Thursday, January 08, 2009

LEARNING TO TRUST GOD EACH DAY
...the gracious gift of humility in how the Lord meets our need



“Give us this day our daily bread.” –Matthew 6:11


When was the last time we really had to pray this humble prayer; asking the Lord to provide “daily bread” for our life? Seems almost insignificant in the times we live with a McDonald’s on almost every street corner and supermarkets overflowing. But the reality is that most of us are just one paycheck away before the well runs dry. The point of this prayer is simple and profound: we can never take God’s provision for granted; we are utterly dependent on Him for all things; and without Him, we can do nothing. Everything that we have is from His gracious hand.

Listen to what A.W. Pink says about this truth:

“By asking for our “daily bread” a tacit acknowledgment is made that “in Adam and by our own sins we have forfeited our right to all the outward blessings of this life, and deserve to be wholly deprived of them by God, and to have them cursed to us in the use of them; and that neither they of themselves are able to sustain us, nor we to merit, or by our own industry to procure them, but prone to desire, get and use them unlawfully; we pray for ourselves and others that they and we, waiting upon the providence of God from day to day, in the use of lawful means, may of His free gift, and as His Fatherly wisdom shall deem best, enjoy a competent portion of them, and have the same continued and blessed unto us in our holy and comfortable use of them and contentment in them” (Larger Cat.)

Beloved, is the cubbard bare today? Are funds scarce and the resources for daily living almost gone? Then take heart and may this day be filled with the wonderful opportunity to trust the Lord afresh for even the most basic necessities of life. Rejoice in His marvelous providential supply for you as He puts His sufficient grace on display; for our God shall"supply all our needs according to the riches in glory that are in Christ Jesus."

Feast on the Word of God: Jer. 15:16; Job 23:10-12; Isaiah 37; Psalm 103; Matt. 6:25-34; Phil. 4:13ff; Col. 1:9-14.

18 comments:

donsands said...

God has truly blessed me, and I have so much. And I do thank our Lord daily for His blessings to me.

Another Scripture that came to mind was, James 2: 15-16. It's what you have, but are you content in it, and what are you doing with it.

A preacher visited my church, his name is Joe Ehrman, and he started off his sermon with a simple phrase: "Everthing you own is either a tool, or an idol." Gave me something to ponder.

donsands said...

I meant to say, It's not how much you have, but what are you doing with what the Lord has blessed you with.

Mike Ratliff said...

Don't hold on too tight to what God has blessed you with, He may very well take it away to make you richer in Him. God has blessed me in many ways, but I can remember when I was young with two little kids and very little money. God always took care of me and my family. What is amazing to me though is how God answerd our prayers. It was usually very different than how we prayed. He was never early, but also, never late.

Cleopas said...

Hi Steve,

I think I have a different take on this than A.W. Pink. Yes, it's true that the prayer expresses our basic need for God, but I don't think self-abasement is Jesus' ultimate message. Even if it produces a very humble 'self' that way, it is still a focus on self, which will get us nowhere.

I think the ultimate intention is to illuminate the relationship we have with our heavenly Father, by which He cares for us and meets our needs. As in this passage:

what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? . . . If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good thngs to thoise who ask Him!"
(Matt 7:9-11)

From there, the contrast speaks for itself in God being glorified, and not just in man being abased. So the first principle is in His glory, which is the real focus.

4given said...

Self-abasement never crossed my mind here. What speaks loud and clear is the point that "we can never take God’s provision for granted; we are utterly dependent on Him for all things; and without Him, we can do nothing."
That is not self-abasement, that is reality.
How sadly quickly we can tend to forget that without our Lord, we can do nothing that brings Him honor whether in times of plenty or times of lean.

boxcarvibe said...

Is 42:16 - "And I will bring the blind by a way they knew not; I will lead them in paths they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them."

Someone once told me that unless you literally depend on the Lord for your next meal, you won't know "genuine trust in God". I dismissed his comment but as the Lord would have it about three years later...I lived that very circumstance...with a wife and two small kids.

In the early '90's, experiencing success in my career and building a nice little nest-egg, God revealed to me that I should leave my job - without another one after it - and trust Him to provide everything for me. I thought of a million and one reasons why that the very idea was NOT of God...but the above verse kept coming back to me. After three years, one wife and two kids later, I decided to obey.

I watched my nest egg, my Larry Bukett-mandated emergency funds and every nook and cranny of my resources disappear.

It's a long story, but God had to do that kind of work in me to break any and all dependecies on myself to provide for my family. But it turned out that He had to do that kind of work to reveal...to me...that He was the Jehovah-Jireh.

My head-knowledge became heart-knowledge through that. Oh, how hard it was...but now, looking back, God was so gracious and sweet. My crooked places became straight...I actually saw darkness become light before me...and I am eternally grateful and humbled that Almight God had mercy and grace on my family.

