THE GOD FACTOR
"Jesus therefore lifting up His eyes, and seeing that a great multitude was coming to Him, said to Philip, 'Where are we to buy bread that these may eat?' And this He was saying to test him; for He Himself knew what He was intending to do. Philip answered Him, 'Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little.'" John 6:5-7
The crowd around Jesus was extra large that day, numbering five thousand men plus women and children. Roughly twenty thousand were on the hillside, listening to His Word and receiving healing from His hand. As the afternoon began to dim, the disciples asked Jesus to call it a day and send the multitudes away so they could get dinner. But Jesus didn't want to send them away. He wanted to feed them.
He asked Philip about a place to buy bread to feed the massive crowd. It was an important question, because it was a test. Philip's answer was accurate--even two hundred days’ wages worth of bread couldn't begin to satisfy this hungry mob. But Philip missed the point. He failed the test because in all his figuring, he forgot to figure in the Lord. Jesus was going to take a little sack lunch--five little cracker-like biscuits and two sardines--and use it to feed the masses. The food was going to be so abundant, that there would be twelve baskets of leftovers! Philip forgot to factor in the miracle-working God!
LOOKING THIS WAY AND THAT WAY
When Moses killed an Egyptian in Exodus 3:12, the Scripture says, "So he looked this way and that, and when he saw there was no one around, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand." Moses looked all around, but he failed to look up. There was someone watching, and His name is Yahweh!
Philip did the very same thing. He looked at the crowd, he looked at his calculator, and he looked at the cost of a loaf of bread in Israel. He looked all around, but he failed to look up. He failed to factor in the power of the Lord. Could you be guilty of doing the same thing today in your trial and trouble?
Every question the Lord asks is a test. He never asks a question for information, because He knows all things. He asks questions to get us to start looking at our problems and challenges through the eyes of faith. So much of what we face in life is beyond us ... and it is purposely so. We can't rise to the occasion, just like Philip couldn't buy enough bread to feed the multitude. The Lord places us in those predicaments to get us to look up, to learn to factor Him in to every equation.
OUR EYES ARE ON YOU
King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah found themselves in dire circumstances one day. Three enemy armies banded together to wipe out Judah. It didn't look good for the people of God. Jehoshaphat fasted and prayed, "O God will you not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You" (2 Chronicles 20:12).
I love that prayer! It is so honest and so filled with faith. As Jehoshaphat looked this way and that, all he saw were armies poised to destroy him. His goose was cooked, but he chose to look up. He factored in God, and God responded with a great, miraculous victory!
ALWAYS LOOK UP
In your life and in your trouble, always remember to look up and figure in the God who made heaven and earth. Every trial is a test. God has not lost His ability to work miracles. He is simply waiting for people like you and me to say with King Jehoshaphat, "But our eyes are on You!"
Impossible is really I'm possible with God!
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
P.S. I would love to hear your comments. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeff Schreve founded From His Heart Ministries, www.fromhisheart.org, in 2005 with the vision to reach as many people as possible with the good news of God's love. Jeff believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a great plan just for you. He broadcast on radio, TV and in the internet around the world from his pulpit ministry as Pastor of First Baptist in Texarkana, Texas. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.
DESCRIPTION: Even the greatest men in the Bible had to deal with fear. If you are, there is good news. God wants to see you overcome your fear. In this booklet from Pastor Jeff Schreve, you’ll gain practical insights to help you trust God and experience His peace and deliverance. You’ll learn to conquer your fear as you fix your eyes on Jesus and walk by faith and not by sight. And in the encouraging series Face Off, you will see that Paul tells us that “In the last days, difficult times will come.” One of the biggest difficulties Christians will face in the last days is apostasy; a falling away from the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Jude warns his readers that false teachers with their false teachings will try to secretly inject their poison into the church in order to distort the saving message of Christ and derail the work of God. Christians are called to stand up for the truth and fight for the faith