Many times, we fathers fail to rely on our Heavenly Father for our needs. We will work hours and hours of overtime, we will sell everything we have, and we will even go so far as to sell our time with God for our needs to be met. At times, we will rely more on the government more than we will rely on God because the government is more tangible. However, we have seen the failure and lack of integrity of the government in meeting the needs of the people. God is the one who provides for each and every one of His children.
I am a prosperity teacher. There. It’s out in the open and you can now put the stones away. I am not a name it and claim it follower. I don’t believe that you can speak that Rolls Royce into existence. I don’t see that point in screaming at the devil. I don’t see the point of yelling out that you are blessed since you and I both already know you are blessed (see Deuteronomy 28 if you are in doubt…) I have to admit this though; you will never see me teach or talk about being poverty minded or thinking that being in poverty is of God. Let me explain.
I struggled for years with this thought that God blesses His people. I would see “those preachers” on television that would talk about being blessed and talk about being prosperous and I would laugh. I had a great sense of skepticism towards those types of people. Many of them would shout and scream out how blessed they were so I guess I could say that it was a turn off. However, as I moved to St. Louis, I had a great longing for the things of God. I had always grown up in church but church wasn’t working for me. I had been burned with the people of God. But, I decided to give it another try. So, I started attending a church with my then girlfriend (now awesome wife) and I was appalled.
Our preacher taught time and time again that we are blessed. He would say “I call you blessed” at the end of each message. “How could you say that I am blessed yet I have great lack?” It was a challenge to even want to tithe knowing that I was struggling.
Now, as a father, I couldn’t fathom my children going without. We don’t spoil them but we do make sure that their needs are met. If they need food, we feed them. If they need a doctor, we take them. Before I became a father, I didn’t really realize this fact. Men, God is wild about you. And here is the wild thing about our Father in Heaven; He wants to meet your needs and go far beyond what you could ever imagine.
I got this revelation one day while reading in Matthew 6. “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are?” The birds of the air are taken care of by our Father…wouldn’t He do more than what He would do for a bird? Just in the next chapter, Jesus was speaking “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” If your child asked for a piece of bread, would you instead give him a piece of rock? No. Absolutely not! Why then would your Father in Heaven do that to you or I?
Right now, as I write this, Sara and I are in a dry spell in our finances. I should say that we have been for the last 6 years. We certainly can’t complain since there’s food on our table. However, we continue to have things come up time after time that rob our finances of any prosperity. Does this negate the Word of God? It does not. It only proves that God is going to come through because He cannot lie. At the end of the day, I have to go back to Psalms 121:1-2, “I look up to the mountains-does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and earth!” Our help comes from the Lord who made the earth. He owns a thousand cattle on a hill. And as Dave Ramsay would say “and He owns the hills too.”
I can remember as a child that I loved to take apart my toys. Whether it be something simple like a Hot Wheel or something complicated like the remote control car. Never knowing if I would ever get it back to what it was created for, I would look inside and be inquisitive. I guess all boys are that way. We like to find out for ourselves how something works or how something is built. We desire to be a creator of something or an inventor of something, it is a right to passage for us. It’s the same thing with life. We try to take apart our finances to see what is being done incorrectly or we separate our marriages to decide who really is at fault. We find ourselves so often wanting these miracles and yet we are not willing to work for it or even trust God for it. We have all these needs and desires but you refuse to ask. Instead you complain and whine about what you don’t have.
