God will provide
Friends, how wonderful it is that the Lord Jesus Christ is among us!
Genesis 22:8-14 (here and further from the Living Bible):
“8 God will see to it, my son," Abraham replied. And they went on. 9 When they arrived at the place where God had told Abraham to go, he built an altar and placed the wood in order, ready for the fire, and then tied Isaac and laid him on the altar over the wood. 10 And Abraham took the knife and lifted it up to plunge it into his son, to slay him. 11 At that moment the Angel of God shouted to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Yes, Lord!" he answered. 12 "Lay down the knife; don't hurt the lad in any way," the Angel said, "for I know that God is first in your life--you have not withheld even your beloved son from me." 13 Then Abraham noticed a ram caught by its horns in a bush. So he took the ram and sacrificed it, instead of his son, as a burnt offering on the altar. 14 Abraham named the place "Jehovah provides"- and it still goes by that name to this day.”
I would like to share with you about the Lord who provides everything for us and usually provides well in advance. God provides earthly as well as heavenly blessings. God provides all things.
There is a remarkable true story about a man who crossed the Atlantic ocean on a ship a long time ago. He was supposed to sail for half a month. During this time he ate canned food and crackers which he had preserved for the long journey. So he was short on rations.
When the ship had almost reached the shore, the traveler unexpectedly met his friend on the deck. The man was puzzled: “We have been traveling together but why didn’t I ever see you at the restaurant?” The traveler replied: “Unfortunately, I didn’t have money enough to eat at the restaurant.” “But didn’t you know that breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the ticket price?!”
Can you imagine how hurtful it was for the traveler to find out that he might have had 3 meals a day at the restaurant instead of eating canned food and crackers only at the end of the journey?
What would I like tell you, my friends? I would like tell you that there is a great number of people, for whom everything has been paid, but they don’t use it. God has paid for everything. God has provided everything for us. I am 100% sure that our God is like this: He provides everything for us. He sees not only to significant things but also to little things. He sees to earthly as well as heavenly provision. He provides the things we can’t provide. For instance, we can’t see into the future and prepare for it. Actually we don’t know the future, and it scares us. But here is what we need to believe today: God provides everything.
God has already provided a job. My friends, there is a job for every one of you. For every unmarried lady, God has already provided a husband. He knows his name. For every single man, God has already provided a wonderful wife. She exists! God has already provided a victory over all your enemies if there is any. God has already made a way for you to pay off your debts.
One time our family faced a big problem. My parents had a huge debt. They sold an apartment and bought a cottage. They settled all things, but the debt remained. It seemed as if it would stay forever, as if they would never pay it off. But God saw how we could pay it back. One day the money needed was supplied supernaturally. We were amazed.
But why do we worry then? We worry only because we don’t believe that God provides all things. Miracles happen in accordance with God’s time table. Our God is always like this.
Today I’d like to tell you about how the Lord provides ahead of time.
1 Peter 5:7
Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.
God wants us to cast all our cares upon Him, for He cares about us. I remember 10 years ago my wife and I went to Kiev to take part in a summit for pastors and apostles. It was in 2000, quite a restless and uncertain time for our country. There was a lady from the USA whom we didn’t know and she didn’t know us either. One time she came to us and said: “I looked at you and the word of the Lord concerning you came to me: “Don’t worry about your children. I will take care of them, their education and provision for the future.” We stood with our mouths opened, looked at her and listened to the prophecy. 10 years have passed since then and God in fact has provided. He knew in advance and has already provided everything.
God sees not only to earthly provision. He provides heavenly things as well. Once in the church that we attended previously, a powerful visitation took place. The Holy Spirit came in such a way that the people fell down under God’s power and lay in God’s glory. Some people were so touched by God’s visitation that they even left their own bodies. They visited heaven. There is scriptural basis for this sort of ‘out-of-body’ experience. It is when the soul leaves the body but a person doesn’t die, his body is still alive. God begins to show spiritual things to the person. That day one sister was ‘out of body’ for 30-40 minutes, then she came back and told us with great amazement what she had seen and heard. She said that she had seen her father singing in a heavenly choir with all the saints. But in reality he is a drunkard and doesn’t even go to church. Can you imagine that God’s provided for this drunkard to sing in a heavenly choir?! And he will sing there. Recently I’ve asked other people if this man has been saved or not. They replied that he continues drinking heavily. Many years have passed since then. But, you know, if God has willed for him to go to heaven, he will be there. There is going to be a day and an hour that God’s already ordained as well when he repents of his sins.
You may think of your unsaved relatives and worry about them. Trust God. He knows the day and an hour of their salvation. God is the Provider. I want you to see it. He sees to earthly and heavenly provision. But quite often, only when some time has passed, can we turn back and see God’s hand.
Genesis 28:16 (KJV)
And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
Do you see: the Lord is in this place, God provides, God accomplishes.
Jacob ran away from his brother. Then he lay down to sleep in the desert, using stones for pillows. He dreamed and saw a ladder, and the angels of God ascending and descending on it. The Lord stood above the ladder and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham”. And He told Jacob about his future and destiny. Jacob awoke out of his sleep and said: “Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.”
