God Has A Plan
God has a plan for everything; there is purpose in everything that He has planned. God’s plans are always detailed and decreed. The plans of God are designed in advance and are absolute in purpose; not merely a wish or command. Everything can be traced back to God's ultimate plan; “from Him are all things” (Rom. 11:36). He not only created all things (Gen. 1:1) but considered the blueprints for everything, and foreordained what would happen. He developed the plan before He laid the foundation. He pre-determined what would happen, not merely what could or should happen.
All that is required of us as saints is confidence and faith in that preordained divine plan. In John 11:40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” Jesus states that believing in God’s purpose is paramount. Hebrews 11:1 states that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things. Without faith, the all-important element of our Christian journey, we cannot see God or please Him. The qualification of diligence then imports a sense of a pre-prescribed way or method by which one must seek God.
God planned our lives; birth, living and death with His eternal purposes in mind. In Psalm 139:13- 18 David bears record that indeed the hand of the Lord was and remains in our daily lives from conception to the inception of birth and up until we finally give up the ghost. We are not accidents irrespective of how we arrived, but part of a larger, well-orchestrated intent that only God grasps the fullness of its truth because of the sheer enormity of his eternal plans in glory.
Our main text, John 6:1-15 featured the feeding of the crowd of five thousand men (not including women and children) by Jesus. The greatest lesson from this text is that Jesus is always in control because whatever happens in any circumstance and under any conditions never takes Him by surprise. God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. Having made all things in eternity before time, he looks down at us that live in the spectrum of time and knows all things from beginning to end and end to beginning because time exists in Him.
Verse 4-5 tells us that Jesus is on top of the mountain and looks up and sees the crowd. He had been focusing, and that heightens his discernment and perception. Focus is the womb of accomplishment. Jesus perceived that though they are there for a variety of reasons, they are hungry. Hungry for food, for change, for forgiveness, for liberty, for success, for security, for righteousness and more. Focus and meditation grant the quickening of His spiritual sensitivities. When on a mountain, focus! Forget about the world and let your time and energy be invested into concentrated dialogue with God. After that revelation, illumination always comes via the Holy Spirit.
Turning to Philip, he asks him “... where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” Phillip from Bethsaida (house or place of fishing) in Galilee (John 1:43-44) was a native of the area; he was uniquely qualified to help resolve the issue of finding food i.e. bread for the crowd. Jesus found Philip (salvation and election), but He wants to work with him (we) to buy bread. God needs a man to partner with to accomplish His work.
In the verse 6, we read that the question was as much a test to Philip and Andrew as to the rest of the disciples. Did they understand the spiritual responsibilities that a crowd brought with it as they sought to receive and hear hopefully heed the word of God? Did they comprehend what it would mean to feed the sheep? Jesus had His answers, but needed to see if they were on the same page. The use of the phrase “where shall we” suggests that there must be a specific place, and that the search for bread, the life sustaining essence of our existence, cannot be done in isolation. Function together, seek together, find together! Because ministry is teamwork.
He asks Philip only to test him since he already had an answer in mind and knew what he was going to do. Philip’s response was to suggest that it was too costly, impossible and the gesture might not be appreciated. He shirked the responsibility and indicated implicitly that the venture was not worth it. As people entrusted by God with other souls and lives, what is our response and attitude to helping or seeking the welfare of others entrusted into our care? Are we willing to do what it takes in the care and sustenance of the flock or are we full of excuses, apathy and unwillingness to work for the sake for those that depend on us spiritually?
Andrew speaks up about a little boy with five loaves and two fish. Once we fail to answer affirmatively or do the apt bidding of the master, He always raises alternatives to us. The voice of impossibility, discouragement and defeat can never have the final word. God always has “Calebs” and “Joshuas” with a different spirit and viewpoint handy. The boy represents the future and hope.
In verse 10, Jesus orders that the people should be organized and seated. Only the seated are to be fed the miracle food. Initially, He sat the disciples, now he seats the crowds. Order and process precede great miracles. Order is necessary for great grace and glory to be experienced. He gives thanks -appreciates the sovereignty of God over all issues and then breaks the bread. He hands it over first to the disciples to be distributed. Jesus works with authority, structure and systems. When these are developed he imparts or transfers grace and blessings via his set authority figures to be a blessing to all that seek him. He does not bypass what has been established.
When the miracle bread is distributed, there is overflow and overabundance. God’s supply is so great that once He blesses the seed, the harvest is triggered. Whenever we lift our little before God, it becomes much in His hands. Though there is overflow, they are not allowed to waste the harvest but save it. God is not a waster and does not approve of wastage of His provision. We must be careful managers of His resources and blessings. We must refrain from wasting and abusing the privilege of our blessings.
The crowd are awed and blown away. Jesus refuses their praise singing and removes himself from the scene. He preserves His integrity and maintains His focus on purpose because he knows where he is in the plan of God. God has a plan; we have a part to play. May we be plan-sensitive, purpose driven, kingdom oriented, people loving and Christ centered as we seek to walk by faith and not by sight. Shalom.