Do you need a miracle from God? Would you like to be used by God as a channel for a miracle? In our circles of influence, we each have the tremendous responsibility and privilege of working alongside a miracle-working God and being a channel for his miracles.
The feeding of five thousand story is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels. It breaks down how a biblical miracle works: A few sense a need, and each individual takes responsibility and gives his or her all, regardless of the odds, then Jesus works a miracle.
WHEN THERE IS A NEED. . .
Every miracle in the Bible begins with a problem, a need. Before he fed the five thousand, Jesus was moved with compassion when he saw a multitude of people who were like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34). The problem posed by this huge crowd of hungry, hurting people was the catalyst for the miracle.
If you have a problem, you are a candidate to work alongside a miracle-working God. That problem in your family, business, church, or community is your ticket to a potential miracle.
SENSED BY A FEW . . .
Jesus taught this crowd all day until the disciples told him it was getting late and the people had nothing to eat (Mark 6:35 – 36). These men were the ones aware there was a problem. Only a few, maybe only you, need to sense a need for a miracle to occur; a majority is not needed.
AND EACH INDIVIDUAL TAKES RESPONSIBILITY . . .
The disciples brought Jesus the problem and a solution. They suggested he send the people away to get something to eat. Jesus responded, “You give them something to eat.” (Mark 6:37).
God isn’t interested in our solutions or suggestions. He’s interested in our participation. This is where the miracle can often break down. God wants to involve you in his miracles. When you back away from that involvement, you back away from your influence and miss working alongside a miracle-working God.
AND GIVES HIS OR HER ALL REGARDLESS OF THE ODDS . . .
The disciples searched the crowd and found a boy who had five barley loaves and two small fish (John 6:9). This boy didn’t need a miracle to be able to eat — he already had food. Instead, he was asked to give.
There may be times when you don’t need a miracle, but God needs you to be a channel for a miracle that will bless someone else. You’ll give your all, despite the odds.
The disciples’ request for this boy’s lunch surely made no sense to him. How could his five loaves and two fish feed thousands of people? But he gave it to Jesus anyway.
How many miracles might you have missed because God asked you to do something and you didn’t do it because it didn’t make sense? As a leader, you must obey God even when you’re comfortable and don’t need a miracle, when his commands don’t make sense, when his instructions seem too simple, or when he asks for what seems to be too much. You never will learn to trust God until you learn to obey him. That’s when the miracles happen.
THEN JESUS WORKS A MIRACLE
Jesus took that boy’s small lunch, thanked God for it, and instructed the disciples to distribute the food among that crowd of thousands. Not only did everyone eat until they were full, there were twelve baskets of leftovers (Mark 6:39 – 44). Surely the disciples, the crowd, and the boy were changed forever by this event.
We value the spectacular things God can do, but the greatest miracle when you work alongside a miracle-working God is what happens inside you. Being God’s channel changes your faith and increases your capacity for leadership influence beyond anything you can imagine.
By John Maxwell, drawn from the NIV Maxwell Leadership Bible