by Pastor Tim Burt
When Renee and I were first married, we both had great jobs that paid decent money. Then we began to have children and Renee decided she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I was happy about that and pledged in my heart to do whatever it took to support our family. We had great faith in God and trusted that as long as I was willing to work hard, God would help provide for everything we needed.
My confidence was not in myself. Confidence in myself would have left me terrified! My confidence was in the promise of God’s Word. We had always tithed and brought offerings to church. We had never missed. We were glad to do so. As 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NKJV) says, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
We were cheerful givers. Beyond church, we gave to the ministries that truly fed our spirit. Though our finances were tight, we knew that sacrificial giving as an expression of our love and trust in Him would strengthen our faith in His provision.
People have funny ideas when it comes to how God provides. People often think it’s going to show up at their door—special delivery from an angel on a chariot. Don’t get me wrong, provision can and does show up in supernatural ways. We’ve had more than a few of those miraculous angelic deliveries over the years. We read that God used ravens to feed Elijah when Elijah was about doing God’s business. 1 Kings 17:4 (NKJV) “And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”
We read about Jesus getting tax money in a very supernatural way. Matt 17:27 (NIV) Jesus said to Peter, “… go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.” Peter had been fishing for many years yet I’m sure had never seen this before. Provision can come like this. The Bible tells more stories of supernatural provision than you could ever imagine. God does want us to have our faith in Him for supernatural provision. If you are leaning on God for it, you are more likely to be paying attention to His voice, to His direction, and to obey His leading. Do this and you will grow in intimacy and expectancy of Him working in your life.
But, there is another way that God will bring supernatural provision into your life. We learn from it in Genesis chapter 22. In this chapter we read when God asked Abraham to offer up his only son Isaac to Him. Abraham had developed great faith in God. He knew that God had promised Him a heritage of family through his son Isaac—a heritage that would be in number as the stars of the sky. He knew it! God had promised it to him. If Isaac was dead this couldn’t happen. So although I’m sure in his natural mind he was confused as to how this would work out, He trusted God even if it meant that God would raise Isaac from the dead. Abraham brought Isaac, put him on the altar and was about to kill him when an angel stopped him. Genesis 22:10-12 “And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, “Here am I.” And he said, “Lay not your hand upon the lad, neither do you anything unto him: for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son from me.”
Abraham is the father of our faith. When He was willing to hold nothing back from God including his only son, he had completed the covenant that Abraham was in with God. Now God was able to give His only Son Jesus for us! Through Jesus, God completed the covenant that makes us partakers of Abraham’s inheritance today.
Abraham obeyed God and blessing followed his life. When Abraham was stopped, God had provided an offering in place of Isaac. We see it in the next verse. Genesis 22:13-14 (KJV) “And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering instead of his son.” God had provided a ram and Abraham called that place “Jehovah-jireh… In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” Let me give you another translation of this verse that will help you gain greater insight and show you what I want you to see today. The literal Hebrew translation of these words says, “Jehovah-jireh, the mountain of the LORD who shows me where my provision is.”
Although supernatural blessing does occasionally just show up in our lives, God more often shows us where the provision that He has provided for us is. Abraham had to go and get the ram out of the thicket. He also still had to prepare it as an offering to the Lord. As we walk by faith, God will show us where our provision is. We will have to go get it. That could happen in a number of ways. He’ll lead you to employment opportunities, give you the opportunity to be promoted, or have you give or do something for someone else as seed for your own life. There are countless ways He might show you. It won’t be magic and you’ll most often have to work hard, but He will lead you to provision.
At one point in our life, at a time of financial desperation, we were praying for increase in our income. Shortly thereafter I was offered to take on a position at work that I was afraid I would fail at. I was about to say no when the Lord reminded me I had been praying for increase. He spoke to my heart and said, Here is your provision! I said yes to the position and there was this wonderful gal working in the department who knew the position and walked me seamlessly through it. I loved it and it resulted in a significant increase in our income! It was God speaking to my heart showing me this was my provision and giving me courage to overcome my fear and accept the challenge that resulted in this increase. That may not seem like a miracle to some, but it was to me!
He wants you to have expectation for provision of all kinds. It is your inherited right through Jesus. He does not provide it so you can simply consume that increase upon your own lust. He is not a genie for your every whim! But He is your provider and will show you where your provision is! You’ll have to be diligent in the opportunity! He provides it to help meet your needs, and so that you may learn to become a cheerful giver into His plan for the Good News of Jesus Christ to be reach all people. Ask Him to show you were your provision is!
Deuteronomy 8:18 (NIV) “But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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