Why The Phillip Philosophy is a Bad Idea By Babatunde Olugboji
The miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 was the only miracle of Jesus, apart from his resurrection, that all four gospels recorded. (John 6, Matthew 14, Mark 6; Luke 9) And one of the lessons of that miracle is that as believers, we should never assess a difficulty based on our current assets.
Note that human resources are finite while God’s is infinite. In other words, no matter how hard you work or how frugal you are, resources may run out at some point, which means you should never examine a problem and then try to work things out based entirely upon your resources. There is always a God factor. God never runs out of resources. Afterall, He is the Creator of all resources.
Jesus asked His disciples in John 6: Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat? He didn’t ask them how much it would cost. If Jesus asks that question today, your response will likely fall in one of 2 categories: Philip or Andrew’s response: Philip answered Jesus, 200 pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. (John 6:7) And Andrew declared: There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many. (John 6:9)
Philip was the calculating disciple, while Andrew was the one that viewed small as not good enough. Phillip was very sure of what could NOT be done but he had no vision of what could be accomplished.
The disciples were so focused on what they didn’t have that they lost sight of what they had, that Jesus was right in front of them. Doesn’t that remind you of Moses when God asked him to go set his people free from captivity in Egypt? I’m not adequate for the task Lord; people would not take me seriously, I am not good enough, I am slow of speech.
Philip’s response to Jesus that we don’t have anything to offer, there are too many people here to feed, it will cost too much to feed them. And Andrew piled in: What we’ve got isn’t very much.
To be sure, this boy had a meagre lunch: the loaves of bread were more like pancakes and the fish were probably like fingerlings, not tilapia or red snapper. When your resources are running low, learn to stop putting your trust in material provisions and learn to put it in God.
The Phillip philosophy is about numbers, but life is much more than numbers. A believer’s life is trusting God for provisions, not your resources.
Realize that every resource comes from the hand of God in the first place. He is the source of all resources. Many of us calculate to the last penny and in the process become discouraged when resources don’t add up.
The Phillip philosophy says try to solve even insurmountable problems in the light of your own resources. Are you one of those who inadvertently have been practicing the Phillip philosophy?
This week, it is time to abandon that approach and start relying totally on God. As Apostle Paul said, not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; (2 Corinthians 3:5)
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.