What You Have Is Enough

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What You Have Is Enough

Have you ever felt like God is asking you to do something and you don’t have any idea how it will get done? You are not the first person this has ever happened to. In fact, this is exactly what happened to the disciples. They were faced with a challenge that in every direction screamed “this can’t be done.”

I am referring to the feeding of the five thousand. What do you do when you think that what you have to offer is simply not enough to accomplish what God wants you to do? This is the question this story addresses. Let’s look at some truths so you can know that what you have is enough. Let’s look at this story in four parts.

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Confused woman shrugging shoulders

Part 1 - The Acknowledgement

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food’” (Matthew 14:14-15).

The first thing I want you to notice in this story is that it was the disciples who brought the problem to Jesus’ attention. They acknowledged the reality of what was happening. They recognized the need and understood this could turn into a bad situation. Jesus had spent the day healing the sick and ministering to the people and the disciples realized the people were hungry and needed to eat. The disciples saw the issue and came to Jesus because they wanted to get it fixed. 

Let’s make it personal.

Is it possible that there is a problem or situation that you see developing? Do you see a need somewhere and you are wondering how this need will be met? Maybe you are like the disciples and you come to Jesus with a problem because you want him to do something about it. This leads into the second part.

Part 2 - The Request 

“Jesus replied, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat’” (Matthew 14:16).

After recognizing the problem and coming to Jesus, I am sure they were not expecting this response. They wanted to send the people away so they could go find food. Since they saw the need and understood they were not in position to fill the need, they said “let’s send them away and at least give them a chance to find food.” In other words, let it become someone else’s problem – or worse yet let them go fend for themselves.

The disciples were passing the buck – not because they didn’t care, but because they didn’t see a solution. They didn’t think they could solve the problem, and when you look at the circumstances they faced, that is an understandable response. The Bible says they were in a remote place, so the chances of them finding food was probably slim. The truth is they did not have any other real solutions. 

That’s why Jesus’ response I am sure caught them off guard. He said, “You give them something to eat.” Jesus was telling them, you see the problem now do something about it. Don’t make it someone else’s issue to resolve, make it your own.

Many times, the reason God shows you the problem is because he wants you to be part of the solution. He doesn’t want you to send the people away, he wants you to help them. Remember they were in the middle of a situation that had no viable solution and yet Jesus said that is not a reason not to help them. You give them something to eat.

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Profile of a man deep in thought

Part 3 - The Response

“’We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,’ they answered” (Matthew 14:17).

The response of the disciples is real, honest, and it often reflects how we feel. They said “We only have five loaves and two fish.” How often do we approach God with what I am going to call “we only’s” or “I only’s”? Are you guilty of this? You feel in your heart that God is leading you to do something, but when you look at the scope of the challenge, you suddenly come down with a case of the I Only’s.

I only have limited education.

I only have a few dollars.

I only have a little bit of time.

I only… and you can fill in the blank.

The disciples looked at the situation and looked at their resources and came to the conclusion “we only have this and it is not enough.” What they were really saying was it is not possible to feed all these people with this little bit of food.

If you want to be totally honest, they were right. It was not possible. The problem is they were viewing the issue through the wrong lens. Somehow, they forgot they were standing in the presence of the one who does the impossible. The same can be true of you and me. You may think that what you have to offer is not enough or it’s not good enough to address the situation. That is simply not true. If God puts it in your heart to meet the need, that means he has a plan of how he will accomplish it using what you have. In other words, what you have is enough, but you have to do what the disciples did, which leads to part four.

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Part 4 - The Offering

“’Bring them here to me,’ he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people” (Matthew 14:18-19).

Jesus instructed them to bring what they had to him and notice what he did. He blessed it by giving thanks. He broke it and it turned out that it wasn’t just enough – it was more than enough.

“They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over” (Matthew 14:20).

The disciples followed a simple instruction. They took what they had and placed it in Jesus’ hands and it became more than enough. You are exactly the same way. If there is a burden that God has placed inside you, if there is a problem God has allowed you to see that you know needs an answer, then do what the disciples did. Take your concern to Jesus and follow his instructions.

He may tell you like he told the disciples, you solve the problem. If he does then whatever resources you have available don’t have to match the situation. They just have to be placed in Jesus’ hands. When that happens, Jesus takes what you have and makes it sufficient to meet the need. It is not up to you to break the bread and make it meet the need. It is your responsibility to just give it to Jesus and allow him to break it.

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The Final Act

I want to ask you a simple question. What do you have to offer? So often we see a problem and get overwhelmed by the size of the problem. We make the mistake of looking at what we have and who we are instead of focusing on what God has and who he is. Whatever you have to offer is enough when you place it in his hands. When you do, that’s when God’s ability to do the impossible takes place.

He will take it, break it and you will soon discover that God’s math is not ours. What seems like not enough to us becomes more than enough to him. When it is all said and done, the beauty of the story is God will get all the glory because you will know there was no way you could have ever done that on your own.

Let me sum it up like this. It’s not that you are enough, it’s that God is enough. And when you take what you have and offer it to him, then it becomes more than enough. This is the reason what you have is all God needs. Regardless of the challenge before you, remember that what you give to him is enough to meet the challenge. With that in mind all that is left to do is to do what Jesus said, “You give them something to eat.”

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Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, teacher, author, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club.  He has spent more than 30 years serving the body of Christ in various capacities and is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose. If you have ever struggled to try to find God’s will, this book will help you discover the different ways God leads you into his perfect will. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.