I’ve been involved in a secret operation with God. In January, I made a commitment to God not to spend any unnecessary money on myself for the entire 2013.
I have resolved to deny myself, in order to see God’s provision first hand. I know that God provides my salvation, the air I breathe, my family’s health, my job, our home etc. But do I really rely on Him to provide my wants, needs, and desires? I am fortunate to live in the United States of America. However, I live in a culture of excess and overindulgence. Honestly, if there is something I want, I can purchase it, but where does this leave God? Missionary Otto Konning stated in The Pineapple Story, “God wants to prove Himself strong in our life. But too often we leave God out and don’t give Him a chance. We essentially leave God unemployed.”
Annually, I ask God to provide a specific verse for the year. This year God directed me not only to a specific verse but rather a Biblical Truth: God provides! This truth is powerfully depicted in the story of Abraham’s test of faith. Genesis Chapter twenty-two reveals the obedience, faith, and courage of Abraham to follow God’s request of placing his son on the altar. Isaac nervously looked around for the sacrificial animal and asked, “‘Dad, where is the lamb?” Abraham replies, God Himself will provide.’”. A few moments later, a ram is found caught in a thicket nearby. Abraham called that place Yahweh Jireh translated into English as Jehovah Jireh meaning “The Lord Will Provide!” In my covert operation, I believe that Abraham’s Jehovah Jireh, is the same Jehovah Jireh of 2013. By denying myself, I am leaving employment opportunities for God to show me He is the Lord Who Provides.
I will be honest this commitment has not been easy, but God has used this secret operation to strengthen my faith. I have seen Him provide in ways that truly only He can. Each morning before my feet hit the floor, I pray “You are the God who provides. I too will call this place “The Lord Will Provide!” When tempted to purchase something for myself, I remind myself “If God wants me to have this, then God will provide.” Let me share with you some examples.
In July, I was shopping for a new swimsuit for my daughter. Rachel pointed to an umbrella display. She suggested I purchase a new umbrella since mine was broken, “And get a pink one this time mommy.” I was tempted. I could justify the purchase as necessary since my umbrella was broken, but we have an extra (albeit ugly) umbrella at home. Standing in the accessory aisle of Target, I told my daughter, “If God wants me to have a new umbrella, He will provide.” A week later a friend handed me a birthday gift and hesitantly hoped it wasn’t a cheesy gift. She stated that for reasons she can’t explain, she felt like she was supposed to buy me this gift. Tears escaped my eyes as I opened my gift, a pink umbrella with black polka dots! Only Rachel and I knew the importance of such a gift. Jehovah Jireh in action!
Earlier this year I was really struggling with wanting new clothes. I didn’t need new clothes, but it was difficult to go back to school shopping with the kids and not spend any money on myself. Again I prayed, “Lord I’d like some new shirts and a pair of jeans. If you want me to new clothes, you’ll provide.” Since the beginning of this secret operation, a friend cleaned out her closet and offered me three pair of Levis jeans and a few shirts. Then to my surprise another friend gifted me two beautiful shirts for my birthday. I guess the Lord wanted me to have some new clothes after-all!
~April Dawn White
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