When taking in the view of our lives, gazing upon all our wants and needs, we are often looking out a different window than the one God is. Often, what we envision is quite different from God’s provision. In our minds, our needs and wants are relative, but in God’s they are absolute. Only He truly knows what we need and what we should want.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Though God provides our needs, sometimes our wants require work. I’m always telling my girls anything in life worth having, takes work. I don’t know which is harder, getting them to grasp that concept, or getting them to do the work. At times, it’s a toss-up. It’s funny, because most of the time, I am more than willing to give them a hand, if only they’d take an initiative to obey me. Instead, they make things harder on themselves, when they do these three things:
- Argue with me.
- Look for a shortcut.
- Ask, what’s in it for me?
It’s as though they don’t trust that I have their best interest in mind. Usually, they’re afraid they will wind up doing more work than what they really have to, or worse, do more than their sister’s share! Lately, I feel the Lord giving me the same lecture. One morning, during my quite time I felt the Lord say in my spirit, “Lay your expectations down and do the work.”
Whether it’s our dreams or our problems, they both require work. Dreams don’t fulfill themselves, just as problems don’t fix themselves. It’s in our nature, though, to want to know the ending before putting in the effort. We want to place it all on the scales, and see if the weight of the work balances out the weight of the outcome. Many times, I find myself doing the very same things to the Lord my children do to me. I feel Him saying, “Quit arguing, looking, and asking. Instead, start answering this simple question: Will you simply do the work, because I asked you to?”
While we look in expectancy for the outcome, God looks in expectancy for our obedience. He wants us to quit playing all the possible scenarios in our minds, and just trust Him. That’s faith, right? Believing He has our best interest in mind, and He won’t put anything extra on us that’s not necessary for our benefit or His divine plans. It reminds me of Daniel in the movie, Karate Kid. He couldn’t understand or foresee how all the hard work of waxing on and waxing off was going to teach him karate, but in the end it paid off.
Instead of seeking the outcome, Christ wants us to seek Him. And, when we do, ironically the outcome finds us. We can’t and won’t ever figure God out. We’re not meant to. We’re not meant to know everything, we’re meant to know the One who created and controls everything. We’re meant to trust and do the work. Our expectations rarely align with His manifestations. Story after story in the Bible, miracles occurred only after an act of obedience was done first. Oh, what God can do with an act of faith! God is more than willing to give us a hand, once He sees our hearts are willing. Miracles are supposed to leave us in awe of God in unexpected ways. God’s manifestations far exceed our wildest imaginations. If God wants us to expect anything, it’s His grace and the unexpected.
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden had everything, but they didn’t realize the worth of God’s provision. Sadly, they exchanged it for Satan’s lie. Satan’s deception persuaded them to believe they didn’t need, nor could they trust God. What was once pure, became contaminated with sin. Even as early as then, God worked and continues to work all things together for our good. He provided a way for His son to show us His grace, and He gave us work, as a means to experience that grace.
It’s easy for some children, especially mine, to overlook the value of their needs and wants, when everything is provided for them. Like those children, it can be just as easy for us to overlook the worth of God’s blessings, especially when life’s sea is calm. God is the ultimate loving Father. He loves us and loves for us to need and trust Him, and to appreciate the blessings He bestows. If we never have a reason to rely on God, then why would we need God? Just maybe, the best way to truly appreciate our blessings and Him is by sincerely doing the work He gives us!
God wants us to be more concerned with our determination, than with our expectations, our determination to serve, obey, honor, and most importantly, love Him. If God is asking us to do something, we should do it out of love and gratitude, knowing that no matter the outcome, God has our best interest in mind. For God, it’s not the worth of the work we do that has value, it’s the worth of the process the work puts us through. It’s the process of turning us into more like Him with each ounce of work we do.
Dear Lord, I pray that I stop arguing, looking, asking, and weighing and simply say, “Yes, Lord.” Thank you that Your view is different and so much better than mine. I praise You for the work you give and its refining process. May I always appreciate the worth of Your provision. In Jesus name. Amen