From “Who Am I” To “I Am”
Do we limit what God can do in the World? At first glance we might be tempted to think “of course not” because we know that God is omnipotent. But if we ponder this question a little while, we might be surprised that the answer is “yes”. Because of God’s omnipotence, we would be more accurate to say that God allows us to limit His work in the world through our exercise of our free will.
Let’s look at a passage where Jesus is teaching his apostles about this very lesson. In the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 14, verses 13-21, we have the brief story of the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus was teaching a large crowd that had followed Him to a deserted place. Toward the end of the day, the apostles approached Him and said: “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” NRSV
To the apostles utter shock, Jesus responded with “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.”As they looked as their five loaves and two fish, they recognized their complete inability to do what the Lord commanded. How could He ask them to do that? He knew how much food they had. But the apostles didn’t know what He had and it was time for them to learn.
Jesus then commanded: “Bring them here to me.” Imagine the astonishment of the apostles when they witnessed what came next.
“Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.” verse 19 NRSV
What they witnessed was impossible according to natural law, bread doesn’t not come out of this air. Yet, that is exactly what they witnessed. As they began to separate the bread, more bread kept appearing. With excitement and joy, the apostles began to feed the five thousand plus people in attendance.
As the day ended Jesus commanded the apostles to board the boat and cross the sea without him. I suspect their conversation was lively as they reflected on the miraculous events of the day. Jesus had nurtured the souls of the people with his teachings and the their bodies as well with the bread and fish.
As they recounted the events of the feeding of the five thousand, and the Lord gave them that ridiculous order to feed the people themselves, they collectively looked at themselves and what they had to offer and asked “who are we” to accomplish such a task. It was precisely this point that Jesus desired to address in His men and in us as well.
When the Holy Spirit commands you to do something, don’t look at your capabilities, LOOK AT THE LORD’S! Whenever you are asked by God to do something you believe is impossible (because you believe you lack what is needed to accomplish it), Jesus says “give me what you do have and together, we will feed thousands!”
We all still live within the Laws of Nature that God created. However, now that Jesus has come and His Spirit directs us, we can respond to the commands with great faith because we are never called to obey God alone, but with His help. Therefore, let us look beyond our inabilities to do things and focus on God’s super-natural (law) ability to bring forth something out of nothing.
Too many Disciples today limit God because we focus on what we can do alone and say “no” to His call because we believe what He is asking is impossible or at least we can’t see the solution. Our job is not to see how it will turn out before we act. It is to obey and trust in the great “I AM” to bring about the resolution through us.
Key Principle – When commands, HE ALWAYS PROVIDES!!!!!
Be sure to check out Dcn. Ralph’s Ministry linked here. God Bless!