Is God in Your Plans? Babatunde Olugboji
As we round up our discussion on the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. (John 6, Matthew 14, Mark 6; Luke 9), there are a few more lessons we can learn, including the fact that only the all-sufficient one is able to magnify an insufficient provision.
In John 6 when Jesus was inquiring from his disciples about the modalities of feeding the thronging multitudes, Andrew was worried about the quantity of what was available: “Here is a boy with 5 small barley loaves and 2 small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:9)
What Andrew didn’t realize was that it was not about how big or small, it was about what you do with what you have.
The key question in your time of need is not how much I have, or how big is what I have, the proper question is, is God in it? Is God in what I have, is He in my plans? Do I go to God with my need of daily bread or am I living my life independent of trust in Him? When you place what you have in God’s hands, expect the incredible to happen.
Let’s examine how the disciples got it wrong when they responded to Jesus.
- Their 1st response was an attempt to get rid of the problem. ‘Send the people away’ (Matthew 6:36) This appeared to be a request based upon the disciple’s compassion for the crowds, it seemed very reasonable, it even appeared like the only solution. But with Jesus asking the question, and the messiah in front of them, it was not.
- Their 2nd response was ‘Lord this problem is yours to deal with, you give them something to eat.’ They thought that acquiring food was Jesus’ problem, but Jesus told them it was theirs.
- Their 3rd response was to search for a human solution, when perhaps Jesus had hoped to hear them say, Lord, you can get us through this.
It soon became clear that the all-sufficient Jesus was able to magnify an insufficient provision, illustrating that without God in it, it is no good.
When believers try to accomplish something by themselves, when they lean on their own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6), they often describe it as moving by faith, which in fact is moving by wishing. Faith is not the same thing as wishing. Some people think, if I wish really hard, if I sweat it out, it will work out. That approach is a gamble, it may or may not work out. The sure way is casting our burdens on Jesus. He will work things out.
Faith is a response to the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) Jesus wanted a faith response from the disciples: Lord this problem is too big for us, but not for you. They faced a difficult problem but did not bring God into it, just like Saul and Israel had a massive Goliath problem but left God out of the picture.
It is not enough to say I am doing my best. The truth of the matter is that you are not doing your best until you bring God in on it.
Have a great week.
Kingdom Dynamics, a weekly column written by Dr. Babatunde Olugboji, the President, Kingdom House, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, USA.