Luke 9:10-17 :
He took them, and withdrew apart to a deserted place of a city called Bethsaida. But the multitudes, perceiving it, followed him. He welcomed them, and spoke to them of the Kingdom of God, and he cured those who needed healing. The day began to wear away; and the twelve came, and said to him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and farms, and lodge, and get food, for we are here in a deserted place.”
But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.”
They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we should go and buy food for all these people.” For they were about five thousand men.
He said to his disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” They did so, and made them all sit down. He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to the sky, he blessed them, and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. They ate, and were all filled. They gathered up twelve baskets of broken pieces that were left over.
This passage gives us some insight into a problem we have when trying to discover the will of God and I would like to highlight that part of this story today. In this point, it is probable that the disciples and Jesus were both pretty exhausted from their ministry. They were constantly surrounded by large groups of people who wanted healing and evidently, at this point, the people had not concerned themselves with how they were going to eat that day.
It was different for the disciples. They were evidently a bit concerned with how they were going to eat so they suggested that Jesus send them away. Now, we know from other things that Jesus says that He highly values our focus to be on Him an not on our circumstances. The disciples, here, were actually suggesting that the crowd do the opposite and leave Jesus and get food instead. I’m pretty sure that this was not a good idea to Jesus at all. At this point, the disciples discover God’s will for their lives that day. He tells them to feed the people who numbered over 5,000.
Now, the disciples had discovered the will of God for their lives, but they immediately disagreed with the orders. It is quite possible that they were expecting a different answer. This is how it can be for us when we seek the will of God in our lives. God almost always asks us to do something that we know we cannot do. He does this on purpose because He knows that we are not to do it by our own powers and abilities. Often, however, we don’t think spiritually and start trying to calculate how we will be able to accomplish the goals on our own as the disciples did here.
Notice that the disciples eventually did decide to bring what they had to Jesus. That is what we should do too. Sure we can’t do what God has asked of us, but we can bring what we have to Him and find out what happens.
Jesus happily took what they had and, by His power, made them able to do the job. Somewhere in the process, the impossible was made possible and the disciples ended up doing more than was needed! If we ask to know God’s will when we have already been told the impossible thing we are supposed to be doing, we should not be surprised if things get quiet between ourselves and God. God expects us to obey and be blessed by seeing what He will do through us by His power, but if we purposefully avoid His will, we can’t expect Him to keep talking to us. Graciously, God does work with us until we do come to grips with what He wants like He did with the disciples in this story.