Matthew 6: 25-34 (NIV)
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we drink? Or ‘What shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
You may be looking at current events in the world right now and wondering what the future might look like. How much worse could things possibly get? The awesome thing about God is that He has already seen the future and He is already there. He is the God of our yesterday, our present and our future. With a three year long pandemic, food shortages, inflation and now a war raging between Russia and Ukraine, and the knock on affects it is having on the rest of the world, it is so easy to find ourselves unawares wearing the eye glasses of this world and default into panic and anxiety over how things will be in the coming months and years. There is no doubt in my mind that we are in the last of the last days. We will see an escalation of events taking place now propelling things, people and places towards getting the stage ready for the Tribulation years, but we just need to take those eye glasses of the world off and see with our God given spiritual eyes through the lens of faith and hold to the promises of God. You don’t need to worry about the future and how dire things are going to be, you just need to get your bible out and read it and remind yourself that we as the church win in the end. It is the only book in our lives that we can read and know that we who were invited into this story can know the end of it before we have physically gotten there.
As the Body of Christ, we will not be here during the Tribulation years, but we will be here until the rapture of the church takes place. As we do not know the day or the hour of the rapture, we also do not know how much worse things will get until the Lord comes, therefore we need more than ever to remind ourselves that we have a heavenly Father who loves us and cares deeply about every aspect of our lives. He cares about the things we care about and He knows what we are in need of physically and spiritually. If God has taken care of the needs of His creation that they are never short of anything from one day to the next, how much more will our Heavenly Father take care of us?
In this passage of scripture, Jesus tells us quite clearly that we are not to worry about where we will live, what we will eat or how we will clothe ourselves. In fact according to scripture we are not to worry about anything. If we live our lives putting God first, then He will supernaturally take care of our every need and much more. I can personally give testimony to the fact that there has not been one single day in our lives as a family where we have not had a roof over our heads, food on our table and clothes on our backs. There were times prior to our Christian lives where we went without these things and suffered some terrible hardships, but since we came to salvation in Jesus Christ and stepped into His righteousness, we have never gone without. Has it always been easy since serving the Lord? No, of course not! In our walk there have been seasons of lean-ness, difficulty and challenges, and then there have been seasons of plenty and abundance. Through all of them God has never let us down, He has always supplied our needs and much more according to His riches in glory because His Word is true and His promises are ‘Yes and Amen’ in Christ Jesus.
It wasn’t long after my husband and I came to faith in Jesus when I discovered that I was pregnant with my daughter, Hannah. These beginning days of our journey with God were some of our hardest financially. There is no doubt in my mind looking back that God had us in the training ground of learning to trust Him in the area of provision. From one week to the next, there was always nail biting stress over whether we would have the rent money, the grocery money as well as enough left over to cover the light bill and so on. Stressing over things like maternity clothes for my expanding belly was something I didn’t have the luxury to think about, but there came a point where I could hardly button my pants and shirts and that is when I made mention of it casually in conversation to God one day.
It was around this time that my husband was finishing a small renovation job that he had acquired through a friend from church. The lady he had done the job for had recently returned back to South Africa after living in the U.K for some years where she had a high profile job in the financial industry in London. As my husband was packing up one evening after finishing the job, she handed him three large garbage bags of what she termed her ‘fat clothes’. She asked him to dump them or pass them on, whichever one he felt inclined to do was up to him. At first he thought to give them to the church, but then her words, ‘fat clothes’ somehow changed to ‘maternity clothes’ in his mind. On arriving home, he handed me the bags and said to look and see if I would be able to wear any of the items in the bags. As I pulled out some of the clothing items my jaw dropped as I caught a glimpse of the labels on some of the blouses, jackets and trousers – Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Armani and others just to name a few. I could not believe my eyes! Not only were these items of clothing designer items, they were all in excellent condition as if never worn. I took out what I could use through my pregnant season and passed on the balance to those I knew would be blessed by them.
One lady’s ‘fat clothes’ became my ‘maternity clothes’. In a season where we were financially hard pressed, I was walking around in some of the most expensive clothing in the world. This is how extravagant God is. He is so loving and so mindful of us that he took note of my casual mention of my situation in conversation with Him. He didn’t just give me any old clothes to wear during my pregnancy, He gave me the best of the best. As an ex clothing designer myself, He knew how much I would appreciate this blessing. He is the God of ‘much more’ and ‘how much more’ He blessed me in my time of need!
YOU HAVE IT ALL!
Leviticus 26: 3-5 (AMP)
“If you walk in my statutes and keep My commandments and do them, I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase and the trees of the field yield their fruit. And your threshing (time) shall reach to the vintage and the vintage (time) shall reach to the sowing time, and you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land securely.”
Leviticus 26: 6-8 (AMP)
“I will give peace in the land; you shall lie down and none shall fill you with dread or make you afraid; and I will clear ferocious (wild) beasts out of the land, and no sword shall go through your land. And you shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.”
