“Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread that these may eat?” But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.”
Philip answered Him, “two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.” One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.”
Last week’s message was about how Jesus gave Philip an opportunity to believe for a miracle. God desires to fuel our faith and expand our expectors! He wants us to believe for greater and better and see all His promises fulfilled in our lives. He is calling us to higher ground.
In this message we see two different responses people have when needs arise in their lives. Our responses stem from our perceptions and from the level of faith in our hearts. Philip & Andrew saw the vastness of the need. Philip observed that even 200 denarii worth of bread would only be sufficient to partially meet their need. A denarii was generally accepted as a day’s wage in New Testament times, so Philip was talking about a large sum of money (in his view), which would take someone a long time (approximately 8 months) to earn. This probably made this an insurmountable problem to him.
Andrew could see some potential in the solution before him, but he still looked at the five barley loaves and two small fish in the boy’s basket and said “what are they among so many?” All he saw was just two small fish and five small loaves. He probably felt completely inadequate in the face of the challenge before them, but that is a good place to be. It is the point when we realize that we cannot make something happen in our own strength because the situation is completely beyond our finite abilities to change. This is where we finally give God room to work a miracle!
You may be reading this message today while facing a big financial, healing, or other need in your life. It could be that the challenge you face is dominating your vision and has become all you are able to see. Perhaps you have looked at your own abilities or resources and felt that they could never be enough. Like Andrew, your heart is probably filled with the ‘buts’ which arise, and you may have asked yourself multiple times how you could possibly make it all work. God has an answer for you today!
Jesus lifted up His eyes. His focus was on heaven when He said “Make the people sit down.” He expected a miraculous multiplication and saw it as He looked up into the Father’s face! This is faith. When faced with a need, all we are expected to do is to lift up our eyes to our Father. We are not expected to do anything to make things happen unless He tells us to. When we lock gazes with our supernatural Abba, He releases into our lives His supernatural power which makes everything possible. He fills us with faith. In Psalm 123: 1-2 we read “Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God.”
Friend, whatever need you are faced with right now, Daddy God is asking you to take your eyes off your challenges and fix them on Him. Lift up your eyes to heaven because it is where your help comes from (Psalm 121:1), from God our creator and King. When we look into our Father’s face, we instantly enter a realm of limitless possibilities because there is nothing too hard for our Lord! As you seek to overcome, the blessed Holy Spirit is reaching out to you today. If you have been experiencing sleeplessness and/or oppressive dreams, or living with fear and distress in your life, He is calling you to lift your eyes to Him each night before you sleep. Perhaps you are someone who has been feeling overwhelmed because your doctor has given you a bad report. The Holy Spirit extends the same invitation to you as He says “Lift your eyes up to Jesus”. Come to Him through worship. Hear Him through His Word. Just focus on His glory and goodness.
There is an old song which goes like this: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face; and the things of the earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” Your breakthrough begins, as you turn your eyes away from your problems and upon Him. You will be able to expect the victory that is yours and see your faith fulfilled. Jesus requested the people to sit down in readiness for the abundance He brought into their lives, and He is saying the same to you today. Get ready for your miracle because God is moving in your life!
I pray today that you will have very special encounters with Jesus as you lift up your eyes and turn them on Him. I pray that you will see great answers to prayer as you believe and expect the breakthrough you seek, in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen!
Minoli Haththotuwa, 26 August 2013