God is our provider. I think that most of us know and believe this somewhere in our heads if not in our hearts. The concept is real but at times it seems that the details are skewed. We know in general but struggle to believe in the specifics. We are sure that God ordained a ram to be caught in a thicket for Abraham, that Jesus ordered Peter and the others to cast their nets on the other side of their boat and a miraculous amount of fish were caught, and that He rained manna from heaven when Israel was hungry. All these examples and experiences are sure in our heads, and yet we are often found fearful and even doubtful when we are not sure of what our next step will be.

One thing we have to understand about our Provider is that He is not simply one who doles out things, He is the lover of our souls. He is not an absent Father that is making up for His absence with things. He is an ever present Father that is much more concerned with our hearts and our character than our stomachs and our plans. I have often reduced God’s provision down to mortgage payments and gas bills not realizing that those things, while important in the moment are almost inconsequential in eternity. Yes, God does provide for my physical needs, but even more, He provides for my spiritual ones.

Paul writes two wonderfully true statements about God’s provision that seem to be polar opposites and yet they support one another fully. To the Philippians Paul wrote, “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.” This verse is a great promise that is being fulfilled in all of our lives every single day. The importance is to look at it as it is and not as our flesh wants it to be. As our provider, it is God that determines our needs, we determine our wants. The riches of His glory are not present to be spent to satisfy our fleshly wants, they are present to fulfill our God intended purpose. Paul, told the Corinthians about his “thorn in the flesh.” He said that three times he asked God to remove it and that each time the answer from God was no. Then, God spoke to Paul very clearly about the situation, “My grace is sufficient for all of your needs.” God’s answer was not that He was not able to provide for Paul’s request, it was that His provision in this situation was greater than what was being asked. Paul wanted a miraculous moment that would remove the issue, God was providing a miraculous amount of power that would give Paul the strength to endure the issue.

God gives. Every breath that we take is a gift from Him, every good thing that we have in our lives has been given by His hands. Without God’s provision we not only have nothing, we honestly are nothing. God’s provision is much greater than we have understood or explored. He didn’t just give the ram in the thicket, He provided the path of faith that led to that altar. There was far more happening that day than a simple sacrifice, there was the passing of a covenant, there was the building of faith and trust. God didn’t swoop in at the last minute, He had gone before to order all the plans, the needs and the steps that Abraham and Isaac would need for that divinely appointed day. The same is true for us. God isn’t merely giving stuff, that isn’t what makes Him our provider. He is giving Himself, He is changing our character, our minds and our souls. He is molding us and making us into His image. God is providing the grace that is sufficient for us to know Him more, He is providing the glory that is necessary for us to have our eyes lifted and our flesh pressed down and He is providing His Spirit to dwell within us that we might be led by Him and be called the “sons of God.” God is our provider, don’t ever doubt it. The path of righteousness will never be lacking and the hope that is within us will never disappoint.