Providence Set Into Motion

Introduction: In Bible times, God involved himself with man “miraculously” circumventing certain laws.

  • Defying the laws of physics (Exodus 15:8) At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up; the floods stood up in a heap; the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.
  • Defying the laws of nature (Luke 1: 30-35) And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.
  • Defying the laws of gravity (John 6:19) When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened.

God has also involved himself with man “providentially” in concert with the laws of physics, nature and gravity.

  • Elijah prayed for it not to rain and then to rain (James 5:16-18) Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
    • Note that Elijah prayed fervently or earnestly. 
    • QUESTION: For us today, what does it mean to fervently pray? 
      • This reminds me of what brother Davenport spoke about last week. Elijah lamented in earnest.
    • For Elijah, God caused the rain to happen, according the this scripture, because Elijah prayed. Nothing about the laws of physics, nature or gravity were changed but rain simply fell after the fervent prayers of the prophet, Elijah, was offered.
  • David’s Psalm 23 gives us great insight into how God’s providence can work in our lives.
  1. God will providentially take care of our physical needs. (Psalm 1:1) The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    • We may not have everything we want but with God as our guide, we can have what we need.
    • This doesn’t mean that we are to let go of the desire to work and earn money, but it should give us pause to reflect on what we want. Is what we want something that we can handle? How many times has sudden influx of money or possessions changed a person’s direction in life; and not in a good way.
    • There is no want to those who fear God and keep His commandments. Karen and I have seen and I’m sure you have too; you can’t out-give God. (Psalm 34:9) Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!
    • We must put God first and He will take care of us. (Matthew 6:31-33) Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
      • Tesla car
      • When children leave your home
      • Health issues
  2. God will providentially take care of our emotional needs. (Psalm 23:2) He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
    • How many of you enjoyed sitting and listening to the rain yesterday? Karen and I enjoyed coffee and relaxing on the back porch yesterday morning with actual fall weather. Do we take time just enjoy God’s creation? It’s makes you feel at peace when you can slow down and just be.
      • I hope we are all praying for peace because only God can grant it. THIS IS FROM OUR FIRST LESSON (Philippians 4:6-7) do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
        • We worry about things and, therefore, think we are in control. When you give it to God, He is worrying for us.
    • We must learn to live at God’s pace. (Matthew 6:25-26, 34) “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  (34) “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
      • When Karen wants me to come home from work, she says, “It will be there tomorrow.”
  3. God will providentially take care of our spiritual needs. (Psalm 23:3) He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
    • We must be in subjection to God’s will. Even in Psalm 23, note the 11 references to whom all is given. (Psalm 23) The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
    • Let us not try to take on the world alone when it is evident that God can give us what we need if we ask.
  • Conclusion: Once we give ourselves to God and become a Christian, there is no part of our lives that He is not willing to help us with.
    • Do you have those friends that you can talk to about some things but can never mention other things for fear of angering them?
      • Because God can already see through us, there is nothing we can hide from him. When Noah tried to run from God to the island of Tarshish, God knew he was there.
      • Why do we think we can keep one part of our lives from God. Just because we are ashamed of one aspect of our lives we feel that if we don’t bring it to God, in hopes of hiding it from Him.
      • He can see our hearts and our intent before we ever take the action. 

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