Principle: Placing our resources into God's hands, increases our dependency upon Him and releases His blessing towards us.
"...looking up to Heaven. He blessed them, and broke them, and kept giving them to the disciples to put before the multitude." Luke 9:16
When "The Twelve" came to Jesus, they gave Him a directive rather than ask Him for a sense of direction. They probably loved being seen as the leaders of a great movement, but they did not see themselves as responsible for those who were following them. They advised Jesus to send the people away, so they could fend for themselves. Jesus turned their advice to Him ,into an assignment for them. "You give them something to eat!" (Luke 9:13)
More than once, God has allowed His children to come to the end of their rope, in a desolate place. He doesn't want them to make more rope, so the ends can meet between the end of themselves and the beginning of God. He calls on His children to fall from the end of their limited or exhausted resources, and into His hands. They find their rest, when they pray their best, for what only God can do.
When Jesus told His disciples to provide food for 5,000 men, from their own resources, they were faced with the hopelessness of their situation. "We have not more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people." (Luke 9:13b)
John is the only one of the four Gospel writers who tells us the resources did not even come from the disciples, but from a small boy. "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?" (John 6:9)
Jesus told the disciples to seat the people in groups of fifty, took what a child made available to Him, and thanked God for it. What was going through the disciples minds, while they were seating the people is not recorded. Setting the table for a banquet in a desolate place surely prompted one of the twelve to mutter, "This is going to take a miracle."
When they took what they had and placed it in His hands, a miracle took place. Jesus wants His people to let Him turn the impossible into the HIMpossible. "And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke them and kept giving them to to the disciples to set before the multitude. And they ate and were satisfied." (Luke 9:16)
God specializes in impossible situations. He has no desire for His people to pool their resources and talents to determine what they can do for Him. Furthermore, He does not want to be given credit for their small dreams and minor accomplishments. It is embarrassing to think how many times the Kingdom of God has been blamed for the efforts of man.
Things seldom start looking up until down hearted people look up to God in prayer. Prayer turns their faces away from the hopelessness of their situation. Prayer enables a person to look up to God in hopefulness, for the resources of Heaven. Prayer warriors find out that nothing is impossible with God.
Jesus showed the disciples that a concern for others would not mean they would have to do without. "And they all ate and were satisfied, and the broken pieces which they had left over were picked up, twelve baskets full." (Luke 9:17)
Isn't it just like God to take the broken pieces, in a desolate place, to remind His children that He cares for them? No matter what their need may be or where the place may be, God is there to receive what they give to Him, and do His best with it. He desires for His children to trust Him to meet them and their need right there in the middle of it.
The Practice of Prayer: What are you praying for that is impossible? Whatever it is, the harder the better, start praying for it today!
Thought for the Day: What is not going to happen unless God takes the field? You won't embarrass God by asking Him to do something that you cannot do. Life only becomes embarrassing for you, when you to attempt to do something you have no business doing. When you come to the end of your rope, stop making rope. Fall into the Father's hands, with all you have, to receive all that He has for you.
"Man's extremity is God's opportunity." George Whitefield (1714-1770)