I have a confession.
I have been watching The Voice lately.
Let the public stoning commence.
I don’t watch it all the time, but when it is on, I keep it on. If you haven’t seen it, some of the contestants are really incredible singers. My son Patrick also loved dancing around the room when people sing.
The show welcomes young vocal talent to audition while 4 professional judges sit with their back to the singer. If the singer is good enough, the judge turns their chair around and tries to convince the singer to join their team for the season.
The judges are all successful musical acts, but they don’t sing, they coach. They train up the musicians until the next show and then the musicians preform on their own. It’s just them out there. The lights come on, the band kicks in, and the judge and coach is over in the chair not on the stage.
Sometimes I find myself seeing God this way. He is there to coach me, to give me insight, but when the spotlight is on, I am on my own out there. And he will let me know if I succeed or fail.
Pastors do this so often. If the sermon was great, all the credit goes to God. If it was terrible, that falls squarely on us.
I think I kind of suck at following Jesus sometimes. I know I am the only one who feels that way.
Many Non-Christians think they could never preform for God, or never would want to. Many Christians worry that their performance is never good enough.
Christians can get so caught up in our performance that we trade partnering with God to preforming for God.
And that is when we are terrible at being Christians.
I gain a lot of confidence when I read the Gospels however, because I read about how the disciples were sort of terrible at following Jesus too.
In Mark 8, Jesus had this huge crowd come to see him speak. He didn’t even have to offer them pizza or coffee, or comfortable chairs. They actually didn’t have any food there. And there were four thousand of them!
And they got hungry.
Jesus didn’t send anyone to the store. He didn’t send someone to fish. Jesus took seven loaves and a few small fish and fed four thousand people.
Everyone had enough food, and there was some to spare.
Next, Jesus and his close followers got onto the boat.
The disciples realized they had only taken 1 loaf of bread. At that point they are likely blaming each other for not remembering to bring the food. They know it wont be enough for the whole crew for the trip.
Seriously?! Jesus literally just few four thousand people with a few bits of food and these guys are moments later trying to figure out how there are going to eat.
They so quickly forgot what God had done in place of remembering what they think God can’t do.
Jesus knew what they were saying so he reminds them, “watch out of the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”
They thought Jesus said that because they didn’t bring enough bread.
So Jesus chimes back in, reminding them of how he made food when there was not food, how he fed everyone, how he came through.
The Pharisees and Herod were not baking companies or yeast merchants, these were people who refused to see who Jesus for what he was. And Jesus knew that his disciples were missing it too.
And Jesus wanted to remind his disciples who he is.
and he wants to remind us who he is when we forget what he has done in place of remembering what we thing he can’t do.
He isn’t a judge. He isn’t sending you on stage on your own. He is going ahead of you and he is there with you.
We miss what God is doing because we are focused on what we are doing. We miss that God can feed four thousand because we worry how we are going to feed twelve.
If we want God to do big things in, through, and around us, we have to give up the small things we are too focused on.