John 6:1 tells the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand with five barley loaves. Though in correct terminology, it was probably more like five thousand times three (more like 15,000) because the women and children weren’t counted.
As I was reading that, I was sort of having this wrestling in my heart for a few months. “Why would You, Jesus, do something completely counterintuitive to the way we would do it in the natural?” With a greater number of people, we’d start with a greater number of loaves. Jesus just completely flips that.
Then suddenly it was if I heard the Lord saying to me, “Brian, through this, what I am trying to demonstrate to you is often the less I start with, the more I intend on accomplishing.” That means you can never judge what God intends on releasing in and through your life based on your current limitations. You cannot restrict what He can do with you based on what you currently have.
Notice Jesus doesn’t take the five loaves and say, “I need a little bit more than that.” In other words, He’s not asking us to provide extraordinary resources in order for Him to provide extraordinary results. He shifts our little into such abundance that it feeds an entire multitude.
What I love about this story and so many other stories in scripture is that God continually chooses time and time again to use the weak things to confound the wise. Jesus takes what would have never qualified as usable and releases His glory. That’s still what He does in each and every one of us today.
“I believe the way God receives maximum glory is not when He takes something that’s great and makes it greater, but when people see the insignificance of what He started with is raised to significance by His Spirit and not by our power and might.”
Throughout the course of history, God consistently looks out among all of us, finds the least likely, the least qualified, the one no one else would consider, and says, “Yeah – bingo! That’s who I’m using.” That’s what I’ve seen in my life; that’s been my reality: The Holy Spirit taking my weakness, taking my inadequacy, and releasing His glory.
His ability is not limited by our inability. His power to produce increase is not limited by our insufficiency. Scripture actually says that the strength of God is perfected in weakness.
Action Point: I invite you to comment below about your own experience with God taking your little and shifting it into abundance. Share how His grace enabled you to become what He said. In what ways did you take steps to being full of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power?
We’re making this entire session available for free: watch the entirety of it on Global On Demand for more stories on the intense, radical, bizarre things I and others have seen God do—not because of our qualifications or because of our faith; just because of the power of the Holy Spirit, the grace of God. His perfection, not ours. Near the end of the video, I will also pray with you for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit for your life.
— Brian Starley