“Hey Mate, our visas are in order and plane tickets are booked. We should be back on the 29th of August. Looking forward to seeing you all! I closed the email and felt a curious mix of angst and excitement swirl around in my gut. Our friends from Australia would indeed be returning to their home at the end of summer. So in forty days, we would need to know where we will be living, and me not having regular employment. This is what I have longed for, to prove the Kingdom is real and living life in such a way that intervention from Heaven is a natural part of everyday existence.
Jesus teaching includes the topic of Heaven’s intervention in our lives relative to supernatural provision. Consider His words written in the last four verses of Matthew chapter six in the NLT: “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
That seems reasonable. We do not need to be out of this house for forty days, a later day will bring its own worries. For today, I am at peace. “Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.” (Psa. 37:25 NLT) I have seen the hand of Providence move many times since I began leaning toward the Kingdom many years ago. The telling of the stories would fill the space of many books. In the last year alone, provision came through unexpected sources and usually in the nick of time.
Many years ago, while attending a school of ministry in Tulsa, our oldest daughter had some medical issues needing attention. Sheri and I were both attending school and our provision was very tight. After taking our girl to the doctor, we needed to pay the bill, which totaled $45.00. The very next day, as we were leaving our apartment, I noticed in my peripheral something flapping on the outside of the door as I pulled it closed behind me. There was an envelope taped anonymously to the door containing $50 cash. That was enough for the doctor’s bill and a $5 tithe!
During the years of raising up the church we pastored, we witnessed the favor and blessing of God in countless ways. Provision was realized not only in our ministry, but also in our personal lives. A man, gifted in construction, offered by the grace of God, to build us a house. On two different occasions during the building project, friends from our church blessed us with checks of $10,000.00! Both couples told us that they are doing it because of being “prompted of the Lord to do so.” Many stories are coming to my remembrance causing my heart to beat faster with excitement and gratitude.
The book of Revelation 19:10, contains a statement that reveals the power of talking about God’s dealing in our lives. “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Miracles in your life demonstrate the nature of God. Every story we tell of breakthrough carries the potential to release the power of Jesus into a hopeless situation. When we share what God has done, it causes faith to explode as the testimony prophecies His desire to do the miracle again! So, when we are in seasons of need, it is good to rehearse the ways God has moved in our past. Your history with God becomes a message to enable others as well to step into the same miracles you’ve experienced.
I have also noticed a correlation between my expectation of good things happening and God’s provision even in small occurrences every day. “Give us this day our daily bread.” I have discovered that if I hold beliefs that limit my experience of God’s abundance, it is my responsibility to change those beliefs. If I believe God is good, and His intentions toward me are favorable, then I am open to unexpected blessings and surprises throughout my day. It is up to me to take advantage of opportunities through aligning my actions to meet opportunity, but I keep my heart open to abundance through gratitude and expectation.
“Faith gives substance to our hopes, and makes us certain of realities we do not see.” (See Heb. 11:1 NEB) Hope means to cherish a desire with anticipation. But what about, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick?” (Pro. 13:12) What if our hearts have been disappointed so many times our faith becomes irrelevant because we’ve learned to despise our own hope?
Mark Chironna writes in, Beyond the Shadow of Doubt: “Hope is experienced at a feeling level of the soul and is triggered by our imaginations. If our memories are disappointing, then our hopes are not active. Memory and hope are inseparable. We build our hopes through life most often by the remembrances of past successes or the dream to overcome past failures. Either way, our imaginations are built upon the foundations of our memories.
If you have had little success in building energizing memories based on affirming life experiences, your hope for the future can be weak or nonexistent. Your blocks from the past need to be reconciled and removed.”
I moved to California two years ago with a sick heart. Having experienced years of disappointments and losses, with little time to heal, I had to take a bold step to recover my heart. There comes a time when every wounded person arrives at a very important moment. Will they open up their heart to the Love of God and allow Him to touch the painful areas of their life? I have since experienced many encounters that have brought tremendous healing and breakthrough.
Sometimes, we move forward in life with bold steps full of assurance and bravado. Other times, we walk tentatively, like carefully stepping out on a pond covered by thin ice listening for the ominous sound of cracking. In my present season of discovery, I walk somewhere in between the two, with confidence and yet trepidation. One thing I am certain of, I’m going to have great stories to tell!