Posts Tagged provision

Done and Done

1 Corinthians 2: 9

Just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND WHICH HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”

The part of this verse which really grabbed me was that God has already prepared things for us. The verse does not say that once we pray, God will prepare these things which are beyond what eye has seen and ear has heard. It says that He already has prepared all these things for us. That is a pretty big revelation. This substance, these things which God has already prepared for us is beyond what has ever entered our hearts. That is the second part of the revelation, that God has already created things for you that you currently don’t even know you want.

Ephesians 3: 20 says that God is able to do for us beyond all we can think or ask. Before we have even dreamed up the next idea or want, He has already created and stocked it for us. He has already prepared things which are beyond our ability to dream or think. So, ten years ago, for instance, or 20 years ago, God prepared the things that you want and need today. I hope this is a revelation which is sinking in. Take it a step further though.

He has already prepared things for you which no human eye has ever seen, which no human ear has ever heard and which no human heart or mind has ever conceived. There will come a day when an idea, concept or dream will drop into your mind. That idea will require resources. That dream will be an expansion of your former thoughts. Where does it come from? Perhaps God is the source of these ideas and dreams and before they are ever perceived, God is already at work providing the means by which they can and will be realized.

If God has already stocked the storehouse, if He has already prepared the resources, then the only question is, how do you requisition the materials. I believe the answer begins right here. We must first apprehend this simple appreciation of God’s provision. We need to allow this revelation to take root in our hearts so that we know and believe that all we need has already been prepared. This is the beginning of living those dreams.

God has great plans for your tomorrow and your today. He is giving you hopes and ambitions and He has already laid aside the substance of those dreams so that you make walk in success and enjoy all the good things He has prepared for you.

Will knowing this verse change your prayer life? Will it alter the conversation you have with God? Will your prayer ask God to provide when the Bible is telling us He already has or will your begin to look more for distribution than manufacturing? Tomorrow can look very different today because now you know He has already provided.

My Plan

Jeremiah 29: 11

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”

God had a plan for us from the beginning. Before He created us He made a plan for our success and well-being. I intend to use this week’s devotions to show the plan He had for us and how it has unfolded with time.

It really begins before the Garden of Eden when He conceived us and the earth. He made us an ideal place to live, learn and grow. That was only the beginning, of course, but all through time He had a plan for our welfare, a plan that was not for calamity. By His own admission, it was a plan designed to give us a future and to bathe us in hope continually. Never were we to feel hopeless, mired down in tragedy and misfortune. His plan was for perfect peace, “Shalom” in the Hebrew, which is the all encompassing fullness of everything being as it should be. Shalom is rendered welfare in the New American Standard because the word peace doesn’t incorporate the fullness of meaning, and in fact, paragraphs of text cannot fully convey the complete provision, health, wellness and blessing which is included in the word “Shalom”.

It is a pinnacle word for us though, one which is at the very peak of expression because it describes the plan God had for us. His plan was for a perfect environment provisioned with everything we need and want. More than anything, His plan had us walking hand in hand with Him daily so that we would never have a want in our hearts. We should have never experienced one moment of loneliness, isolation or one unfulfilled second. His plan met all of our physical, emotional and spiritual needs and desires. His plan for us was heaven, heaven here on earth, a safe place where we could bask in His radiance and skip around like hinds on the heights.

The plan became corrupted, but stay tuned as we venture forward, looking deeper into God’s plan for us. Through this brief, but exciting journey, you will come to know, in your heart, where your life with Him is meant to reside today.

Beliver Receiver

Mark 11: 24

Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.

This verse really struck me this week. Like you, I have heard it and read it many times. Still, something was louder this time. I believe Jesus is trying to show us something important.

Have you ever noticed that some people are better at getting their Christianity to work for them than others? This has bothered me for years. We all pray, right? So what makes some people different? I suspect the answer is in this verse. Listen to how it reads from the God’s Word translation, “That’s why I tell you to have faith that you have already received whatever you pray for, and it will be yours.” Jesus tells us to believe before we receive. Okay, I guess we have heard that before but that isn’t exactly what this says, is it? Jesus said as you pray, believe that you have ALREADY received that for which you are praying. What? If I have already received it, why am I praying for it?

