Do pigs fly? But seriously, some people have the wrong idea of what resting in Jesus really means. They think that just because Jesus said,

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

He meant that all we are to do is sit down, twiddle our thumbs and wait for blessings to fall out of the sky. Well beloved, no, that is not how it works. If I just burst your bubble, well, a gentle nudge is always a more welcome wake-up call than a rude shove, right? So, take this as a gentle nudge.

But wait, doesn’t this go against the grain of this ministry’s message? Not at all, beloved. This ministry preaches rest, not sloth. Jesus still wants us to be gainfully engaged in something, and sloth is not it. In every miracle, Jesus always requests our participation. Even if it is to merely make a declaration of faith, there is still something He wants the people involved to do to signal their willingness to receive His blessing. Let us learn from His miracles and see how we are to activate His blessings in our lives. Let us begin where Jesus began, in Cana.

“On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”” John 2:1-3

Now, did the wedding party just sit down and wait for it to rain wine?

“Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it.” John 2:7-8

There was something to do. Fill the jars and draw them for the master of the feast. Now suppose they did not do it?

“Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.” Luke 8:43-44

In the case of the woman with the issue of blood, she believed that she needed to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. Now suppose she shied away?

“Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.” John 5:5-9

For the lame man by the pool, Jesus had two things He needed the man to do. First, to confirm that He wanted the blessing; and second, to pick up His bed and walk. Now supposed the man said ‘no’. Or the man refused to get up?

Now for the blind man whom Jesus walked past while getting away from the people who were trying to stone Him, this was what Jesus asked Him to do.

“When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.” John 9:6-7

Now supposed the blind man refused to go wash?

“And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.”” Mark 3:1-3

Personally, I like this one because there was so much peer pressure. Imagine if you were the man with the withered hand. All the who’s who in your community are standing right there, watching this Man. You know they don’t like Him and want to make a mockery of Him. And He tells you to step forward. What would you do? Not only that, after He tells you to step forward, He goes and tells off the leaders to their faces,

“Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”” Mark 3:4-5

If it had been you, would you have stretched out your hand? Because bear in mind, if you did not, then this would not have happened.

“And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.” Mark 3:5

Then we come to my favorite miracle. Peter and the fish.

“Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money;” Matthew 17:27

Jesus tells Peter, a fisherman by trade, to go drop a hook. Now, we know from scripture that Peter was a net-type fisherman, so for Peter, he knew how to catch fish, and he knew that using a hook was not the best way. Not only that, Jesus tells him that in the fish’s mouth, there will be a coin. Now, scientists have found out that the particular species of fish caught by Peter, now call St Peter’s fish, does have a propensity for picking off things from the lake bed. Still, what are the chances of it happening the way Jesus said it would? Now, imagine if Peter had used what we would consider as his ‘good sense’ and paid from his own pocket instead of doing what Jesus instructed. What then?

We could go on, but I think you get the picture. Yes, Jesus did say,

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11

And He did say,

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33

“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

And He did say,

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

But it is abundantly clear that He still wants your participation in making the miracle happen. Of course He could do it without you, but He still wants your participation nonetheless. Now, every theologian has their own interpretation of why that is. But as for me, I’ll just show you why I think that is through an illustration.

I came across a blind man the other day and He was clearly struggling for directions. I walked over to ask if he needed help. He said ‘no’. Now if I had forced my assistance on him, how do you think he would have reacted? There is after all a provision in the law to say that if help is rendered to a blind person when help is refused, the person giving the help could be accused of harassment, true? So what do you think I did?

Now imagine if God tried to help you before you even realized that you needed it and you refused. Imagine if Peter refused to go fish. Imagine if the man with the withered hand refused to step forward and stretch out his hand. Imagine if the woman with the issue of blood had not reached out and touched Jesus. Imagine if the people at the feast did not fill the jars. Imagine if they all thought Jesus was crazy. It would not be too difficult to extrapolate the end result then, true?

So beloved, now do you understand? Yes, Jesus will supply. Yes, He will do abundantly, exceedingly, more than we can ever imagine. Yes, He will do whatever we ask for, provided that what we ask for is good for us. But He still wants us to participate, to show that we want to receive His blessings for ourselves. And He will give you instructions; so clear, you will not be able to miss it. So can we please take a word of advice from Jesus’ mother, after all, mother does know best.

“His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”” John 2:5

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