We all need sources
Today we want to talk about the sources that we depend on to live. We all need sources in our lives. A source is supplier of something that we can not produce on our own. For example, in your house, if you want to be warm during the winter, you need a source of energy. Fortunately, most of us have access to gas to run our heaters. That gas line coming into your house is one of your sources. Most of us also have sources for water and electrical power services. And most of us have a source of communication though our telephones. Sources like these make our lives easier, enjoyable and productive.
What are the different sources available to us?
Since we understand importance of sources, let us think for a moment about the many sources in our lives. For instance, all of us need a way to earn a financial income. For many people a job is their source of income. And those who own businesses, their businesses are their source of income. When we need food, to what source do we go? We go to the grocery store or the market. And some individuals produce food through their own gardens or farms. When we are sick, doctors and pharmacists are sources of recovery for us. For some the government is their source for a number of things. They may have a job working for the government or they receive a pension. They are also a source of many other services that help to maintain an orderly society. And individuals in our lives also are sources for us. For a children, parents are their source; their source of nurturing, love, guidance protection and encouragement. For many people a pet is a source of companionship and security. A husband is a source of love, support and care for a wife and a wife a source of love, encouragement and counsel for her husband. Friends, neighbors and associate are sources for us too; they can provide us with friendship, knowledge and cooperation. If you play a sport like football or soccer, your teammates are a source of encouragement and assistance for achieving victory over the apposing teams.
Disconnection from sources creates difficulties
Having access to all these sources enhances our lives making them enjoyable, fulfilling and productive. But what happens when any of our sources are interrupted or disconnected? One time while I was living in Corozal Town, Belize a passing truck hauling sugar cane pulled down the electrical wires to the house I was living in. We had suddenly become disconnected from the source of electrical current. Without it the food in my refrigerator would spoil and I would not be able to run a fan to stay cool at night. Fortunately the landlord, who lived up stairs, was able to get an electrician to provide us with a temporary hookup to the power line that night. And then on the following day our electrical service was restored.
Thus, we understand that when there is a disconnection in our sources life becomes more difficult. We have to do things manually usually with less efficiency and less effectiveness, like washing our clothes by hand or taking a shower with cold water. Back in April 2005 when I lived in Belize, Dora and I were planning to get married and while we were involved in planning our wedding, the telephone company in Belize was dealing with a workers’ strike which led to the shutting down of telephone service for the entire country. Planning our wedding became difficult since we could not use the telephone to contact those participating in it; we had to go visit them at their houses. Such is the case when there is a disconnection with one of our sources.
And this is why there is so much unrest, war, poverty and discontent in our world today. People have been discounted from their one true source that can fill every one of their needs, wants and desires. God, the creator of the universe, is our one true source. He revealed himself to Abraham as El-Shaddai, the all sufficient one. He is our ultimate source for all our physical and spiritual and emotional needs. That is the way he always meant it to be. All the other sources that we look to are finite and limited. There subject to shortages and interruptions. But God’s source of supply has no limitations. It is just like when we go down to the beach and look out over the Atlantic Ocean. All we see is miles and miles of water. That is the kind of supply that the Lord has; a supply greater than what we can comprehend.
Many do not know God as their Source
Those who do not know God as their source seek to fulfill their needs through their own efforts. Many Christians fall into this category. They know God and his word but they have been deceived by the world’s system into thinking that they must rely on human sources and human effort to satisfy their needs and desires. That is the world’s way of thinking. They think that if the can just work hard enough and be smart enough with the right favorable conditions, then all their needs will be met. Yet, things do not always turn out that way. Because there are spiritual forces working against us that are seeking to steal and destroy what we have accomplished.
Jesus came to Reconnect Us with Our Source
But there is a different system or a different economy that is available to those who know God as their source and yield their lives to his way of doing things. Jesus came to announce the arrival of this new economy: In Mark 1:15 Jesus says:
“The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
He calls his hears to believe the gospel or the good news. What was this good news? According to Luke 4:18, 19 Jesus proclaimed at the synagogue in his home town of Nazareth:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed, And to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
The good news that Jesus came on the scene to announce was the arrival of God’s kingdom, a kingdom that would bring an end to poverty, brokenheartedness and oppression. In his sermon on the mount, in Matthew chapters 5-7, Jesus differentiated how living according to God’s kingdom surpassed living according to the standards of the natural world in which we live. He explained in Matthew 6:33 that those who set as their first priority the application of the principles of God’s kingdom and God’s way of doing things in their lives would have their needs supplied. God could be our source. The condition that kept us separated from God, our sin and rebellion were going to soon be resolved and the way to God would be opened up to us. And he would share his life, his eternal life, with us. Which is not just a life without end but a quality of life; it is the God kind of life.
