At a new church opening celebration a well-meaning parishioner was praying for the offering. He said, “God is so generous because He only asks for 10%, but He gives us 90%.” My friend sitting next to me said, “That’s great. We give 10%, and we get 90%. Cool.” Many of us know that God asks us to tithe 10%, but it was said in a way I’d never thought of it. I was still thinking when the senior pastor went up to introduce a guest speaker. Before he began his introduction he paused and gave a look of hesitation, the kind you give when you don’t want to do or say something, but you feel a nudging. He said, “When we give God what we have he gives us what we need. It’s not that we give 10% and get 90%. He always gives us 100% of what he knows we need.” He went on to refer to the loaves and fishes, saying, “Five loaves and two fish equals whatever you need.”
This statement has been on my mind ever since. Jesus did not perform a magic trick nor did he run to the store like an anxious housewife and buy up all the loaves and fishes at the local Safeway. Matthew 14 tells us “[he] looked up into the sky and asked God’s blessing on the meal.” Brothers and Sisters, why do we hoard our belongings, cling to our money, our house, our car, our time when if we come to terms with the fact that all of those things belong to God and not us He will give us all we need? Jesus looked up into the sky and submitted his last five loaves and two fish to God, trusting that He would give whatever they needed.
The submission to God is where I fail. I think, ‘Okay, today I’m going to lay down my life, my all to God and it’s gonna be great.’ Then the moment something looks like it’s going to fail I pick up what I just laid down and try to work it out myself. What if Jesus had asked God’s blessing on this meal to feed 5,000 and as soon as He cut off the 13th piece thought, ‘Nope! I gave it a shot, but this isn’t going to work out’? What if He had left it at that and called it a day, only feeding the 12 disciples and himself? It would have been such a waste of miracle, and yet we don’t see the potential for these miracles in our everyday surrender to God.
If we trust Him we need to show it. Just like you tell your kids or your spouse, if you love me show it. Let’s stop saying we love and trust God and show Him by laying it all down and not picking it back up. Just leave it there at the foot of the throne and see how He provides. This is a message for myself just as much, if not more than it is a message to you because I like to control things. I like to know exactly what will happen, but I do know what will happen. When I submit to Him I will experience amazing abundance.
Heavenly Father, We don’t want money or material things or even security because we want You and in You we have all we need. We use need for control as an excuse for never completely submitting to you, but we give up that excuse knowing that You are our provider and protector, our Jehovah Jireh. In You we fear nothing, not even our need for control. Thank you, Lord, for showing us grace when we have failed to submit to you, and teach us to trust in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.