needs

Divine Provision

“What do you need?”

Last week, I returned from a whirlwind journey to Thailand and Bangladesh with Saving Moses.  It was a phenomenal trip, getting loads of things accomplished, meeting new people, catching up with established friendships, seeing the work we’re currently doing and looking at possible new places.  The trip was very successful in the sense of accomplishing lots of work.  In terms of the physical and emotional grind for me, it was a very difficult trip, with lots of overnight flights, significant time changes, funky food (which I LOVE) and seeing and experiencing very horrific things relating to babies and toddlers.  By the time I landed back in the US, I was entirely exhausted, having travelled non-stop for more than 30 hours, 5 flights and navigating a 12 hour time change.

This isn’t a “poor me” blog, but rather I hope to give you some fresh perspective on God providing for us.  When we think about the question, “What do you need?”, it seems to me that we’re often quick to answer with some kind of money response.  In our answer, it’s often  automatic that we think about paying off various loans, paying our bills, buying something necessary or helpful.  But if you asked me what I needed last week, I would have immediately replied that I needed time and rest.

I needed to catch my breath and that’s exactly what God gave me last week.  When I landed in the US, my schedule was organized such that I had two nights away from my home to accomplish some important business meetings, which weren’t long or grueling.  This time was massively helpful for my body and sleep to make some initial adjustments for getting back into my home culture and time zone.

In relation to divine provision, it says in Philippians 4:19, “God supplies all of our needs, according to His riches in glory, . . . “  This verse can encourage us in several ways.  To begin, it’s very helpful to establish and remind ourselves that God is our provider and the ultimate source for everything we need.  To this end, we must consistently remember to see God as our provider and not our paycheck, job, intellectual abilities, relationships, physical strength, etc.

Additionally God can give us what we need in lots of different ways: money through our job, wisdom through a conversation, book, blog, podcast, time through a cancelled appointment, creative solutions to a problem and inner strength to carry on.  How God supplies our needs is best left in God’s hands for God’s methods.

Finally, it gives me great confidence and comfort to recognize the divine timing element for divine provision.  I bring this to your attention because of God providing a ram in the thicket for Abraham at the exact moment of his greatest need, in Genesis 22:10-13.  The timing element was very clear to me last week, when God gave me some breathing room to recover from a very intense and effective trip.

Regardless of what you need, make the decision to keep your eyes focused on God and choose to trust that God is good, timely, creative, loving and abundant in divine provision!

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, thought life, travel, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

Miraculous Provision

What areas in your life are needy? It seems that often the quick answer is “money.” But if we pause for a second, our answer might be more along the line of more time, wisdom, discipline, strength, better relationships, genuine love, courage, patience, etc.
This morning I read how Jesus multiplied the fish & bread to meet the hunger needs of thousands of people. His disciples came to Him with the need – too many people & a paltry amount of provision. To this problem, Jesus asked them what they had. After identifying what was there, Jesus blessed the provision rather than cursed the need or lack.
Let’s be sure that we’re grateful for what we have, even if it seems like it’s not enough. Then let’s utilize what we have with thanksgiving & our eyes on Jesus to keep providing & multiplying!

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, fasting, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, thought life, values, watch, 0 comments

Getting What You Want

Despite our best intentions, all of us can struggle with getting what we want. And what we want seems to flitter from stuff, to time, to clothes, to gadgets, to health, to relationships and lots more. I was recently giving God an earful about not getting something that I thought I wanted. Instead of getting my way, it seemed like the exact opposite was happening & there wasn’t anything I could do to change the situation. But what I could change was my attitude – and our attitudes can be a powerful tool when we make wise choices. 
On top of working through my attitude choices in my recent situation, I also learned that while I may not always get what I want, I can trust God to give me what I need 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, Costa Rica, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, travel, values, watch, 2 comments

I don’t get it: needs and provisions

I read this morning about how Moses explained to the Israelites what mannah was in Exodus 16:15.  One morning, the Israelites saw some weird stuff on the ground & couldn’t figure out what it was, but they absolutely had a need for food, so Moses explained to them about what mannah was, how it could meet their need for food and how to collect it six days a week.

As I read this, I thought about how sometimes we need someone to explain how God’s provisions work for us.  The Israelites didn’t see mannah for what it was supposed to be for them.  It looked weird and foreign to them – they’d never seen anything like it before.  Sometimes I think that God’s provisions are the same for us today – we don’t always recognize the various ways, mediums or methods that God uses to provide for us.  Consider a few ideas:

  • we think we need money but God gives us a creative idea that helps us cut our expenses to better align with our income
  • we think we need more time in our weekly schedule, but God gives us some cancelled appointments and increased efficiencies
  • we think we need more God and God gives us the opportunity to plug into church, a small group or Bible study more consistently 🙂

At the end of the day, don’t forget Jesus’ super essential ingredient for divine provisions in Matt 6:33, “Seek first God’s kingdom & all these things will be added to you.”  God knows what we need, when & how we need it, so go after God & be wide open for the various ways and methods that God will meet those needs 🙂

PS – don’t forget the help Saving Moses with our ebola orphans campaign! 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, values, watch, 1 comment

we are so very smart ,)

Recently, I had a few problems with my phone.  It started to delete some of my email accounts a few months ago, then recently, it would do random & unpredictable things.  It became uber funky a few days ago & deleted all of my contacts.  Yesterday, it decided to delete all of my calendar appointments & this morning, it deleted all of my email accounts.  I felt like I was flying blind – but it also reminded me about how we used to not have wireless phones, nor emails, synched calendars, text messages, etc.  Clearly, we’ve come a LONG way in our tech usage, but we aren’t so smart that we don’t need God.

