Use What You Have!
Intro: Satan is a master deceiver and an expert discourager. He specializes in lying to people about everything; about what God can do for them, as well as what they can do for God. His tactics are old and timeless, but they still work.
One of Satan’s most effective tools is to convince Christians that they are unable to accomplish anything for God; that for some reason they have been short-changed and are not in a position to serve the Lord. Before we get into this, let’s notice three things about this story that are constants in any person’s life today:
1. The Problem – vs. 5 the people needed bread
There will never be a day in the life of a Christian when there will not be a need somewhere.
There will ALWAYS be needs.
People will need care and attention.
Missionaries will need support.
Sinners will need to be reached with the gospel.
Buildings and property will need to be maintained.
Children will need to be trained; marriages will need attention.
2. The Predicament – vs. 7 the need is greater than our abilities
Name a great Bible character that didn’t face a problem bigger than them.
The need will ALWAYS be bigger than you or what you have to work with.
If the fact that the need is larger than you discourages you; you will always be discouraged.
3. The Provision – vs. 9 there is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves
NOTE: Where there is a need; there is always a solution to that need.
It will usually come in a form that is unexpected; but God will provide a solution to the need.
I. Don’t Minimize What You Have – vs. 9 but what are they among so many?
Many people’s first mistake is to mock and belittle what they have.
How can you expect anybody to respect your ministry if you don’t?’
How can you expect to accomplish anything for God if you are constantly knocking your own contribution to the work?
NOTE: There is a difference in humility, meekness and an inferiority complex for God.
God ENABLES those that He CALLS.
God EQUIPS those that He COMMISSIONS.
- Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
- If God called you to preach – don’t mock that call.
- If God has opened a door for you to teach, then don’t shirk that opportunity by saying you can’t.
- Don’t cloak the message with belittling and inferior comments. Preach with authority!! Teach with authority!
NO DOOR THAT GOD OPENS IS SILLY OR UNIMPORTANT!
- If God gave you a burden for someone – don’t let the devil talk you out of it.
- If God gave you a desire to serve Him in a ministry; don’t talk yourself out of it; just go do it!
- If God has given you the ability to sing – don’t make fun of yourself and that gift; get up and sing!
- If God has given you children, don’t minimize God’s ability to use them mightily in the work of God
Illustration: Hannah gave God her son before he was born; look what God did with him!
II. Don’t Miss What You Have – vs. 11 – Jesus took the loaves; He didn’t look for something else
Question: Did God give it to you? Then use it!
- You don’t need what somebody else has – you just need what God gave you.
- You don’t need someone else’s testimony – just use yours
- You don’t need another husband; you need to love and support the one you have.
- You don’t need another wife; you need to love and lead the one you have.
- You don’t need somebody else’s kids; you need to train and raise the one’s you have.
- You don’t need somebody else’s preaching ability, or teaching ability, or singing ability.
- You don’t need somebody else’s ministry or calling; you just need to use the one you have!
- You don’t need somebody else’s income or job; you just need to tithe off the one you have!
- Moses’ rod at the burning bush – Exodus 4:2 God asked “What is in thine hand?”
- David and Saul’s armor – I haven’t proved this! Give me back my sling! It’s mine!
- The Hebrew children – we don’t need the king’s meat; we’re used to beans.
- Samson used the jawbone of an ass to kill 1,000 Philistines
- The widow of Zarapheth used the handful of meal and oil and 2 sticks
- Gideon had only 300 men
- Elisha used the mantle of Elijah to smite the water of the Jordan river
- Esther used her relationship with the king to save her people
Many people will never do anything for God because they fail to simply accept what they have as something God can use.
III. Don’t Misappropriate What You Have – vs. 11
You misappropriate what you have when…
- When you don’t get God involved!
Every one of the instances we mentioned earlier turned out amazing because GOD got involved!
Little is MUCH when GOD is in it!
Don’t miss out on what God can do with what you have by failing to ask Him to intervene!
- Moses’ rod parted the Red Sea when God got involved!
- David’s sling brought down a giant when God got involved!
- Samson’s jawbone of an ass killed 1,000 men when the Spirit of the Lord got involved.
- Gideon’s 300 defeated the Midianites when God got involved!
- Elisha parted the Jordan River when he called on the God of Elijah.
- Esther was granted access to the king when God’s people fasted and prayed.
- The Hebrew Children’s pulse and water yielded better results when God got involved.
Don’t blow what you have to work with by failing to get God involved; we need His power.
2. When you don’t give it out – the Lord gave it to his disciples, and they distributed it!
They didn’t hang onto it.
They didn’t divide it among themselves and circle the wagons.
They didn’t have a shouting fit and thank God for supplying THEIR need.
They DISTRIBUTED IT AMONG THOSE IN NEED.
Illustration: Exodus 4 – What is in thine hand?? God said to Moses; Throw it down! Let go of it and let God do something amazing with it.