Topic 2. Who is the God who provides for us?

(Please scroll down to the end of this topic if you’d like to add your own testimony. Ivan hopes you will.)

Jackie Bishop, Toowoomba, Australia

Once on return from mission work in Burundi to a rather chilly England, all our family had warm coats excepting the eldest child Rebecca. We came home one day to find a parcel sent by mail from a supporting church in Dorset. In it was a lovely coat in Rebecca’s size.

She was just 8 years old and asked, “How did they know it was I who needed a coat?”

I replied, “They didn’t, but God did.”

On another occasion, we needed a visa and had to travel to a designated doctor to do it. We did not have a lot of spare cash and I felt a little irritated that our local doctor could not have done the job, which he would have done just as effectively. 

A few days after the medical, we received a letter from a supporting church where the missions prayer group had recently met to pray, and after praying for our family had a spontaneous offering for our needs. The letter commented on the unusual amount, but it happened to be exactly what I had spent on my travel and fee for the visa medical. 

Jackie’s testimony shows that:

  1. God Knows exactly what is needed whether clothing size or money – it is like His signature, showing that He knows and cares.
  2. God’s level of intricate planning is mind-blowing. How did He provide exactlywhat was needed? Provision appears to be a case of “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:8)                 
  3. God cares deeply for children.
  4. God sometimes uses unexpected methods to supply our needs. (Consequently, if we are ever moved to pray or to give to a situation that we don’t understand, we should nevertheless be obedient).

Ron Dick – American Minister interviewed while in Zimbabwe.

Before we could leave for Zimbabwe (as ministers), we required five thousand dollars for air fares and other expenses. We never tell anyone when we have a need; we simply tell Jesus about it and wait and see how He will react to fulfil that need. In this case, we had the money within one month.

If anyone thinks Christ’s provision is just coincidence, I challenge you to live for years, as we have, without fixed salary or support and not telling anyone besides Jesus when having specific needs. We have learned to pray for needs right down to the daily petrol, toothpaste, food and so on. Christ has never once failed to meet our needs! 

Just how does Christ fulfil these needs in practice, you may be wondering? It varies enormously. Many times, on the very same day in which our food supply had been exhausted, a person would come to our house with a cash gift, or a bag of groceries, or whatever else we had need of. In every case it has been a result of a specific request made and known only to God. People usually say something like, “I have been thinking about you and I believe Christ has told me to give you this”.

One time in Dallas it seemed as if Jesus was going to fail to provide for us for the first time ever in our Christian lives. My wife and I sat down to a table with no food at all to eat. We had actually laid the table as an act of faith. Next, we gave thanks to Christ for the food He had provided. Then came a knock at the door, and there stood our next-door neighbour with a casserole dish in her hands! 

She said, “Sorry to disturb you, but I was hoping you could make use of this food. I don’t know why, but I cooked too much for us. Could you make use of the extra?”

Once again Jesus had filled our plates!

Here is another more recent example of how Jesus provides. I had been praying specifically for a 175cc trail motor bike for some months as there was a need to witness for Christ amongst scramble teams of motor bike enthusiasts. As usual, I did not tell anyone else of my prayer request excepting my Lord.

One morning after prayer I felt a leading from God to visit a certain friend. At the time the trail bike was not on my mind.

I arrived when he had just come from his daily time of prayer. I was not prepared for what he said to me: “Ron, Christ has just told me to give you my 175cc Yamaha trail bike.” 

I was astounded and replied, “You’re kidding. No, I could not accept it.” 

He answered, “Don’t rob me of doing what the Lord wants. Jesus said give it, and it shall be given.” 

Ron’s testimony shows that:

  1. God’s incredibly detailed and personal way in which He provides for us shows more than His godly ability, it also shows His individual concern and love for us. (George Mueller in Bristol England ran an orphanage for years on similar prayer principles, also setting tables without food and waiting for the Lord to somehow provide. The log books still survive as do confirmatory reports given by the orphans.)
  2. God knows everything about our circumstances and true needs.
  3. God has planned how to supply our needs in advance.
  4. God supplies ‘needs not greeds’, which is where many ‘prosperity teachers and preachers’ go wrong. (Matthew 6:25-34)

Jill Johnson, Sheffield, England 

Peter and I were members of the Rhema Church in Cape Town where the pervading message was, “have faith, give to the church and you will be prosperous”, so we gave faithfully despite Peter not finding work and it being a weekly battle to put food on the table. 

