God’s Math in Todays World
Jesus said, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:19,20).
And in an account we love to share, He demonstrated this with the feeding of the 5000. “When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten” (John 6:5-13).
So much happens when we share, and in particular when we share a meal. The devil wants us to stay isolated and intimidated to ask for assistance when it comes to finances. People are very selective in what they share and who they share with so they end up with a multitude of random thoughts and ideas and opinions, as opposed to a strategy that considers how “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).
Jesus is the ‘bread of life’ and when we gather to break bread and drink wine in remembrance of Him we are nourishing our body, soul and spirit. We are strengthened, encouraged, and filled with hope. These things multiply in all areas of our life. There are so many examples of multiplying something small to overflow with blessings for many, yet we seem to forget this when it comes to finances and tend to focus on what we can do on our own strength.
Let me share a brief story: When my business fell apart I was left to learn and handle a lot of things on my own. There were some amazing people who came alongside for some encouragement, ultimately my new partners became my husband and the Holy Spirit. Our journey through the wilderness actually began to accelerate when we invited the Holy Spirit into our marriage so we each had a relationship with the Lord through the Spirit plus we had our relationship with Him as a couple in covenant marriage. This has led us on a journey where we are meeting and sharing life with a whole new group of people because God moved us off ‘the island’ and onto the mainland.
As we eat, drink, pray and do life with people we share spiritual and physical ‘fruit’ which encourages us with new ideas and opportunities. An example of this is the community kitchen where Joe heads up the ministry for our church. That wasn’t on our radar at all. Yet, we love to entertain and share meals with others and many ideas have been birthed as a result of the ‘soup kitchen’. Some of those ideas are for us, some are for the guests and some for the volunteers.
One big idea has been the crystallization of the vision God has birthed in both Joe and I involving our home and ministry / retreat centre. There has been lots of discouragement as we have looked at the circumstances and have worked on our own towards the realization of this vision. If we consider all the pieces of this vision based on our own strength it’s simply overwhelming and invites the devil to come in and set us up for defeat. But because we have a mindset of multiplication, every time either of us gets discouraged it’s because we are under the influence of being alone which leaves us looking at the circumstances we can see, as opposed to the promises God has for us. This is one reason why I am so committed to the concept of community for financial grace; especially for singles navigating the financial reality of life on their own.
I realize a lot of this message, might seem discombobulated, where you’re wondering how it all connects and maybe that’s my point. Sometimes things don’t seem to connect and they don’t seem to add up given our current reality. But, ‘where 2 or more are gathered in my name, there I am also’ just might mean that we can chose to dine with Jesus ourselves, or we can choose to dine with Him and others to multiply His blessings in our life and other’s lives. Think about this: in today’s world we typically buy our food. That means someone was paid to work in the store or restaurant which is a blessing to them as well as to the business that employs them and all the people involved in growing, producing, shipping and preparing the food.
Remember if your primary focus in on what you can see and how you can cut back, you are missing the overflow of blessings that comes from sharing and ‘eating’ from the ideas and encouragement of an abundance of Holy Spirit inspired people!