As the multitude followed Jesus, it was recorded twice that He stopped and provided for them so that they would not parish in their pursuit of Him and His truth. (Jesus feeds the 5000 –> Matthew 14:13-21) When our focus is on God and serving Him He will provide for us in our faith. Jesus made this clear in the way He provided for those seeking Him. And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. (Luke 12:29-31)
The problem occurs when people seek that they want over what God is looking to provide. In our sinfulness we lean toward self-sufficiency and self-guidance. We walk a path we have designed in our own power and look to God for the provision to help us along our own fallen path. We can fall away from fear and anxiety when we realign ourselves with the plan God has for us. We have to realize that we were designed for a Godly purpose. God’s provision is meant to supply us for that walk. Our following of Jesus allows us to appreciate that what we have been provided is more than we need. God will provide excess so that the overflowing of His provision can be showered upon those around us. One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much (Luke 16:10) When God sees you walking faithfully in union with Jesus using His provision to accomplish what God has laid before you. He will multiply that provision so that your walk can continue in greater ways.
Don’t look to God for the worldly things you want, but instead ask Him to give you what He desires you to have. This will insure that your path is His, your desires are His desires, your will is His will, and all glory belongs to God the Father through a life transformed through salvation in and obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ.
With the growth of technology and social media, we are bombarded with people’s opinions and the idea of social acceptance. The current culture changes and flows as ideas of what’s popular change with the ease of a social media post by a celebrity. As Christians we are faced with the difficult task of swimming against the tide of this world. We are called to things that are greater than this earth in its fallen condition. God’s will was established when He created the heavens and the earth and have remained unchanged since. Human history shows people turning back to His way in desperation as they struggle in the emptiness of human wisdom. It’s amusing to see how people even take the ideas of God and ‘re-package’ them into ideas that are supposedly human wisdom. The attempt to walk around God leaves people lost and short of His desired completeness.
Jesus ‘had to’ to travel through Samaria in His journey to Jerusalem.(John 4:4) And he had to pass through Samaria. His journey was supposed to go around Samaria because the Jewish culture looked down on the Samaritans. They were ostracized by the Jewish. Jesus decided to bypass that cultural standard and reduce the 6 day journey to 3 days by following the will of the Father into Samaria. (John 4:1-42)
What must you do that goes against culture to walk in the presence of God? It is impossible to hold the right hand of God and still be ok with inclusion into such a debased culture. (James 4:4) You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. We live in a society that glamorizes excess of all types, promiscuity, drugs, alcohol, selfishness, racism, greed, laziness and false idols. They are even offended when God is mentioned. People walk around neglecting the needy and being too busy to be a part of anything bigger than their self-servitude. Kids are looking up to half-naked singers and people who are famous because of a sex tape.
What must we do to be a light in this dark culture? Imagine the difference when good is returned for evil. Allow the Spirit of God to set you apart in sanctification as His image bearer. Be the difference and not just another person lost in the plans of the deceiver. Make boundaries and respect yourself as a child of God. Turn to God and rely on a power much greater and fulfilling than anything found outside of Christ.
(John 17:14-16) I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
VERSE: (Zechariah 8:20-23) “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, even the inhabitants of many cities. 21 The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the Lord and to seek the Lord of hosts; I myself am going.’ 22 Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord. 23 Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”
HISTORY: Jerusalem was completely destroyed at least twice, once by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 25:8-10) and again by the Romans under Titus in AD 70. The Mongols destroyed at least a portion of the city around AD 1260, and the Roman emperor Hadrian destroyed it in AD 135. In addition, the city was captured at least 40 times and besieged at least 23 times.
THOUGHTS: Many times throughout the Old Testament we see God allowing His people to be conquered and spread over the land. It always comes in the wake of them turning away from His commandments and guidance. (Zechariah 7:13-14) “As I called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,” says the Lord of hosts, “and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they had not known… This seems to only be a punishment for those people. But once we realize that all things are done for the glory of God, I wanted to think deeper. What if God scatters His people to spread His presence over the earth? God’s judgement acts like a droplet of water to cause a ripple that spread to the corner of the earth. These people turn from God so He scatters them, they find the error in their ways and turn back to God from their foreign land. Now God has placed His people over all the earth who turn to Him and lead the other nations to turn to His as well. (seen in Zech 8:23 above) What a wonderful thought to see how God uses what seems to be a punishment for His people to not only draw them back to Him but also to spread His name and glory throughout the earth. How great if the God serve!