2 Peter 1:2-4 (NKJV)
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
His Divine Power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. What is this is a true statement? What if we really do have all things that pertain to life and godliness right at our fingertips? Why do we lack? Why do we still want? Why can’t we see it and produce it in our life? There is a homeless man who travels up and down the busy roadway close to my house. Coming and going each day, he wanders along in his old, dirty clothes pushing a grocery cart overflowing with his belongings in plastic grocery bags. His cart is stacked higher than his head. He has a large paint bucket that he uses as a seat when he stops to rest. Almost every time I see the man, there is someone who has stopped offering him a meal, talking to him or giving to him in some way. Although we feel pity and compassion for this man, I do not think that he is unhappy but blissfully content as he wanders along. For you and me, his freedom is not immediately discerned. Yet in his world, he has no burden. No mortgage. No job. Nobody. He is just a nomad sojourning through life.
I do not take lightly the plight of the homeless or the mental illness many struggle with who wander the streets. Let’s not make this political, please. This gentleman for one is offered assistance daily yet I believe choose to remain on his trek. For a moment, think about how many times you have thought it would be nice to live a carefree life without a mortgage, bills, responsibilities or a job that required daily attention. To live freely to do the things you would like to do or feel called to pursue. How many times are these dreams released by the notion if money was not an object? I Peter 2:11 reminds us that we are sojourners, pilgrims and temporary residents here and that our Kingdom is in Heaven. What if we truly believed it and lived to obtain Heaven rather than the things of the earth?
I am not at all telling everyone to sell their homes, get rid of all their possessions, and take to the streets… or maybe I am? If we have everything pertaining to life and godliness yet still are not content and fulfilled, then something is amiss. To find our life, we must lose it. It is biblical. It is also backed up by other examples. Men like Abraham, Moses and Joseph prove that no matter what our circumstance or situation – God has already provided for our life and godliness.
Psalm 37:18-19 (NKJV)
The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
In the New Living Translation of this passage, they shall be satisfied is translated to “will have more than enough.” As Children of God, Christians, and believers, we live in the condition of more than enough according to God’s Divine Power. If we do not operate in a state of prosperity, it is not a God problem but a personal problem. God has already supplied our needs according to His Riches in Glory by Jesus Christ. (Philippians 4:19) The acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord opens the windows of Heaven in our life. We decide if they remain open. The Divine Power released to us by the death of Jesus followed by His Resurrection allowed Christ to hand us the Keys to His Kingdom. Everything in the Kingdom is available to us on the earth. It all depends on the master we choose to serve. Jesus plainly tells us in Matthew 6:24, you cannot serve two masters. You will love one and hate the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (or money). Now why would God say that…
Our fulfillment and personal satisfaction is not produced by a prospering bank account but a prospering soul. We live in a world driven by supply and demand. The homeless man who wanders up and down the road is pitied because he has no money. He has no home. He does not have possessions. We are moved by his position in this life rather than the condition of his soul. This is because our inner peace and security many times are linked to the things of this world rather than our future and hope. To fully take advantage of the provision of God means we must change our perspective and perception of fulfillment in life.
Genesis 22:13-14 (NKJV)
Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
I will attempt to keep this brief today. My soul is quivering and my heart quaking as God confirms in His Word the provision in our life. It begins with Abraham. We all know the story but if anyone doesn’t I will give a short account. Abraham was promised by the Lord to be the father of many nations yet he remained childless well past his childbearing years. He was a man who even tried to “help” the Lord by having a child with his wife’s handmaiden who was Ishmael. When Abraham was 99 years old, the Lord blessed he and Sarah with Isaac. Later the Lord told Abraham to sacrifice his son. Abraham loaded up and headed to the mountain. His son, Isaac, asked his father along the way. We have everything to prepare the sacrifice, but where is “the” sacrifice? In Genesis 22:8, Abraham tells his son that the Lord will provide. Well, the Lord did provide the sacrifice and he named that place “The Lord Will Provide.” As the passage continues, the Lord tells Abraham that he will experience blessing upon blessing because “you obeyed My Voice.”
Today you can call the place you are living, The Lord Will Provide. It is achieved by one thing obedience to God. Not the kind enforced by punishment but offered sacrificially through love and respect. Abraham loved his son very much, but Abraham love and respected God more. So much so that he trusted God all the way up the mountain to the point of total and complete sacrifice to provide. Do we? Do we trust the Lord? Do we take Him at His Word? Do we believe that He will provide no matter what the situation or circumstance?
