Welcome back to Part 2 of the post (here is the first post). We ended the post with the setting of the story of the Loaves and Fishes feeding the 5,000. To recap, the disciples saw the need the people had to eat and declared that Jesus needed to send them away elsewhere so that they could get some food to eat. Jesus, however, said that the disciples needed to feed them.
The disciples stood in disbelief at the statement, since all they had were five loaves and two fishes. They did not know how in the world they could feed 5,000+ people with such a tiny amount of food.
Jesus, however, had other plans. And, this is where we will continue today.
Take Your Eyes Off of Yourself to See the Glory of the Lord, Part 2
Instead of simply trying to mathematically calculate the appropriate division of food particles for the people in lieu of the food they had access to, Jesus took what they had and blessed it.
To bless means to invite in the hearty favor of God. Isaac blessed Jacob in the place of Esau, and Jacob ruled over Esau and was abundantly blessed, just as Isaac had spoken. To bless is the equivalent of interceding on the behalf of another for their goodness and righteous prosperity in the Lord.
It is to speak into existence the belief that God can and will do something good in the specifics of the request.
Then, Jesus broke the bread.
Before the greatest multiplying effects could be possible, the offering needed to be broken.
This spiritual Truth is repeated often. Jesus broke the bread at the Passover meal, establishing that this is His Body.
If we desire for our gifts and offerings to spread and have great effect, we must first be broken. God’s gifts are best shared by the broken-hearted ones.
Finally, He gave out the pieces to share. Jesus had covered the intention and the hope for what needed to happen with the foundational trust and establishment of faith laid firmly on the ability that GOD would do the work.
In our flesh, when we see a problem, we calculate the ways to change the circumstances to best accomplish our goals (in this case, the disciples had suggested that the multitude be sent away in order to go get food, Luke 9: 12). And, when our hope and peace is solely found on the belief that we are the ones responsible for actually accomplishing the tasks that need to be done, we are upended and found to be emotionally distraught when we realize our limitations.
We can NOT do it all. But, GOD CAN.
When we bring our best, minimal as it might seem, and offer it up as a sacrifice for God to use, speaking blessing and intention over what we want our best to accomplish for the Kingdom, then share it willingly and freely with others in the Spirit of Love, God will multiply our efforts for His Name’s sake.
No matter what it is that we are bringing before Him, if it is what we can offer in the Truth of what we have available, God can multiply it.
If we can see a vision of hope for what our little broken pieces could be used to do, He can accomplish it. If we place the hope of the fulfillment in HIS ability, rather than our own, He will bring it to pass.
This is who He is.
He is not limited by what we offer, but we have the ability to unleash, or withhold, His provision based on our faith, vision, and trust in spite of our offer.
Remember the poor widow in the temple (see Mark 12: 41-44)? She placed into the offering pot a mere “two mites” (a few cents), but it was what she had to offer. In her faith, she gave, meager as her offering may have seemed to others.
But, to God, it was everything, and reason enough for Jesus to commend her publicly.
What do you have to offer?
I know that it can seem like at home we are doing very little for the Kingdom, but this is the opposite of Truth. The unseen, hidden work of home is establishing a secure foundation of faith in the One who can truly do all. You don’t even have to have it all figured out yet!
Bring your best. Do what you can. Offer what you have in the fullness of love for Him, and know that it will be received well. Speak blessing upon the work you are doing, not because you alone can turn the hearts of your children, or protect them from all trials, or control the things that happen in their lives, but because you trust in the One who IS in control to be able to work out even the things meant for evil for their good.
Do what you can, and trust in God. Offer your best, and trust in God. Face uncertainty, and trust in God.
Trials will happen in this world. Jobs change, deaths occur, sickness comes, and foundations shake. No matter how hard we may try to avoid the trials of this world, we cannot escape them (even though the world so loudly preaches we can), and it is foolish to think we can. All we can do is what the Lord leads us to do in faith. The actions may look very similar on the outside, but it is what is inside that matters most to God.
The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” ~ 1 Samuel 16: 7
The most important thing we can do is get to know our amazing God: our God of Love and Truth, peace and hope, provision and strength, abundance and grace, justice and mercy, forgiveness and redemption.
Know Him. Trust Him. Follow Him. Obey Him. Be made new by Him, forever. Amen.