2 Kings 4:3 (KJV)
3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few
We have all had that experience, were we have more bills than we have money. Most people live from paycheck to paycheck. Most people are one check away from being homeless. We use to say when I was younger, “we rob Peter to pay Paul.” Meaning, we don’t pay one bill to pay another bill just to stay afloat.
Most people won’t start off being wealthy, unless you are born into riches. Our Father in heaven is rich beyond imagination, but for mostof us our earthly parents were not.
Really provision is not about our need or God’s ability to provide, it is about our faith. You see God uses the circumstance of life to build our faith, and to get us to a closer relationship with Him. If it was just about our provision, we would never want for anything because God would just pay our bills.
He doesn’t do that straight away. God allows us to have lack in areas or to not have. These are the trying times that are meant to provoke us to have a greater relationship with God.
Think about it, if God just gave you what you wanted whenever you wanted there would be no need for you to pray. You wouldn’t talk to God. You wouldn’t really know Him. You would take for granted who He is in your life.
Have you read about some rich celebrity who had everything they could ever want or desire? They take money, provision and privileges as an entitlement.
You don’t know God as a provider if you never had a need. You don’t know to seek Him as Father, if you have never been fatherless. You don’t know God as King, if He has never been your Lord.
Let us consider this matter further.
First, understand that there are three different levels of provision. You don’t get to the promise without going through the wilderness.
There are three levels of provision are as follows;
1.Not Enough2.Just Enough3.More Than Enough (The Promise)
It is important that wherever you find yourself, you must be faithful unto God. You don’t get to pass through to the next stage if you are not faithful where you are. We will talk later about tithes, but understand if you don’t pay your tithes you don’t get to move forward you get to stay stuck.
First let us look at the first stage not enough. This is when a person is at a deficit. This is when you don’t have enough for your needs. Maybe you have a light bill due, but you don’t have the full amount to pay it. You have a need and no way to supply.
This is when the bill collectors keep calling you, threatening legal action. They keep sending you those letters some in different colors. They are threatening to confiscate your check because you owe them money. This is when the loan sharks are coming after you. Maybe it is the only car you have and the company that holds your loan is threatening to repossess your car. This not enough stage is where many people are today. Some would argue that it is because you are living beyond your means. I would argue that this is not always the case sometimes you have the means, and are living within them, but your means are not enough.
We are going to understand and learn how to progress pass this stage by the supernatural hand of God.
While in this stage believe it or not, God is at work. During this stage of fear and uncertainty first to get you through you must lean on God in unprecedented ways, because He is the only one who can help you.
When you don’t see away know there is always a way. Just pray to God but don’t pray fearful thoughts, remind yourself of who God is, and of His word. “God you said, you are my Father and a good Father takes care of me.” “You said, you would supply all me needs.”
We are going to talk further about divine strategy but understand God takes care of His own.
Philippians 4:19 (KJV)
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Notice the scripture, “My God”. The scripture doesn’t say, “some foreign being.” If He is your God and you belong to Him, therefore you can declare “My God”.
Ask and keep asking.
Matthew 7:7-11Living Bible (TLB)
7 “Ask, and you will be given what you ask for. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened.
8 For everyone who asks, receives. Anyone who seeks, finds. If only you will knock, the door will open.
9 If a child asks his father for a loaf of bread, will he be given a stone instead?
10 If he asks for fish, will he be given a poisonous snake? Of course not!
11 And if you hard-hearted, sinful men know how to give good gifts to your children, won’t your Father in heaven even more certainly give good gifts to those who ask him for them?
Whatever you have need of God will supply.
I remember a few years ago, I had just moved and spent most of my money on the move. I was down to my last and wasn’t sure how I would have food. I had decided that I would eat oatmeal and the minimal just to get me through to the next week.
I didn’t think to ask. Out of nowhere someone blessed me with two weeks’ worth of groceries. They told me to get whatever I wanted. Completely unexpected. Just the other day I had decided to go to the grocery to pick up a few items. I ran into an old classmate and she purchased my groceries. Mind you, I had the money but God allowed her to bless me. As we talked, she reminded me that God would supply my need.
