Matthew 15:33 His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”
The disciples were being humanly logical, but they were forgetting that they were with the Son of God. Actually there are many examples of that recorded in the Gospels, and we are no better. If anything, we do it even more, because we don’t have the physical Jesus we can see with our eyes. The specific irony here is that this followed Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33), which came immediately after Jesus having fed an even bigger crowd than this on one boy’s lunch. (Matthew 14:13-21) What is encouraging about all of this to me is that it shows we aren’t necessarily worse than the apostles! However, that’s not an excuse for lack of faith. We all need to be more consistent in remembering that we can do nothing on our own, (John 15:5) but if we are abiding in Christ, He can do anything at all through us. Material provision can be a real test of our faith, both because it is so measurable and because it is something the world focuses on a great deal. Most church budgets are set the same way a secular company would set their budget, that is, examining anticipated income and then deciding what should be done with it. What churches need to do is prayerfully seek God for what He wants them to do, and then know that He will provide the funds and other resources necessary to do that. That’s not to say that we are to be passive. Here, just as in the earlier instance, Jesus asked His disciples to give everything they had. If we are unwilling to let go of what we have, we will be unable to take hold of what God wants to give us. Too often we fail to believe Jesus wasn’t just blowing smoke when He said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
I have certainly experienced this in my personal life, and this church has just gone through a very rough experience of people failing to grasp this truth. All sorts of things were and are at play, but we have not moved forward as I believe God desired, and people have left the church in the process. Part of that was in my failing to cast the vision properly, helping the people own it, but the biggest issue seemed to be total panic at the large sums of money involved, when God was making it clear that wasn’t a problem for Him. I’m still having to deal with forgiveness over it all. That particular project is now on a back burner, but I don’t believe God has given up on it, so I’m not to do so. Currently, God has given us another project, and that seems to be moving along fairly well. There are many unknowns involved, but God is leading. The whole point is that if God says to do something, we do it, and He will supply everything necessary.
Father, thank You for Your patience and mercy toward us. Keep me from condemning others when You have forgiven me so much. May I personally, and the church as a whole, grow in fixing our eyes on You and trusting that You can and will do anything at all through us, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!