Summary: You don't have to be a theological scholar to figure out what God expects of those who follow Jesus. He made it really clear. Take care of those who are in need in Jesus Name because you love God and you love people.
What followers of Jesus call the providence of God the world calls coincidence. I have so many stories about how God's providence showed up in our life just when we needed it to. I'm sure you have some, too. Kristi and I marvel at how God has provided for us in various ways through the years; an envelope with some cash stuffed in it just when we needed it for example. Or a word of encouragement just when we were feeling devalued. An opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus with someone we were praying for. There are so many stories. Our God is an awesome provider.
If you`re reading through the D6 resources in the adult magazine, Fusion, you will read this in your Devotional thought on Monday. "We pray 'big' prayers but we live with little faith. We want God to use us, but we refuse to give up our petty desires. We say God can do anything as long as that anything doesn't force us out of our comfort zones. If God can really do anything, then He can enable you to do everything He wants you to do."
Here's the thing, Jesus saves you for a purpose. The big churchy word we use is for God's Providence. This simply means for God's purpose. God gives you Spiritual resources (His Provision or Providence) so you'll use them for His purpose. So, there is a reason that Jesus saves you. Here's the thing, you're not saved to go to heaven. That's not the purpose of salvation that God identifies. Heaven is the place we end up if we are genuine followers of Jesus on the earth. Living with God, whether it's here on earth or in heaven is a gift. God loves you. He wants you in His presence. He made it possible for you to live with Him. But it's not why Jesus saved you. God's PROVIDENCE is about His purpose, His reason for PROVIDING you salvation.
Think about the stuff you save. I don't know about you but my thoughts went to hoarders. Have you seen the show Hoarders? This reality show is about people who for different reasons become emotionally attached to their junk. In every episode professional organizers and counselors are introduced to help the hoarders eliminate the trash from their living space. You really need to see an episode to get an idea of the amount of trash, junk and stuff these hoarders accumulate. In many episodes the living spaces are so filled up there's no room to even sit down.
In every episode I've seen the hoarder has an extremely difficult time allowing for their trash and stuff to be removed. Sometimes it takes serious intervention from family members, friends, and even the local authorities. Hoarders become emotionally attached to their stuff. So for them to ask them to remove their things, it's like removing a family member or killing off a pet.
I don't get hoarders personally, because I'm not one. I don't understand that emotional attachment unless you're talking about my remote control. I do get that. But seriously, whether or not you get the mind set of a hoarder, I bet you understand the Spiritual application of hoarding, because we all do that. We all have sinful and flawed stuff in our lives and in our hearts that we hold on to.
It could be a grudge. Maybe you judge people because it makes you feel more right. For some it's pornography, unfaithfulness, stealing. Maybe it's bitterness, or your just skeptical of God. For others, it might be holding on to the idea that you can do your Spiritual life alone, or some hoard selfishness, or jealousy. The point is that we all hold on to something and we have a very difficult time letting it go. Paul relates. He said, "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway." Romans 7:18-19
I know exactly what Paul is talking about. I feel the same way, don't you? I don't want to keep doing things that I know are wrong, but I do them anyway sometimes. When I do, I repent and I feel miserable that I've wronged my God. I want to obey Jesus because I love Him. We need Jesus to come in and do what the folks on the A&E show Hoarders do. They help people get rid of their stuff and help them deal with emotional fallout. Jesus does this with us in a Spiritual sense. He comes in and cleans house. There is an emotional fallout when this happens because we hoard our sinful nature. We're humanly and emotionally attached to our sinful stuff. Paul continues in Romans 7, "Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord" Do you hear the emotional release in his words? I do! Thank God! He eliminates the sinful stuff I desperately want to hold on to.