Sometimes when I read the Bible,
my mind goes off thinking about a word or phrase in the
passage while my eyes keep right on going. At times, my
eyes will arrive at the end of a paragraph but my mind will
still be contemplating a concept much earlier in the passage.
Which leads me to wonder, have
you ever carefully read Genesis 22:14?
Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to
this day it is said,
"On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."
"The LORD Will Provide"
comes from the Hebrew JEHOVAH-JIREH. Abraham used
this name of God on Mt. Moriah when he was stopped from
offering Isaac as a sacrifice. The Great Provider supplied
the ram in the thicket as a substitute for Isaac. God truly
is supplier of all our needs.
When we came home from Portugal
as missionaries, we were devastated to learn that because
of Chase's post traumatic stress disorder and his struggle
for language, we would not be able to return. By that time,
Portugal felt more like home than did Dallas. But our greatest
sense of devastation came as we wrestled with our calling
to missions. Though we learned much through that experience,
the most focused lesson God seemed to be trying to drive
home was that He was not so concerned with what we did for
Him; His primary concern is who we are with Him. That was
such a comfort to me because I so wanted to continue doing
foreign missions; He wanted me to walk deeply with Him no
matter what "job" I did for Him.
It seems that in all my heavy
times, God teaches me many things but has a primary lesson
as the focal point of the trial. Over the years, I've learned
many truths about the Father, but the lesson He seems to
be driving home is that of His faithfulness. And even more,
He seems to be trying to get me to the place where my understanding
of His unfailing faithfulness leads to a complete and deep
trust that doesn't waiver, doesn't wonder, and doesn't question
whether or not God's going to provide for us this month.
I'm sure Abraham knew in his
head that God could provide if He wanted to, but
did he trust in his heart that God would? I think
he did. That complete trust is seen in the fact that he
didn't question God or argue with God or offer alternatives.
He just loaded Isaac down with the wood on which he'd be
sacrificed, walked with him up the mountain, and told Isaac
that the Lord would provide the sacrifice. Even as he was
tying his son to the altar, Abraham gave a reassuring look
to his son. He was trusting completely in the Lord. We know
this because Isaac didn't try to fight it; he didn't hit
or kick or scream or try to crawl off the altar. He just
stayed there. We don't know if Isaac had the same, deep
trust in God his dad had, but his willingness to stay reveals
that he at least trusted in his dad's trust in God…and that's
something; that's a start.
But God doesn't want my trust
in Him to be just a start. He doesn't want me to trust in
my wife's trust in God, or my mom's, or my pastor's, or
my mentor's. That's a secondary trust. No, He wants me to
know Him so deeply that I trust Him primarily, personally,
and completely on my own…whether or not the other people
in my life are trusting Him.
That's what He's been working
on with me these past few months. And just when I think
I've got it, He'll test me. I'll know in my head that God
is my JEHOVAH-JIREH, that He's going to provide,
and that I have innumerable past examples of His provision
as proof that He'll come through again; but there are times
when I allow that sense of wonder to creep in and I find
myself "wondering" if He's going to supply my
I haven't arrived, I'm still
growing and learning, but I believe I'm getting close to
learning this lesson. You may be wondering why it's taking
me so long. Well there are three things with which I'm coming
First, it's His reputation
at stake, not mine. He is my Father, He's promised to provide,
and if He doesn't (which I know won't happen), it would
be His reputation as Provider that suffers. I've got to
stop worrying about my reputation and just rest in Him.
Second, my manhood sometimes
gets in the way. Our culture has taught me to believe that
I am the bread winner, the provider for my family; that
without my working, slaving at a job, and "bringin'
home the bacon", my family will not make it. But our
God has taught me that He is the Provider, not me; that
He supplies all our needs in Christ Jesus and that if I'd
hurry up and learn this lesson, we could move on to the
Third, I've got to cooperate
with Him. It's not going to do a whole lot of good for God
to attempt to teach me these great eternal truths about
Himself if I'm not cooperating. I've got to walk in sync
with Him, to be careful not to fight against Him, and to
discipline myself to cooperate with the Spirit in the learning
Sometimes, I'm a slow learner.
Are you? What is our Father trying to teach you today? Are
you cooperating with Him or is He dragging you kicking and
screaming from one lesson to the next? Perhaps our theme
verse for this week can be Proverbs 3:5-6:
in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your
think about Him in all your
ways, and He will guide you on the right paths."
I'll claim it. Will you?
Copyright © 2011. Faith
Matters by Dr. Ken Lovelace. All rights reserved.