Not everyone has to pray for resources for their next meal to have genuine faith and trust in God...but I had to go through that. I'm now so thankful for each meal...each time my family can meet together...we're all humbled and better for it! Praise the Lord!

donsands said...

"Both riches an honour come from You, and You reign over all; and in Your hand is power and might: and in Your hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.
Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.
But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come from You, and from Your own have we given to You." 1 Chron. 29:12-14

This came to mind as read through all the good thoughts.

baldpapa said...

This serves as a fantastic reminder that even in the things we take for granted (i.e. food, shelter, clothing), He demands that we make much of Him. He humbles us by reminding our fickle hearts that we are not even sufficient to provide the basics of life. Without reminders such as these, its easy to forget our necessary dependency on Him...

4given said...

I have listened to the song link Mr Camp has on this post several times these past few day. As I work out some issues in my life and on my blog, finding comfort in God's Word and listening to edifying music that points me to Christ being all I need is exactly what I need.
(I'd like to figure out how to do audio links on my blog. I have a radio testimony on abortion I did a few years back that I want to post... any suggestions?)
Ex Animo. And may the Lord just bless all of you guys today as you think about Him and His always perfect provision in His always perfect timing!!!

Mike Ratliff said...

Happy Birthday Campi!

Beethovensings said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Soul Writer said...

I am so thankful for this reminder as my husband just learned that in 2 weeks his hours will be cut by 5 hours a week. We don't know for how long... I was reminded too, just the other day that Scripture says, with food and clothing we will be content... doesn't say anything about a roof over our heads... so let's be thankful for how blessed we are.

Pamela

littlegal_66 said...

SJ,

Every time you post this, I am reminded that it's one of my favorite posts here on COT. Thanks for the refresher.

BTW, looking forward to your traditional yearly interview this weekend. Hope it goes well. (Mind if I post a link here to the live stream so everyone can hear? :-))

Grace and peace,

LG

Carla said...

Steve,

you asked "When was the last time we really had to pray this humble prayer; asking the Lord to provide "daily bread" for our life?

I know for some folks, it isn't a matter of having to pray this way but a matter of never really knowing a life where this kind of mindset is ever forgotten. Yes, there are fast food places on every corner, and plenty of folks that can't afford to ever eat there. For folks like that, praying this way is the normal way to pray and having that daily bread truly is a blessing they are grateful for every day.

In our culture of almost obscene abundance, and even in our own bad habits of poor stewardship with the resources He does provide for us, I think we often miss close fellowship with the Lord in prayer that comes during the incredibly lean times.

This is a great post, and always a timely reminder, and I'm glad you put it up. (I'll wait till April to wish you a happy birthday though).
:-)

LivingDust said...

ALL THINGS in this world come from God's hand. The roof over your head, the shoes on your feet, the clothes on your back, every morsel of food. If you can see it, touch it, taste it, hear it or smell it, then it came from the hand of God Almighty. Man can only manipulate what God has provided, man has no ability to create anything "ex nihilo". We can't even make a blade of grass. Thank you Lord for everything that you provide, all of it a blessing from your hand.

Beethovensings said...

"26) Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" (Matthew 6:26)

Do birds live a carefree existence? Yes, they do. They are not self aware. Does anything bad ever happen to birds? Of course.

The same is true for us. Our Father lovingly attends to us, giving us what we need. However, if our lives were without hard times, we would never know the profound peace that comes from fellowship with the Holy Spirit. By allowing us to experience empty cupboards, God is calling us to a close communion with Him. By allowing us to walk through the fire, He teaches us who He is, and calls us to a deeper, more meaningful relationship with Him.

Perhaps He also uses those times to diminish our inherent self awareness that keeps us from pressing forward. I am so thankful to be done with the feel-good theology that is once again on the move in our culture today. It is shallow; minimizing who God is and what He is capable of doing in our lives.

As a kid growing up in the 70's. I remember singing, "Happiness is the Lord." That seemed to be the doctrine of the day; have Jesus in your heart and you will be happy all the time. There was the "Jesus is cool" teaching that catered to the hippie movement. How much did those teachings belittle who Jesus is? How ill-prepared were we to face hard economic times, persecution, and brokenness as a result of that teaching?

No, God never said we would live lives without strife. He said not to worry about it. He said He would give us what we need, and He does. He gives us our Daily Bread, literally and metaphorically.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is Good! In the hard times He is calling us to Him. We are so privileged to be a part of His Kingdom.

Bill said...

However, if our lives were without hard times, we would never know the profound peace that comes from fellowship with the Holy Spirit. By allowing us to experience empty cupboards, God is calling us to a close communion with Him. By allowing us to walk through the fire, He teaches us who He is, and calls us to a deeper, more meaningful relationship with Him.

That was so beautifully put - I needed to hear that today. Thank you.

Bill

Beethovensings said...

Bill,
I guess that's a timely example of God supplying our need...thank you for your kind words.
Sandy
Philippians 4:19