February 1 I Friday
“...Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, ‘Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?’” —John 6:8-9
If our doctrine is greater than our experience of
God, then in all likelihood our Christian lives have gotten stuck!
There is a wonderful story that illustrates this involving a little boy in a crowd of 5,000 who hands his lunch over to Jesus. The vastness of the need was unimportant to him, but Jesus was all-important. When Jesus asked, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” both Philip and Andrew responded negatively. “Eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Andrew brought the boy to Jesus and said, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish”—but then he apologizes for it, saying, “but how far will they go among so many?”
At this point, Philip and Andrew may be professing disciples, but they are practicing atheists. The demand for food did, of course, far exceed the supply, but they failed to recognize the one vital ingredient that could change the situation. They related the problem strictly to themselves and their own resources but failed to consider that God was alive and present. They never
thought of relating the situation to Him. Did they believe in God? Yes, but they kept Him like a sleeping partner in their relationship.
Christ cannot simply remain the patron of our faith in whose name we do our best to live it. He is the life and power of the Christian life, and the disciples failed to grasp that Jesus related everything to His Father, who was the means and resources working through Him. “By Myself I can do nothing,” said Jesus (John 5:30). In other words, “Don’t look at Me; I can’t do it either, but My Father, living in Me, is doing it.”
In turning what may seem impossible over to Christ, we are passing the buck to Him. It is not a case of “Is this is a problem for me?”, but a case of “Is this a problem for Christ?” That totally changes the perspective. Many of us hold back from serving God because we think we are not gifted enough or that we are too weak, too young, too old or have inadequate resources. None of that is the issue. Jesus works with who we are and what little we have.
We can plan and strategize on our own so much that God becomes redundant. The Christian life is lived in active relationship with God, whereby we love Him, trust Him and obey Him, and He works. Christ is not a sleeping partner in the relationship. He is its Life.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for being everything to me that our Heavenly Father was to You on earth. Keep me always mindful of your presence and dependent on You every day of my life.