FAVOR, PROSPERITY AND ABUNDANCE:
Leviticus 26: 9-10 (AMP)
“For I will be leaning toward you with favor and regard for you, rendering you fruitful, multiplying you, and establishing and ratifying My covenant with you. And you shall eat the (abundant) old store of produce long kept, and clear out the old (to make room) for the new.”
BLESSING AND DELIVERANCE:
Leviticus 26: 11-13 (AMP)
“I will set My dwelling in and among you, and My soul shall not despise or reject or separate itself from you. And I will walk in and with and among you and will be your God, and you shall be My people. I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out of Egypt, that you should no more be slaves; and I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect (as free men).”
In the Old Testament, the promises of God were based on their keeping of the Law. If they followed and kept the Law perfectly, then they experienced all the promises of God to the full. Today, under the New Covenant of Grace, we can experience the full extent of God’s promises in our lives not because we keep His Law perfectly, but because Jesus kept the Law perfectly. Jesus did not come to do away with the Law, but He came to fulfill it because humanity past, present and future could not and will not ever be able to do it. He did it for us and as us!
In this portion of scripture in Leviticus, you can see that I have broken up the verses into provision, protection, favor, prosperity, abundance, blessing and deliverance. As you read through this portion of scripture slowly meditating on it as you go, take hold of these promises which still hold true for us today. Know in your heart that no matter what circumstances surround you and engulf you, you can and you will see these promises of God in your life if you know that they are yours in the first place and you receive them by faith. They have been purchased for you through the finished work of Jesus at the cross two thousand years ago. However, I must make mention here that it is also imperative that we as believers put God first, ahead and above everything in our lives. God must take first place. If we put God first in every aspect of our lives it will also become a natural outworking to walk according to His ways. When you know how much God loves you and you love Him in return, there will be nothing in you that will make you want to walk contrary to this. According to this portion of scripture, when we put God first and walk in His ways walking by faith, things will go well for us in all of these areas no matter what circumstances we face in this world.
James 1: 25 (AMP)
“But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the (law) of liberty, and is faithful to it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer (who obeys), he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience).”
It is one thing to know the Word, read the Word and hear it preached, but it will never be activated in our lives if we don’t do the Word and do it by faith. Currently with everything going pear shaped in the world right now, we must stand out and not fit in. We must become the evidence of a people who are provided for, protected and blessed because we live for God and in His ways by faith.
When we are doers of God’s Word not because we are pressured to do so, but out of love for God we desire to do His will, then we experience a freedom and a joy which goes beyond anything we could ever describe with words. This is what the world needs to see and witness. When we live out our lives like this, God in us will become the draw card for many who are afraid and losing hope in current circumstances of this world. We become living testimonies of a God who loves us and cares for us.
Psalm 19: 7-11 (NIV)
“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey from the comb. By them are your servant warned; in keeping them is great reward.”
When we study God’s Word and live by His Word, it will restore our souls (mind, will and emotions), back to the way God intended our souls to be in the beginning. Our thought life will line up with who God is and His Word. Knowing God’s Word will help us to frame important decisions we are faced with in life as well as enlighten our eyes and bring much needed revelation to us. There is a joy we experience that comes from the Word and I could not put it better than the prophet Jeremiah when he said, ‘Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.’ Knowing and believing God’s Word will steer us to live righteously and become a compass for us in walking out God’s purpose and will for our lives and as the psalmist said, ‘In keeping them is great reward.’
As the church of God, we are called to live in the ‘how much more’, but as His children who come to Him we must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him and His Word (Hebrews 11:6). The rewarding that we receive are His promises and they come as a result of faith and trust in God, His Word and the finished work of Jesus. If God has clothed the lilies of the field and has provided for the birds of the air, how much more will He take care of us who are His children?
As circumstances get tougher, we must be resolved more than ever to trust God, to stand in faith and walk in His Word! In those early days of my walk with God, it was my child-like faith that landed me in the ‘how much more’ with designer clothing as my maternity clothing. Since then we as a family have experienced multiple ‘how much more’s’ with God. If ever there is a time in history to be literal children and trust ‘Abba Father’ like a child, it will be now in the days we are living. I cannot emphasize this point much more, but I sense an earnest-ness in my heart that trust in God in the days and months and years ahead will be key! A trust than goes beyond anything we have ever have had to have before. Should things get much worse prior to the rapture of the church, then I do believe our faith will take us to experiences like that of the Israelites in Goshen who never experienced the calamities of the plagues that fell upon the Egyptians (Exodus chapter 7-11). While the Egyptians suffered diseased livestock, hail, locusts which devastated their crops, darkness and then death of their firstborn children, the Israelites in the land of Goshen experienced the complete opposite. Why? Well, because they were the children of God! We too can experience this and much more. I completely and utterly believe it, but it will take our complete and utter trust in the God of the ‘HOW MUCH MORE!’
Until my next post,