Prayer & Fasting, Day 21: God is Generous.

The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. (Psalm 145:15-16). And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:9-13).

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. (Luke 6:31-33).

Have you ever attempted to communicate with someone, but failed miserably? When it comes to God’s generosity, there’s been a terrible miscommunication. Largely, the world divides into two camps about God’s generosity. In one camp, you find the worriers. These are the ones who are so concerned about money, possessions, career, and the other stuff of life, that they are terrified when and if they lack it. The worriers can never have enough, because they can never rest assured they will be taken care of.

On the other end of the spectrum, you find the willers. These are those that presume that relationship with God will make them rich, prosperous, healthy, and pain-free. Their prayers aren’t supplications of trust in God, but spell-like manipulations of God. They will money into their pockets from Heaven’s coffers. But, when suffering or lack does come, they fall away. Why? Because either God failed to provide or they failed to believe hard enough.

Jesus wasn’t a worrier or a willer. He didn’t have to be, because he knew God like a man knows a friend; like a son knows his dad. We don’t have to worry, because we know what God is like. He’s generous—exceedingly so. Jesus reminded his followers that even earthly dads take care of their kids. How much more, then, can we trust our heavenly one to give us even more? Indeed, Jesus said the gift God has waiting for us is better—the Holy Spirit himself. We don’t have to worry. God is good, and God is generous. The locus of our peace isn’t on our ability to understand how he provides, but on his character, that he always does.

Neither do we have to will all our provision. We’ve tried to let a love for stuff live alongside a love for God. But, as Jesus said, you can’t serve two masters. He didn’t give us promises to provide so that we could become so fixated on his provision that we attempt to manipulate God with our prayers for his stuff. Jesus said that if we seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, then everything else fall into place. Do you feel the peace associated with that? Do you feel the stalwart confidence that produces? If not, then perhaps you’re a worrier, or a willer.

Today, relax. Don’t worry about money, houses, spouses, and stuff. God has all that taken care of, and he already knows you need it. Pray, repent of worry, and ask God to provide for your needs. He’s really generous. Don’t will your money into existence, either. Don’t cut out all the promises about money from the Bible and only read those. Read them next to all the other ones. If you do, you’ll find that the goodness of God’s stuff wasn’t designed to make us want more of it, but of God himself.