Saturday, February 16, 2013

God is More Than Enough - Thoughts

I'm reading a book right now by Tony Evans called "God is more than Enough". There are some really great thoughts in this book and I wanted to share them here. (These are not my thoughts - these are paraphrasings from Evans.)

The first part of the book talks about God as a Shepherd. In this book, Evans is going through Psalm 23, which is why he starts off the book this way. When David says that the Lord IS his shepherd, this is very important. He is our shepherd in every moment. So many of us worry and are upset about tomorrow. But God makes sure we have enough grace to cover the troubles of today.

When the Israelites were traveling through the wilderness, God would rain down food from heaven for them every morning - just enough for the day. God wanted His people to recognize Him as their daily provider. He wanted them to constantly look to Him for their provision.

That's why God isn't satisfied with our go-to-church-on-Sunday-and-I'm-good-for-the-week approach to the Christian life. Once you hit Monday, Sunday's over. God wants a moment-by-moment, day-by-day relationship with us, not a once-a-week refresher.

If we're going to accept God as our shepherd, we have to accept the fact that we are like sheep. That means we have three characteristics that we don't really want to own up to having. First of all, sheep are dumb. Asking God to be your shepherd means realizing and admitting how limited your intelligence really is. Second, sheep are defenseless. You don't see any sports teams named after sheep, and we don't use sheep for protection. To want the Lord as your shepherd means you realize how vulnerable you are. Lastly, sheep are dirty. A sheep won't clean itself like a cat or bird will. A sheep will stay dirty forever unless the shepherd gives them a bath. Having the Lord as your shepherd means being willing to admit you need Him to wash you and make you clean. The beauty of the Good Shepherd (God) is, he's so knowledgeable about our foolishness and frailty and filthiness that He knows exactly how to address all of it, even when we hardly know what's wrong with us.

Another thing the book touches on that I think is really important is that God is our provider. God alone is the Source of all our provisions. We want to take credit for being the source of our provisions, but we aren't. When it comes to the food on your table, behind the intermediaries - the grocery store, the merchandiser, the distributor, the packager, and the farmer - behind them all are the seeds and the soil and the sun and the rain that come ultimately and only from God. If God doesn't provide, we don't eat, because there's nothing to eat. God is the starting point. He can use as many intermediaries as he wishes, and each one is important, but don't confuse them with the Source. Remember who the true provider is.

God shall supply all your needs; He'll also supply some of your wants, and from time to time He'll even give you a few of your desires. Remember - your needs are the things essential to human life. Basically food, clothes, shelter.

God is not subject to the economy. God is not subject to the stock market. God is not subject to the jobless rate. God isn't subject to any circumstances. In the midst of bad times He still knows how to set our table within sight of our "enemies" - in the presence of inflation or depression or recession or a pink slip. Whatever might be blocking the provision of your physical needs, God knows how to move that obstacle out of the way.

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