How is the Lord going to move you to new levels of growth and maturity? Most of the believers I know want to grow in the Lord. Is the growth going to happen by sitting in pews hearing sermon after sermon? Is growth really going to happen in Bible Study? Nothing wrong with attending church… but real growth and advancement in the Kingdom occurs due to the Lord’s testing process.
After one long day of teaching, Jesus looked upon His disciples and instructed them to “feed the people” He had been instructing. John gave us some inside information into the disciples dilemma. “Jesus made this request only to test them, for He already had in mind what he was going to do.” John 6:6
Jesus wanted to change the way His disciples thought, the way they processed information, the way they dealt with dilemmas… and most importantly what they believed concerning God’s power to minister to people. The Lord wanted his followers to understand that many of the dilemmas they faced were really opportunities for Him to reveal Himself to people.
Isn’t this the problem for most of us. When the Lord asks us to attempt something we are incapable of accomplishing, we misinterpret the situation and view it as an attack or curse. In Luke 9 there was absolutely no way the disciples could feed all the people. There was not enough money, not enough food on hand, and it was very late in the day.
Henry Blackaby, in his book “Experiencing God“, calls these situations “a crisis of belief.” Have you ever been there? If you are growing in the Lord, this should be happening numerous times a year. Now there is no question this was a God-sized assignment Jesus laid on His disciples. They had never walked this road before… and if the Lord didn’t intervene, they would fail and fall flat on their faces.
Please understand that this is the place where many (most) followers bail out. The Lord lays a God-sized assignment before them and they say, “I’m sorry, but I can’t”, which leads to “a crisis of belief”. The word “crisis” comes from a word which means “decision.” This crisis of belief becomes a turning point or fork in the road which demands a decision from us. Will we trust the Lord or shrink back? We don’t tell God… “no“. We say things like…”This can’t be God’s will. God wouldn’t be instructing me to do the impossible. I must have missed God’s will. The devil must have tricked me.”
It is in these crisis junctures where you decide what you believe about God and how you are going to respond to Him. How you respond when you reach this turning point will determine whether you go on to be involved with Him in something God-sized or whether you miss the opportunity the Lord has placed before you.
It has been these specific crisis of belief points which have defined your spiritual walk so far… not the amount of spiritual knowledge rolling around in your head. You don’t need more knowledge. You need to be responding in faith to opportunities God has already been placing before you. God’s presence and power only follows our obedience to His word and assignment.