Sidestepping ecosystems and economies

To provide bread for multitudes of hungry people, we would require natural ecosystems and a thriving economy. There must be fertile land, adequate condensation and biological systems that process seeds into matured plants for harvest, over a period of time. Labour markets must supply labour for tilling, planting, tending, harvesting, milling and processing.

Oil, salt, sweeteners and yeast must be available from commodities markets. There must be access to funds from financial markets to pay for labour, equipment and raw materials. There must be adequate time and intelligence to bring all the actors and factors together to provide enough bread for multitudes.

How about enough fish? Think about access to water teeming with fish sustainably grown and harvested. Think about the labour, the equipment, the processing of raw into edible fish. Think of the financial markets. Think of the time and mental strain that would be required to bring all the actors and factors together to have enough cooked fish.

On a certain day, after teaching multitudes of people for several hours in an isolated place, Jesus’ disciples asked Him to send the people off to buy themselves food. We may conclude that the disciples were not being wicked. In their world, it was the right thing to do. Knowing the physical and material limitations, Jesus responded, “They need not depart, give them something to eat.”

By asking them to provide food on the spot for the people, Jesus attempts to shift the disciples’ attention from their reality of limitations to a reality without limitations. I believe Jesus not only wanted them to bypass the systems they grew up in, He knew they could. But how?

Jesus blessed a young lad’s lunch of five Barley loaves and two fishes, causing instant multiplication. An estimated 15 to 20,000 people ate and had baskets leftover. By so doing, He unveiled an invisible and omnipresent source of supply, accessible with or without financial or material resources, whose currency is faith. This was done on two separate occasions.

Consider what was sidestepped. Think of what did not transpire. Yet, the need was met, publicly.

How does this apply to those of us seeking to follow Christ in meeting human needs today? Could it indicate the facility with which we could employ the supernatural, and sidestep markets and natural processes, to meet today’s needs? What are we missing?

11 thoughts on “Sidestepping ecosystems and economies

  1.  Having only five loaves and two fishes is typical of the sad state of the church in our day. Right now people are saying that we need to send the multitudes away…that there are natural ways of caring for their needs. In America….we send them to the government for physical relief. We do have spiritual bread to offer people…although it may be only five loaves and two fishes…but the thing which is lacking is the power of the Lord Jesus. If we only had that power…we wouldn’t need to send the multitudes away. We fail to realize that the solutions today are not in government nor in human imaginations….but in God! No wonder the church is powerless.

    • Lord have mercy.

      I guess like the disciples, we disciples are asking to send the multitudes away to the government and other natural and intellectual ways of meeting their needs. All the while, Jesus is saying, “they need not depart, you meet their needs.” We who ought to be mature are still babies not able to access that which we have been given unimpeded access to.

      The awakening starts here, with us opening our minds to see the greatness of His power at work in us who believe and acting accordingly.

      • So, as babies, we continue on the path of apprenticeship of Christ so that we may, one day, like the disciples were eventually able to do, point the multitudes to the solutions in God…Selah

        Indeed the awakening starts here as we open our lives to see the goodness and greatness of God

  2. Wonderfully written and SO RIGHT ON!! Let’s really glorify God by believing Him for BIG things, IMPOSSIBLE things! Our faith will unleash His love and power like nothing else. I love this post, Tolu. Thank you! God bless you.

  3. Excellent, excellent post. He’s the Owner if the ecosystems of the world so He can sidestep these systems whenever He chooses to (more like He can make them work better than the limitations we place on them, He cannot be placed in a box)…just for us He would.

    • Thank you @Lightherlamp. 

      This is rich and profound: “He can make them work better than the limitations we place on them…” After all, he created the heavens and the earth in 6 days not 6 billion years. It should not take Him hours to do what would take us years. 

      And your comment is stirring another post in me…perhaps if we were made in his image, we too ought to be able to sidestep ecosystems and economies, we too ought to be able to do in 1 day what could have taken 1 billion years?

      God bless you.

  4. What a beautiful idea!

    We are so quick to try and engineer our successes. We try to build churches with strategy instead of prayer. We try to reach people with marketing instead of evangelism.

    Engaging the supernatural is so uncommon in our thoughts. But it wasn’t for the disciples and, of course, Jesus himself.

    Thanks for the reminder Tolu.

    • Thanks for your comment @aparchedsoul:twitter I think spiritual maturity includes the ability to employ the supernatural at will, to use the supernatural instead of the natural to meet natural needs not to talk of spiritual needs.

  5. Pingback: Tyranny of money | Tolulope's Musings

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