I had an incident a while back where I had spent my last bit of money getting my car fixed. A few days later someone gave me money, something I wasn’t expecting, so that the cost of me getting my car fixed didn’t set me back.
My point is, it is at this stage where we learn to trust God. This is not about the need, but the development of our relationship with Him. I wrote a book years ago, after going through some pretty traumatic things. The book was called, Trusting God Isn’t Easy But It Is Worth It.
Two principles you must master in order to progress past this stage is the art of gratefulness, and a divine plan.
Let me explain, first you must practice gratefulness. Meaning, begin to thank God for what He has done. Complaining will keep you stuck. Remaining faithful will get you to matriculate on to the next.
23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
In God’s kingdom, you can’t start with being a ruler over many, if you can’t be a ruler over little.
Now the divine secret, it is at this stage where God will give you the strategy for divine wealth. He has to get your attention at this stage so that you pursue more. You won’t pursue the greater if you are comfortable.
I don’t know about you, but after going through school, and still being at a deficit, something in my spirit said, “There has to be more to live than this.” Living paycheck to paycheck. Living at barely enough. Never being able to take a vacation, contemplating: “If I go to bible study will I have enough gas to make it to Sunday morning?” Having to choose between the two is not having enough.
Remember, “not enough” is the stage God allows only to get our attention. It is not meant for us to live. Yet there are people that live and die in the place of not enough.
Remember this is the stage where God will give you strategy. I didn’t say He would give you riches at this stage I said strategy. Yes it is a process, and there is something for you to do.
2 Kings 4:1-7Living Bible (TLB)
4 One day the wife of one of the seminary students came to Elisha to tell him of her husband’s death. He was a man who had loved God, she said. But he had owed some money when he died, and now the creditor was demanding it back. If she didn’t pay, he said he would take her two sons as his slaves.
2 “What shall I do?” Elisha asked. “How much food do you have in the house?”
“Nothing at all, except a jar of olive oil,” she replied.
3 “Then borrow many pots and pans from your friends and neighbors!” he instructed.
4 “Go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Then pour olive oil from your jar into the pots and pans, setting them aside as they are filled!”
5 So she did. Her sons brought the pots and pans to her, and she filled one after another! 6 Soon every container was full to the brim!
“Bring me another jar,” she said to her sons.
“There aren’t any more!” they told her. And then the oil stopped flowing!
7 When she told the prophet what had happened, he said to her, “Go and sell the oil and pay your debt, and there will be enough money left for you and your sons to live on!”
Notice the pattern, first the woman starts at not enough, then God uses the prophet to give her a strategy, then she moves from not enough to being debt free and more than enough to live on. However, she had to start at not enough. God will not put His hand supernaturally on nothing. You have to have something. What is your gift, talent, ability? What is in your hand?
It is at this stage where God will give you the business He wants you to have. It is at this stage where the Holy Spirit begins to download to you creative ideas. God will give you a vision that is beyond your financial ability or capacity to fund. It is at this stage where faith begins to rise you in, because you have a plan and a vision from God. You have to trust Him. If you have a vision from God and you know exactly how you will accomplish it, and furthermore, you have the means to make it happen, your vision is not from God. God will always give you a vision that is beyond your capacity. He wants us to know that He has a plan, but we will never get to His promise absent from His provision.
This stage is designed to make us so comfortable that we pursue the greater. Most people don’t pursue greatness in a comfortable or complacent place. This is why God orchestrates our being uncomfortable.
The next stage of provision is just enough. This is when your bills are paid, but you don’t have hardly any left over. This stage can invoke fear and anxiety if we allow; because we start thinking about the “what if’s”. What if your car breaks down? It is at this stage where you can’t save money no matter how hard you try. Believe it or not it is still God’s doing. This is the in-between stage. You are not in a place of poverty, but not at the promise.
A great example would be when the people of Israel were delivered from the bondage of Egypt. Egypt presented a place of not enough. It was a place of extreme poverty.
Then God provides them with manna which means bread from heaven. Remember I said complaining will not get you to the promise. Let’s read. Again, even the place of barely enough we must follow the instructions, and practice gratefulness in order to proceed to the next stage.
