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Mark 118 - Asking the Wrong Question

His disciples answered, “But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?” “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied. He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people, and they did so. They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. About four thousand were present. After he had sent them away, he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha.

Mark 8:4-10

The disciples asked the wrong question. They ask one question and Jesus asks an entirely different question. They ask “where” and Jesus responds by asking “how many.”

Has this ever happened with you? You ask God one thing but then something altogether different comes back. You’re looking for an answer to a specific prayer, but God doesn’t seem to hear. You think he doesn’t hear because his response, his answer, seems to be out of left field.

You’re asking God about your boss, and he answers with your kid. You ask God about financial needs, and he answers with car trouble. You ask God about the latest test results from the doctors, and he answers with a reconnection from your past.

When this happens, my immediate reaction might be:

· I must be on a completely different wavelength

· My Wi-Fi with God must be down.

· I’m “out of range” and I can’t get through.

· My call got dropped or garbled because God only got part of the message

These are my reactions because my message seems like it’s not getting through. Or that God is tuning me out. I feel disconnected with God because he’s not answering me the way I want to be heard.

Did you hear that? We put God in the box of having to answer us the way we want to be spoken to. God must respond in a certain way that I’ve outlined, in a way and time that is most convenient and understandable to me.

In other words, we require God to answer us our way. Or, to put it more bluntly, God has to bow down to “our way” of doing things. And there is a word for this – Idolatry.

But in this case, the disciple know enough not to question Jesus. In the past, they pummeled Jesus with statements and questions: “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite![1]” Or “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?[2]

But this time they just follow directions. No questions. No need to give Jesus additional information that they think he doesn’t have. No needing to give an update on the latest weather or financial markets.

When we have needs, and bring them to Jesus, our response is to wait and to be ready to move. When and how he decides.

My reaction is to move quickly and dynamically. Because faster is always better. Louder is always better.

But God’s methods, God’s timing, God’s ways can be a mystery. And that’s OK.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8.9

God is God from eternity past. Never changing, never learning anything new, never refining a new skill, never forgetting anything, no matter how small or insignificant.

So, when he says that his thoughts are not ours, it’s not from lack of knowledge or changing his opinion. His way of thinking, his view of loving us is not changing.

So, if God’s ways are higher than ours, we can trust him.

· Trust him to be in charge of our lives – his direction is forever flawless.

· Trust him to be in control of our lives – his love is always faultless.

· Trust him to be in command of our lives – his authority is never fruitless.

Today is the day to trust him.

[1] John 6:7 [2] John 6:9


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