February 11, 2017

Genesis 24:6-7 “Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said. “The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’—he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there.

By this point Abraham’s faith was pretty firm. He had experienced God’s provision enough times in enough ways to be sure that He would provide a wife for Isaac. In the next verse he gives the servant an “escape clause,” so to speak, but I really think that was for the servant’s sake rather than from any doubt on his part. The Biblical instructions to “be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6, Matthew 6:31, 34) do get easier to follow with experience, but we have to be careful not to create “needs” in our own imagination, but rather let the Lord show us what we should be asking for. (Psalm 37:4) God is perfectly faithful, but we must not be presumptuous. We must be humble and keep our priorities straight. As a good Father, God delights to give good things to His children, (Matthew 7:11) but He isn’t going to give us stuff that will be bad for us. When our hearts are genuinely set on God’s kingdom and His righteousness, (Matthew 6:33) everything else will fall into place. Someone has said, “Where God guides, He provides.” That is true indeed, even if it isn’t in the Bible.

I have experienced God’s provision in more ways than I could possibly count, but I still have momentary anxiety at times. I need to keep growing! I still have trouble with trying to dictate just how God is going to meet a particular need. That’s not exactly smart. I even have been known to decline His provision at times, not wanting to be greedy. As Isaiah told King Ahaz, when God says ask, He means ask! (Isaiah 7:10-13) I know I won’t stop God’s plans, but I can easily miss out on blessings that He intends for me, and for others through me. We have been in a period of intensive training in this area for the past few months in relation to the land next door. I continue to feel strongly that God intends that land for the advancement of His kingdom, but I also recognize that I have been somewhat presumptive about it, and right now it is going to take a genuine miracle on His part for the legal hurdles to be cleared and the owner agree to sell to us, when he has stated definitively that he has decided to sell to the developer. The neighbors have been very supportive, and Monday I will take a petition to the Agricultural Land Committee, but I don’t know that there is any legal precedent for our actions, and Japan is very strong on precedent. Even clearing that, the owner has shown himself to be very stubborn. All that said, nothing is impossible for God, (Luke 1:37) and I need to walk in the peace of that assurance.

Father, thank You for all You have done over the past four days at the conference. As they were saying there, now we’re back to “reality.” Help me remember that You are just as powerful here as there, and be faithful as Your agent for Your will to be done, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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