Exodus 16:1-6 (NLT)
16 Then the whole community of Israel set out from Elim and journeyed into the wilderness of Sin,[a] between Elim and Mount Sinai. They arrived there on the fifteenth day of the second month, one month after leaving the land of Egypt.[b]
2 There, too, the whole community of Israel complained about Moses and Aaron.
3 “If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.”
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions.
5 On the sixth day they will gather food, and when they prepare it, there will be twice as much as usual.”
6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “By evening you will realize it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt
What if God told you not to save, but at the end of each week you have would have double of what you did not save? I know it sounds odd, but that is what happened?
First manna is bread from heaven. Literarily it was a small round substance that tasted like cake. God used it to sustain the people.
Psalm 78:24 (NLT)
24 He rained down manna for them to eat; he gave them bread from heaven.
Exodus 16:31 (KJV)
31 And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.
They were not having full course meals, but the substance was so good that it was meant to sustain them. Meaning it was a small item, easy to carry, nutritious and guaranteed that they wouldn’t be hungry. Manna was not nasty.
It is during this stage of just enough that God sustains us. He may not give you what you want He gives you what you need.
So God tells the people of Israel only take what you need for the day, and by the end of the day you will have double.
The question we must ask ourselves at the stage of barely enough, are we going to trust God? God doesn’t want us to feel safe and secure in the manna He provides He wants us to find safety and security in Him. The people of Israel were murmurers and complainers. They also were hard headed. Remember I said complaining about what God has given doesn’t get you to the promise. If you are living in a one bedroom apartment, and have a desire to live in a four bedroom dream home, you have to be grateful for the one bedroom apartment. God is using that place to sustain you. You will get to the promise, but not with an ungrateful complaining spirit.
God kept trying to get the people of Israel to trust Him. So He showed them signs and wonders. After they kept complaining about God’s provision He decided to teach them a lesson.
Let us continue to look at what happened.
Exodus 16:7-21Living Bible (TLB)
7-9 In the morning you will see more of his glory; for he has heard your complaints against him (for you aren’t really complaining against us—who are we? ). The Lord will give you meat to eat in the evening, and bread in the morning. Come now before Jehovah and hear his reply to your complaints.”
10 So Aaron called them together and suddenly, out toward the wilderness, from within the guiding cloud, there appeared the awesome glory of Jehovah.
11-12 And Jehovah said to Moses, “I have heard their complaints. Tell them, ‘In the evening you will have meat and in the morning you will be stuffed with bread, and you shall know that I am Jehovah your God.’”
13 That evening vast numbers of quail arrived and covered the camp, and in the morning the desert all around the camp was wet with dew;
14 and when the dew disappeared later in the morning it left thin white flakes that covered the ground like frost.
15 When the people of Israel saw it they asked each other, “What is it?”
And Moses told them, “It is the food Jehovah has given you.
16 Jehovah has said for everyone to gather as much as is needed for his household—about two quarts[a] for each person.”
17 So the people of Israel went out and gathered it—some getting more and some less before it melted on the ground,
18 and there was just enough for everyone. Those who gathered more had nothing left over and those who gathered little had no lack! Each home had just enough.
19 And Moses told them, “Don’t leave it overnight.”
20 But of course some of them wouldn’t listen, and left it until morning; and when they looked, it was full of maggots and had a terrible odor; and Moses was very angry with them.
21 So they gathered the food morning by morning, each home according to its need; and when the sun became hot upon the ground, the food melted and disappeared.
I want you to look again at verse 18. “there was just enough for everyone. Those who gathered more had nothing left over and those who gathered little had no lack! Each home had just enough.”
In the place of just enough, there is enough for everyone. I am not implying that you can’t save at this stage. I am pointing out that those who tried to gather more than they were supposed to, ended up with maggots, a terrible odor and not to gross you out, but I wonder if there were any issues with diarrhea amongst them. Eating bad meat, and smelling the odor of rotten meat will get you on the toilet and throwing up.
Why did God do this? I believe that He wanted them to trust Him. He wanted them to be assured that regardless of what it looked like, they would have more food tomorrow. They didn’t have to store up food and hide stuff, God would give them new manna each day.
