle if you are up for it. And we have some scholarships available. The materials will be available in your account permanently and on demand to suit your schedule if you can’t join us live. REGISTER HERE TODAY.
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JD, as I was praying your prayer a thought crossed my mind. What if we are those limited loaves of bread and small fish? The needs and spiritual hunger of this world is huge. What if, as we place or lives in His hands, that we are received, blessed, broken, and made into the unending gift of Jesus’s grace unto others?
He gets us.
When we listen to Jesus
And do what He says
In our heart
And through our hands.
Bob, I like that direction. Maybe, we are the baskets. Carrying within us the spiritual food of Christ, sharing the sanctifying grace of Jesus for others. Returning to Him, be filled with Him, to share again.