If we can wrap our heads around this and the truth of it sink down into our hearts, I believe we will have the key to unlocking many mysteries in our lives. Hasn’t Jesus already won everything for us: salvation, redemption, etcetera? So, if he has already purchased my salvation then why did I need to pray for it? Has not the Father already provided everything we need? Then why are some of us under provisioned? It seems we have failed to requisition the supplies which have already been put up for us. We ask for them not believing that He has already accommodated our wants and needs.

It turns out that receiving is an action. In order for these things to move from the warehouse to your house, you have to do something. That “something” is this act of receiving. Apparently, receiving does not mean laying on the couch while manna rains down out of heaven on us. Drats! We are required to actively participate in the delivery of the supplies.

Perhaps we need to picture a warehouse with our name emblazoned on the outside. Within the warehouse which sports your name is everything Jesus suffered and died to give you. Also upon the shelves is the substance of every promise God has ever made. That is not all, though. As you walk down the aisles you see that the warehouse is stocked with everything for life. There are cars, houses, clothes, food, and computers. In fact, everything you can even think of is in that warehouse and it is already yours – if you believe it. If you believe that God has already provided, already stocked a warehouse for you then you need only to order it to be sent to you. If we pray believing not that God is going to do something for us but rather that He already has, does it change our experience?

Jesus’ statement is pretty bold. It also has a problem in that it does not fit into our theology but what if he said exactly what he meant? What if we must believe we already have it when we pray? It changes our prayer and our attitude doesn’t it? This represents part of the reason we are called believers. Belief is a key component of the warehouse distribution system. You can have what you believe for so, what do you believe?

Above and Beyond

Ephesians 3: 20 – 21

Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever, Amen.

Yesterday we looked at 1st Corinthians 2: 9 which said that the mind of man has not even conceived of all the good things God has prepared for those who love Him. Many of you undoubtedly were put in remembrance of this verse from Ephesians.

This is a favorite verse for contemplating the plans that Yahweh has for us. Like Isaiah when he wrote about God’s goodness, Paul cannot seem to find words enough to express the great expanse of God’s favor and provision for us. Again, we see from this verse that no matter how big we may think, despite our most grandiose wishes, dreams and prayers, we have never thought big enough to comprehend all that God wants to do for us.

It is not enough that God does abundantly. His abundance exceeds any normal definition of abundance. Still, not enough. He wants to do for you that which is beyond anything you have ever thought or asked. Now then, how big have you dared to dream? God has a challenge for you. He effectively says to you, “No matter how much you expand your dreams, hopes and desire, I have something even greater for you!” I like to challenge God right back. “Okay Dad, I can dream this big, I say to Him.” Even then you think, “Wait, there is obviously something larger because no matter how big I think, He is thinking bigger.” That causes me to ponder my own boundaries. I purposefully push my boundaries out further; make my dreams bigger. It is quite an exercise.

It is interesting to note that the power that God is going to use to exceed my greatest expectations is already resident within me. Ponder that one for a little while. That power within you is alive and poised. Release your imagination and your belief in God’s words. Let’s see how far we can go.

Invigorated

1 Samuel 30: 6

But David strengthened himself in the Lord.

Well, the work week is half-way through and some of us may be finding our energy lagging a bit. Perhaps there have been a few battles in the early part of the week. Certainly David fought battles and found himself weary. He knew how to restore himself though. He found his strength in the Lord.

I love this from Habakkuk, “The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds feet, and makes me walk on my high places” (Habakkuk 3: 19). A hind is a female deer, especially the red deer. They are known for being able to scale the high places, i.e. mountains. There is no rugged, jagged terrain they cannot surmount. If you have ever seen them scampering along a cliff you know how amazingly surefooted they are. Our Father has made us able to navigate the high places too. He also gives us the strength to attain the highest peaks.

