An Inexhaustible Supply

bank teller with child

A very wealthy nobleman died and left his faithful servant an exceedingly large amount of money in a bank account that was easily accessible. The servant decided one day to go the bank and ask if it would be possible for him to withdraw a tiny amount for an item he wanted to buy. The teller explained to him in many different ways that he could have the small amount, but he now also had access to much, much more. But it did no good. He had never had much, and he just couldn’t comprehend the concept of asking for more than he had ever had before. He only wanted his tiny request fulfilled so he could purchase one item and then return to his little home. Years went by with him continuing to make similar small requests. From a purely ascetic aspect, this servant did do one admirable thing—he did not give in to fleshly indulgences and squander the money frivolously. He also spared himself the burden of managing his wealth, and he never had any fear of it being stolen from his house or wallet. But he also never made good use of the abundance the nobleman had supplied for him. After many years, the servant died in poverty, never having realized that he had forfeited a fortune.

How often we, like this servant, don’t want to burden God with our needs beyond those which we consider trivial. God is limitless—but in our finite wisdom, we often exhibit a false humility, thereby limiting what He can do for us. How many times do we treat God this way as His children?

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26).

Why put God in a box when it comes to making our needs and desires known to Him? He is our Heavenly Father! He certainly does not want His children in lack. He says in the book of Psalms, “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof” (Psalms 50:10-12). If He owns it all, why would He object to His own children drawing on His abundance and having all their needs met?

Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:7-11).

All God expects is for us to come to Him asking and believing. Too many simply ask and that is the end of it; there is no anticipation of receiving. In fact, some even forget they asked at all. When God says to ask, He wants us to keep on asking—not as vain repetition, but to prove the depth of our desire to Him. Then there are others who ask with reservation. They simply can’t believe that God will meet all of their need, so they ask hesitantly, only hoping and expecting to receive a small portion of it. This is not faith, but doubt! When we don’t fully expect God to fulfill our requests, we are limiting Him. In essence, we are saying that His supply is not sufficient to meet every need that we may have. The Apostle Paul said, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 emphasis mine). That ‘all’ Paul mentions here encompasses both physical and spiritual need.

Yet, while God’s supply is inexhaustible, it is not unconditional. “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:3). Our Heavenly Father graciously supplies our need according to His will.

A loving father is not going to give his young child a flame-thrower or a rhinoceros just because he asks for it. He knows what is best for His children, and won’t give them something that they are not yet mature enough to handle.

The same idea applies with our Heavenly Father. When we ask for something we are incapable of managing, or when our heart’s desires are actually selfish, He will not supply it until we are at a proper level of spiritual maturity. What God really wants is for us to be in such a close relationship with Him that we do not have to wonder whether or not our requests align with His will. Then we will know how to ask according to His will, and that our requests will therefore be granted.

Where do we stand when it comes to asking of our Heavenly Father? Are we asking Him to be generous and believing that we will receive, in His timing? Or are we like this servant, limiting God by asking for just the bare minimum, never believing that He can give us more than enough to meet our needs and is willing to do so? Do we embarrass God by always walking around in rags, as if He is incapable of meeting all of our needs? God is greater than all the universes combined; ask Him for the maximum, not just enough to get by! Seek Him not for what we think we can handle, but for what He knows we are ready to handle. God wants to move us out of the little sphere that we have carved out for ourselves and into the big realm that He has made for us. Ask Him for what you need and partake of His inexhaustible supply freely and without reservation!

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Little is Much

 

 

kneeling at cross

 

 

“And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat. He answered…Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat? He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes. And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass…And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men” (Mark 6:35-44).

Jesus had been teaching the people in a solitary part of the region for much of the afternoon. They had come because they were hungry, not for physical food, but for the truth (spiritual food). The people sought Jesus because they knew He taught the truth. Even though Jesus was physically tired at this point, (since He had originally come with His disciples to this desert location for rest), He was strengthened by the people’s desire to hear and learn God’s Word.

Jesus’ disciples, however, grew more concerned with getting physical food for the people than about them hearing the truth.

As the evening drew near, the disciples urged Him to send the people away to find something to eat. The idea never occurred to them that perhaps Jesus could provide for their physical needs as well as their spiritual needs. Of course, Jesus was fully aware of their concerns. “When Jesus then lifted up [His] eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do” (John 6:5, 6). Surprised (and perhaps shocked) at His response, the disciples immediately looked to their own selves to provide food for this great assembly. (Some scholars believe that there could have been over 15,000 individuals present). They replied, “…Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth [several thousand of dollars worth] of bread, and give them to eat?” (Mark 6:37). They really believed that Jesus might be out of His mind at this point, because He was expecting them to meet all of these people’s needs. They had probably expected Jesus to respond, “You’re right, we really ought to send them back to the nearest villages and let them get fed there.”

Jesus wasn’t fazed by all of this though. Instead, He let them see for themselves just how little they had for such a great need. If they hadn’t known what they had begun with, then the full depth of the miracle that Jesus was about to perform wouldn’t have been realized. After they took the smattering of provisions (enough for only a few to eat) over to Him and had the people sit in an orderly manner on the grass, He blessed and broke the bread, then the fish, and gave them to the disciples to be distributed among the people. Notice that He never gave any of these provisions directly to the people Himself—it was always through His disciples. In the end, there was so much distributed from the hands of Jesus that everyone was able to eat and be filled. No lack was mentioned and a dozen basketfuls were still leftover.

How many times do we believers in Jesus Christ go to Him first for our needs, both great and small? When Jesus is trusted solely, a small amount yields an overabundance.

Trying to meet a great need by ourselves is the same kind of problem as the disciples trying to feed the whole multitude with the tiny provisions that were available. Jesus never told them to go and buy all of the food, or to take the loaves and fishes and give everyone just a crumb or two of bread. (We won’t even try to determine how much of a portion of those two fish they would have to give!). That is why Jesus told them “you give them something to eat.” He knew that in their hearts that they would say “We can’t; He will have to do something!”

God wants us, as His children, dependent upon Him for our needs. When we look to our self, we take our eyes off of Him, and meeting our need becomes more and more insurmountable to us. The need doesn’t have to be just for food. It can also be in other areas, physical or spiritual. “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

The problem comes when we limit God. The disciples tried to limit God, as in the example above of the five thousand being fed, by implying that the people needed to leave in order to be fed.

They felt that Jesus was so absorbed in teaching and healing the people that He had forgotten about the basic needs of the people and that He needed the disciples to remind Him of this. How often do we limit God, or put Him “in a box,” by saying that He can meet these particular needs, but He probably won’t be able to meet these other needs? How many times are we impatient with God meeting our needs and end up taking care of them ourselves? How many times do we hurt or insult God by not having complete faith in Him?

We must remember that God is always in control of the situation; we are the ones that lose control and become anxious. We are to place our needs and circumstances in the hands of Jesus and let go, not picking them up later when He doesn’t respond or do anything in our anticipated timeframe. If we take back the needs that we laid in His hands, we are effectively saying that we don’t fully trust Him in everything and that we will take care of it ourselves. Again we are back to limiting God. [Cast] all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Remember that the disciples never even asked Jesus to provide for the people’s needs. How much more will He respond when we really do ask and fully believe?