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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


Three Don'ts for Success

Three Don'ts for Success

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand. (Mark 6:41-44, NIV)

This is the only miracle of Jesus, other than His resurrection, recorded in all four Gospels. That fact underscores the impact this miracle had upon the early followers of Jesus.

One year after the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus sent His disciples out to spiritually feed the world, and they faced an even more formidable challenge.

Three lessons of this miracle illustrate three actions to avoid if we are to fulfill the Great Commission.

First, don’t look at the size of the task. The Gospels tell us there were 5,000 men, plus women and children. One year later, the task of reaching the world would grow exponentially. There were an estimated 250 million people living in the Greco-Roman world. On the Day of Pentecost there were only 120 Spirit-filled people. That’s one Christian for every 2,083,333 persons, and the disciples had no modern means of transportation or communication to reach them!

When the Lord lays some assignment on your heart, the likelihood is that at first it will be daunting. You will think it too big, and you will be tempted, therefore, to not even try.

Second, don’t look at the little you have. The disciples had only five small loaves and two small fish. As Andrew says whimsically, “But how far will they go among so many” (John 6:9)?

The enemy will always attempt to maximize the difficulty and minimize your resources so that you feel it cannot be done.

If your response to being asked to do something for the Lord is, “But I don’t have the time,” or “I don’t have the ability,” you are the person the Lord wants to use because you know you cannot do this in your own strength. You are going to need the help of the Lord because the task is too big and you are too small.

Third, don’t leave the Lord out of the picture. You’ll fail if you forget that Jesus works through you and takes whatever you place in His hands and multiplies it.

If you refuse to focus on the size of the task or the little you have, and if you ask the Lord for help — you reverse the laws of failure.

Had I been one of the Twelve, I would have asked Jesus to do the miracle in advance. I would have said, “Lord, if You’re fixing to do a miracle here — then do it in advance. Make a big pile of bread over here, and another pile of fish over here. I’ll fill up my basket, serve the first row, return for more and serve the second row. I’ll keep doing that until everyone has eaten and there are no more bread or fish in the pile.”

But Jesus builds His kingdom differently. We want to start out full and end up empty. He always starts us with nearly empty baskets so that we end up with full ones. We want the miracle in advance before we start out; He wants us to obey Him and let the miracle take place as we do what He has asked.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, too often I have used excuses instead of doing what You ask. At Your word, I lay aside my lack of faith. I trust You to work above and beyond my ability.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.

On Your Mark

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Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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