Let Go of What’s Killing You by Pastor Don
This is one of the most famous chapters in the Bible and gives a powerful message about who Jesus is.
Jesus is the Son of God showing what man can do on earth. In this chapter He is not performing as God for at this time He is fully man. If Jesus was God doing the miracle we would have no hope, but because He did this miracle as a man, it shows us that all of us are capable of doing miracles. If Jesus as God does this, it is the Mercy of God. God is Merciful. But because Jesus did this as man – it is the Grace of God, and Grace comes with power to accomplish what God wants us to do.
If a situation does not go the way we want or plan for, we have to see our part in it. We have to ask the Holy Spirit, “What do I have to do?”
We need to elevate our faith by increasing our trust in God. Often, when things go wrong, we want to blame God. He did not do what we expected Him to do, when we expected Him to do it, and how we expected Him to do it. If we blame God we are acting in unbelief. If we blame God we are confusing the issue. People who have lost loved ones ask why did God do that? When it is satan that is the cause of sickness and death. Yet we want God to bless us when we are speaking words of disobedience, of doubt and unbelief. When we are hard pressed, great miracles begin by trusting God. He will bring home the bacon, maybe not when, how or the way we want it. The problem is that we don’t own a skillet yet, so God can’t give us the bacon.
We get caught in a vicious cycle. Something is killing us and we put up with it. We are hurting our selves, but not confessing up about it. America is not doing what is right by God. God has a problem. We have taken In God We Trust off our money, we have kicked God out of the schools, and now when there are problems in the schools people blame God and want God to fix the schools. When we step out of covenant something bad happens, and then we want God to fix it. That is a bad attitude. People pray, “God get me a job,” and complain because the job is not speedily forthcoming, but they don’t realize God is waiting for changes in us to make us employable. We have to do everything we can in the natural, to correct our attitudes and our activities to conform with God’s Word. If we are doing something that is questionable, separate ourselves from it.
Remember when saccharin came out as a sweetener and everyone thought it was great, then we found out that it caused cancer in rats. Then people who ingested it started getting sick, it was not God who did that, it was their choice to take this sweetener. Pastor Don pointed out the statement, you are what you eat, not only applies to physical food but also to spiritual teachings.
The focus of Mark Chapter 8 is to get your faith up. Miracles are a disruption of the natural order by a supernatural power. It takes a higher level of faith to take the natural mind and point it in the direction of supernatural faith. The Spirit man wants to believe, but doubt wants to come into existence and cause you to not believe.
Studying the supernatural miracles in the Bible help us get beyond natural reason to see that the supernatural is possible. If the foundations of our faith are not clearly based on what is delineated by God we will find we have faulty faith, and our foundation will not be strong.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Remember, faith comes by hearing the Word of God, not from a revelation or a vision or eating too many cheeseburgers. If the revelation and vision do not line up with the Word of God they will not build faith. The foundation of faith built on anything but the Word of God will crumble. If a person is relying on a vision or a revelation that does not line up with the Word of God they will find themselves hopelessly lost.
Faith is the currency of the Kingdom of God.
Mark 8:1 In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them,
Jesus is concerned about the people. He makes sure they hear the Word of God and yet He also realizes their physical need. Jesus provided for their needs, both physical and spiritual food.
Mark 8:2 “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat.”
Pastor Don smiled and said Jesus must have been preaching good to hold the people for three days. (Heather’s note: On Sundays after services our church serves a meal so that we can fellowship with each other) Pastor Don said once the smells of food come up the stairs, people in the pews start getting restless to go and eat.
Mark 8:3 “And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.”
Having been in Israel and knowing the harsh conditions of the land, and how hard travel was we can understand why Jesus was concerned about food. Jesus knew the people would not, after spending three days listening to the Word, be able to travel somewhere to get food on a journey that might take two or more days. He knew they needed food now.
Mark 8:4 Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?”
Pastor Don told us to watch how they answered Jesus. It shows they were looking at things in the natural, at their circumstances. They looked at what they were holding onto, using their intellectual perception. If all we needed to do was respond to a situation in the natural, it won’t push us to believe God in supernatural ways. We need to get our mind to focus on God, not on the natural situation. If people are having problems with finances, immediately they think of selling their house, liquidating assets, instead of listening for a God idea. People who are seeking to raise up churches also fall into this, looking at what they can do in the natural to attract members, instead of trusting God ideas.
Pastor Don’s mom, during the depression, had little money and jobs were scarce. So she got a God idea, took the few apples they had and flour and sugar and made apple pies. She sent her sons out to sell pieces of pie to those who still had jobs, and then with that was able to invest in more ingredients and make more pies. Their family lived off the profits of the pies until jobs were again available. God used what was in the natural in a way they hadn’t thought of before.
