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Rich Toward God (Part 5 of 5)

December 2, 2009

As humans with God-given free will, we all struggle with two things: Being obedient and getting over certainty.   We struggle with these things because God has given us that free will, the ability to choose for ourselves.

We all know being obedient is difficult.  As a child, we struggle with obeying our parents when we want to pursue our own paths, desires, etc.  Think back to the tug of war you may have had with Mom and Dad over which friends you wanted or how late you wanted to stay out after the Friday night high school football game.  We are stubborn and headstrong and want to do things our own way.  Our relationship with our heavenly Father isn’t much different.  Until you are completely willing to surrender and let go of your own selfish desires, you will be in a constant tug of war with what you want to do and what you know you should do (be obedient to God).

There are a lot of areas of our lives where this spiritual tug of war occurs.  We want what we want when we want it.   We don’t want it in God’s time, want to follow His plan for our life, or even give of what we see as our hard-earned money.

As a Christian, it is easier than not to surrender oneself to being obedient in some areas.  As humans, however, we still have a difficult time of surrendering everything over to God.   Take for example, tithing.   This is something many people in the church struggle with.  We see the need to tithe and we want to give freely back to God, but our humanness gets in the way of trusting Him to provide.

This is especially difficult for a lot of people given today’s economic climate and the uncertain times we are living in.  When you have a family, a mortgage, car payments, and food to put on the table you sometimes have a hard time parting with ten percent income.  There are moments we get discouraged and feel as though we won’t survive.   We wonder if we tithe and don’t have much left over how we will make it until the next pay day.

This is where the certainty issue becomes a problem.  We have to get over certainty.  As humans we want to know outcomes right away. We want to make sure that even if God provides our “daily bread” today that we can peek and see the rest of the loaf in the pantry.  But God doesn’t work like that.  Things happen in His time, but He does assure us that He will watch over us and provide for us.

Look to the story of the widow of Zarephath in 1 Kings 17:8-16: Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.”  So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.”  And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”  So she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’”  So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah.

The challenge for us is to be obedient even though we aren’t in control.  Trust God, tithe to Him, and allow Him to take you into His arms and provide you with shelter from the economic storm. We have to trust in Him to take care of us and trust that there will always be enough oil and flour to make it through. The joy of the widow to experience repeated miracles through God’s provision is ours for the taking if we obey, trust in God, and get over certainty.  Remember, God is indeed Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides.


December 2, 2009 - Posted by | Zach |

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for the great Sermon Followup. I had never put together the “getting over certainty” idea as part of my walk in obediance to Christ, but that is exactly it.

    Comment by Dick Sutton | December 4, 2009 | Reply

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