Have you ever heard the phrase, “God will NOT provide for your wants, but He will provide for your needs.” It’s a phrase I heard throughout my entire seminary training. People often used it to encourage me that God will provide for my needs while I’m working part-time and going to school.
As I look back on my seminary life, I’ve learned that God did NOT supply for my needs! He actually overwhelmed me and showered me with blessings. He has exceeded my expectations to provide and bless me along the way! And through this experience, I’ve learned that the above statement is simply not true! It makes God sound as if He’s miserly and rations his blessings.
God overwhelmed Peter by allowing him to catch so much fish, that two boats almost sank (Luke 5:7). God says He would throw open the floodgates of heaven to pour out His blessing (Mal. 3:10). God is able to not only meet our needs but exceed them. He wants to overwhelm and over-deliver.
So does it feel sometimes that God is not blessing us? Why do we go through seasons of life when we feel like God is not opening the floodgates but providing in CC increments? I believe there are several reasons:
1. He wants to humble us and teach us to depend on Him: He Gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you (Deut. 8:16)
2. We are being greedy and have wrong motives: When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on yourselves (James 4:3)
3. There is UN-confessed sin in our lives: Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. (Is. 59:1-2)
4. There is broken fellowship among believers: Therefore, if you are offering a gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Matt. 5:23-24)
There are reasons why God doesn’t always provide, but stingy is NOT one of them. He is a rich God and incredibly generous. Sometimes He does NOT supply just for my needs, but rather, He wants to overwhelm me! And when He doesn’t, I know there’s a greater purpose that will be for my good and HIS Glory!
Eph. 3:20: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.