Putting God's Word into Practice…

John 6:1-21 Importance of Asking

on May 21, 2012

This is my fourth time meditating on Jesus feeding the 5,000 men plus women and children.  Even as I started to read, I thought, only God can give me something fresh from this–so that’s what I asked of Him.  Asking God is really important.  When situations arise that are seemingly impossible, overwhelming and out of our control, they tend to lead to fear and anxiety and fretting.  That is what happened with the disciples.

In John 6:5-6 Jesus asked Philip how they could feed so many people as a test.  Jesus “himself knew what he would do.”  Jesus is never caught off guard, never surprised.  In Isaiah 65:24 it says, “Before they call I will answer!”  My problem–and the disciples,too–is that I am not an asker.  I fret, I manipulate, I plan.  I have a hard time saying, “I don’t know how to do this, will you help?”  That’s really all Philip had to say when Jesus asked him how to feed so many.

A simple boy gave all he had to Jesus–5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.  Jesus thanked the Father for it.  Sometimes I think I would be more prone to be grateful after the miracle, after seeing the leftovers.  Jesus was thankful for just the little gift provided and the anticipation of something great.

I think verse 10 might be my favorite.  Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.”  NOW THERE WAS MUCH GRASS IN THE PLACE.  Jesus is the one who created grass from nothing and made it reproduce abundantly just for the people to have a nice place to sit!  He is a generous and lavish provider!

In the end, the people said, “Surely this is the Prophet!…and were about to take him by force to make him king.”  They recognized Jesus.  Do I see provision and abundance as coming from God?  Do I recognize that He alone is capable of giving everything I need and He is the one giving?  But more importantly than wanting Him as my King for all He provides, is wanting Him to be King of my whole life, because of Who He is!

Jesus slipped away by himself then and the disciples set out on the sea by boat at dark.  The sea became rough due to a strong wind.  They didn’t call out to Jesus and ask for help–maybe because He seemed too far away.  But Jesus came anyway.  He dispelled their fear and took them safely to their destination.  Life apart from Christ is filled with darkness, uncertainty and fear.  When Christ comes, He brings peace and direction.

In both instances, Jesus provided what they needed even without them asking.  I was thinking about it through the afternoon though and thought that asking is better.  I would rather humble myself and ask for help, acknowledging I need it, and see help come from God.  For me it would raise my gratitude.  Humility leads to gratitude.  Pride leads to shame.  

While reading The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis, we were at the part when Aslan sent Digory and Polly on a long journey to get one fruit seed to bring back to Narnia to protect the land and inhabitants from the Witch.  He sent them on a flying horse, but did not send along any provisions.

“Well I do think someone might have arranged about our meals,” said Digory.

“I’m sure Aslan would have, if you’d asked him,” said Fledge.

“Wouldn’t he know without being asked?” said Polly.

“I’ve no doubt he would,” said the Horse. “But I’ve a sort of idea he likes to be asked.”

When I don’t know what God wants me to learn from His Word–I need to ask Him.  When God puts before me a service opportunity that seems impossible–ask Him how to do it.  When I’m in the middle of a dark and fearful situation–ask Him to draw near and take me safely through it.

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