Some of you may not understand. My great grandmother was someone who lived alone, but had tons of food stored in her home. She would have bottles of water just sitting on the floor unused. You couldn’t ask her for something or she would get upset. I realized later after she had passed on that she suffered with anxiety. Grandmother had also lived through the great depression. She went through times of not having enough. I believe having that food in her cabinets was a safety blanket. When she passed away and we had to clean out her home. She had cans in her cabinets that had expired 10 and 15 year prior.
Eventually, God would give the people of Israel more but they had to eat manna.
Exodus 16:35 (TLB)
35 So the people of Israel ate the manna forty years until they arrived in the land of Canaan, where there were crops to eat.
Believe it or not your place of just enough is God’s doing.
Let us look at another example.
1 Kings 17:1-7New King James Version (NKJV)
Elijah Proclaims a Drought
17 And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”
2 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying,
3 “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan.
4 And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”
5 So he went and did according to the word of the Lord, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan.
6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook.
7 And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
I want you to hear me and hear me good. It doesn’t matter what the economy looks like. It doesn’t matter what the economic status of the world looks like. It doesn’t matter who the president is whether you voted for him or not. God will provide for you. God will sustain you.
Sustain means to be kept. Sustain means to strengthen, support physically and mentally. It means to support, carry, withstand, nourish. During a famine God promised the prophet he would sustain him. Look at the similarities between the prophet and the people of Israel. God provided bread, meat and water during a time were no rain, or water was plenteous.
We are spending a lot of time talking about the just enough stage because many people are in this stage. Let us look at another example.
1 Kings 17:8-16 (TLB)
8-9 Then the Lord said to him, “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. There is a widow there who will feed you. I have given her my instructions.”
10 So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the city he saw a widow gathering sticks; and he asked her for a cup of water.
11 As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread too.”
12 But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I haven’t a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jar. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I must die of starvation.”
13 But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and cook that ‘last meal,’ but bake me a little loaf of bread first; and afterwards there will still be enough food for you and your son.
14 For the Lord God of Israel says that there will always be plenty of flour and oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!”
15 So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her son continued to eat from her supply of flour and oil as long as it was needed.
16 For no matter how much they used, there was always plenty left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah!
Hopefully you are seeing this. It was not the prophet that we have faith in, but God. God didn’t tell the prophet to go to a rich woman who had money. No, he commands a woman who has no money, and is just wanting to eat her final meal and die.
This stage is so important.
First thing first; this is where your business will be made perfect. Meaning, you will be working and reworking your plan. Since God told me to write, I have spent years, writing. I have spent years working on my gift, each year I have gotten better and better. In fact, I still have to go back and reedit some of my old books.
I forgot to mention that the just enough stage is the process of development. This is where your business appears dormant, but you are growing. This is where you are being overlooked and ignored, but you are getting better. This is where your business plan is being developed to perfection.
How do we master this stage in order to move forward?
1.You must follow the instructions. Notice with the people of Israel they had to follow the instructions. Some didn’t, we won’t have time to go into it, but you will note that most of them didn’t make it to the promise land, including Moses because they didn’t follow the instructions.
2. Keep your mouth shut. You will not make it to the promise complaining. Practice gratefulness every opportunity you can. With the practice of gratefulness comes open doors and open opportunities.
3. Write your vision, then rewrite your vision as you get further instructions. God will give you the vision in parts, those parts will equal a whole. However, you have to write it out. It is not real if it is not on paper.
4. You must begin to see it before you see it. Your business, your vision must be so real that you know with a shadow of a doubt that this is what God has promised.
Habakkuk 2:2-4 (NKJV)
2 Then the Lord answered me and said:
“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.
4 “Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith.
Remember at the pointed time, the manifestation will come in supernatural ways.
5. Lastly, you must let go of fear. You can be right on the brink of the greatest breakthrough of your life. Fear will stop you dead in your tracks. Don’t have a grasshopper mentality when you are a king. I will explain.If it is God’s business, God’s plans and God’s vision that He has downloaded to you, He will give you divine instructions and provision for the vision.
Samaria M Colbert © 2016
Wait there is more…..Pick up the book; Let Down Your Nets By Samaria M Colbert