Following The Process Or Product
REFERENCE SCRIPTURES: John 6:1-4
After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee (some call it Tiberias). A huge crowd followed him, attracted by the miracles they had seen him do among the sick. When he got to the other side, he climbed a hill and sat down, surrounded by his disciples. It was nearly time for the Feast of Passover, kept annually by the Jews(John 6:1-4 – MSG).
The phrases: “A huge crowd”, “attracted by the miracles” are worthy to note as these seem to be reflected in the church today. We have a huge crowd but what is the attraction? What draws the people? Nothing but the miracles and signs-the product of God’s mercy.
Do we then say miracles are bad? No, they are not. They are good and sometimes a great tool in ministry, but they are not to be the basis of our Christian conviction and followership.
So what do we understand by the processes which makes a believer (or a disciple of Christ)?
From the example Jesus gave us when he called his disciples saying, ‘take your cross and follow me.’ It reveals the process is to first pick up the cross. This stage is not always easy though as it involves consecration and self-denial. These are the processes required of the true follower in Christ Jesus. This is what many doctrines like to skip.
Many Christians today prefer the ‘restaurant Christianity’. They are not willing to be in the heat of the oven and sweat in the place of consecration and denial. But would rather come to the restaurant to fill our bellies (earthly needs) every now and then.
Process can also be seen as allowing God to work on us. Most times we tend to be impatient when God is taking us through a journey, we just want to see results. But as a believer we must learn to wait on God.
I see many people today who would join various prayer platforms, and send in their prayers requests for miracles. But the same people will attend afro-beat concerts, dance ‘shaku-shaku’, and are chronic liars and thieves in their places of work.
The place of processing for a Christian is always a place of separation. We cannot become all that God wants us to be by just these byproducts of signs and miracles.
In the processing of crude oil, you have to heat the crude oil to a certain degree before you can get the real products such as petrol, diesel, etc. This process is called refining. Our lives need to undergo enormous amount of “refining” to obtain the real us that God can truly use for His glory.
From that John 6, we see that Christ fed the multitudes indeed and they were satisfied at that time.
John 6:14 – 15 (MSG) The people realized that God was at work among them in what Jesus had just done. They said, “This is the Prophet for sure, God’s Prophet right here in Galilee!” Jesus saw that in their enthusiasm, they were about to grab him and make him king, so he slipped off and went back up the mountain to be by himself.
But when it came a time to become followers of Christ, they came again for the earthly feeding. Jesus had this to say:
In John 6:25 – 26 (MSG), When they found him back across the sea, they said, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered, “You’ve come looking for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you, filled your stomachs-and for free.
They wanted to make him their provision king (someone who would provide them with bread and butter) and not the king of their hearts.
Our churches today concentrate a great deal of their time and money organizing bread and butter services, covenant day of rest, covenant day of miracle, covenant day of matchmaking, miracle services, prayer service, etc. These are good but where is the service for holiness, for sanctification, for deep consecration and devotion. We need to change.
It is no surprise that Jesus gave this sermon about the bread of life from John 6:27-59, looking to redirect their focus to the true prize.
In John 6:66-67 (MSG), many among his disciples heard this and said, “This is tough teaching, too tough to swallow.” After this, many of his disciples left. They no longer wanted to be associated with him. Then Jesus gave the Twelve their chance: “Do you also want to leave?”
Brethren, what are we following? Or who are we following? Is it the process that will turn us into bona fide believers or are we seeking for the mere products- miracles and answer to prayers of ephemeral needs? Let us search ourselves.
- Help us to embrace the knocks, the cutting, the pruning, the process, that we may join the few men who joyfully bear your marks.
- Help our hearts to seek you and not just what we can find in your hands.
- Turn our hearts again Lord to you in Jesus name Amen.