I have agreed to join a team on a missionary trip to Honduras in July 2013. Without going into great detail today, it is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip. The President of Honduras has opened the door for every state in his country to hold a Christian evangelistic crusade on the same night at the same time. To be accomplished, it will take thousands of missionaries–and I am honored to be one of them.
And like all trips of this nature, there’s a large cost involved and a timeline in which to get your payment in to the missionary offices. It’s an exercise of faith for all of us.
Yesterday, I received a text from one of our team asking for prayer and agreement that their next payment (due this week) would be supplied. I immediately text back that I would be believing with him, because honestly, I was concerned about the timing of our payment of $770 due so close to Christmas. In other words, my faith in God’s provision was being stretched also.
As I prayed this morning for the team, I was reminded that we have a supply.
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
How is it that we can know, and quote so well, a scripture, yet overlook the power of it?
1. GOD HAS A SUPPLY
The first thing we must remember is, God is not lacking. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and all the silver and gold is His (Psalm 50:10). The Bible says even the pavement in Heaven is made of gold. God has more than enough to help those in need. Paul said the supply is from God’s “riches in glory in Christ,” not the riches (or lack of) in my bank account.
2. THOSE WHO QUALIFY CAN RECEIVE
I am careful never to read a scripture out of context. Philippians 4:19 is attached to Philippians 4:15-18, which identifies the giving nature of this church toward the Apostle Paul. Therefore, he declared to them (because of their giving) that God would refresh and liberally (to the full) supply for their needs also.
I am a giver and a tither. I know the man who text me is as well. Therefore we qualify to stand on God’s promise of provision.
3. BE THANKFUL, ASK & RECEIVE
I am often reminded that “we have not because we ask not” (James 4:2). But asking must be accompanied by thankfulness. Paul said, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
I may qualify as a giver to receive God’s provision, but if I don’t possess a grateful heart, my supply will be blocked. And in addition, if I’m shy to ask God (specifically) for the need, then that is an indicator of weak (or shy) faith. God knows my need, but He has repeatedly told us in His Word, “Ask of Me…”
As I prayed this morning for these needs, I was reminded of a gumball machine. You know, the big ones in restaurants that drop a gumball from the top to spiral down, down, down a chute to a door at the bottom. I thought about how everyone can see the supply of gumballs in the top of the container, but only those who put in a quarter qualify to receive one. And secondly, if there is anything blocking the spiral release, the gumball is hindered from reaching its destination.
My daughter always asks for a quarter when we see one of these machines. And on occasion, TWO gumballs have dropped! I think that would be likened to God doing “exceedingly, abundantly, above what we ask” (Ephesians 3:20) …but that’s another message!
So just in case you are struggling with a need this Christmas, I wanted to remind you there is a supply. And our God is liberal (in the good sense of the word)! He is generous and willing to meet, and exceed, the needs in our life.