Here’s a faith-building exercise: Take one of the miracles of the Bible—any miracle will do—and write a list of reasons why it couldn’t be done.
For instance, let’s take the feeding of the five thousand. That one’s easy because Philip and Andrew already told us why it couldn’t be done:
Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.—John 6:7
There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?—John 6:9
“We don’t have enough money” and “There are too many people.”
Philip and Andrew were right, of course—they didn’t have enough money, and there were too many people.
We can never do ministry to the “exceeding, abundantly above” level that God desires for us—and God doesn’t expect us to. He wants us to come to the end of ourselves and then look to Him to do something bigger than we are capable of.
Here’s the thing: God won’t do something bigger if we stick with our excuses.
You and I will always have good reasons why we can’t press forward in faith. But if we are excuse-orientated—seeing the obstacles as why we can’t instead of why God will—we’ll never see God do something great through us.
When Jesus told His disciples on the hillside that day, “Give ye them to eat,” He full well knew they couldn’t do it. He knows yours and my limitations too. But He instructs us to do what we cannot do so we will look to Him for the miraculous.
Unfortunately, instead of looking to Him for the miraculous, we, like Philip and Andrew, often list our reasons why we can’t do it.
As our church begins a new fall season of ministry, I could make a list of why reaching the world from our church can’t be done. I can’t change a lost person’s heart. Our church family can’t turn our community upside down for Christ. We don’t have the financial resources to build every building we’d like to build and support every missionary.
So we can focus on these obstacles, borrowing Philip’s line and saying “________ is not sufficient for __________.” Or, we can put our excuses and reasons aside, give our all to the Lord, and just see what He does.
As Benjamin Franklin wisely said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
Has God given you an assignment that is bigger than your resources? If so, lay aside excuses, step out in faith, and prepare to see God’s work unfold.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.—Ephesians 3:20–21