A common prayer request I receive from many people is, "Gary, we are in serious financial trouble. Please pray that God would bless us financially." For years I often prayed that way myself. I seldom saw much in the way of answers, however. I could not make sense of it. I knew that our Father loves us to the uttermost. Jesus told us that He knows our needs before we even ask Him (Mat 6:8). I knew that the Father is all-knowing and all-powerful. Yet, when I would pray as described above, the answers to those prayers seldom came.
The problem was that I still had a "needs-mentality" instead of a "provision-mentality." One day while I was meditating the following verses, fresh understanding of the Father's provision for us began to dawn on me.
Rom 10:6-8 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.
These verses in the King James version are a little hard for us to understand. Here is the same passage from the Living Bible:
Rom 10:6-8 But the salvation that comes through faith says, "You don't need to search the heavens to find Christ and bring him down to help you," and, "You don't need to go among the dead to bring Christ back to life again." For salvation that comes from trusting Christ--which is what we preach--is already within easy reach of each of us; in fact, it is as near as our own hearts and mouths. (Living Bible)
While meditating on these verses and praying, it seemed to me that the Father asked me, "What would you have Me do? Would you have me send Jesus to the cross again in order to bear the curse of poverty for you a second time?" Then I remembered this verse:
2 Cor 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
Little by little, the light of understanding began to dawn on me. I had been so "need" minded based on my circumstances, that I was having a really hard time becoming "supply" minded based on the finished work of Jesus Christ! I was asking God to "do" something that had already been "done." The problem was not in His provision. The problem was lack of faith on my part in the provision already secured for me when Jesus bore the curse of poverty in my place on the cross.
The attitude of my heart was all wrong. The attitude of my heart was, "Why won't the Father meet my needs?" The problem was … that attitude makes the assumption He has not! There is no faith in that attitude of heart. Such an approach to God is completely founded on apparent circumstances, not faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. In fact, it is even worse than that. Deep down, at the subconscious level, approaching God with that attitude of heart is actually accusing Him of not being a good Provider.
That attitude says, "I can tell by my circumstances that You have not provided for me. You need to do something to meet my needs." The Father might respond by saying, "If you would bother to read it, you can tell by my Word that I have already provided everything for you through the finished work of My Son on the cross. You need to exercise faith in My Word to access what has been freely provided for you by grace."
Rom 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also WE HAVE ACCESS BY FAITH INTO THIS GRACE wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. [Emphasis mine]
There is the great dilemma. We tend to always be standing around waiting for God to "do" something, while in truth, God's hands are tied until we begin exercising faith in what He has already done for us freely, by grace, through the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Faith "believes in the heart" that the work of Jesus Christ was "enough" to meet all of our needs. Faith also "speaks with the mouth" the Lordship of Jesus Christ over our lives based on that finished work.
So are we to ask the Father to help us? Most certainly! But the attitude of heart makes all the difference. Is the attitude of our heart full of fear and need when we approach Him in prayer? Or is the attitude of our heart one of full assurance, confidence, and faith based on the rock-solid certainty that our loving Father made full provision for us when He sent the Son to redeem us?
Remember, it is by FAITH that we have access into His GRACE!
Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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