We can get trapped into always acting in the natural. Natural ideas are good and we are to do our due diligence, but when a natural idea doesn’t produce fruit, then we have to evaluate it to see if there is a better God idea. If we can get our natural hooked up to the supernatural then we can turn around a situation.
Mark 8:5-7 He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven.” So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them.
From the disciple’s point of view the problem was they had no way to feed the multitude. But Jesus asked a question of how many loaves do they have and found out that they had seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. Jesus clarified the real problem. We need the Spirit of God to clarify the real problem. We don’t always have it articulated correctly. Pastor Don pointed out that often, when a person comes into his office with a marriage problem, they blame their spouse, not looking at what they might have contributed to the problem. The Holy Ghost looks at the situation, but it is our response to the situation that is the problem. The Holy Spirit restated the disciple’s problem, pointing out what they had – seven loaves and a few small fish.
When we have a problem, we often go to other sources for help when we need to go to God. God can show us the source of the problem. If we do not have enough money it could be the symptom of a deeper problem that we have. It could be that we are lazy, that we are spending to fill a void inside of us. To fully solve the problem, God will heal the source of the problem.
Pastor Don told us that, one time when he was traveling, he broke out in hives. He took this problem to God in prayer and asked if he was out of order in something in his life because he could not find a reason for the hives. The Holy Spirit brought it to mind that he was taking a new vitamin, and that vitamin, in the quantities he was taking it caused the hives. When he stopped the vitamin, the hives went away. When we have a confusing problem, take it to the Holy Spirit and get His help. Pastor Don told us, had he not gone to the Holy Spirit first, the problem would have gotten worse, and he might have searched for a medicine or something else to solve the problem, when the answer was simple.
When the disciples could not solve the problem of feeding the multitude, Jesus began the process with what they had – the loaves and fishes.
When we want something from God we often start thinking that we lack. What God will ask us is: WHAT DO YOU HAVE? What can you bring to the table to help the situation. When Elijah met the widow who could not pay her debt, he asked her what she had, and initially she said that she had nothing. But upon careful questioning, because she was the wife of a priest, they found out that she had oil in the house. That oil was multiplied supernaturally to pay off the widow’s debt and to support her.
We often say, we are poor and we don’t have nothing. We walk in self-pity, lack, and feel that we do not have enough to do anything. We look at our talents and say I would be ok if I only had more of this quality, or that talent. If I had more of _______. But God does not look at our lack, he asks us WHAT DO YOU HAVE? He will start out with what we have. When we give it to Him as a pledge, He will produce something. With the widow, the anointing oil was committed to God, and by covenant, God provided for the widow. If we give to God all we have, He will use it. WHAT DO YOU HAVE? What do you bring to the table? I don’t have much….. God will say, “That’s ok.”
After the disciples gathered the loaves and the fishes, Jesus took the loaves and gave thanks, blessing them, and then giving them to the disciples to hand out. He did the same for the fish. We often look to our lack, forgetting to thank God and bless what He has provided for us. God took those loaves and fishes, and multiplied them miraculously.
Mark 8:8 So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments.
Notice, all the multitude and disciples were filled, and there were seven baskets of leftover fragments. The multitude was 4,000, but that does not include women and children. So these few loaves and fishes fed many, with leftovers!
Mark 8:9-10 Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away, immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha.
Pastor Don continued on with Mark 8:11 Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him.
The Pharisees came out to test Jesus, seeking a sign. They had seen many signs and heard of signs from eyewitnesses, but they kept seeking signs. They wanted to set up circumstances and situations to test Him, and that grieves the Holy Spirit. This is similar to what Pastor Don taught with Gideon, not to lay out fleeces. We need to trust God and trust the Holy Spirit. Because we are born again, fleece are not needed for we have the Holy Spirit within us. Any fleece we set up can be duplicated by satan, who is happy to feed us lies.
To test God is to set yourself up for, since God is God, why should He do what we think He should do? When we start telling God what to do, we are putting ourselves in a position over God.
If we trust what is created we will be disappointed, but as a Child of God, He knows our needs, and fills the desires of our hearts far better than we can see with our limited perceptions.
Pastor Don told us that sometimes it seems frustrating that God doesn’t always tell us the whole situation, sometimes He gives us only a bit of information that we need for the moment, then adds more as needed. He doesn’t give us the complete map. We have to realize that God, besides providing for us, is building trust as we lean more and more on Him. Pastor Don gave an example of a child asking for a motorcycle when they are little and being very disappointed when his parents don’t provide it for him. What the child does not realize is, as a child, they are not capable of safely handling the motorcycle, and could get hurt. When they get older and the parents provide the motorcycle, then they are capable of handling it and can appreciate why they were not provided the same vehicle when they were a child.
