Here is the word from the Word. May it release a new faith in us, that readily believes the plan of God that has been established from the dawn of Creation. “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13, NLT)
“Feed the crowd!” That what Jesus told the disciples one day. The request was impossible. The crowd numbered in the thousands, they were miles from any major town, and they had no money. Philip gave voice to the doubt of the rest when he observed a small fortune, nearly a year’s wages, would be needed to buy bread, even if was available. There is a little phrase tucked into the dialogue that John reports. Jesus “was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.” (John 6:6, NLT) Andrew brought a boy and his lunch to Jesus, who gave thanks for it and miraculously multiplied so that it fed the whole crowd, with 12 baskets of leftovers!
The Lord makes ‘impossible’ requests of us. “Build my Church!” “Make disciples!” “Love your enemy!” “Forgive as I forgave you!” We can look at our resources and abilities, formulating strategies. Or, like Philip, we just declare the impossibility of it all. Or, we can trust the Spirit to work a daily miracle of grace. The best part is that we are assured He already has a plan for making it happen. What does He want you to do that you’re thinking is unlikely at best? Will you ask Him to reveal the hidden path to obedience, to revealing His kingdom before this world?
A key to our thanksgiving this week is cultivating the faith to trust Him, to be open to His plan. It could be as unlikely as using five loaves and two fish to feed 5,000. We cannot figure Him out. He’s God and by nature is mysterious to us. “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” (Isaiah 55:6, NIV) But, don’t expect Him to fit into your expectations! “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9, NIV)
As you read Isaiah’s words are you tempted to say, “How can ever know His plans?” Christians live in the era of the Spirit. He lives in us. As you allow Him to direct your thoughts, if you will readily respond in faith right now, given what you know of Him in this moment, He will unfold the mysteries of His plan as you need to know it. “People who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.“ (1 Corinthians 2:14-16, NLT) The Holy Spirit allows us to think like Jesus, to discern the Divine Plan.
Are you facing something that looks impossible? Before you start to tell God, “I can’t do it” worship Him for His greatness. Ask Him to lift your thoughts into the high ground of faith, to open your eyes to Heaven’s resources. Then, thank Him profusely for His “great and precious promises … that enable you to share his divine nature.” (2 Peter 1:4, NLT)