In my marriage one of my wife's biggest complaints about me is my hyper planning/preparing to do things. Everything has to be just "right" and all possibilities and ideas accounted for before I make the leap. Generally speaking, she is pretty spot on with her assessment. Sometimes I allow the façade of "just making sure" to be an excuse to not doing much of anything.
Thanks to her not giving up on me, I am getting better. Sometimes you just don't know what you don't know and you have to get going anyways! When we wait until everything is figured out, we will never start.
This a deep spiritual reality we face as Christians. We are too slow to act. Second guessing ourselves in the name of "wisdom" becomes the easiest way to avoid trying. How many meetings do you think we should have before we go share the Gospel with our neighbors? Perhaps a dozen...over the course of 5 years.... While we ponder and deliberate people who do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior are dying.
In John 6 we find the story of Jesus feeding 5000 people with nothing more than a few fish and loaves of bread. When the crowds arrive Phillip balks at the impossibility of being able to feed that many people. Andrew, on the other hand, says, "Hey check it out, found this kid with a few fish and bread...LETS DO THIS!!!"(I think I paraphrased a bit there.
Phillip wasn't wrong. It was practically impossible to feed that many people. But Andrew was right as well. The crowds came to hear Jesus and they needed help, so Andrew looked to what was possible and trusted Jesus for the impossible portion of the task.
Now this is not some call to be silly and irresponsible. This does not mean we should have a free for all on doing crazy things without being wise and honoring to God with our choices. But lets look at a few key components of this event and apply it to our own lives.
1) The crowds came to them(vs 1-5).
People were responding to the work of Jesus. The work of Jesus is what drew them and it was the work of Jesus that would provide for them. God does not call people to Himself and then act surprised and unprepared when they arrive. If God will bring them, God will take care of them.
Are you casting a wide net with the Gospel in your life? At your church? Or, are you trying to work within your comfortable parameters. A good friend once said that we should be in the business of creating logistical nightmares for the sake of the Gospel. Open up your doors wide and be excited when you run out of seats, because than you will really see God move!
2) Phillip limited his plans based on what he currently had on hand.(vs 7)
How many times have you avoided doing something for the Gospel because you weren't ready yet? Didn't know what to say? Didn't have the right information? That person was too smart? It wasn't a good week for you? That person seems to busy? Don't be Phillip, if you see the people, serve the people. Figure out the details later.
3) Andrew offered exactly what he had(vs 8-9)
Whatever is going on in your life RIGHT NOW, you are prepared for what God will put in front of you. Even if it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, take the best you currently can give, and give it.
4) Jesus takes over the show(vs 10-13)
After they had done the best they could do(a few fish and loaves) Jesus got to work. And not just handing out a few bites to the first 10 people in line. He did something amazing, miraculous, extraordinary. At this point in the event the disciples were no longer the drivers of the event, Jesus was.
Don't bring your best to Jesus and then keep micromanaging it. Do your best, and then do what Jesus tells you to do. We too often try to manipulate every step of a situation as if we can more ably cause the Spirit to act if we just try a biiiit harder.
5) The people knew who Jesus was(vs 14-15)
Here is the final key that challenges me to do it Jesus' way. We bring our best(which is not nearly enough) let God do the rest. And then people aren't saying, boy, that Andrew sure knows how to throw a party and keep things organized. They are instead seeing Jesus. How often do you do things in such a way that people notice YOU. When we only do that which is possible, it becomes all about us. When we run after the possible impossibilities you can't help but see the Risen Lord!
Whatever it is you are currently "holding back" on doing, stop waiting. Do it!
Well, there are some things that are impossible.....