Sylvia Colville

Part 5 – Greater works than these

John 14:12 – “He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”

How often have you read this and thought to yourself, “What? Greater works than these?”

For many of us, we would be happy just to see the smallest obvious response to our prayer…anything…anything?

Yet, our Lord believes very differently about what should be revealed through our lives. He is expecting greater works…

Greater works… not because we are more spiritual, more holy…who could possibly be more spiritual or more holy than Jesus? He is the reason we can be saved, reconciled to the Father, He is the Way!

Jesus, the altogether perfect and Holy One said, John 5:19 “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do.”

Jesus is the perfect reflector of God.

By watching what His Father is showing Him, and doing what He sees, God the Father is working through Him.

So what then is the reason for these greater works…and why are we not seeing them? Jesus said two things in this statement that are very noteworthy.

  1. He who believes in Jesus will do the works.
  2. The works will be greater because He is going to the Father.

Clearly, the first part of this statement also intimates without actually saying it… that those who do not believe in Him, will not do the works.

Here at this point, your immediate response will be, “But I do believe in Jesus!”

It is here that I have to say, the demons believe that He is the Son of God and they tremble because of it (Mark 5:1-9) but none of them are serving Him and doing what He wants. How did believing that Jesus is the Son of God impact their lives?

Jesus shared a number of times with the disciples that He had to go to Jerusalem, that He would be killed and that He would rise again (Matt. 15:21, Luke 9:22).

Thomas, had heard Jesus share this, had been part of those same 12 disciples, had witnessed the miracles Jesus did, listened to His teachings, followed Him, sat at His feet and was one of the disciples sent out to heal the sick etc. and experienced first-hand the power he had received from Jesus as he went about healing the sick and casting out demons and this ALL before Jesus went to the cross. He had even seen Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead. Yet, when they told him that Jesus was alive, he did not believe that Jesus had risen. Thomas believed that Jesus was the miracle working Son of God but Thomas did not believe what Jesus had said…why? Because it was so way above his expectation.

It’s all about expectations!

Therefore when Jesus says, “He who believes in Me…” there is more to it than simply agreeing and acknowledging that you believe in Him, Jesus the Son of God. Yes, you believe that He can heal the sick and raise the dead but the big question is… do you believe that He wants to and can do it through you?

Is your expectation only a hope?

Jesus raised a question in Luke 18:8 …Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to disappoint Him in any way. I don’t want to be held captive by limited expectations. If God created you and I to reveal Him then I want to do just that!

Heb. 1:1-4 – God who at various times and in various ways spoke in time to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He (God the Father) has appointed heir of all things. Through whom (Jesus) also He (God the Father) made the worlds; who (Jesus) being the brightness of His (God the Father’s) glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power; when He had by Himself purged out our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

The pool of BethesdaJohn 5:15-17 – The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them. ”My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”

1 Cor. 15:45-47 – And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being. The last Adam became a life giving Spirit. However the spiritual is not first but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is from the Lord from heaven.

If Jesus could do nothing of Himself then gratefully, I can admit that I can’t do anything of myself either but if You want to use me Lord then here I am. Reveal Yourself through me Lord!

  1. So then what is the next step?
  2. God is not limited because we still have to mature and grow. He can use a donkey (Num. 22:22-33).
  3. God is limited because we lack faith.
  4. God is limited when we don’t obey the leading of the Spirit.

Here we stand again, hopefully the realization of just how important it is to live by faith will be forever carved into the fibre of our being.

The Children of Israel never entered into the Promised Land because they did not believe God. They believed in God but the knowledge of their own frailty against the size of their enemy provoked fear to rise in their hearts and stripped them of courage and peace.

The ultimate truth though, is that they were looking at themselves as their deliverers and not at God. They were comparing their enemy against themselves instead of comparing their enemy against the greatness of their God!

They had become ‘self-conscious’ instead of God conscious

Col. 1:27 – To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

2 Cor. 3:18 – But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror (what?) the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

When you look into His Word, and you see His glory, you see that He is Jehovah Rapha, He is Jehovah Jireh, He is…. And then when you turn to address your enemy, which image is addressing that enemy, is it Christ in you, the hope of glory, the One that you represent or are you addressing the enemy in your own strength. Who are you more conscious of? You or Jesus.

Num. 33:50-53 V52 – Then shall you drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their engraved stones, destroy all their moulded images, and demolish all their high places.
V53 – And you shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land and dwell in it, for I have given you the land to possess.’

