God Provides For Your NEEDS
So many times we plead for God to give us our desires while he is busy caring for our needs. Then we get confused as to why God didn’t give us what we asked for. And, we use God as a punching bag for not giving us our desires. Little do we know he is protecting us from the pain of our desires and caring for our needs. Our requests of God so easily get clouded by worldly desires and we become discontent with God. The tension to be successful in the world versus being obedient to God is at play. We must remember that God does not promise us worldly success. He promises us that he has a plan to prosper us and that does not mean wealth. Are we really content with that?
2 Chronicles 9:22 tells us about King Solomon’s riches, wealth, and power he had over all of the world. It says, “So King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.” We hear that and automatically make wealth and power our pursuit.
But, it wasn’t Solomon’s.
The Right Focus
Earlier, in 2 Chronicles 1:11-12, we learn where his motives were. We learn what He was asking God for.
It says, “God said to Solomon, ‘Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you my rule My people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you. And I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings who were before you…”
Solomon’s motives weren’t for worldly success. He was focused on obeying God and leading God’s people. Because of that, God decided to bless him with everything else on top of the wisdom and knowledge! Solomon was not ‘successful’ because of his wealth, but of his wisdom. He knew that wealth was not eternal, so He requested for wisdom for something eternal. That’s what is worth investing our lives for.
Success is not determined by your financial status, but simply by your obedience to God’s command on your life to ‘go’. Whatever ‘Go’ looks like for you.
So, how can we, as disciples, be content in any circumstance that God decides to have us in? Whether unsafe or safe? Whether we don’t want to or whether we want to? Or, whether poor or wealthy?
Hard Times Call For Hard Truth
Not too long ago in my life, I was living the poorest, most neglected, and the notorious drug and prostitution ring of Philadelphia. My housing was being taken from above my head. I didn’t have an income. But… I knew I was where God had me. It was one of the toughest times of my life so far.
One of the hardest truths that God kept bringing to my mind was this one.
1 Kings 17:3-6
“Go, leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You (Elijah) will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there. So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”
I hated this passage. It shook me to my core every time. I hated it because it revealed the entitlement and privilege inside of me. I hated it because it was God testing me. He was asking me… “Chaim, will you trust me? Do you believe that I have your NEEDS taken care of… even if I take you on a journey similar to Elijah’s and your provision looks different than everyone else’s?”
It was God reminding me that He had was working a plan. It was God reminding me that He had a bigger purpose. He was developing character in me that He will use through me later in life. It was God revealing that it wasn’t a question of me being content in the situation; it was God asking me if I would be faithful and trust Him no matter what… even when I had (still have) no clue why.
It reminded me of the three amigos Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego saying, “…but, even if He does not.” They stared death in the face and said to the most powerful person in the nation, the king, and said even if you throw us into the fire and God decides not to save us, He is still good. They placed their trust and faith in God knowing that God had every right to have them put to death or keep them alive. They knew the purpose was bigger than them. And, they knew that God’s story was bigger than them.
Trust That He Is In Control
So, you ask how to be content in any situation? Know that God has a bigger purpose for you and it requires you to step into faith. Know that God is completely in control no matter where you are. Whether you are in the valley of the shadow of death and darkness surrounds you, remember that God makes you lie down in green pastures. There is always peace amidst the darkness. Know that you are safest with God even in the most unsafe places. God is with you and He is for you. He has plans for you and those plans will prosper you.
Know that the goal is not to have wealth and power or earthly success. The goal and focus is to know God and to be with God. The question really is, are we content with just God? Is God enough for you?
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; you rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”