The Children of Israel were slaves in Egypt. When they left it was a hasty move, one which is often pictured as men, women and children fleeing war torn countries. It was much more than that, Pharaoh changed his mind and was pursuing them. They were literally running for their lives. Okay so now they are in the wilderness and Moses is instructed by God to build the tabernacle to house His Presence. God is very detailed in the objects and opulence of this place. Remember these are former slaves, who have left their homes and are wandering in exile looking for the Promised Land. Moses tells the people what to bring to build the tabernacle so they head off to their tents.
Exodus 35:20-29 tells that everyone came back whose heart was stirred and spirit willing which tells me that not everyone was on board. The provided a plethora of materials. So much so, in fact, that in Exodus 36:2-7 Moses had to command them to stop. “So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, “Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.” And the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done—indeed too much.” Why? Because there was “indeed too much”! Where did these people who lived in slavery get gold, silver, fine clothe and all the other materials? This leads me to wonder what is in my tent that I am not using for the Lord? What do I have left unnoticed or unseen because my heart may not be moved or my spirit unwilling?
One more just one more for now, so bear with me. Joseph. You remember the favored brother who the others hated. He ended face down in a pit and then sold into slavery. In Potiphar’s house, although still a slave God’s Favor made him master of the home. That is until his master’s wife decided differently. Genesis 39:2-5 tells us that Joseph was a successful man because the Lord was with him. The blessing of the Lord was not only on his man but his workplace. Potiphar’s home was blessed. Well, we know that he would be falsely accused and sent to prison. Joseph prospered in captivity, too.
Genesis 39:21-23 tells us that the Lord was with Joseph and showed him great mercy. He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. Again, whatever he did the Lord made him prosper. In the end, he would be second only to Pharaoh. He would save his entire family from famine. His situation did not limit his potential. His faith in God prospered Joseph no matter where he found himself in life.
Our prosperity and fulfillment in life is not found in our circumstances, situation or earning potential. Our provision for life and godliness is found in obedience to the Lord born of deep love and affection for Him. It is discovered when no matter how life is going – we obey the Word of the Lord. Romans 8:28 becomes active in this moment and all things begin to work together. My life is not defined by my bank account, success, what I own, or what I am paying for. It is defined by the grace that I have in Jesus Christ. When His Grace is enough for me, I will prosper because my soul is alive and prospering.
2 Corinthians 9:10-11 (NKJV)
Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.
What if we changed the ground of our sowing? What if we planted something a little different? We might just see a harvest. Today, as I look around at my life, I am truly blessed. I used to think that God wanted me to “do” certain things to “have” certain things. Our children are blessed. They have a difficult time understanding the plight of those who are not as fortunate as they are. I think that this can be a blessing and a curse. See they are a product of two people who wanted a better life for their children. God desires a better life for us at a great sacrifice. We do not see the sacrifice but desire the grace. But have we taken it for granted? The Grace and Giving of God is not to improve this life but prepare a place for us in His Kingdom forever.
Proverbs 10:22 (NKJV) The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.
The blessings in our life do not have price tags. Every good and perfect gift is from the Lord. Our Father in Heaven has supplied everything we need pertaining to life and godliness through His Divine Power. It belongs to us. Is it hidden in our tent? Have we covered it in self-pity? I have been preparing our home to put it on the market. We have cleaned out every closet, drawer and container in it. I have found that we have a surplus of “things”. When I leave, I look at the beautiful home that the Lord has given us. Every detail satisfied my longing and desire when He built if for us. He is calling us to something different now. It is bittersweet.
See I love this house, but I love God more. I want what He has for me. I want to see His Glory in our life beyond what I can see, feel and touch. I desire His Presence. So by faith, we are moving to a new place to do a new thing. My faith is not in the economy or housing market but the Promise that God has planted in my heart as a tiny seed of faith that is growing ever so slowly into His Beautiful Plan. I have all that I need even though I don’t see it. His Word tells me that I do. I have a prospering soul. I am satisfied. I am content. My life is not my own. I bear no responsibility for it. My only burden in life is obedience and I find that is not loathsome anymore. I am free. I am not bound by sorrow, bills or responsibilities. Faith allows the impossible to become possible in my life. It opens my eyes to see the blessings already hidden in my tent. It shows me favor in captivity when I feel caught up. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Are you today? No matter what your surroundings look like or the situation is, you have everything you need pertaining to life and godliness. Lord, open the eyes of my heart today so it is this I see. I call this place I am in today – The Lord Will Provide.
3 John 2-4
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.