Provision, temptations, protection. Today we are talking about how God will provide all we need in these situations.
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The Israelites of the Old Testament had many names for God. They all were based on an aspect of God’s character. One of the names of God is Jehovah Jireh which means God the Provider. Today we are going to talk about some of the things that God provides to those who love and follow Him.
Life today can get overwhelming at times. The world is filled with fear and doubt. Our safety and wellbeing can be questioned. We find ourselves in places of temptation that seem to have no way out. This is where Jehovah Jireh, God the Provider, comes in. God provides many things and scripture points out some things specifically that God provides for life in this fallen and dying world.
We will discuss how God provides for our needs, how He provides a way out of temptation, and how He provides protection.
God Will Provide Our Needs
The first area we want to talk about is how God will provide for all of our needs. We all have needs and desires. We also all have a specific plan and purpose placed on our life by God when we were created. Life in this world can be very distracting and draw our attention away from God and His plans and purposes for our life.
We focus more and more on the world and the ways of the world. We settle on the wisdom of the world and start to focus on what the world says we need. This changes from nation to nation and region to region, but the world most definitely tries to tell us what we need. Often what the world says we need and what God says we need are very different things. Remember God provides all we need to live the life He planned for us and He provides all we need to fulfill the plans and purposes He created us for.
Focusing on the world’s desires can make us very anxious. Let’s look at what Jesus taught as it is recorded in Matthew 6:25-34.
(25) "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? (26) Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (27) Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (28) "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. (29) Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. (30) If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? (31) So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' (32) For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. (33) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (34) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Jesus is quite clear. Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, how you look, or what you will wear. These are the things the world focuses on and worries about. These are the things that build jealousy between people. Jesus tells us to first seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness. When we do that, God will provide all we need to eat and drink. He will provide all we need to wear. He will provide all we need to fulfill the mission he created us for.
Philippians 4:19 says:
(19) And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Keep in mind, God provides what we need. At times he also provides for our desires, but He will always provide what we need to do what He has called us to do. If you feel that God is not providing something, this may indicate that you should not be doing what you are planning. Continue to pray for God to open doors for you to lead you where He wants you to go and close the doors where He doesn’t want you to go.
Trust God will provide all you need for an abundant life during your time in this world.
God Will Provide A Way Out Of Temptation
Temptations are a very real thing. Living in this world brings many. We are presented with temptations of varying degrees time and again day by day. Some we see coming and others we do not and we fall prey to them. The important thing is to know that there is always a way out of the temptation we see coming, and if we stay focused on Jesus and continue to read and meditate on scripture, we will see every temptation that comes our way.
Temptations do not always have to cause you to fall into sin. Some temptations the devil sends our way are merely to distract us from God’s plan for ourselves or the world as a whole. This is why it is so important to regularly read scripture and pray. It is imperative that we maintain our focus on Jesus. We must also understand that what God intends and provides for one person does not necessarily mean that it is for everyone.
Temptations can be simple jealousies like wanting what we see our neighbor has or they can be based on greed where we do all we can to amass wealth for ourselves and not share with others or take care of others. Temptations can be sexual, but they can also be based on overindulgence of anything; food, drink, an activity, and more. All of these things have something in common. They are all self-focused. Temptation always leads to gratifying self over others and God.
As temptations come our way, think about the Apostle Paul’s words to the church in Corinth found in 1 Corinthians 10:13.
1 Corinthians 10:13
(13) No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
God is faithful. He will allow temptation to come our way, but He will always provide a way out of it. He will allow you to see the temptation coming. Sometimes the path out of it is to avoid it and other times it is a path straight through it. In either case, it is essential to keep your focus on the Lord as you endure it.
God Will Provide Protection
The final way we want to discuss God’s provision is how God will provide protection.
We recently received an email from a brother who lives in a Muslim country that is ruled by the Taliban. He fears for his life and his family’s life. We get many emails like this from around the world asking for our help to escape or for provision. The brother in this particular email did not ask for help to escape or for money to provide for his family. He humbly asked for prayer as he tries to continue to minister to his village and serve the Lord.
He understands that his true protection lies with the Lord. He knows God will provide all the protection he needs.
We all find ourselves in varying levels of distress where we need protection. Sometimes it is as simple as protection from an overbearing boss and at other times we need protection from an oppressive ruling group or government. We read time and again about God’s people finding themselves under an oppressive king or government and how God provided the protection they needed at the time.
The stories of David facing Goliath, Daniel in the lion’s den, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the furnace are all great examples of how God provided protection to individuals. But he also provides protection for his people as a whole. When Israel was fleeing 400 years of slavery in Egypt God led them to the shore of the Red Sea where he parted the waters and they crossed on dry land before He drowned Pharoah’s army.
King David wrote about how God provides protection many times in the Psalms as he fled from King Saul and battled the enemies of Israel. Look at what David wrote as it is recorded in Psalm 18:2.
(2) The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Believe that the Lord is your rock and fortress. God provides all we need to escape the fiery darts of the devil. He shields us and guides us. He understands what we face and provides everything we need to continue to minister to others in His name.
God will provide all we need to fulfill the mission He has given us here on earth, to avoid and endure the temptations that come our way, and to protect us from the schemes and attacks of the devil. He will deliver you from all the evil intended for you. His provision is more than sufficient for all of your needs. Trust God for everything and do not be anxious. He sees you right where you are and sees exactly what you are facing. You are always at the forefront of the mind of God.