Very often we don’t know that God is with us. It doesn’t occur to us that the Lord has already been in this place before you got there. God always walks before us. He is never behind. Before we arrived to the place, the Lord was already there. He has performed something, prepared something for you. God is always like this. That is why Jacob says: “I knew it not”.
1 Kings 17:9
Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
In the time of drought God commanded Elijah to go to Zarephath and stay with a widow. Elijah went there, found the woman and asked her to feed him. The prophet thought that God had warned her but it turned out that she didn’t know anything and had nothing besides a handful of flour and some oil in a jar. You know, it happens sometimes that God commands us to do something but we don’t know about it. But how do we find out? God sends the people who need our help. We have to see that God commands us to do something. If we help those people, we will stay alive like the widow did.
Sometimes God is 100% with us but we don’t feel it—similar to Gideon. An angel came to him in a dream and said: “God is with you, mighty man”. Gideon became frightened. Sometimes we are also seized with dread when God is with us. He has already taken care of everything and provided everything, but we don’t realize it. That’s why we eat those crackers as the man who was crossing the Atlantic. But I tell you, friends, whatever we feel, our feelings don’t stop the God who is faithful. He is a God who provides everything, even trivial things.
The man didn't know, and Jesus had disappeared into the crowd.
He replied, "If you only knew what a wonderful gift God has for you, and who I am, you would ask me for some living water!"
How many things are there in life that God accomplishes but we are unaware of? Sometimes it seems as if everything has fallen into place by chance. But it’s God who shapes our destiny and puts everything together like in a puzzle. He does! He does! He does! It’s He who provides all things and works everything together.
When our church was deprived of the right to rent a building for services and actually thrown out, we searched for lots of buildings with a view of buying some but not knowing which one to choose. But God had already ordained that this old cow barn should belong to us. I do remember when we came here a man from another church approached me and said: “I praise God! Two years in a row I prayed in this old cow barn in the Spirit and felt the strong anointing of the Holy Spirit. Now I realize why I have been doing it. Because God has ordained this building for you and He sent me to intercede.” At the time we were scared, we didn’t know what to do, but God had given this building to us. He is the Lord who provides. He meets our needs.
4 At dawn we saw a man standing on the beach but couldn't see who he was. 5 He called, "Any fish, boys?" "No," we replied. 6 Then he said, "Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you'll get plenty of them!" So we did, and couldn't draw in the net because of the weight of the fish, there were so many!
This is who our God is. He has already supplied a shoal of fish. The disciples tried to catch fish all night long but without any results. Jesus showed the place where to throw out the net because He had brought all the fish of the lake there.
You are trying to find something but God has already chosen a business for you of which you have never dreamed. We have to learn how to trust and believe God who sees to all things in our life. We hear the words: “Prepare the way for the Lord” and we got used to thinking that it is we who have to prepare the way. But God wants to change our way of thinking. It is He who prepares the way for us to follow. He works for us. We have to realize His goodness, mercy and kindness. We have to know how to trust Him and relax. We need to look at everything the way God looks at it. We need to realize that God cares about us and we can boldly entrust all our cares to Him and He will provide supernaturally.
When we got there, we saw that a fire was kindled and fish were frying over it, and there was bread.
The Lord prepared breakfast for the disciples.
"Now come and have some breakfast!" Jesus said.
These are the miracles that the Lord performs for His people. They haven’t expected it. Our Lord is the Lord who supplies.
1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV)
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
As you see, quite often our eye doesn’t see, our ear doesn’t hear and our heart doesn’t even dream about something. Our Lord is He who provides the blessings for us. He provides in advance.
"Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in me. 2 There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming.
Here is who our God is. He prepares a home for us. He prearranges everything even the smallest things. This is our God. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with me where I am. (John 14:3)
And finally, our Lord goes before us.
You shall not leave in haste, running for your lives; for the Lord will go ahead of you, and he, the God of Israel.
We have to learn how to let God go ahead of us. Do you remember what John the Baptist said about Jesus? “He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.” (John 1:27 KJV). What we need to learn is how to let Jesus go before us and trust Him, because He is the Lord who sees to everything in our life. After committing our lives to Him, He leads us by His higher ways. Somebody has said that the order of summands doesn’t influence the total sum (there is no difference if we add 2 to 3 or 3 to 2, the total is 5 anyway). But in this case there is a radical difference. If we let Jesus go first, everything will change. King David knew how to let God be first. And God said him to move forward on hearing the sound of the wind blowing in the tops of the mulberry trees. David expected the Lord to go before him and he would follow and have a 100% success. Saul, on the contrary, didn’t know how to do this, didn’t know how to wait on the Lord. He burst forward and that’s why he met with defeat.
Here is God’s promise for us for this year – God will go before us. Our God provides earthly and heavenly blessings. God provides. God meets us. God knows how to provide everything. Believe that He fights for us, goes ahead of us, arranges, and prepares the way. That’s why we can look into the future without any fear and live in comfort without worrying. It’s the foundation of our peace. God sends His angels and people, comes through and offers help. He leads us to be at the right place at the right time. The Creator arranges everything for us. Just trust the Lord and expect that this year God will show Himself in unusual way.