Where does God's provision end?

Toneboy

Administrator
Staff member
#1
Something I have been mulling over recently, just thought I would bring it out here.

I think the Bible is pretty clear that we need not worry about food and clothing (Matthew 6:25-34), but what about other things?

What about housing for instance?

And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
Matthew 8:20
Cars? Computers? Using a more personal example the boiler in my house broke down in the summer. Fortunately my wife and I did have the money to replace it at the time, but I've known other people in that position who haven't had the money to replace it who have just gone without hot water.

On the other hand, what about these verses about prayer?

And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
Matthew 6:7-8
Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Matthew 7:9-11
I would tend to lead towards the latter than any particular fixed "God will provide for this, but not for this" doctrine, but I do wonder about the whole thing sometimes.

(I'm not reading Matthew at the moment, honestly! They were just the verses I was thinking about.)
 
#2
Toneboy - To carry on your Matthew theme...

Matthew 4:4 "But He answered and said, "It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."'"
I think that we often get caught up in what we think we need.

From the first verses you mentioned in Matthew 6

31"Therefore do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?' or "What shall we drink?' or "What shall we wear?' 32For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
The emphesis for us is to focus on God's kingdom. That is why the Lords Prayer (also in Matt 6) first 3 petitions focus on God not our needs.

Do you need that new car to worship God? Do you need a boiler to deepen your relationship with Him?

John 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
We need to deepen our relationship with God and therefore He will either provide us with things or remove the desire for them in our lives

Matt 7:7Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Hope this answers a few questions, if not please ask them again!

Jazz
 

Toneboy

Administrator
Staff member
#3
My questions were mostly rhetorical, but anyway... :)
Originally posted by Jazz_UK
Do you need that new car to worship God? Do you need a boiler to deepen your relationship with Him?

...

We need to deepen our relationship with God and therefore He will either provide us with things or remove the desire for them in our lives
I'd say cars (at least new ones)... certainly not. However I certainly wouldn't like to be without a boiler during a Scottish winter, and that certainly isn't an unreasonable request IMHO. I think if you were to pray to God to ask for one it would certainly fall under the category of, "your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him".

I carried the quote on as I think being without a boiler during the winter months would be the sort of thing which could work to drive people away from God (not in all cases, obviously), especially if they needed to work extra hours to pay for a new one.
 
#4
Toneboy - I was not critising your need for a boiler but just using it as an example as you did. Our heating system has been running on 50% efficiency and it has been very cold most nights (just had the system flushed and it is heating up).

This is not a response to your last post but it got me thinking.

So often we based our relationship to God on how much he blesses or punishes us (or so it seems) but the fact that God does not wipe us off the face of the earth for the our disobedience to Him is enough for us to recognise how much he blesses us each day.

More practically, I have went through times when I had a choice whether to rely on God or to turn away from him.

ie being made redundant, illness/death in the family & other problems.

To quote an overuse story "Footprints" - "It was during the worst times that I carried you" - I realised that God was still in control of my life.

But to answer the question on the title "Where does God's provision end" - I don't think it does and we are told to bring everything to God in prayer, whether he chooses to answer that prayer miracleously or using more regular methods is up to him!

Jazz
 

Toneboy

Administrator
Staff member
#5
Originally posted by Jazz_UK
Toneboy - I was not critising your need for a boiler but just using it as an example as you did. Our heating system has been running on 50% efficiency and it has been very cold most nights (just had the system flushed and it is heating up).
I knew it wasn't a criticism, don't worry about it. :)

If it is any consolation ours is working fine and I still want to stick a toe outside the duvet in the mornings at the moment. :(

God doesn't wipe non-believers off the earth either - perhaps that is more a sign of His mercy?

The matter of how God provides is one I wrestle with quite often. During a difficult summer I pondered the things that were happening, and ended up at the conclusion that you should just budget for disasters as things do naturally break down. They happen to Christians and non-Christians alike (I'd still say ours in the summer were beginning to border on the ridiculous though).

I'm trying to word this very carefully - it is almost as if we should fully rely on God (through prayer, etc.) and prepare for things in the same way as non-Christians do (i.e. almost a case of not expecting miracles). The thing is, if you're stupid/unfortunate what happens then?

Another thing I kind of wonder about, with so much credit available at the moment, are fewer and fewer Christians gaining a first-hand appreciation of God's miraculous provision?

Just things I wonder about. Sorry, I'm thinking a bit too much tonight I think.
 

lawrensons

CoffE Moderator
Staff member
#6
`If God did not spare His only Son that we might be saved, shall He not freely give us all things pertaining to life?' (Romans 8:32).
 

janet

New Member
#7
It is unfortunate that we live in a materialistic society. God provides the means for our happiness but nothing more I beleive that consumerism is inherrently evil as it relies on greed and envy, but it do not think that anybody can ever honestly say that they desire nothing because that is human nature.
 
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