Timing is everything, right? And God’s timing is always perfect: never early, never late. When it comes to miracles, sometimes the timing is after our obedience, like it is when Jesus feeds a crowd of five thousand men.
It’s been a long day on the heels of a long day. Ever had one of those? Jesus’ disciples gather to Him after preaching the kingdom, casting out demons and healing the sick. Because there are so many people coming and going, the disciples barely have time to eat, so Jesus says, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31).
But the multitudes figure it out and beat them to their destination! Jesus has compassion on the multitude and teaches them until the day is spent and it’s time for dinner. The disciples point out the late hour and tell Jesus to send the people away so they can get themselves something to eat, but Jesus has different plans. He has the twelve gather what food is available in the crowd: five loaves and two fish. He blesses it, gives thanks and then divides it among them, saying, “You give them something to eat” (Luke 9:10).
He doesn’t multiply the food first and then tell them to distribute it. They have to take the impossibly little portion of the impossibly little food available and do what He says.
In the doing – the obedience – the multiplication takes place.
There is enough as they go. In fact, when everyone is filled, they gather the leftovers and end up with twelve baskets of food.
In the natural, it doesn’t add up:
(five loaves) x (two fish) x (five thousand men) ≠ (12 leftover baskets)
When Jesus is about to do the miraculous, what we see won’t add up. The impossible will require our faith. And in faith, we can do what Jesus tells us to do.
Here’s the math we see in this miracle:
(what they have) x (their obedience) = (miraculous provision)
Maybe you need Jesus to multiply something in your life and you’ve been waiting for Him to come through BEFORE doing what you know He wants you to do. Maybe you need peace or strength or courage. Maybe you need faith or power. Maybe you need to stick it out in a hard relationship or situation. Maybe you need financial provision, vision or revelation. Maybe you need healing or deliverance.
Maybe there’s a miracle waiting for your obedience. Scripture doesn’t establish this as the case every time. Miracles aren’t formulas, and God certainly isn’t limited to miracles based on our choices, but clearly scripture is teaching us that there are times when the miracle happens when we obey.
I need a miracle right now: the supernatural answer to what looks impossible in the natural. And God is asking me to step out in faith and do what He’s already shown me to do.
Maybe my miracle is waiting on my obedience, too.