F A C I N G N E W C H A L L E N G E S
John 6:3-4 (NLT)
3 Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. 4 (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.)
Jesus had been ministering for days at his believers conference.
a. now, sitting on top of a mountain, they take a break
John 6:5 (NLT)
Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?”
Then out of nowhere, He asks Philip an unusual question
Jesus is asking Philip to solve a problem.
a. the boys had been working hard during the conference
b. they finally get to sit down and take a break
c. in the middle of their break...Jesus brings up another thing for them to do
d. how to feed a multitude
Jesus didn’t ask Philip if they had enough money to feed all of them.
a. even if they did have the money...
- they are sitting on top of a remote mountain
- there are no markets nearby
- and more than likely, one market couldn’t handle that load of people
But why did Jesus ask Philip this question ?
a. and why Philip and not the others
John 6:6 (NLT)
He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.
Jesus wanted to prove Philip.
prove - Gk - peirazo - to test
- to scrutinize, meaning to examine closely and thoroughly
- to discipline
- to test in order to examine the quality of a substance
based on the definitions of the word “ prove “ , this was a test to make Philip better
Notice, it says that Jesus already knew what he was going to do.
That shows us that not all of the challenges we face is the devil at work.
a. we have a tendency to rely on our income
b. or our talents and abilities
It also shows us that even while you are serving God, God may see you as a candidate for a time of proving.
a. we get so used to the way things were going
b. so when God enters us into a new season
- we expect the old ways to work during the transition
Galatians 3:3 (NLT)
How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?
We have a tendency become dependant on the arm of the flesh.
a. even if we have been Christians for years
New seasons require fresh faith.
a. your response to lack will always expose your level of faith
b. and any trace elements of pride
John 6:10 (NLT)
“Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered 5,000.)
Here, we see a great, overwhelming need.
a. how do you feed 5000 men, not including the women and children in the middle of nowhere
b. sounds like Moses in the desert...but he did it daily
c. today, that would mean that Phillip would need a minimum of $5000 to buy loaves of bread for every man and his family...NOW
Jesus asked Philip this question to expose any deficiency in his faith.
a. notice Philips response.
John 6:7 (NLT)
Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”
Phillip just got out of a church service with Jesus as the main speaker.
Philip had seen Jesus perform every kind of miracle;
a. cleansing lepersd. casting out devils and unclean spirits
b. healing bodiese. turning water into wine
c. raising the deadf. watching blind and deaf cured
In addition, he also served in the ministry and experienced some of these.
This was a totally different kind of problem...
a. because it didn’t deal with just one or two individuals at a time
b. the numbers were bigger
c. this required thousands
Isaiah 43:18 (MSG)
"Forget about what's happened; don't keep going over old history.
We become acclimated, accustomed to certain things...
a. and when a new problem arises that we have had no experience in
b. instead of believing God, we react...naturally
Isaiah 43:19 (MSG)
Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new. It's bursting out! Don't you see it? There it is! I'm making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.
You cannot use old familiar roads in new places.
a. remember, this was a God challenge
The other disciples fell for the same trap.
a. they leaned on logic and reason
John 6:8-9 (NLT)
8 Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. 9 “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”
The only one being tested was Philip, but now Andrew got involved.
Notice, he had a natural, logical response as well when he said “But what good is that with this huge crowd?”
When new challenges come, it is easy to get trapped.
a. reason wants you to see te bare minimum
b. doubt wants you to see loss and devastation
1 Peter 4:12 (MSG)
Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job.
New challenges expose our faith deficiency.
1 Peter 4:13 (MSG)
Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
Glory is just around the corner!
Usually when you are asked to do something that seems impossible to the natural mind, Jesus is the One behind it, not the devil.
a. the devil is not going to ask you to do anything
b. the devil is satisfied with you just sitting there doing nothing
When the mind says it can’t be done, Jesus is usually behind the request.
a. His request may expose that you need more faith in that area.
Whatever area you struggle with, that’s where faith needs to be developed.
A. Go back to John 6:6
John 6:6 (MSG)
He said this to stretch Philip's faith. He already knew what he was going to do.
Jesus already knew what He was going to do.
a. obviously it would involve the lad and the fishes....how can you tell
b. the answer is found in verse 5....let’s read it again
John 6:5 (MSG)
When Jesus looked out and saw that a large crowd had arrived, he said to Philip, "Where can we buy bread to feed these people?"
saw - Gk - theamai - to look closely
- to attend a theater, watching very closely and listening intently
Jesus had already scanned the crowd and obviously had seen the boy with the fishes and loaves.
a. He saw the answer before he asked the question
What the disciples didn’t catch was His ability to multiply whatever He could get His hands on.
When faced with a new challenge that exposes our deficiency of faith...
a. there are some keys that we can glean from incident
#1.God will usually have someone within your midst to help meet your need.__________________________________________________
Luke 6:38 (NLT)
Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
When facing new challenges, we do the exact opposite.
a. but we tell people we are trusting God
But pride in receiving becomes another issue.
#2. Usually it will be from the least likely source.________________
Isaiah 55:8 (MSG)
"I don't think the way you think. The way you work isn't the way I work." GOD's Decree.
God has a wonderful way of surprising us.
#3. It will take an act of humility on your part to receive it.____
1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.
Humility proceeds promotion!
#4. Understand that the answer doesn’t always come in one lump sum. Sometimes what God sends you is the beginning of what He is going to multiply._________________________________
Matthew 13:23 (KJV)
But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Starting out with a thirty fold return doesn’t mean that’s all that is going to come.
a. sometimes in comes in increments
#5. Don’t critique or analyze it when it first comes in. Express gratitude that God is on the move on your behalf.__________
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (MSG)
thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
It may actually start small to see if you will complain or remain.
#6. Just follow His directions on how He wants you to handle the challenge.____________________________________________
Isaiah 1:19-20 (KJV)
19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
Most people never achieve their potential because they refuse to meet the conditions that God set forth.
#7. Maintain your faith in the midst of facing your challenges. You’ll probably end up with more than what you expected.__
Ephesians 3:20 (MSG)
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
New challenges are promotions waiting to happen.
The next time you face an impossible situation, it may not be a satanic attack.
Jesus may be exposing any lack of faith in your life.
He already knows the solution.
The trick is, will you turn to Him to see what He would have you to do.
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