“You are asking the impossible!”

wordswag_1583412276539

The person who is serious about following Jesus soon runs into His ‘impossible’ requests. He says to you and me –  “Build my Church!”  “Make disciples!” “Love your enemy!” “Forgive as I forgave you!”  “Die to Self.”  Maybe you are more optimistic about yourself than I, but that list, which is just a beginning, is marked by things that are simply not possible for me in my own natural strength.

That is where faith meets my inability.  I trust the Spirit to work a daily miracle of grace. Will you?

Here is a story about a day when Jesus made an impossible request of His friends. “When Jesus heard what had happened, (the execution of John, the Baptist) he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.” (Matthew 14:13-21, NIV)

You give them something to eat!”  The crowd numbered in the thousands, they were miles from any major town, and they had no money. Jesus seemed to be ignoring the reality of the situation. John’s Gospel adds the detail that it was Philip who spoke up. He said what they all thought. “It would take a small fortune, nearly a year’s wages, to buy bread, even if we could find any.” John tells us that 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!

God already has a plan for me, for you.
It may not align with our understanding in the moment. Who thought that a boy’s lunch was of much use in feeding a crowd of thousands that day so long ago? Instead of raising our objections, we can take our cue from Isaiah who teaches us to “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” (Isaiah 55:6, NIV)

Present yourself to Him, ready to respond. He can, and often does, work in our lives outside of our expectations.  Why? “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 I ever know His plans?”  The Spirit of God lives in us. When you face an ‘impossibility’  if you will readily respond in faith, given what you know of Him in this moment, He will unfold the mysteries of His plan as you need to know it.

Andrew may have felt foolish bringing a boy’s lunch to Jesus in response to His direction to feed the crowd, but it was all he had and he offered it.  That kind of faith pleases God and prepares us to find His way and will sufficient to live in obedience.  Is that a difficult truth for you to accept, sounding like nonsense?  Pray for the mind of Christ. Submit your thoughts to Him, choosing to be quiet, to wait, to listen.  This is not about being gullible, or charging off to just do something because you think God must bless every choice YOU make. That’s not faith, that is presumptuous nonsense. To see the hand of God at work often demands that we wait with patient hope.

God does ask the impossible of us – that we live as His children in this world. But, He is not cruel, nor does He throw us into the deep water and abandon us there. He leads, He empowers, He is present. So, take this word from the Word. My prayer is that the Truth will inspire 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)

Now, where is that hungry crowd that needs to be fed His Word?

__________

Christ Be Magnified  ( A new worship song by Cory Asbury.
Let it be your prayer today.)

Were creation suddenly articulate
With a thousand tongues to lift one cry
Then from north to south and east to west
We’d hear Christ be magnified

 Were the whole earth echoing His eminence
His name would burst from sea and sky
From rivers to the mountain tops
We’d hear Christ be magnified

 O Christ be magnified
Let His praise arise
Christ be magnified in me
O Christ be magnified
From the altar of my life
Christ be magnified in me

When ev’ry creature finds its inmost melody
And ev’ry human heart its native cry
O then in one enraptured hymn of praise
We’ll sing Christ be magnified

 I won’t bow to idols
I’ll stand strong and worship You
And if it puts me in the fire
I’ll rejoice ’cause You’re there too

 I won’t be formed by feelings
I hold fast to what is true
If the cross brings transformation
Then I’ll be crucified with You
(You can hang me there with You)

 ‘Cause death is just the doorway
Into resurrection life
If I join You in Your suff’rings
Then I’ll join You when You rise

 And when You return in glory
With all the angels and the saints
My heart will still be singing
My song will be the same

Cody Carnes | Cory Asbury | Ethan Hulse © 2019 Cory Asbury Publishing (Admin. by Bethel Music Publishing) Capitol CMG Paragon (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Writer’s Roof Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s