Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?” 6 This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do. John 6:5-6
Let’s face it, most believers are in denial concerning the testings of the Lord. Whether we admit to it or not, the Lord does allow times of testing so that we might know where we stand, spiritual speaking. These “pop quizzes” are opportunities for us to discern whether we are making it or faking it! Tests are God’s diagnostic tools. Yeah! The Lord is not out to hurt us, but to help us along in our journey to be like Christ.
Like the test in our passage today, our times of testing are predetermined by the Lord. Jesus knew what He was going to do in situations like this, but Phillip and the rest were totally confounded. It is my observation that if the Lord gives you a test, especially your first time through the test, you are usually going to fail that test! Failure is not a bad thing. Remember, tests are a part of the growing process, not opportunities for you to appear like a perfect Christian before the Lord. If you really have your act together, you wouldn’t have received the test.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; I Peter 4:12
Our goal should be to welcome all the movements of God in our lives, including tests. The truth is God grows us in our weakness and failures, not in our successes. Most us are just like Phillip in our story today. We struggle with the tasks the Lord gives us. We cannot feed 15,000 people with no resources. We say things like, “I’m just struggling with the will of God.” We say it like God’s will is an obstacle to overcome. We are suggesting that ministry would be easier if God were out of the picture. The real struggle is not with God’s will, but our will! So we say things like, “How am I going to get all this done with so few resources. Where am I going to get enough bread, enough fish, enough resources to feed all of God’s people.”
Like Phillip, God tests us enough times until we have seen the situation enough to recognize the testing and then grow. The Lord requires that we “find Him” inside the test. The real test is to find God when you absolutely need Him most!
How are you going to feed the multitudes in your life? Find the Lord and find the answer. Whatever you are going through, find the Lord in the midst of your time of testing and everything will change. The Lord is not trying to pull you under, but to put you over to the next level.