Miracles vs. Providence

TEAM AO,

Recently my wife Tina asked me a very poignant question…Have you completely surrendered our business to the Lord?  My impulse response was to emphatically scream “YES”, I pray all the time for God to help us become capable leaders and business persons. But upon contemplation, I realized that the question was a lot deeper than my immediate response.  What does it mean to surrender?

Surrender – to yield (something) to the possession or power of another;

Christians often talk of surrendering  our earnest desires to God in prayer, and then leaving them in His care as we patiently await His deliverance.  In theory, we give ownership of our desires to God, and we are to patiently await his deliverance.  The questions becomes what do we do while we are waiting? Waiting has become a lost art. How many times have we witnessed impatient people in traffic waiting on the light, or in a restaurant waiting on their food. Somehow we have gotten in our minds that we are too privileged to wait on anything.  We cannot wait for our food to cook so we pop it in  the microwave. We cannot wait long enough to save money so we finance everything.  Spouses cannot wait for their spouse to grow and change so they quit on their marriage.  The list goes on and on, and the ramifications of impatience are evident in most aspect of our lives.   Have we become impatient with God?

That is in essence the question posed by my thoughtful wife.  If God be God, and I believe in His authority and power, then what does it mean to surrender my family, my business, my health or anything else to Him?  With today’s watered down principles, we have be told that we can just demand something of God, and the Red Sea will immediately part and provide a nice path toward our victory.  True enough we do serve a sovereign God that can perform great miracles, but who is God when the miracle does not occur instantly.  Is he not still sovereign and powerful? If he delays,  do we then barge headlong into the water making our own path?  Are we content with God alone when the miracle does not happen? If we rely strictly upon the miraculous works of God, then we are no better than those that demanded signs before they would believe in the Lord Jesus.

You see the Lord desires faith, and faith knows no time. Faith says, I am content in knowing that God will provide in His time frame. Providence is at work regardless of how dark it may seem right now.  God has promised that he would never leave nor forsake us, therefore we can patiently await His deliverance.  If the sea does not part today, are we content in knowing that it will come to pass. If our marriage, finances, children, job, bills or any of life’s worries are not in the state that we desire,  can we be content in knowing that God is at work.  Whether it be a miraculous instantaneous deliverance of God, or if Godly providence moves at a slow almost indiscernible course, we are to trust in God and surrender our lives to His will.  Tina, thanks for the thought provoking question,  and I end with these words from Philippians 4:11-13

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.

11 comments

  1. Thank you for the gentle reminder. Surrender and wait, has always been difficult for my choleric tendencies that are coupled with my sanguine, spur of the moment, craziness I call “my life”. One of my favorite quotes, “God’s delays are not his denials”. Thank goodness!

  2. God’s timing is impeccable! Jim Gregory and I just had a talk about the exact same thing last night on the way home from the LIFE meeting. I was having a hard time understanding Jimmy’s reasoning with me but this post just put it all in good perspective for me. Thanks Ray! Praise the Lord! He is good all the time!

  3. As we read your post, the word that comes to mind is “Trust”. Trust not in ourselves, but in the power of the Almighty God. There’s a song we sing at Church called “Simply Trusting” that has some words that we believe apply here. One of the verses state:
    “Simply trusting everyday
    Trusting through a stormy way
    Even when my faith is small
    Trusting Jesus, that is all
    Thank You for the post.

  4. Wow Raymond…..what a fantastic read and healing words. Thank you! The timing of this message couldn’t have been more perfect. May our Lord and Savior bless you for blessing me

  5. LJ
    I think at this time the Lord has been revealing himself to several of us on AOJ1. He has many names for all situations we find ourself in such as Jehovah-jireh -the LORD will provide. These are truths we can stand on until he does.

  6. Excellent post Raymond! Yet, how dare you share our “pillow talk” with the rest of the world…lol Truly kidding, for if our craziness can bless someone else, then so be it.

    The question really came from a day of self reflection, horrible self talk and a bit of frustration with various areas of my life. Some business related, personal growth areas, spiritual and the ever lurking weight issue. On one hand, I could see growth, progression and results. But on the other side of my brain and body held a huge handful of What if’s, Would of, Could of, Should of etc. You get the picture. So, me being me felt I needed to ask my ever wise husband’s perspective on surrendering.

    A day later: after reading this post and all of your comments here is where I think I am on the subject now. There is a story in Haggai that gave me a broader perspective. Here is what the Lord told the Jews as they were rebuilding the temple “Be strong, take courage….and do the WORK; for I am with you…My spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear! (haggai 2:4-5)

    God has it all under control. All I have to do is have courage, move and do the work. He is sovereign and at even this very moment as I type this he is working all things together for my good. (Romans 8:28) I need not worry, I need not look for a different goal, other options , other people’s opinions, none of that. I simply need to know that I know that I know, what God has called me to do and do the work heartily as unto the Lord and that is in all areas of LIFE!

    Blessings,
    Tina A

  7. As I read your post yesterday, I was in silent awe. Re-reading it tonight, I so appreciate your transparency as it allows all of us reading to learn through internalizing that same question. Thank you, Tina, for asking that question. Thank you, Raymond, for sharing it. Your leadership, as a couple, provides a daily reminder of what I am growing towards.

    Tracy Clark

    1. Amen to that! Turning things over to the Lord or to someone else is a hard thing to do especially when it comes to your child. I have been going through such a trial and the Lord let me know who He really is and that He can do all. I had to learn to allow God to take care of my little girl, I dedicated her and in doing so I gave her to the Lord but it is easy to say and hard to follow through with. With God all things are possible and I am thankful for God’s patients with me. I have so much more peace about my situation and I am thankful to be a part of LIFE.

  8. Raymond this post is right on time with all the aspects of life. We are all guilty of not having patience and expecting a victory on our terms. I always question what do we do while we wait, how long do we wait and how do we measure if we have waited long enough? Who are we to EXPECT from God? This post has reminded us of the Greatness and Glory of the Lord and we WILL see our victory. LIFE is the right place and the right time for us to do the Lord’s will. Thank you Raymond for the impeccable timing.

  9. Hi Raymond, I truly thank you for this message and Tina I thank you for asking the question of completely surrendering. I am new to LIFE and when it was introduce to me, I thought God you are hearing my prayers, and truly believe that LIFE is a blessing sent to me. Before stepping into this business I brought this before God, and realizing not giving it to God. This question of completely surrendering is what I really want to do and have to do. I say it all the time, but reflecting to know that I’m honestly surrendering, meditating and waiting on God is a Spiritual eye opening experience. I always pray that I put God first in everything I say, everything that I do and everything that I touch, and I Thank you both for LIFE, and also of more SPIRITUAL GROWTH. God Bless you Raymond and Tina for blessing others.

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