Friday, October 17, 2014

The Journey, part 27: Divine Mathmatics

Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke them, and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the people. And they all ate and were satisfied; and the broken pieces which they had left over were picked up, twelve baskets full. (Luke 9:16-17 NASB)

Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted. (John 6:11 NASB)

The account of the feeding of the five thousand is given in all four gospels. In my Bible, I have a notation at the verse in John that is listed above, and it is the mathematic signs for subtract, add, divide, and multiply. It was written as a reminder of the mathematics of faith. 

When we relinquish all we have to Jesus, here's what He does:
Subtraction: Jesus took the loaves
Addition: He gave thanks
Division: He broke the loaves 
Multiplication: He distributed the food to all that were seated, everyone had as much as they wanted, and there was food left over. 

In the economy of God, what He provides IS enough. That comes with a caveat, however. For what He gives to be "more than enough", we have to begin with divine subtraction. That which He gives to us must be given back to Him, to do with as He wills. No hoarding for ourselves allowed. 

The boy who gave his lunch had two options. He could give his lunch to Jesus, or he could eat the whole thing himself. He would likely have had his hunger satisfied either way. By giving it to Jesus, however, he not only had his hunger satisfied, but he also was allowed to be a participant in a miracle so big that we still speak of it more than two thousand years later. Because of the willing participation of a young boy in the demonstration of divine mathematics of God, thousands of people were satisfied, thousands personally experienced the miracle of Christ. 

This business of holding our resources with open hands is difficult for those of us with much. We want to continue to have much, and we fear risking our lifestyle by relinquishing control of those resources to God. We instinctively know that He wants it all. We also want it all. It is an epic struggle for surrender, and one we cannot win. Our resources were entrusted to us by God and were His initially. He has loaned them to us for a time. They are in much better hands when we return them to Him. 

This does not mean that we empty our bank accounts and put the money in an offering plate. It means that every expenditure is filtered through the will of God. It means that our desire for acquiring more is replaced by a desire to give more, to help more, to make a greater difference. Perhaps our desire to "modernize" our homes could be replaced by a desire to make the home of someone in need more secure. Perhaps we could do more for others if we did less for ourselves. 

What resources has God placed in your hands? How are you using them for the Kingdom of God? Do you hold your possessions with tightly clenched fists, hoping to keep control, or with open hands, allowing God full access to all He has placed there?

In God's economy, all He has given us is more than enough, but only when we relinquish control of His gifts and let Him have His way. Open your hands, friends. Open your hands.