Summary: We want provision right now! Send in the offering and expect the miracle, the new car, or the new house. However, there is a pace to provision that we must understand and in which we must participate.
The Pace of Provision
We like to talk about provision. You can get shouted down when you begin to talk about provision. I may not get an “amen” when I preach about lust, gluttony, or anger, but when I get off on provision you can bet amens are coming.
American Christianity is particular is obsessed with provision. Our obsession with provision has led to prosperity preaching that has become more than skewed it has moved over into absolute manipulation and often outright fraud. Cadilacs for coins and Beemers for bucks are the promise. Miracles dependent on moolah. Debt relief in exchange for dead presidents. Healings hinged on how many $100s we can donate. Hogwash!
However, in spite of all the perversion that has taken place in talking about provision I have come two conclusions:
1. God still provides and He is a God of provision. Regardless of how self-serving preachers become or how gullible God’s people are, and even though we have allowed our view of God to become diminished into some cosmic Santa Clause, and even though too often we try to work the “system” to get what we want when we want it God is and always will be faithful. He is in fact mindful of us and longs to be our provider. He is still the source of our provision whether that be financial, emotional, spiritual, relational or otherwise. God still has abundant supply that He willingly shares with us!
2. The second conclusion that I have come to is where I part ways with the “name it claim it”, “confess it and possess it” crowd. The thing I have discovered is that according to Scripture there is a pace of provision. Prosperity preacher don’t talk about this because this disrupts the “send me $1000 today and you will get your blessing tomorrow” message. Gullible folks don’t want to hear this because now their “get rich quick scheme” and their decision to throw money at things that took them years to get into in hopes of a 1 minute solution is blown away.
There is a pace to provision. Now let me stop here and say this to you this morning. If you have never been in need or a desperate situation then this message will mean nothing to you. If you have never wondered where your next meal was coming from, how you were going to put gas in your car, how you were going to keep the collectors from taking what you have, or how your babies were going to have school clothes this won’t help you. If all you have no is excess and silver spoons, and caviar, and perfect relationships, and perfect jobs, and perfect days then you won’t get this message. You may get beat up after the message, but you won’t get this message!
I just know from my personal experience – working full time for $6800 a year – that there are days that I don’t care for or appreciate God’s pace when it comes to provision. If He has access to a cattle on a thousand hills what’s the hold up with sending me a calf today by 3:00pm? It could even be a calf that limps, with one eye. I just need a calf. I don’t know about you but I have lived in seasons when I felt decalfinated!
Needs everywhere. Desperate. Stressed. Worried. But no calf in site. Bills in site. Bankers in site. But no calf. I think that we need to understand this morning that God is a God of provision. How many of you need provision? I do. But we must also understand that sending some slick haired, gold ring wearing scam artist with holy water, holy sand, holy paper, gold dust flowing from his hands scam artist isn’t the means or pace by which God produces provision. There is a pace to provision!
I want to take you into an extremely familiar portion of Scripture that speaks to the truth.
1After all this, God tested Abraham. God said, “Abraham!”
“Yes?” answered Abraham. “I’m listening.”
2He said, “Take your dear son Isaac whom you love and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I’ll point out to you.”
3Abraham got up early in the morning and saddled his donkey. He took two of his young servants and his son Isaac. He had split wood for the burnt offering. He set out for the place God had directed him. 4On the third day he looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5Abraham told his two young servants, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I are going over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.”
6Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and gave it to Isaac his son to carry. He carried the flint and the knife. The two of them went off together.