The Lord God is our strength Habakkuk reminds us, but once we are fully convinced by Habakkuk, the key for us is found in David’s example. It is not sufficient knowing that the Lord, our God is our strength if we never avail ourselves of His gift. David turned “strength” into a verb. He “strengthened” himself in the Lord. That means David did something proactive in order to receive God’s strength. Receiving is an active process. I think about a wide receiver in football. He has a big job to do in order to receive a pass. Well, God has provided for us but unlike the manna, all these things are not going to rain down on us. We have to turn our attention to Yahweh and receive what He has made available. It does no good to have provision delivered to your front stoop if you never go out and get the boxes.

I pray you, receive God’s strength today. Receive His refreshing. Let Him fill you with all sustenance.

Toil

Ecclesiastes 2: 26

For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God’s sight.

We were never meant to live off of the sweat of our brow. We are supposed to live through the gifts of wisdom, knowledge and joy from the Lord, our God. Toil is for the sinner. Wow! That is an amazing and powerful statement. He, the sinner, labors in order to give to the one “who is good in God’s sight.”

None of us were good in God’s sight but now, because of Jesus, when God looks at us, He sees the beautiful visage of Jesus. Because Jesus has clothed us with his glory we are “good” in God’s sight. In Jesus we have access to all that God is including His wisdom and knowledge. You are meant to live on the daily influx of God’s wisdom, joy and knowledge. Does this challenge your thinking a little? Our occupations ought to be what we do in order to make the world a better place. Our living, our sustenance is supposed to come from God.

Sinners are supposed to pour into our bosom. We shouldn’t work for a living. We should give for a living. We are not supposed to be so busy that we cannot even call a sick friend or take time with our kids. We are to use our time to commune with God and receive His wisdom, knowledge and joy. Then we can take all that God teaches and shows us to the sinner and help them to be beautiful in God’s eyes. It is hard to accomplish the big tasks of the world, the global issues of humanity when we have to work ten hours a day just to make ends meet. Who shall go to the lost and hurting? We haven’t the time to slow down and hear the voice of God. He is speaking to us today. What is He saying? What does He want us to do with our time? The answer is not that He wants us to work ourselves to death. He wants us to position ourselves to receive His wisdom, His knowledge and His joy. Then we take what He gives us and give it away to those who are toiling, to all who are lost. The sinner lays up treasure for us but we receive treasure from heaven and dispense it to them so that they can rise up from drudgery and despair.

Our God is our provider. He didn’t call us to “make a living.” He called us to Himself. He means to provide and He is, but we have to get a big enough revelation of these important verses if we are going to live the lifestyle God created for us. It is a challenge. We can live as God designed, but we must first allow our minds and hearts to accept His vision of life. This is pretty big, I will grant you but it is also the Word and intent of God. If we can accept it, we could actually begin to live this way. That would be amazing. We could do so much for the Kingdom of God if we were not bogged down in our labors.

Think about today’s verse. Roll it around in your mind. Is God a man that He can lie? Did He mean these words when He gave them? Why did God make sure this verse ended up in the Bible? You are meant for higher things. God is calling. Can you hear Him?

The Giver of Bread

Matthew 6:11


Give us this day, our daily bread.
I wrote on this verse earlier this week. The emphasis then was twofold; first that bread must be received daily rather than weekly and second that Jesus is the bread. Today I want you to look at the first word of this verse and recall, as you do, that Jesus is teaching on how to pray.

I am struck by this word and this question occurs to me, “Why am I trying to earn a living when Jesus said to ask the Father to “give” me my daily bread?” It seems from this verse, and all that surrounds it, that providing my daily bread is Dad’s responsibility. It appears that my responsibility is to appeal to Him and to accept His gifts.

People get themselves very confused over whether Jesus’ teachings are metaphorical or literal. Let me answer that question for you. Yes!! They are both. One of the important lessons I have learned about Jesus and Yahweh is that they never only accomplish one thing. Dad may direct me to give money to a ministry in order to meet their need but His other goal and maybe even bigger aim is to bless me and meet my needs above and beyond all I can think. So in this verse Jesus is speaking very literally. He means for you to ask God to provide your daily sustenance and expect that the Father will. Jesus also means for you to understand the spiritual principle involved in receiving your daily needs from the Father. Yahweh is our provider. He is our source. Learn to expect Him to meet all of your needs. Secondly, understand that Jesus is the bread of life and ask the Father every day to give you more of this essential nutrient.

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