I’ve not been able to get out of the gospel of Mark in my daily devotions. I believe it is because of the great miracles that are recorded and how God wants us to be a miracle working people.
I read today in Mark 6 of how Jesus sent out the twelve with only their staff, their sandals and one tunic. How completely dependent upon God they had to be. We read they cast out demons and anointed with oil the sick and they were healed. This type of dependence on God is required if we are to do the same mighty works that Jesus did. How dependent on Him are we? Do we ever have to depend upon him for the bare necessities of life? We usually do not, but the disciples had to trust God each day for a place to live and food and water. Could we do this today or would we give up?
Later in that same chapter, the disciples have returned and they excitedly tell Jesus all they have done and then Jesus tells them something very important. Get away to a desolate place and rest. I believe He was saying, ‘don’t allow your flesh to get weak or weary through the work you are doing or there will be an open door for the enemy.’ We see how this happened to Moses as he became weary with the people and disobeyed and dishonored God in Numbers 20.
Back to Mark 6… now the crowds were recognizing “them” and following “them”. When Jesus saw how the crowds gathered, he had compassion on them and began to teach them. Then He tells the disciples to feed them. Now the disciples who had been so dependent upon God for the miraculous began to look into the natural means and their own abilities to meet the need, until Jesus reveals to them the same God who met their needs on the road would feed the people. Do we ever look to our own abilities right after God has done a great thing in our life? Do we every get ‘outside the box’ in our faith to trust God for seemingly impossible things? How many this has happened to. I am reminded of Elijah who just after calling down fire upon the altar and killing 450 prophets of Baal, ran away in fear of Jezebel. How quickly we forget.
Is it possible that Jesus was teaching the disciples a lesson of how quickly we can forget the great things God has done for us in the past, when today’s need arises? We have to hope in the faithfulness of God. We have to be able to see that God may do it a little differently each time. We have to be careful not to allow our past experiences to become doctrine to us to the point that we no longer see the Present I Am. We have to know that regardless of the need, spiritual, physical or emotional, He is Present with us.
As if this were not enough, Jesus then “immediately’ sends the disciples into a storm. (vs. 45-51) What an object lesson for the disciples. Storms in life remind us of the necessity of trusting in God for today and how yesterday’s provision belongs to yesterday. We have to trust Him for our needs today!. “Give us this day our daily bread” is our daily prayer. Today Lord I will trust in You. Yesterday is only a reminder that today You are more than able.