Questions The Lord Asks
Edited from a spoken message by
John Wright Follette
There are three primary questions to be answered in relation
to our spiritual life. The first, "Where am I?"
speaks of our position. We are to unmask all that is hidden
within us by the artificial coverings we have created. Only
after we take off these "masks" and become honest
before the Lord can we truly say to the Lord, "Here I
The second question is, "What is your name?" In
the Bible, a name spells a person's character. Certain characteristic
marks which related to the person are summed up in the "name"
which was given them. Thus, Jacob means "deceiver;"
a deceptive, subtle one. Jacob could not get through to God,
nor could God get through to him, until he had been brought
to the place where he was able to make a confession. The Lord
seeks from us just one word, "What is your name?"
What are you? Do not be tempted to bring out your camouflages;
that is an old trick.
These questions provoke an answer, which becomes a confession,
or a platform upon which a blessing will fall. This is a principle
that I found within the Word and throughout my spiritual experience.
What are you? A sinner. This confession of being a sinner
makes a platform for God to come with salvation, but He cannot
come until we sayit. This principle operates throughout our
spiritual experience. At times it is rather dramatic, at other
times it is subdued, but still there.
There is a third question. Although Jesus knows exactly what
He will do, He asks this question anyway. The first question
involved our position, the second our condition; and now the
third, our provision.
This question is found in John 6:5-6. We will discover within
this story another principle which runs from Genesis to Revelation.
"When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great
company come unto him, He saith unto Philip, WHENCE SHALL
WE BUY BREAD, THAT THESE MAY EAT? And this He said to prove
him: for He himself knew what He would do."
Here, the Loaf of Heaven, all supply for all eternity is
saying, "Philip, what will you do?" "Philip
answered him, Two hundred penny worth of bread is not sufficient
for them, that every one of them may take a little" John
6:7. Immediately, Philip reverts to his natural limited resources,
right in the presence of the Whole Loaf of the Bread of Heaven.
Philip cannot see the eternal supply. He cannot even see
Jesus in His miracle power. He is yet too centered in his
own limited interpretation of the problem. He is "counting"
instead of saying to the Lord, "Jesus, we have seen you
work before. This is quite impossible to us. Will you be the
host and feed them?" Philip cannot do this, he is not
yet advanced enough. From his natural processes he concludes,
"Two pence of bread is not sufficient." And the
Lord smiled and said, "Certainly it is not. We all know
But the disciples still seek to help themselves out of this
difficulty. How? "One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon
Peter's brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which
hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are
they among so many?" They all failed because they are
too self-conscious of their limitation.
Notice that there are seven items. Five loaves and two fishes.
Five and two make seven. Seven speaks of completion. It has
to be five and two, it cannot be four and three, or the story
will not reveal the truth that is underneath; Spirit and Life
vibrating up into view. Does not four and three make seven?
Yes, but not here. Jesus had said, "We have this supply,"
so the disciples began to count. How many time shave we done
this very thing?
We are not to fall back upon forever more counting our limitations.
I have this and this, but I cannot make it come out to feed
a multitude. We never will. Why? We have counted our limitations
5000 times, yet we did not count in "The Loaf of Bread"
who is standing at our side.
Jesus was not concerned about their limitations, but He was
very concerned that they recognize Him. He is the great Loaf.
The next time we are tempted to count our limitations, count
them in His presence, then look up and say, "Thank you
Lord, I am counting You in on this." Then we will get
somewhere. Never fail to do this.
We may fall back on our seeming limitations because it brings
a certain reaction, psychologically. There is within each
one of us a sense of justification in feeling poor; the power
of distress. Some of us are only happy when we strike this
note, so self-pity can come in. Feeling sorry for ourselves
will damn us quicker than almost anything else. When you count,
be sure to count Him in. He is the Loaf.
Matthew adds a further touch to this. "And when it was
evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, this is a desert
place and the time is now past; Send the multitude away, that
they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
But Jesus said unto them, they need no tdepart; give ye them
to eat" Matt 14:15-16. He did not say, "Let me feed
them." Rather, He said, "YOU give them to eat."
Jesus is telling us something. Why is it that instantly the
problem is revealed? When faced with responsibility, the disciple
will seek away of escape by projecting the need to another.
They said, "Send these hungry groups to the villages
that they may buy bread." What are these villages? All
to often, we have sent the hunger of our heart; that urge
within us, to strange places for its satisfaction. These are
distant ministries where we think we might find the answer
for the need at hand. The hunger is within us, and we must
do the giving. We must stop our sending them to the villages
as an escape mechanism.
Why were those discouraged disciples so happy to leave Jerusalem
and make their way to Emmaus? Because Emmaus is an escape
mechanism. They felt an atmosphere of defeat and failure in
Jerusalem, where their glorious idea of a Kingdom had seemingly
exploded. The Messiah they followed was dead. The handful
of disciples was completely reduced, with all hope, on a natural
basis, swept out from under them. All the things that they
desired were wrecked.
He may do this to one of us sometime, but do not despair.
Anyone can receive a blessing and stand. But few can take
a defeat and live, because they do not know how. This is why
the Lord is not able to trust some of us with great sufferings,
trials, and disciplines. He cannot, because we have not been
tempered for it. He can trust the multitude with the blessing,
but there are so few to whom He can say, "Will you watch
with me one hour?"
Think of the villages to which you have sent your heart,
your mind, your spirit. Each one of us is guilty of this.
We try to project "that thing" into another field,
lest it would cost us something to have it fed properly. We
would rather have a substitute. So we say, "I wil send
them over there."
I remember when my first hungering for spiritual truth was
expressed. I was advised that what I needed was a good college
and seminary. I thought that this would satisfy my hunger.
I went to school with this hunger, pushing it into a village
to find food. I found a most interesting village, but I never
found my food. I came back from the village hungry.
Jesus said, "Give ye them to eat." How can this
be done? These disciples saw only their limitations and said,
"We have here but 5loaves and 2 fishes." This confession
opened the door for all that follows. Jesus responded, "Bring
them hither to me." This required an absolute surrender
of every one of those things which they possessed, and then
to place them into the hands of the Lord. "Bring hem
The Lord is telling us to stop counting the things we possess
and bring them to Him. He is saying to us, "I know who
you are, I know your possibilities, your potentials; I know
all of that. I knew you before you were born." Many Christians
do not come into these realms of spiritual consciousness at
all. They are saved and filled with the Spirit, but have never
come into what I call a real inner-consciousness of spiritual
Jesus is saying, "Would you dare to surrender all that
you have to me? Will you place it into my hands?" This
is a stripping that few will take. But Jesus is there, saying,
"IF you will dare to do this, I can do something beyond
your comprehension; but I cannot do it if your consecration
is only partial."
Five loaves. Two fishes. These total seven, the completion
of all that we have. But these, placed in His hands will become
enough to satisfy every hunger and urge that we could ever