Random Blog Clay Feet: 2010-02
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Monday, February 15, 2010

One Provider, Different Channels

Our lives right now are in serious transition and things are getting exciting. At the same time a lot of old memories, fears and emotions are also being stirred up that I am having to face and deal with. But I can see that God is in charge of all of this and intends to use my current circumstances to mature me and help me overcome many things that still hamper me from functioning and relating to others the way I need to do.

I have sensed rather clearly over the past few months that God is changing channels on me. I learned a few years ago how to relate to finances the way heaven intends we should. This means that I must have as my unequivocal foundation the fact that Jesus has promised to take care of all of our needs irregardless, no matter what I do or how much I tithe or give offerings or anything else. His care for me is a promise not based whatsoever on any performance on my part. All that I need to do is to believe that truth with my heart and mind which then allows Him permission to fulfill His promise to me.

When that step is firmly underfoot, then I am prepared to move to the next steps in properly relating to how God may choose to provide for our needs. He does not always use the same channels through which to provide for us as demonstrated in the life of Elijah. He will provide one channel for a while such as a job that I can cooperate in to bring in what is necessary for us to live. But later that job may disappear and it is then that my true belief system will be exposed.

If I begin to fear and fret and stress out about my lack of money, it only reveals that I do not have the first step as my foundational belief firmly in place yet. Jesus made it explicitly clear that we are not to be anxious about anything. This is not something we can force ourself to do, it is a natural result of what we believe in our heart. If I don't want to be anxious in obedience to the command of Jesus I have to first have a real trust in His heart that He is taking care of me no matter what external circumstances may appear to indicate. Otherwise I am only attempting to repress my anxiety, not eliminate it.

If I do have that foundation in place securely, then I have the freedom to feel even a sense of anticipation instead of fear because I know that God has something else in mind for us. He is faithful which means He has some other channel ready for me to use to receive provision from Him. Elijah depended on ravens and a little brook for his provisions for awhile which is pretty strange compared to the jobs that most of us depend on. But when that provision dried up he trusted God to show him the next channel and God sent him to an ever stranger source of provision – a starving widow in the area that was the center of the worship of the false gods that were at the root of all the problems in Israel.

So when my work in remodeling and construction dried up over the past few months I chose to deliberately focus on not becoming anxious but talked with God about what He might have in mind as His channel for me next. As I look back I can see clear indications that He has apparently chosen to introduce me to a new business through a friend I have known for many years and who was in business with me some time back. This friend was a person of integrity that I have admired and appreciated and was probably the only person I would even have been willing to listen to about looking into starting a business like this. But since I knew what he had been through previously and how similar it was to my own experience, I listened to him with an open mind and felt God prompting me to give it serious consideration.

As a result I have sensed that God wants me to get serious about doing this business as the new temporary channel of His provision for me until He indicates another change. Part of the important aspect of relating to God in this way is the fact that I need to do my part in participating in whatever it is He is using to provide for us. If He gives me employment with someone else I need to actually go do the work and do it with all my strength. If He gives me a business to run then I need to do it with enthusiasm and integrity. All of these things are not just ways of providing money for my family and needs but are also ways of living out the plans that God has for me to interact with others in more important arenas of life and also for my own personal growth and development of character.

As I said, this is also raising a number of old wounds and emotions that I realize God wants to deal with along the way. I am seeking to cooperate with Him as I see Him healing me deep inside where I am not able to reach. Even when it involves having to face very painful areas of my heart, I am actually excited that I am beginning to experience more and more freedom and joy and feel that I am actually learning what it means to thrive. God has a great deal of work to do yet but it is good to see that He is working in every way possible to change my relationship with Him and to bring me closer into harmony with His ways.

My wife too is experiencing a great deal of stress and tension in her work. But we keep reminding ourselves that God is our only real boss and that the other people we work for are only temps that He is using that may be there to shape our character at times. If our time is up on that job then we can be confident that He has something even better in mind because He is faithful and He is always good and He is our only real provider.