Sounds pretty harsh but we end up treating God like a genie instead of God. You don’t rub a bottle and out pops God with three wishes for you. He’s not into wishing. In Matthew, Jesus said to ask and you shall receive not beg and you shall get. There is always balance to the Word of God. This is not a name it or claim it gospel nor is it a prosperity gospel. You can’t call out into the heavens that you have a million dollars and a Rolls Royce. However, you can’t walk through this life with the mentality of if I don’t expect it then I won’t be disappointed if I don’t get it. So many of us, myself included, want deliverance but we won’t let the shackles fall off of us. We won’t let the ball and chain break and I don’t mean your wives men. You have to leave the problem; you have to leave the situation to God. He says to “cast your whole cares” not some of them. Many of us decide to carry around the ball and chain and wonder why we are so tired all the time. We carry the burden of our lives around like bricks on our backs and we wonder why we are always in pain and always sick. We want to rest but we don’t trust God to give us that rest. We want wisdom and yet we aren’t quiet enough to receive it and when we are, we ignore it and call it the devil. We give the devil way too much credit. Many times, our worst enemy is ourselves. We think way too much, we talk way too much; sometimes we just need to chill and see what God is going to do. When you have a bill that is sitting there that you don’t have the money to pay for, worrying about it will not pay it off. Sometimes we just need to sit and wait on God. There again is balance. If you are not working, then you don’t eat (see 2 Thessalonians 3:10).
God’s not going to bless you if you are blatantly dishonest and lazy. I was reminded of a story of a father and his son. The son brought his toy that was broken to his father to fix. The father took the toy and began to work on it. While he was working on it, the boy climbed up and tried to help. The father would place a tool on the toy and the boy would put his hands in the middle trying to help him fix it. Soon, the father sat the boy down and handed him the toy. “It’s still broken” the boy exclaimed. The father looked at him and said, “You seem to know how to fix it better than I so I will let you work on it now.” The son was confused about the whole scenario. “But Dad, I don’t know how to fix it.” The father took the toy back and said, “Then let me fix it.” What is the moral of this story? The Father wants to fix your problems. But He can’t fix them if your little hands keep getting in the way. In short, let God be God. Don’t try to fix what God is trying to fix.
Finally, cast your whole care on Him. God wants you to rest and not carry the burden of it all. Jesus died so that your life would be full of abundance and blessings. We often over analyze our situations when God is simply calling us to “be still” and know that He is God. God wants you to trust in Him for your rest. Trust in God for that rest, let Him be your peace, and your life will never be the same. I thank God that He has placed that desire in me to rest in His care and not worry about the trials around me.
Our founder wrote recently about having to discipline his daughter. It certainly seemed as tough on Steve and his wife as it was on their girl.
It still feels like my mini Cooper is too young to understand when he makes bad choices, but at 2 1/2 I think we’re the ones who aren’t ready to discipline him too harshly yet. We need to discipline ourselves to crack the whip, so to speak
He hates, hates, hates taking his medicine twice a day, no matter how hard we bribe him or try to hide it in chocolate milk.
I must have said 100 times, wouldn’t it just be easier to drink it in three seconds than go through the games? Likewise, it’s just a 30 minute drive to and from church and my in-laws’ home. Isn’t it easier to relax than spend the entire time whining?
I get so frustrated when he disobeys me because deep down I really don’t want to discipline him. We get along so well and have so much fun, why would he test me?
Then again, doesn’t God think it’s easier if I would do as Jesus says, and not, let’s say, wasting dollars in the vending machine at work for Diet Coke and Ding-Dongs instead of giving that extra money to the poor?
That little voice in my head – at least the one I listen to – says, “How many times did God and His prophets call the chosen people ‘stiff-necked’? Wouldn’t it have been easier to obey God and eat the manna from heaven with a big thankful smile than go through the effort of making and worshipping a golden calf?”
In Exodus 33:5, the Lord doesn’t pull any punches when he tells Moses to shake his finger at the stubborn Israelites and let them know how close He is to getting that switch from the tree in the backyard to exact some punishment: “Tell the Israelites: You are a stiff-necked people. If I went with you for a single moment, I would destroy you. Now take off your jewelry, and I will decide what to do with you.”
Whenever I’m frustrated by Cooper’s 2-year-old antics, I need to just look at the above picture of him at the allergist’s office after he made it through the trauma of testing, and remember just how precious he is and how much he loves me and relies on his Daddy and Mommy to get through the tough times.
If only I would apply that same sense of comfort of resting in the arms of a loving and sympathetic Messiah when I am going through tough times.