The Lord Who Provides

provide-001-001In 2017 remember this…He is the Lord who provides.

In Genesis 22 we read the account of how God asked Abraham to prepare to make a sacrifice, and how the thing to be sacrificed was his only son, the son of promise too. This is difficult to work out and seems an odd thing for God to ask. It’s definitely a divine test at a whole other level.

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” [v2]

However, I think it is a test God asks of us more often than we may care to acknowledge. This is not about sacrificing our firstborn on an altar. In some senses it’s much simpler than that but just as difficult.

God’s question: are we willing to give up what is most precious to us?

Think about those things which have our heart, our attention, our time and our resources. Those things we can elevate and give greater importance than we ought to. The things which can easily get between us and God.

God first. Then family. Then church. I think this is a good way to line things up. But we have to be like Abraham, be willing to let go of what’s most precious and have faith that God will provide and therein lays the test. To let go of what we think is best for something God may provide which is better.

Yet therein lays the wonder as to how much God knows what we need and can bring it us, seemingly from nowhere, out of the ‘thickets’, from the other side of the mountain even.

“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. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” [v12-14]

In 2017, remember…He is the Lord who provides.

Acknowledge What God Has Done

And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.” She also said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.” [Genesis 21:6-7]

Ever used the phrase ‘Who would have thought?’ I know I have. You know, when something you are wanting to happen suddenly happens or something unexpectedly good happens and we are like, ‘Woah, who would have thought?’ It’s that questioning phrase indicating surprise and amazement. In other words, ‘I know that ‘thing’ has just happened but how did that ‘thing’ just happen?’

I like to imagine Sarah, son in her arms with a kind of bemused look on her face as if to say, ’Who would have thought? We’ve had a son, at our age. I’m literally holding a baby. This gobsmacking!! I mean I know these things happen but how has this just happened?’

As we walk with God, I think it’s alright for us experience some moments like these. I might go so far to say we actually need them. Moments where God truly astounds us. Moments where we are lost for words. Moments when our jaw hits the floor.

Why do we need them? They remind us about the character of God…

He loves us and loves to bless us.

God is God and we are not.

Nothing is impossible with God.

If God says it will come to pass, then we best be ready for Him to bring it to pass.

When such things happen,we must remember it is God who brought it about.

Joy and life come to us through such moments.

Think about your own walk with God. Take a minute to ponder, stand amazed even, at the hand of God moving in and through your life. What has God done for you? Is it healing, reconciliation, forgiveness, opportunity, favour, protection? Perhaps it’s simply the fact that through the work of Jesus you have been redeemed, set free and saved. All are moments of awe and wonder, any of which might have caused us to say ‘Who would have thought?’

The Need for Prayer

David displays a heart of prayer. Something that I would do well to learn for myself. Yesterday I commented that I need God encounters. Today I would say that I also need to be coming before God in prayer. Always.

Not just with my wish list. Instead with an understanding of who I am in relation to who God is and how knowing Him can benefit me. Let my heart cry in the same way Davids did.

Don’t be angry with me.
Don’t discipline me.
Be gracious to me.
Heal me.
Deliver me.
Save me.
Hear me.

Answer so that Your name is glorified. [Psalm 6]

How wonderful to know that God is attentive to our cry and accepts our prayers. More than that, we can gain confidence that we cannot find in anything or anyone else. So lets pray for more than just for God to bless us, more than just a nice day or for the sun to shine. Lets lift out faith as we stand in awe of our God, for healing, for a widening of our view to pray for the world in which live, for salvation, for miracles, for Gods name to be glorified as we stretch our faith and believe for the impossible.

Influence 2015: Final night

Have enjoyed this years Influence Conference. Tonight’s final session with Pastor Ray Bevan was all about how God can do the impossible…

Let’s actually believe that nothing is impossible for God. 

Psalm 77:14
You are the God who does wonders

Jesus doesn’t turn up when it’s difficult. He turns up when it’s impossible. 

A wonder is when God goes beyond what we can imagine. 

He can stop time
He can speed up the process
He can feed 20000 with nothing much

Sometimes we are looking at what we have and thinking ‘I can’t do this’ 

He does wonders – we just have to give him something to work with