He Provides

My thoughts were full of questions, wondering about how’s and why’s, and then the Spirit reminded me:  “The Lord will provide.”  The ancient story of Genesis 22 came to mind. It is one of those chapters of the Bible that some find troubling. Even some Christians who have tamed God, turning Him into a servant of their desires, tend to read that chapter with skepticism, perhaps even disgust. But, if we understand the ‘otherness’ of God, that awful majesty that He is, we can begin to appreciate the revelation that Abraham found that day. He is God alone and His ways are perfect, even when mysterious to our thoughts.

This word today is for those of whom He asks hard things, who are facing a future that feels uncertain. I invite you to a deeper vision of our God.

Isaac asked, “Dad, we have the flint and the wood for our sacrifices, but where is the lamb for the offering?” Abraham and Isaac were on their way to Mt. Moriah. God had asked the father for the ultimate sacrifice. “Give me your son.” One of them is wonders where the lamb is and the other is trying to understand what God is doing and why! Abraham responded to his son’s question by telling him: “Isaac, God will see to it that there is a sheep for the offering.” At the place of sacrifice Abraham began to prepare his own son for sacrifice. His heir, the promised son, was on the stones piled into an altar. Oh, the horror. Oh, the questions. A son to be offered to God.  Yet Abraham acted in faithful obedience until the Lord stopped him. “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place “The LORD Will Provide.” (Yahweh Yireh) (Genesis 22:11-14, NIV)

Tragically some read about the Lord’s provision and reduce it to promise about their next mortgage payment. “God will provide” they say, as if God were similar to the government, a Dispenser of Stimulus checks. What an impoverished vision of the Holy One. He is concerned about our ‘daily bread.’  But, the revelation of His sufficiency goes to the heart of our walk of faith, to a promise we can hold onto as we practice radical obedience that brings on the ‘death of Self.’  

Abraham discovered that God will lead us to a place where our trust is deep, our obedience complete, and there He will provide what we need to meet the test.  Has the Lord asked you to walk a road of challenges that you have NO IDEA how to overcome?  Is your faith tested to what feels like a breaking point?  Remember the promise  that He provides; His grace sufficient for our greatest need.

Abraham had to make the journey before he saw the answer. I prefer that He shows me the plan BEFORE I start towards the mountain. Obedience is so much easier when my way is clear, when provisions are abundant, when the outcome is obvious.  God often demands that we follow Him even when we only can see the next step, nothing more.  That is why faith is a basic requirement for doing His will.  The Word teaches that “It is impossible to please God without faith.” (Hebrews 11:6, NLT)

What is He asking of you? Is it impossible? Are there more questions than answers, yet a clear sense that He is leading?  “God will provide.”

Paul’s experience brings us a similar principle. As he traveled in the work of God, preaching Christ to hostile crowds, he nearly broke down. He says, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers.” (2 Corinthians 1:8-12, NIV)  In that same letter, Paul tells us that God told him to lean hard on Him. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Faith is not simple, nor are the choices easy, but God is sufficient. He will provide all that we need, when we need it, so that we can do His will. That’s His promise. Here is a word from the Word, the promise of the God who provides. “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NLT)

________________

Immortal, Invisible

(A majestic hymn of worship.)

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible
Hid from our eyes;
Most blessed, most glorious,
The Ancient of Days;
Almighty, victorious,
Thy great name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting
And silent as light;
Nor wanting, nor wasting,
Thou rulest in might.
Thy justice, like mountains,
High soaring above;
Thy clouds, which are fountains
Of goodness and love.

To all, life Thou givest,
To both great and small;
In all, life Thou livest,
The true life of all;
We blossom and flourish
As leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish
But naught changeth Thee.

Great Father of glory,
Pure Father of light;
Thine angels adore Thee
All veiling their sight.
All praise we would render,
O help us to see
‘Tis only the splendor
Of light hideth Thee.

Smith, Walter Chalmers / Robert, John

© Public Domain

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