I Really Want
Mom, we just rescued this lizard from a cat's mouth!"
never know what the kids are going to bring to the house.
Frogs flattened by the road, squashed lady bugs, an old
smelly horse's hoof…it's always an adventure! And we live
in the city!
about this lizard caught my attention. It was breathing
hard. Its heart must have been beating fast! But the most
interesting thing about this lizard was the cat hair in
its jaw. This lizard had fought for dear life!
of chance did this lizard have? No chance at all, really.
If it weren't for my boys, the lizard surely would have
become a cat's random afternoon snack. But not this lizard!
Even before the "divine intervention," this reptile
was willing to fight to the death. This little lizard was
the boys to let it go. After all that, it deserved freedom!
Gratefully, the lizard took off into the bushes without
even a backward glance.
was a warrior. I was surprised by this when I first read
it. I had heard that Abram was obedient. He packed up his
tent without a word and moved when God told him to -- even
though he didn't know where he was going. I knew Abram wanted
a son very badly, and God gave him one -- eventually. And
I had heard that God told Abram to sacrifice his son. I
knew that Abram would have gone through with it -- if God
hadn't stopped him.
never thought of Abram as a warrior. A fighter.
was when he had to be.
remember from a previous article (Singin' the Blues?) that
Lot chose the best land? He left Abram, for the most part,
standing in the dust. But Abram didn't seem to mind. And
when Lot left, God repeated His covenant promise to Abram
-- that all the land would someday be for Abram and his
descendants. Do you think he really believed it? Though
he was a man of great faith, I'm sure he had a hard time
envisioning children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren
and so on among the tumbleweeds and trees and tents and
sand and such…
I would have.
struggle with having faith?
Lately, as we have been "on our own" as church
planters in the St. Louis area, God has been HUGELY challenging
our faith. We've been without sufficient income before,
but I don't think that it has been any easier for me this
to the world's standpoint, we just don't make enough money
to "make ends meet." And right now, we have bills
that we just can't pay. We barely paid rent this month.
as I stand in the dust with our many college degrees and
my husband's doctorate, watching others with good jobs and
well-paying ministry positions riding off into the sunset,
I feel like Abram might have felt occasionally…
are your great promises for us, Lord? When will we see them?
After all, we've tried hard to follow You. So when will
you provide our needs?"
my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious
riches in Christ Jesus.
and jealousy knock at my heart's door. Do you know what
I mean? The enemy whispers things to me, like…
needs aren't met because God doesn't love you as much as
has forgotten you…."
you had only done ______________________ (fill in the blanks),
then God would love you more…"
are lies from the enemy! Does the enemy seek to condemn
there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ
come from the Holy Spirit. Condemnation is not from God.
Condemnation is from the enemy.
as I've been pondering this principle of God providing for
our needs, God has been right there, ready and waiting to
teach a willing heart. (And that in itself is God, meeting
my idea of "needs" is not necessarily the same
as God's idea of "needs." I feel like some of
our needs are:
money to live on and the ability to pay bills on time
of food on the table
and energy and time to do what God has called us to do
in my children
definite place for our church to meet, as we seek to minister
to St. Louis
the picture. This is the "agenda" I've been presenting
to the Lord.
God has been teaching me that His "needs list"
is different from mine. I would not pretend to know exactly
what God is thinking…
My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways
higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts…
His ways are higher than mine, I am beginning to grasp the
concept that "needs" are just different in God's
what I mean.
my needs, truly? What are they in God's eyes? Well, for
one thing, His priority is in the spiritual -- the eternal.
In God's eyes, my greatest needs are spiritual!
my greatest need, right now, is to say as Paul said,
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances…
know about Paul? He was so hungry at times that his belly
must have hurt from lack of food. He was in danger and his
enemies beat on him, stoned him, and imprisoned him. He
was cold and thirsty and homeless. And the early churches
Paul started were not only often on the move, but they were
often on the run! Did Paul complain to God and accuse Him
of not meeting his needs?
all. Paul, in his need, was content. Paul had his eyes on
a higher prize…to know Him.
say that I am content, no matter what? No…not yet (to my
shame), but I am working on it.
is my greatest need. And I feel that indeed, God is meeting
this need as He is teaching me to be content. No matter
what…whether I have rent, whether I have health, whether
or not I like my job, whether or not my children suffer,
whether I have extra food on the table, whether or not our
little church has a building. Paul told Timothy,
with contentment is great gain.
we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing
out of it.
I Timothy 6:6-7
concerned with meeting my spiritual needs. That's more important
than my physical needs! Though I believe that in His own
time He will sustain us and provide for us -- as long as
we are walking in His will -- I'm glad His priority is on
the spiritual. He is preparing us for things to come. He
has us on a spiritual journey. There is purpose in what
He does or doesn't do. He whispers to me, "Be content…"
to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable
things you do not know…
it a paradox? In my physical need I am calling to Him, but
He delays that answer…and in His providential delay, He
is meeting my spiritual need by challenging me and teaching
me and growing my faith.
know, this actually causes my physical needs to pale in
comparison to what He is doing inside of my heart…
a Promise Keeper? Yes, He is. Does He meet my needs? Yes,
He does, in His way -- in the best way possible! Abram would
agree with me.
after Lot went riding off into the sunset, he was captured
-- he and his whole family! You see, Lot may have had plenty
to live on, but he was on a spiritual journey of his own.
God had much to teach him, too. You can read about it in
Genesis 14 and following. But what amazes me is Abram's
response! He gathered together some men and went to rescue
Lot and his family. Just like that!
was a warrior, with God's help, when He needed to be. Abram
depended on God to take care of him. Abram believed God's
promises, even though he didn't see them all fulfilled.
knew about God's providential delays! Yet he walked in faith,
he fought in faith, he waited in faith.
a warrior like Abram and have great faith? To be like Paul
and be content, whether I am in need or I have plenty??
what I really want. And that is all I really need.
you can?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible
for one who believes."
Immediately the boy's father exclaimed,
"I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
And what more shall
I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson
and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets,
who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice,
and gained what was promised,
who shut the mouths of the lions,
quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of
whose weakness was turned to strength;
and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.
Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There
were others who were tortured,
refusing to be released so that they might gain an even
Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.
They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two;
they were killed by the sword.
They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute,
persecuted, and mistreated -- the world was not worthy of
They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves
and in holes in the ground.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them
received what had been promised, since God had planned something
better for us so that only together with us would they
be made perfect.
© 2012. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights