100-Day Identity Makeover: Day 5
You Are Provided For (Luke 12:32)
Shortly after my friend’s father passed away, I asked if I could bring dinner to her house. She responded saying that she would feel guilty receiving that help from me. Do you relate to her sentiment? Do you feel like you don’t deserve something good unless you work for it? (Don’t worry, the friend and I moved past her feelings and into a delicious meal prepared by Café Renee!)
If you’re like the average person living in our merit-based society, you find it difficult to take unto yourself an act done or an article offered to you in grace. Yet, in every facet of your relationship with the Father in heaven, humility precedes your receiving fully from His goodness. You earn nothing; you simply receive generously out of God’s grace. You receive salvation, deliverance, healing, favor, promotion, and so much more because He is pleased to give you all that is His!
Your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. A well-known passage of Scripture encourages the reader to get past feelings and start receiving from the goodness of God’s heart. “And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well” (Luke 12:29-31).
I find it interesting that in this short passage of thirteen verses, fear and/or worry is mentioned five times! So, it’s important to take a look at the underlying current interfering with your receiving God’s gracious provision in your life. Fear and worry are related; they both serve as catalysts for striving. Striving is your default mode of existence; meaning, “if anything good is to happen to me, I have to produce the desired results.”
You, however, are a child of God, and you are provided for. Resting in the Lord’s provision is only possible through a heart’s resolute trust in His love for you. The same passage in Luke states that if the Father feeds the birds, how much more will He feed you knowing that you are of greater value to Him than the birds? And if the lilies in the fields are gloriously clothed by His hands, how much more does God clothe you since your value is greater than the flowers that appear one day and disappear the next?
Jesus said, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him” (Matthew 7:11, emphasis added)! We see the Father’s heart perfectly on display in the parable of the prodigal. The son who faithfully remained home and worked with his father confessed his feeling slighted at the sight of a celebration for the wayward son now returned home. The father, representing our heavenly Father, told him, “You are always with me, and everything I have is yours” (Luke 15:31). Truly, God says the same to you, His child: “You are mine; I am always with you, and all of heaven’s resources is yours. You are provided for.”
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). Fear leads to striving (self-dependency). God’s love leads to rest (trusting in His promise to provide all).
What would your life look like if you rested in God’s provision, thereby eliminating fear and worry? In the context of this teaching from the Gospel of Luke, you would not fear a malnourished state leading to death (the root fear), nor would you worry about the shame (another root fear) resulting from being inappropriately clothed. Receiving what God already promises you means you are free from striving for life and dignity. Such freedom allows you to focus on better things, higher things. The kingdom of God becomes priority, and the necessities of life come effortlessly as a result of your renewed alignment.
Walk It Out Hear God’s Word and put it into practice (Luke 8:21).
Memorize Luke 12:29-31 and 1 John 4:18.