God treats us the same way. In His love for us, sometimes He withholds something from us because we are not ready to receive it, we need to grow more, or it is something that would provide a danger to us at one stage of our development. But, when we are ready, then God provides what we asked for. God knows the right season and time for us. We need to trust God.
Pastor Don said, when the multitudes came to hear Jesus speak, they had no idea God was going to also provide unlimited loaves and fishes. Some people could have asked, why didn’t God build a convenience store near where Jesus was going to speak? Why didn’t God provide doughnuts and coffee? Why didn’t God provide a store a mile down? If the people had gotten upset and started complaining, they would have missed the blessing of God. So often our mouths prevent God from blessing us.
Sometimes it is hard to speak the truth of God when our circumstances are tough and we need God NOW.
Jesus told the multitude to SIT DOWN so that they could see what Jesus did. What did Jesus do? He gave thanks to God. The people were not used to that. They were used to begging God, asking for help in times of distress. What Jesus did was to take what they had and give thanks to God. The miracle began when Jesus gave thanks, then he distributed the food.
Detractors often point to the miracles of Jesus and say they are allegories. If this was an allegory, Mark would have told us that it was a parable, an allegory. But this was a factual occurrence witnessed by all who were present. Why do people think that the writers of the Bible are stupid, and they cannot report facts?
It was not a vision, 4,000 men do not have a vision simultaneously. They saw that something happened supernaturally before their very eyes. The event occurred. When you know that, what does that do for your faith?
Mark 8:12 But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”
Jesus sighed at their insistence of signs. When people step out beyond Scripture, speaking words that are not Scripturally sound, it is meeting a need of theirs. God gave the Word to us, to prevent us from error. Unfortunately we often only look at the parts of Scripture that we want to hear and believe. It is like the Pharisees who only saw what they wanted to see. What Jesus did was true, the Pharisees did not want to acknowledge it because then it would be a challenge to their power and authority. They needed to question Jesus to meet their need to be in charge. Anything that challenges their authority needs to be kept down. But with that attitude they color the truth of the Gospel.
It is true that their generation would not see a sign – in fact it would fade out in AD 70 when Rome destroyed Jerusalem and the temple.
Mark 8:13 And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side.
Although the scene changes and he gets into the boat, the lesson for the disciples continues, and we see that they still do not get what Jesus is teaching them.
Mark 8:14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat.
The disciples were fed well when they handed out the food. They were again getting hungry, and realized they forget to bring the leftovers with them. It is easy to get confused, and in the natural make a mistake by not having foresight. They only brought one loaf of bread with them. And their comments show they are still thinking in the natural, not realizing that the Greatest Miracle of History was in the Boat with them.
Mark 8:15 Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”
Because they made the mistake in verse 14, they – still thinking in the natural – thought Jesus was chastising them for that mistake, not realizing Jesus was not talking about the physical, He was teaching them something spiritual.
Pastor Don said they were probably thinking to themselves, “Oh man, I forgot food.” They are forgetting that Jesus showed them a little can feed many. Isn’t it possible that, if they needed food, one loaf would be more than enough to feed them and many others?
Mark 8:16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.”
This is where we miss it so much. We approach our problems with human reason. They reasoned among themselves – that was their mistake. They needed to bring the problem to Jesus for clarification. They did not learn the lesson Jesus was teaching them.
Mark 8:17-21 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember?”When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?” They said to Him, “Twelve.” “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?” And they said, “Seven.” So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?”
If the disciples were still thinking in the natural they could have done some fancy numerology.
12 baskets + 7 baskets = 19 baskets, 1 + 9 = 10 which equals the 10 Commandments, so God is disciplining me….7 is a number of perfection, 12 is a number of the apostles, etc. But Jesus was NOT talking about the numbers, but the magnanimous supernatural power of God, the benevolence of the Holy Spirit and the might of God. Jesus pointed out that God provided a need beyond anything that they could have done on their own. So why were they back to thinking about lack of bread? Jesus was showing them that faith could overcome the natural, that God can multiply, and all it took was giving what they had to God, thanking God and then He takes us to the next level.
A little bit of trust in God, getting your mind off of your lack, and God will blow you away with his abundant love and provision.
Jesus asked them, “Do you not remember?”
Everyone has experienced some miracle in their life, on some level. We need to remember the miracles that God has provided. This puts us in the position of faith. How can God give us more and more when we are not thankful for what He has already given us?
Think about how our children act to us. When they get mad at us how can we give them something and teach them that getting mad gets what they want? Do we keep giving and giving things when they are unthankful? To do that would create spoiled children. God does not want spoiled children in His kingdom, He wants mature believers.
In everything we do, we need to learn to trust God. Trust God when we are shopping, cooking, sickness, prosperity. Remember that we are His Child, and trust God.
Have a blessed night!
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