At the end of Matthew chapter 6, Jesus told His followers, “Don’t let your needs dominate your thoughts.” Regarding God’s provision, Jesus basically said Christians should thinkdifferently. Here are four lessons for us to learn.
Lesson #1: God’s provision is His to give and take away. Regard it humbly.
Fact: Everything we have comes from God.
There isn't anything we have that we did not receive from God. 1 Corinthians 4:7
Yet, we humans boastfully live as though we had anything to do with our genetics or privileges at all. When they are stripped away, we resent being stripped of our "rights."
Fact: What we have is not a measure of our goodness or our faith.
How God chooses to provide for you or me at any time in our lives is His sovereign choice. We are to give ourselves first to Him and trust Him with our daily needs as we do the work He gives us to do. Philippians 4:12-13; 2 Corinthians 8:7
"God is in the human development business. How is God going to teach us faith if He never allows us to have needs?!”
God’s method of learning is to prepare by instruction (knowing His Word) and then to learn by experience (living out what you believe about God). Christians having needs is part of God’s plan. Don’t let anyone deceive you by equating prosperity with your faith walk.
When God removes our comforts and strips away our support, we cry "help,” give up our self-sufficiency, and actually begin to depend on God and think of Him as God Almighty—as an essential to our lives, not just an appendage.
Fact: God determines our provision—the how, when, and why
Most of the time, God’s provision is going to come through people, not miraculously appear from the sky. God chooses how He provides for His own. We must learn to trust whatever manner He chooses.
Fact: It belongs to God. Hold onto it loosely.
It is His to give and take away.
Lesson #2: God’s provision is always enough. Receive it gratefully.
According to the dictionary, “enough” is “as much as is needed or can be tolerated.” I think I can tolerate quite a bit, don’t you? But, maybe God knows better. I’ve learned two things about God’s enough: it is sufficient, and it can also be very creative.
The sufficiency of God’s enough—When you have the Lord’s provision, you lack nothing that you need at this time in your life. It’s what you have, not what you don't have. Rejoice at what you have instead of complaining about what you don’t have. Deuteronomy 2:7; Deuteronomy 8:7-9a; 2 Corinthians 6:10
The creativity of God’s enough—God doesn't do the same thing for everyone.
Lesson #3: God’s provision is meant to be shared. Give it generously.
Out of the most severe trial, the Philippians’ overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. They gave themselves first to the Lord in keeping with God's will. 2 Corinthians 8:1-5
They imitated God’s generosity and compassion. Compassion requires trusting God, not having plenty. How you handle whatever provision God gives you is very telling.
It is not what you'd do with a million, if riches should ever be your lot. But what you are doing at present with the dollar and a quarter you've got. (R. G. LeTourneau)
God’s riches to us are supplied through us to meet another’s needs. Whether you are the receiver or the giver, how you do both should be different than what the world does.
Lesson #4: God’s provision brings Him glory. Praise Him openly.
Acknowledging that what we have, whether much or little, all comes from God is giving Him glory.
Is God depending on Christians?
True or False? “God is not depending on any government; God is depending on Christians.” FALSE
This statement puts you on a higher level than God so that He becomes dependent on you! Wrong! God does work through Christians to meet the needs of people, but God is not depending on people to do His work. He gives us opportunity and the desire and the provision to share.
Reasons why God wants us to depend on Him more than on ourselves
He initiates the grace of giving. (8:1)
We need Him to direct our giving according to His will. (8:5)
He makes us spiritually rich so we can give. (8:9)
He puts into our hearts concerns for us to have. (8:16)
We are His representatives who honor Christ so can be trusted with money handling. (8:23)
God blesses us so we can give to others. (9:8)
God enlarges the harvest of our generosity and good works. (9:10)
God gives through us to meet the needs of His people. (9:12)
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with confidence that you can depend on Him. Then, live each day as a God-dependent woman!
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