Battle Weary? In His Word- 8-24-15

 Battle Weary? -In His Word 8-24-15
Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share.
 Mark 6: 41

This portion of scripture is very commonly taught, or read when looking for a miracle of some sort we hear it constantly enough that most of us can recite it.
Just prior to this Jesus had been teaching all day to a great number of people; the Bible claims at least 5,000 men and their families. His disciples came up to get Jesus to send the people home to find food because it had been a long time and they could tell they needed physical food as well as the spiritual food Jesus was giving them.
So they suggested he send them off to find food for their families; Jesus’ reply was amazing! “You feed them” He replied in verse 37 of the same chapter of Mark.  Now this is in the New Living Translation so it is in our language here in the United States but it is pretty clear that Jesus was telling them to take care of it. He was telling them, and I believe us as well, that sometimes we have to act in order to see the blessings, or miracles with have available.
Between 37 and 41 Jesus gives them instructions for them to get the numbers needed and to set up the scene for a blessing. I do not think even the Apostles knew what Jesus was about to do. He gave the food blessing, lifting it up to the heavens thus showing us where the blessing came from; then He fed them. What came next?  He sent the disciples away from the crowd and bid them all goodbye. So basically; after unloading and retrieving the extras they all left.  Jesus knew they had worked hard all day both feeding and gathering more than five thousand people and so they went out into the lake in a boat.
Jesus had done a miracle, fed the five thousand as its called but that was not the end of His day! He noticed around Midnight that the disciples were in trouble and so they walked out to them and told them not to worry that He was there. He walked out on the water, and told them not to worry because He was there. He did not stop there, but He then proceeded to climb into the boat and bring them safely into shore.

Some times we work hard at a project and are exhausted at the end. Even though Jesus is with us, and we know He brought us through the project and we know that we walked in His will finding all the blessings and giving them to the people we are working with; we can get worn out both spiritually and physically. What I see in this passage is that it is important to make time to regroup and remind ourselves that God is with us. He will direct our paths, if we remember what He said.
 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid.” He said. “Take courage! I am here!” Then he climbed into the boat with them. Mark 6:50

He climbed into the boat! He got into the problem situation with them and brought them out, but not until he gave them peace and encouragement. 
How many times do we go off ‘willy nilly’ because we are too tired to deal with our own emotions and we can’t stop to take stock of what we have just gone through for the Lord?
I imagine while they were in the boat some of them slept from exhaustion, others took turns rowing and discussing what just happened. Had they just moved on to the next project they would not have had the chance to see that Jesus did not leave them alone but instead He watched over them and kept them safe.

Coming back from the summer months of Vacation Bible Schools, camps and retreats my team is full of excitement and exhaustion! We go to the extreme levels quickly moving from vacation bible school to camp but God moves along with us allowing us to see the powerful changes in the kids we teach as well as the teens and young adults who help and are an important part of our teams. God really uses these young people and in reality they are a lot like the disciples and need a time of regeneration after the camps.
The thing I have realized this year more than ever before is that we need to take time immersing ourselves in His presence when we get back from the camps; if we do not then we may forget to close a door and be attacked by the devil and his cronies! After all we are in a battle; as part of the army of the Lord we get used in amazing ways. Praying for kids to not only come into the Kingdom of God but become mighty men and women for Christ is a powerful mission and the ‘kids’ who come with us are prayed over and prayed for going in and during but what about after the battle?
This year I have decided I need to do a regroup meeting for prayer and strength and encouragement; we all need encouragement just as Jesus gave the disciples. Reminding us that He is with us wherever we go, even after the battle has been won!

Sure we all go in prepared for battle but what of the after glow? What about the time when we feel so full of the joy of the Lord that we think nothing can touch us but in a sense we are ‘drunk on the spirit’ and not really paying attention to what the enemy’s regrouping session is doing. Should we just walk forward not looking back to be sure we got all the doors shut and locked up?

When we go to the camps we have a rule at all of them that we leave the place better than when we arrived. Why not do that with people? Jesus did in this portion of the scriptures, He showed them that not only was he there for the five thousand plus, but that He was there for them personally to keep them safe and sound. He strengthened them, revitalized them and got them ready for the coming battles they would have to face by reminding them that God was with them wherever they went!
And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, wont he also five us everything else? Romans 8:30-32

If he formed the group, He had a purpose in forming it; if God is for us no one, no thing can be against us.
Dear Heavenly father, thank you for being with us and for us. Give us strength and encouragement after the battles we just waged against satan and his cronies! Bless us as we go; in Jesus name, amen.

Suggested reading Romans 8: 1-39, Mark 6:1-56, John 4:1-54 and Psalm 102:1-28