Recently Kayla and I went enjoyed a weekend together in Chicago. This was the first time we had been alone for more than a couple of hours in what seemed like forever.

After we checked into the hotel and unpacked we each went into our normal routines when we travel; I check all of the routes and details for the next days activities and she looks through all of the attractions and opportunities the area has to offer. We then begin a tango that sounds something like this…

Kayla: “We should go to Willis Tower.”

Me: “How much does that cost?”

Kayla: “We should visit the Naval Pier?”

Me: “How much does that cost?”

Kayla: “What about a river boat cruises? That would be fun right?”

Me: “How much does that cost?”

This is usually where the conversation turns into Kayla doing the lions share of the talking about how money doesn’t compare to memories and that I am not adventurous and should ‘live more.’

In the gospel of John, a familiar story shows Jesus having a similar conversation with his disciple, Phillip.

At this moment, Jesus is standing in front of the largest crowd in his earthly ministry. Most scholars suggest that the crowd numbers 15-20,000. He has been teaching for some time and the disciples notice that the people listening are beginning to get that hungry look in their eyes.

The disciples suggest dismissing the crowd so that they can leave in enough time to find food and shelter on their own.

Jesus on the other hand determines that he and his ministry team will serve the people by giving them something to eat.

With this in mind Jesus first looks to Philip…

John 6: 5 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?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Notice that Jesus asked Philip where he was going to go to meet the need, but Phillip’s response asked how much the need would cost

What is God asking you to do and your response wants to know how much it will cost? Where is God trying to meet a need and wants to include you but the cost of the time, effort, or money has left you mulling over a decision to participate?

I have found that often God provides me with opportunities to be apart of a miracle he is focused on doing but that I pick and choose based on what I am willing to give.

This exchange gives us insight into an important lesson…

Many people want to manage miracles. We say we want God to lead our lives and we want to play a part in his story but if the opportunity doesn’t meet our criteria we simple pass.

I am reminded of a scene in my favorite show, West Wing, in which a Whitehouse staffer completely disagrees with an assignment the President gives him. When asked by another staffer why he didn’t give the assignment to one of his subordinates he says, “I would never do that. I serve at the pleasure of the President.” It is not our position to interview God for the miracles he offers us to play a part in; we are simply to follow his promptings because we serve at his pleasure.

Don’t believe that every miracle comes with a manual. If God prompts you to say, give, or join something make sure you don’t miss the opportunity while you consider feelings, cost, and schedules.

This passage always reminds me that extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience. Our hesitations and considerations can become the limitation that keeps us from being apart of the greatest miracles.

Unfortunately for Phillip this was the case. Look at the next verse.

John 6:8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up

Phillip was so busy considering the cost that the opportunity passed. ‘Another’ disciple steps in.

Not only is my wife beautiful and kindhearted, she is quite the theologian at times… Cost isn’t everything!

 

Blog Written By: Pastor Joe Dobbins / Executive Pastor at Twin Rivers Worship Center