We have had people tell us things like “the Lord is your provider” or “God sees the end from the beginning” or “God goes ahead of you”, and we wonder if it is actually true. I put together these parts of Scripture to show you exactly how God can provide and how he does it ahead of time. Read through them and see the conclusion at the end.
John the Baptist
It was necessary that Jesus be baptized, to fulfill all righteousness (Mathew 3:15), and set an example for the early Christians. John the Baptist would have the honor but this was prepared even before Jesus’ birth. On the day that Elisabeth gave birth to John, God was providing someone to baptize his Son. It would take many years but when the time came, there stood John in the Jordan River ready to fulfill an important part of his calling.
Levi son of Alpheus
Like most tax collectors from Israel in those days, Levi was consumed with making money and it did not matter that he did it on behalf of the Roman government which oppressed his own country at the time. God however had other designs for him. He was stationed on a public road that was convenient to collect taxes. This way was also convenient for Jesus to find him. When the master saw Levi he said, “Follow me” (Mark 2:14) and Levi left his station to become a disciple.
The little boy and the loaves of bread
There was a crowd of about five thousand men who had followed Jesus to hear his word. Looking at them and having compassion he asked one disciple (testing him) “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” The disciple replied that they did not have the money to purchase enough bread for the people. Another disciple then pointed out that there was a little boy with five loaves and two fish which was too little to feed even three men. Jesus however asked the crowd to sit down. He then took the loaves and fish blessed them. He handed out the basket of bread and fish and it was distributed and proved more than sufficient to feed the five thousand.
Simon needed money for tax
Those who collected tribute came to Simon and asked if his ‘teacher’ would pay their tax. Jesus instantly knew Simon (at that time) had no money. He sent him to the sea saying “cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.” Peter followed instructions and paid the tax for both of them.
When Jesus needed a donkey to ride into Jerusalem and fulfill Scripture, he sent two of his disciples saying, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately’”( Mark 11:2-3). The disciples did as they were told and indeed found the colt and were granted permission to take it.
Mary’s expensive perfume
It was a few days before Jesus’ crucifixion, at this time we can imagine that he thought about the things he would go through quite often. He was bracing himself for a great sacrifice and yet still he was helping people. Mary was the one person who thought of doing something for Jesus. God put her there to prepare and comfort him (he was human too) for the challenge that was coming. Mary took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, (worth about a year’s wages of a worker) and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair.
The furnished upper room
Jesus’ disciples asked him where they were going to have the Passover so as to make preparation for it. He sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there” (Mark 14”13-15). The disciples went and found it just as Jesus said and the owner of the house willingly gave them the room.
WHAT WE CAN DRAW FROM THE ABOVE
The passage about the little boy with five loaves and two fish is testament that God can multiply the little we have if we dedicate it to him. It is important to note that Jesus fed people who had come to listen to him. When asking God to multiply your little, remember to think of the good works you will do with a portion of what he gives you.
The tax money in the fish’s mouth shows us that our provision is somewhere we just have to find it. How? By walking in obedience to God, pray that he guides you and have the faith that he will. This same passage is also a reminder that Jesus knows and cares about our needs as he did for Simon.
With the example of John we see how God plans for us many years ahead. We always assume that he prepares a solution when we have the need, but he does it ahead of time. John was born before Jesus. So even before we were ever born God was already planning for our lives.
The story of Levi tells us we do not have to struggle to find God’s provision. He will somehow put in our path. Jesus needed another disciple to further his message and there was Levi waiting to be asked. He was in a convenient place, and was ready to give up his obsession with money.
When Jesus sent his disciples for the donkey we see that they had to exercise some faith. They first had to believe that they would find the colt, and then have the boldness to untie it without consulting the owners. The disciples trusted the Master’s words and God provided. Likewise we will need to listen to whatever God tells us even if we think it might embarrass us. When God speaks within you, do as he says and the provision will come.
Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ feet reminds us that God also has provision for the trying times we face. He knows when life gets difficult and if we would look to him in these times, we shall find consolation. The perfume Mary used was costly and special, it spoke about her appreciation for all that Jesus had done. It also spoke about how much the Father loved his Son and because of the cross, we are heirs of that love.
The man who furnished the upper room was prompted to do so but probably did not know why. He prepared the room at his own cost and when the disciples came by, he freely let them have it. They did not pay anything at all. This shows us that we do not always have to be limited by a lack of resources, God can provide in several different ways as shown by the examples above. Our part is to live in obedience, have faith and walk in that faith. His provision is already there, we just have to let him guide us to it.