Friday, March 22, 2013

Open Thy Eyes to the Provision

Two sequential stories from the Bible hit me with a similar note one day—how God provides for us but our eyes have to be opened for us not to miss it.

The first story is the story of Hagar, Abraham's slave girl who had borne him Ishmael. When Sarah, Abraham's wife sent Hagar packing, the mother and son were led to a desert. When supplies were gone, Hagar and her son were crying. God heard them. An angel of God said to Hagar, "'What is the matter? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.' Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink." (Genesis 21:17-19)

 God opened the slave girl's eyes so she could see the provision of the Lord for both of them.

The second story is of Abraham. In Genesis 22, Abraham was about to sacrifice his son Isaac to God. God tested Abraham whether Abraham would obey. Right when Abraham was about to strike the boy, the Lord told Abraham, "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." (Genesis 22:12) Then, "Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, 'On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.'" (Genesis 22:13-14)

Abraham saw God's solution.

In saying this, what should that impress to us:

1. An Attitude of Gratitude
Many times God has already provided for our needs but we fail to see His work. We keep on thinking God has forsaken us when there are good things He has already provided. God has blessed us that we may be a blessing. If you are in a position where you can bless people—either with time, money, or an encouragement—you are already blessed. Open our eyes to the ways You have already provided and allow us to be thankful for them.

2. A Posture of Confidence
When fear or doubt clouds our eyes over the possibilities by which God is about to do a miracle, answer our prayers, or receive His promise, may our eyes be opened to the opportunities, doors, victory ahead of us. May we persevere and live not just by what we see with our own two eyes but to see with the unseen, to see with the eyes of faith.

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1)

May the Lord open not just our natural eyes but our spiritual eyes to the things of the faith, the faith and confidence in the eternal God.

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."(2 Corinthians 4:18)

"For we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Even as I write this, I don't always see in the physical the way God provides, but my confidence is it's as if it will be there or it's already there. That My God will come through for me. That is to see with faith. 

At times God's Words may seem conflicting to us, but He is merely pointing out that though we will be able to see His provision, He gives more importance to our faith—of higher worth and more precious than gold. For without faith, it is impossible to please God. Hence, the need for both messages.

God does not want you to base your confidence on what is seen, but on what is unseen as He reveals it to us by faith.

3.  A Fixed Eye on Christ

Faith is setting our spiritual eyes on the things of Christ, the author and perfecter of faith. Abraham saw how the Lord provided so that he would not need to sacrifice his son. It is symbolic to the way God sent his one and only Son, Jesus Christ, for the propitiation of our sins. 

When our eyes see our sins, our weaknesses, our shortcomings, let our eyes be opened to the solution that God has already provided—the blood of the sacrificial Lamb—Jesus Christ.

The best provision God had to make because we couldn't make it ourselves was to provide a complete solution to our sin. Nothing more to be added and nothing more to be deducted. It is complete. It is the whole package. Anyone who turns to the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved. This is our complete confidence when we run into our own shortcomings and failures to "make it."

I leave you with a song that communicates God's sufficiency for our weaknesses. God bless you!

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