When all other needs have been satisfied and our hearts made full, the greatest need is for Christ Himself to be formed in all aspects of our lives. He is the bread we need for wholeness to come into our fractured existence.
In John 6, Jesus saw a large crowd in a wilderness area and realized there was no food to feed this gathering. “He said to Philip, ‘Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?’ He asked this only to test him” (John 6:5-6).
As it turned out the “test” was not merely a test of Philip’s faith, but of the response of the crowd to the power of God. Jesus took five barley loaves and two fish and fed five thousand people with that meager supply. One would think that the response would be gratitude and a hunger for the things that Jesus would teach. Instead it turned into a demand for more of the spectacular, and a fleshly insistence that Jesus do things on their terms, instead of submission to the will of God, revealed in Christ.
After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself. (John 6:14-15, NIV, emphasis added)
In the presence of a miracle of provision of daily bread, and in the very presence of God in human flesh, a gathering of five thousand Christ-seekers made the decision to manipulate the Lord of glory to become a king according to their understanding instead of serving the one who had granted them blessing on His terms.
Jesus had to withdraw His presence from their midst. His presence will always withdraw when this occurs. He will not be a puppet-king.
–Adapted from Power Praying (Hearing Jesus’ Spirit by Praying Jesus’ Prayer) by David Chotka
Lord God, why is it that your people are always looking to Your hand rather than to Your heart…and to Your provision rather than to Your presence? I want to sit at Your feet and be content with all that You are in my life rather than continually seeking for more and better experiences of Your power. May I continually be submitted to Your perfect will revealed in Christ.
Praise God for being a great and awesome God (Deut. 7:21). Thank him for bending down low in order to bring salvation and faith to you. Confess times when you’ve thought God was small and powerless. Commit yourself to worshiping God with “reverence and awe” (Heb. 12:28). Ask for a true sense of awe as you meet God in the sanctuary (Ps. 68:35).
The psalmist says to God: “How awesome are your deeds! . . . All the earth bows down to you” (Ps. 66:3-4). Pray that God’s awesome power might be clearly evident throughout his kingdom worldwide.
—Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.