"For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, nor for your body as to what you shall put on. Is life not more than food, and the body than clothing?" Matthew 6:25....."Our faith is not to be in God plus man, but in God alone." Watchman Nee...."The great word of Jesus to His disciples is, abandon." Oswald Chambers

T. Austin-Sparks said, "In the midst of need, we seek natural, not supernatural remedy and healing. We seek help in the same places as unbelievers." How close to our day to day way of life do these words, and those of Nee and Chambers "hit?" How much of the testimony we give as to the faithfulness and sufficiency of God really just lip-service? When the pressures and needs of life come upon us, and oftentimes in waves, who do we really see as our help?

Both Watchman Nee and George Mueller, great men of God alike, had as a heartfelt and life conducting conviction that in any material or financial need, they would tell no one but God about it. They would not seek help from brethren in the Church, or solicit funds from those known to have giving hearts and lives. They trusted in the One who had promised to supply "all their need." They took Him at His word, and the result were lives that witnessed the unending faithfulness of the Father to care for them. Mueller raised literally hundreds of thousands of dollars (millions in today's money) for his ministry to orphans simply by never telling anyone but Him of the need. So a question arises for you and me; Did God love him more than He loves you and I?

I have been a pastor now for over 30 years, and one of the ongoing concerns of ministry has always been finances....money. I, and so many of my brethren have spent countless sleepless nights and held innumerable meetings to try and figure out how to get this need met. The results are appeals made to congregations, denominations, and "friends of the church." I do not condemn such things, I just ask, in all of it, where is He? In all of it, who do we really look to? Who is our real help? This is a question for every one of us.

It is not just in the material and financial realm that we do this. In the health and care of our bodies, who do we look to first? If a physical need or disease does attack us, who is it that we first go to....run to? The Doctor, the specialist....or the One we have called the Great Physician? Yes, Doctors, medicine, medical science, all can be and are used of Him, but who is it that we really have entrusted ourselves to? Do we really believe that He is the Healer? We in the west have become dependent upon our modern health care system. For out brethren in countries and regions that provide no such access, they look to, and believe in a God who can do all things, including healing their diseases. Small wonder than that reports of miraculous healings among them abound. Meanwhile, we in the west continue to gather together in our "prayer meetings" and ask each other to pray for ours and our families sicknesses. Those kinds of requests never cease. Reports of those prayers being answered are few. Have we even the expectation that they will be? More, do we live in such depth with Him that we don't even feel the need to get others to pray about them....because we trust Him in all of it? Even when He does not act in accordance with our desire we trust Him. We trust Him because we are, as Chambers says, abandoned to Him. And we're at rest.

Abandoned to Him. That's really what this writing is about. Not a guarantee that money flows in when we ask, or healing is automatically received when sought. No, it is a holy confidence in Him, the Author and Finisher of our faith. We know, as Paul wrote, that "all things hold together in Christ." So we live in peaceful, confident, assurance. We know the One in Whom we have believed.....and we are persuaded that He will keep (everything) until that day....Do we know that? Do you?

Pastor O

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   May 2019   
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