Something God has been working on my heart lately has to do with His role as a provider, or a gift-giver, if you will.
Think about it – He gives life, He gives Jesus (a big one to remember this season); He gives breath and even earthy provision, like money or food, etc… etc… Anything you can think of, God gives.
Some gifts, the Bible say we can pretty much expect from God. For those who follow Him and believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, we can expect gifts like forgiveness, grace, gentleness, love, patience, faithfulness, deliverance, peace, and joy. Some of these are lined out in Galatians 5:22-23, which states that will acceptance of the Holy Spirit, we can expect certain “fruits of the Spirit” or spiritual gifts.
Other gifts are things we don’t expect, but hope for; things like financial prosperity, success, health, or other things. Food or drink maybe. These are worldly things, thing OF this world that we would be experiencing or enjoying IN this world. While considering these things the most important things in life is bad, I don’t think that wanting them is entirely wrong either. Everybody wants something, but it is wise to err on the side of caution, so as not to slip into idolatry.
This past Sunday at church, our pastor asked the congregation to shout out something they were expecting from the Lord. I remember hearing things like joy, forgiveness, correction (which, man – that’s a good one), deliverance, and provision. As pastor prayed over these things, he declared that God is the giver of all these things. We have a God who gives.
There’s something in relation to this though, that has been working on my hear t for a few months, and though I wrote about it a while ago, it’s something I feel that, especially in this season of giving and receiving, is important to revisit.
A while back, at our young adult service, our pastor (different from the aforementioned pastor) read an excerpt from a book (A Kingdom Called Desire by Rick McKinley) where the author posed this question: “What do you really desire? What do you really want?” As all of these people are shouting out the things they’re expecting, the things they want from God… need from God, this is the question I heard. God wants to know this season what our wish list is. He wants to know what we want.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” – Philippians 4:6
The interesting thing, that I think is so easily overlooked is the way that the author follows up that question: “Jesus is interested in your answer because Jesus is interested in becoming what you really want.”
God gave you Jesus.
As they are one in the same with the Holy Spirit, it is vital for life, for not just survival, but to thrive in this world that we remember that God is not only the provider of these things; He IS the provision.
From my previous post, called keep calm and say ‘I do:’ “If your hunger is for success, He wants to be that success. If your desire is for wealth, He wants to be your treasure. If your desire is for food, He wants to be that nourishment. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you want, His greatest desire is to become that for you.”
And it all boils down to love.
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
Whatever it is you want, whatever it is you need, I cannot think of a single thing that Jesus can’t BE. He IS. He gives Himself up willingly and out of love.
“For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.” – Ephesians 5:25
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
Whatever it is that you’re longing for this season – healing, forgiveness, truth, salvation, redemption, a husband or wife, a more prosperous lifestyle, comfort, a purpose, food, whatever… I urge you to seek Jesus in this time. He was a gift to you, long before Christmas was the thing it is today, and not just provide these things to you, but to BE these things for you.
Seek Him in His Word, seek Him in prayer, and allow Him to be your greatest desire, and see your greatest desires being met in ways you never dreamed possible. You’ll be like a kid at Christmas.
*Please be advised that God’s answers to our prayers are seldom what we think they will be. And even more seldom when we think they will be.
His ways are not our ways, and His ways are beyond our understanding. When I say it’ll be in ways you never dreamed possible, I mean it 😉