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Rich Toward God (Part 4 of 5)

November 25, 2009

Nothing cute about this one boys and girls, buckle up because this week is a serious ride.  In the sermon this past Sunday, the preacher spoke about Paul finding contentment in all things in life, good and awful (Philippians 4:11).

A synonym for God’s providence is divine provision; but I don’t think those two words resonate in our minds, or lives, the way God intends them to. He desires to divinely provide for us. Providence is how God orchestrates everything to accomplish His purposes. Let me show you what that means by contrast.

There are two ways God can act in the world: by miracle and by providence. A miracle has no natural explanation. In the flow of normal life, God suddenly stems the tide and injects a miracle. Then He sets the flow back in motion, just like parting the Red Sea until His people could walk across and closing it up again. Do you think it would be easier to do that—to say, “Hold it, I want to do this miracle” and do it—or to say, “Let’s see, I’ve got 50 billion circumstances to orchestrate to accomplish this one thing”? The latter is providence. Think, for example, of how God providentially ordered the lives of Joseph, Ruth, and Esther. Today He does the same for us. He’s done the same for me in bringing my wife and me together, bringing Northside and my family together, and by bringing Lebron to the Cavs.

Contentment comes from learning that God is sovereign not only by supernatural intervention, but also by natural orchestration. And what an incredible orchestra it is! Appreciate the complexity of what God is doing every moment just to keep us alive. When we look at things from that perspective, we see how silly it is to think we can control our lives. When we give up that empty pursuit, we give up a major source of anxiety.

Paul was content because he had confidence in the providence of God. That confidence, however, never led him to a fatalistic “It doesn’t matter what I do” attitude. The example of Paul’s life throughout the New Testament is this: Work as hard as you can, give to those in need, and be content that God is in control of the results.



November 25, 2009 Posted by | Zach | | 1 Comment