I have been thinking a lot about God’s provision and how sometimes, we as flawed people can overlook a provision because it didn’t arrive in the pretty, perfect package that we had envisioned. We didn’t see the provision for what it was…a gift from God.
In my beginning years in leading ministry, I knew that I had to depend on God’s provision to provide for my ministry needs…after all, we are just everyday working people. It’s not like we have a bank account that an endless amount of 0000s at the end of our statement balance. There is a finite amount of money that resides in our account at US Bank, and unfortunately, that money does have to go other places….you know….every day things like a power bill, food, water, clothing….you know, those things we have to pay in order to survive.
That’s just the necessities…what about the wants?? You know, that bigger house, the newer car, that designer purse?? I won’t even go there on this blog….lol…that’s a WHOLE other issue.
God promised me if we would be faithful to Him, He would be faithful to us…He would provide for our needs. We see it time and time again in scripture:
Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
John 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
But what does that provision look like? And where does it say it will just be dropped in our lap?
In my earlier days in my walk with Jesus, I had this romantic idea that when God said He would provide for all of our financial needs, I truly in my heart of hearts thought he meant that money would just suddenly appear out of nowhere….you know, I thought it would be like the reality tv show Secret Millionaire or Undercover Boss….where somebody who was secretly wealthy, would see the good works we were doing, and they would show up at my door with a check or a brief case full of cash and simply say “Here…Take….Go change the world….”
That didn’t happen.
So I may or may not have had a conversation with God that went something like this….
“Hey God…about this whole provision thing…I kept my end of the bargain and was faithful to do what you asked…so can you keep your end and start the provision fountain?????:
“Still no knock at my door God….Can you believe it?? I mean come on, God…where’s the secret rich guy….I know You must have him hiding somewhere close by……”
“No?? Really, God?? Are you sure?? Because I have seen the TV show….I have it saved on DVR if you want to watch an episode…..it works….it really it does…I saw it on ABC… So you see, God, all You have do is send this really rich person to me and BAM! Provision provided! How simple is that?”
“Wait?? What?? That’s not how it works?? Are you sure, God? Because again, I know what I saw on TV……”
“Jim’s overtime shift?? What about it? What does Jim working overtime have to do with this conversation?”
“That was a provision?? Are you serious? That wasn’t a provision…that was WORK……you know….. W>O>R>K!! Work, work, work…..24 hours of his life away from me, him all hot and sweaty in a helicopter, saving people’s lives….that’s work…not a provision….”
“Yes, Lord…that was an OT shift…so no, it wasn’t money we had budgeted….so yeah, I GUESS you could say this was ‘extra income”, if you wanna really stretch the imagination…..”
“Our tax refund?” Now wait a minute…there is NO WAY that is a provision….that is money we OVERPAID a greedy government in the first place,
“Were we counting on getting it back? Well…..no…..but…”
….Oh….ok….so it’s really money that was unexpected……so that’s a provision???
“Yes, I know I have the opportunity to so some speaking for a big pharma company…but as You know, I already committed 100% of that income to ministry…..and I have kept that promise…..but did you know that I had to give up 2 of my vacation days at work just to do it this week?? That’s like 2 full days I could used laying on beach somewhere….
“Yes, Lord….I have plenty of vacation time in my bank….no…taking those days off wasn’t a hardship to my vacation allowance…..and no, we didn’t really have plans to go to a beach…
Oh, my…..Yes, Lord, now I see now how You have ALWAYS provided. I am sorry for being so selfish at times to not recognize it and to think I wouldn’t actually have to WORK for it….we thank you for the all of the opportunities you provide us to use as provisions in ministry, and may we never lose sight and confuse what You have sent as that provision.
GOD SUPPLIES ALL OUR NEEDS….WE JUST MAY HAVE TO WORK FOR IT!
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.