  • I can have the fastest 4G network, but without the “Jesus” direct line, theres some communication lag ,)
  • I can have the best wifi access we know, but without the Holy Spirit as my wireless, I’m dead in the water
  • I can have the best love affair with my phone, but no one completes me more than the Trinity 🙂

Happy Thurs to you!

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

what do you need???

  I’ve had some interesting experiences of late that deal with the issue of needs & provisions.  Here are a few areas where I’ve experienced some needs (see if you can relate to some of these):  car problems, time shortages, some people issues at work, money shortages, kid concerns and more.  As I’ve thought about these, there are many different ways to address & resolve these things by money, more time, wisdom, work efficiencies & more. 

Sometimes I think we get a little too narrow on how we want these needs to be resolved.  Sometimes our prayers are about having more money, or more time, or more help.  But maybe these provisions are nothing more than the observable results of God’s immense love for us.  Maybe the real issue isn’t about resolving our needs but rather trusting in God & His love.   If we leave our life in God’s hands, He perfectly matches every need to His perfect provision. 

There are times that I’ve prayed for more:

  • time & He has made me more efficient
  • money & He’s given me a creative idea on how to cut some expenses
  • help & He’s decreased some of my work
  • friends & He’s worked on me to be a better friend

Jesus said to seek His kingdom 1st & everything else will take care of itself.  With God’s help, lets be sure that we’re going after God & resting in His outrageous abilities to provide for our needs 🙂

 

 

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, spiritual, 0 comments

routine

Routines can be boring.  They’re by nature repetitive & can get VERY dull.  When i was growing up, we used to have a trampoline & i would practice my trampoline routines (like a gymnastics routine) to where i had like 3-4 routines i could do whenever we had guests.  I was kind of proud of these routines bc some of them were kind of tough.  What i discovered was that when i would practice the routines, i stayed sharp & wouldn’t make mistakes.  When i wouldn’t do them for a day or two, or even a week, my routines would get sloppy & sometimes i even hurt myself.

I find that the lessons i learned from practicing trampoline routines stay w me even now when i’m an adult.  My daily performance is intricately connected to my daily routines.  Furthermore, my daily routines are an integral part of the success or failure of my future.  What i practice today, is what i’ll be ready for tomorrow. 

i’m trying to get better w my routines – especially w my kids.  My personal routines include going to bed at a reasonable hour so i can get up early, have some solitude & God time so that i can go into each day w some Divine.  Utlimately, i find that every day needs the Divine & routine can help increase my awareness of God’s involvement in my daily living.  How are your routines?

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Posted by sarahbowling in living, spiritual, 0 comments

daily bread

Ever find yourself asking God for more time, or more money, or more energy, or more wisdom, or more abilities, . . . . . ?  At some point in all of our lives, I think we’ve all asked God for at least one of these things. 

In my Lord’s Prayer experiment, I’ve found these kinds of requests interesting in light of Jesus’ instructions to ask our Father for “daily bread” – sustenance, essentials necessary for this day, etc.  Here’s some of my thinking:  if Jesus teaches us to make this request in praying to our Father, then because of God’s character of goodness & provider, He supplies our needs.  To me, this means that He gives us what we need for each day, when we bring this request to Him. 

As such, I’ve concluded that my heavenly Father does give me what I need for each day:  enough time, enough provision, enough money, enough patience, enough talent . . . . In Ps 84:11 it says,”For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing  will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.  NKJV

So given this understanding, when I ask our heavenly Father to give me my daily bread, I can trust Him to give me exactly what I need for this day. 

Do you ever have trouble trusting our heavenly Father to provide what you need?  What helps you trust Him?

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Posted by sarahbowling in Lord's Prayer, 1 comment

a possible God bridge

Bridges are used to connect to things that would not otherwise touch or connect.  This reminds me of spitting off the bridge of the isthmus of Corinth to see how far it was to the bottom – but that’s a different story.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAzCDOxMuSE] 

Anyways, we use lots of things for bridges – ropes, wood, cable (consider your most recent zip line experience), cement, communication, etc.  While we generally understand & are grateful that Jesus is God’s bridge to connect with humanity – I think that our Father has some things in our daily living that serve as bridges to connect us to Him. 

Consider:  in Philip 4:19, Paul tells us that God supplies all of our needs according to His riches in glory.  This verse is often taken to mean that God meets our needs (He provides for the things we need in life).  The context of this verse supports the idea that God gives us the things necessary to match the needs we have.  However, given my simple mind, I also read this verse to say that God gives us needs.  The reason I bring this up is because if you’re like me, I’m more motivated when I have a need than when I’m “content” or in a satisfied state.  I find that often I am more drawn to God when I’m in a state of disequilibrium than when life is smooth.  Could it be that God can use the needs in your life as a bridge for you to use to come to Him?  Don’t shoot the messenger (me), but this is something to consider.  🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in living, 1 comment

some thoughts to digest

Here’s some things I’ve been thinking of lately:

  • I want to start writing books again – this has been on pause since I jumped into Greek
  • uncertainty can be debilitating or exciting (fear would be the debilitating slant, trusting God would be the exciting version)
  • I had a bad pho experience – my 1st one
  • temptation could be a God desire filtered through a fleshy prism
  • I can make a really tastey homemade pumpkin pie that’s not too hard!
  • different people affect me different ways – this realization is very healthy for me as I used to be a really detached person
  • I’m ongoingly amazed by the goodness of God, including His patience
  • I’ve got Greek tomorrow night & need to make a decision about what to do next semester
  • I’ve been sensing God around me more – this is great because it raises my awareness of my need for Him more blatantly

May God speak to you today such that you hear & understand Him well.  🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in living, spiritual, 0 comments