Our giving did not result in our financial circumstances improving, so we gave still more, supposing that our faith must be lacking.

Finally, when we had run out of food, I got on my knees and prayed, “Lord, I have no faith left. I simply don’t believe you can provide for us.”

 My agonised prayer was interrupted by a knock on the door. Totally unsolicited, a person brought us a hundred rand. “The Lord told me to,” was the explanation given.

 This was not “prosperity” in the terms preached by the church, but rather a rescue mission by the Lord on the level of putting food on the table.

 My primary lesson was that faith was not the key to provision from God; the money came when my faith for provision was at its lowest ebb.

Jill’s testimony shows that:

  1. God knows everything about our circumstances and real needs.
  2. The ‘prosperity message’ is an attempt to manipulate God for selfish reasons. It is false doctrine. One test is that any doctrine that cannot be preached to poor beggars and work for them is heretical. Recognise false doctrines by selfish ends being their goal.
  3. God provides neither as a reward for faith nor for our giving generously to the church, but because He is a loving Father.
  4. God’s salvation offer is for everyone who comes to Christ for salvation – rich or poor – prosperity on earth is not part of the deal. Think about it, Jesus Himself was not rich on earth. 

John Nayna new migrant to Australia.

John had been a successful businessman in Malawi, Africa, before migrating to Melbourne, Australia, in 1983. 

John soon found that there was a shortage of opportunity in his line of profession. 1983 was a very difficult year – high unemployment rate and high interest rates made it impossible for him to find suitable employment. 

Needing to do something to earn money to support his family, he took the lowly position of a factory labourer in a large factory that manufactured aluminium doors and windows, even sweeping floors. He decided that if this was the job God had provided for him, he would do it with a smile and to the best of his ability – even when sweeping the floors.

John’s hard work and cheerful disposition caught the owner’s eye, who often stopped to have a chat.

 Quite soon, the owner asked John if he could work in the sales department of the company since he had heard from the factory workers that John had sales experience. John said he could. This began a series of steps up the ladder for John.

When the owner decided to sell his various businesses and retire, he made it very easy for John to take over the factory that manufactured aluminium windows. In just three years, John owned it outright, debt free. He now has his two sons working in the business.

Today, John is financially secure and spends his time developing God’s Kingdom, not only in Australia but overseas – Africa – India – the Philippines.

John’s testimony shows that: 

  1. God honours Christians who adopt a cheerful, positive, faith-filled approach to life.
  1. God has the capacity to provide amazingly for Christians whose hearts are right.
  1. God is capable of raising anyone to higher levels of authority, as typified by Joseph, David and Daniel in scripture – and John Nayna in our day. All had a deep, positive faith in God and cared little for the wealth that came their way. God remained central to their lives.
  1. God provides at times even more than we can ask or even think. Sadly, tragically sometimes, money and the fame that has come to some Christians has ruined their lives and often their ministries. But this does not need to happen. Christians can instead use His provision to build the Kingdom of God on earth.

Maria Onions in Australia.

Ps 86 vs 17 has proven important in my life: “Give me a token (sign) for good, that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed, because You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.”

In church life, every minister or pastor will have times of misunderstanding and very stressful situations, even hatred directed at him. It was at such a time as a minister’s wife I came across the above verse. As I read it, I immediately spoke out aloud and said “Lord, please show us a token for good!”  We really needed a break away from the problems!!

A few days went by, then I received a phone call from a friend in a different denomination who knew nothing of our stressful situation. She invited us to go and spend a week at their holiday house by the sea for free!  Immediately, I recognised this as our ‘token for good’. I felt humbled at this wonderful, speedy provision in answer to prayer.

We were able to arrange for a super and restorative week’s break. We came home rested and refreshed, ready to face whatever challenges lay ahead!

Maria’s Testimony shows that:

  1. God likes us to know and quote scripture.
  2. God hears and answers prayer.
  3. God is faithful in His love for us.
  4. God takes care of the details of our lives.
  5. God is concerned when we are exhausted.
  6. God loves all Christians regardless of denomination – He is person-centred and not denomination-centred.


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