In this excerpt from Jim Minor's book, Church Shouldn't Suck The Life Out Of You, he explains the power of God's provision in the Christian life through obedience. When the facts fail to support the intended outcome, that's where faith steps in.
After one of His sessions of preaching, Jesus told His disciples to feed the large crowd that had gathered there to listen to Him. His instructions stumped the disciples, because they had only a small boy’s lunch of five loaves of bread and two fish. In the end, five thousand men had eaten their fill, and there was even food left over. (See, for example, John 6:5–13.) The feeding of the five thousand is often used to illustrate how Christ can accomplish a lot with just a little, but I think that this teaching misses the major point.
Jesus was also sharing with the disciples with His plan and vision for what He wanted to accomplish: “Feed the people!” The disciples watched as Jesus thanked His Father for the food, and then they distributed it until everyone had enough. It was indeed a miracle—a small boy’s lunch had fed five thousand men, plus women and children. God had worked through His Son, who was fully man, to multiply the food to the point where every need was met, and there was more food left over than what they had started with.
Everything Jesus did was an example of how we, as His followers, should walk on earth. It’s all about fulfilling the will of the Father. God is ready to use our hands to feed the hungry exactly as He used Jesus’ hands to feed them. God’s heart is for the hungry to be fed—that is His vision.
To accomplish His vision, He will always provide the provision.
Ignoring Your Natural Eyes
As the church, we simply need to operate in that reality rather than act according to what we see with our natural eyes. If we begin to move, God will provide the means. After all, it is His will that is being accomplished, not our own. It is His vision and His plan, and He will make sure that it comes to pass.
None of the ministries I mentioned that we launched made any logical sense when we started it. We looked at what God had called us to do, we looked at the resources we had on hand, and then we looked at each other and said, “That’s too big. We can’t do that now.”
There was never enough money, never enough time, never enough manpower available. And yet, God always made a way, because these were things He wanted to see accomplished. They were things that touched His heart, and as we jumped in and got started, He sent the provision we needed. He miraculously multiplied what little we had in order to accomplish His goals. We simply had to keep our focus on Jesus Christ and His vision rather than on our available resources. We had to believe that what Jesus told us was possible rather than what our circumstances told us was possible.
At The Harvest, since we are after the things that touch God’s heart, we operate under an open heaven. He is our Source. We never look at numbers on a page in order to determine if we can move forward; we just stay focused on what God tells us to do. Our job is to see His vision and to walk toward it; His job is to provide the means to get there.
Because we are the church of the Creator of everything, our decisions should never be based on money. Money is such a fickle thing, such a shaky foundation, to base our actions on. To create a budget based on the funds that came in last month, and to allow that number to be the main determining factor in what we are going to do next month, completely shuts God out of the process.
To count our money, look at our options, chart our course, and then ask God to bless it is walking forward in the power of money rather than in the power of the Almighty. It is placing our faith in the manna rather than in the One who provides it.