God instructs the children of Israel to drive out the inhabitants of the land He has given. Again and again, God tells the children of Israel that He has already prepared the land for them, He has GIVEN them the land. He is sending an Angel before them to keep them in the way and bring them into the land He has prepared.
Through their unbelief they were condemned to wandering in the desert! ACCESS DENIED! They were still His children but they were unable to enjoy their inheritance.

Is this not the very same thing that we are doing? We are looking at ourselves and because we see ourselves as weak or inconsequential, we think God can never use us to do the miraculous.

If Jesus said that He could do nothing miraculous of Himself, do we think God needs us to be more super spiritual than Jesus so we can be used effectively?

The point is that God uses the foolish things of this world to put to shame the wise, the weak to put to shame the things which are mighty – 1 Cor. 1:27. He used Moses the one who stammered, Gideon the least of his tribe, the least of all the tribes, David the shepherd boy… why? Because we who are weak are the perfect backdrop for the revelation of an Almighty God!

Our effort should be to become completely God conscious. Meditating on His glory, His might, His nature, His character will cause faith in Him to arise in your heart and your understanding. When you have faith in Him, you will believe His Word.

God chose you, wants to reveal Himself through you, not by your might and power, but through your weakness and by your faith, your belief in His integrity and His supremacy. He is sovereign but He uses surrendered and believing children.

I feel that often people have an inner perception that the devil is the arch nemesis of God… having more or less equivalent powers and that it’s a war between the two.

We CANNOT compare this mighty God and one little being that He created called Lucifer and think that God Almighty and Lucifer, a fallen disgraced angel are on an equal playing field…Who can stand against Him…not one!

How great is our God?

  • When God opened his mouth and said, “Light be” light came out of His mouth travelling at a speed of 299338 kilometres per second! 
  • A beam of light circles the earth 7 times per second.

So when He spoke, light came out of His mouth in blazing glory and the universe just lit up.

Psalm 33:6 – By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the starry host of them by the breath of His mouth. He is the Star breather!

Our Milky Way Galaxy consists of millions of stars and our sun is just one of those stars. If we had to count the stars in our Milky Way Galaxy at 1 per second, it would take 2500 years just to count the stars in our Galaxy.

Isaiah 40:25-26 – To whom then will you liken Me? Or to whom shall I be equal? Says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and see Who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them by name, By the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing.

Isaiah 40:12 – Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, measured heaven with a span and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?

We have got to right size Him!

Neil Armstrong when he was travelling home on Appollo 11…remarked as he looked at the earth…

‘It suddenly struck me that this tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth.
I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.’

Psalm 8:3-6When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained. What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?
For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honour.
You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.

As tiny as we are, we are known and prized by Majesty. He knows each one of us, He knows our thoughts, the intents and the purposes of each one of our hearts. He loves us and has come to invite us into relationship with Him.

The sun is 1 million times the size of earth and it is 149.6 million kilometres out from us. It is a raging ball of fire. The temperature is 5537.8 degrees Celsius on the surface. It is like billions of nuclear bombs going off every second. So strong that it is sending light out at 299,338 kilometres per second. It only takes 8 minutes to cover the 149.6 million kilometres from the sun to your skin and it came out of the mouth of God. We cannot think that He is some kind of namby, pamby God, some kind of weak God. He is ferocious, this God whom we are worshipping. He is intense and powerful. God is holiness and radiant splendour, magnificent and mighty and it is this great God whom we are worshiping!

Our earth turns on its axis once every 24 hours. It is turning at a speed of 1609 kilometres per hour. We are 149.6 million km from the sun. Our earth then turns around the sun once every 365 days. It is going to travel 965.5 million km every 365 days. To do that it has to travel at a speed of 107,000km per hour.

Amazing! And while it is turning at these great speeds, you and I are looking at our world completely unaware that we are moving at 107,000 km per hour whilst we are turning on our axis at 1609km per hour!

Our hair blows gently in the wind and we notice that but as for the rest of it, you and I are completely unaware. In fact, here in South Africa we are hanging sort of sideways in a downward position which all the time, we think is up! Every person in the world thinks that they are in an upright position yet we are not but we don’t even notice it because the All-powerful God that we serve gave us gravity and our immediate atmosphere.

He is the uncontainable, immeasurable, unrivalled, unequalled Lord of All, the Lord Most High and nothing can stand in His presence. He is your Father!!!