Overflow can be produced in our lives
Jesus told his disciples in John 10:10 that he came to bring us an abundant life; that is a life that overflows. Overflow does not take place in conditions of lack and scarcity. It happens when there is a surplus. It is not something we produce through our own efforts but by connecting to the resources available to us when God is our source. Overflow is the privilege of every believer, yet it is not automatic. There are conditions to be met. There are practices and qualities that we first must develop. Then we will be able to overcome lack in our lives.
For years I lived without God as my source. I endured much suffering because of the deficiencies in my life and my inability to bring about changes. Disappointments, rejection and loneliness often overwhelmed me. As I watched those around me I saw they had resources, relationship, opportunities and purposes for living that I did not have. It seemed that life was passing me by. You see, because I did not know what I needed to do to make God as my source I was stuck with only what I could see. I looked to others as my source. But that was the wrong place to look because other people will never be able to satisfy all of our needs, wants or desires. This prophet Jeremiah described what life is like for those who do not have God as their source:
Thus says the LORD: Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, a salt land and not inhabited. Jeremiah 17:5-6
But in contrast Jeremiah states the result when one places their confidence in God as their source:
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose trust the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, who spreads out its roots by the river, and shall not fear when heat comes, but its leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8
But when one has God as their source, he or she is no longer bound by what they can see.
I like to tell the story from when we first came to Mar del Plata and we experienced difficulties in finding a house to rent. After our first few days of searching we thought we had found a house and had made an agreement to rent it. But it turn out that this house was not yet available for anyone to rent. Thus we keep searching and when we came across another house we wanted to rent still we would be told that we could not rent it. We became frustrated because we kept looking at what we could see. We were looking to others to be our source and they failed us. But if we had been operating with God as our source then we would have been free of all that frustration. If we had been operating with God as our source then we would have first sought the Lord for his instructions. And if he told to us ‘I want you to live in Mar del Plata’ then we would look for a house until we found one while never worrying and never doubting because if God wants us to be here, then he will make a house available for us.
In our case, God did make a house available for us. All we had to do was to be persistent. We did not need to doubt, worry or give up. Just wait patiently and maintain our confidence in the Lord. Then at the proper time, he would lead us to our house.
When we stop paying attention to only the things that we can see, then we can open ourselves up for Lord wants to accomplish in our lives. In 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10 the Apostle Paul reminds us that the Lord has great things in store for us:
But as it is written, “Things which an eye didn’t see, and an ear didn’t hear, which didn’t enter into the heart of man, these God has prepared for those who love him.” But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit.
And Paul tells us in Romans 8:32:
He who didn’t spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how would he not also with him freely give us all things?
Greater Things are in Store for Us
I did not have to accept life passing me by, because God had much greater things in mind for me. And he has greater things in mind for you too. More than you can imagine. But I had been operating without the correct knowledge. Through the prophet Hosea, God says that his people are destroyed due to a lack of knowledge. This is because we have been raised to imitate the ways of the world and to follow its ways of thinking. Yet, to change this we need to renew our minds to the truth that God wants to be our source.
We have God’s Plan for Us in His Word
That is why he gave us his word that we now have in the Bible. His word is more than and account of events in the past. It is more than a book of religious and moral instructions. It is the proclamation of God’s will for the earth and for his people that comes into effect:
- when we obey the his word
- when we meet his conditions
- and when we place our confidence in what God has said rather than in what we see and hear from the world.
For example, in Matthew 6 Jesus told his disciples not to be anxious about their food, drink and clothing but rather,
…seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
This goes counter with the mentality of the world which seeks to fulfill its own needs first. But what does it really mean to seek God’s kingdom? Well, a kingdom is a place where
- A king has been installed as the sovereign leader
- The king’s subjects give him honor, allegiance and cooperation
- The laws and the principles set by king are maintained, obeyed and respected
Jesus later explained in Luke 17:21, that, “the Kingdom of God is within you.” Thus, until Jesus returns to rule and reign on the earth as the King on David’ throne in Jerusalem he has the opportunity to rule and reign in each of our hearts, if we will yield our allegiance to him each day and apply the laws and the principles of his kingdom that we find in his word. If we look at the meaning Hebrew word for ‘seek’ we find that it means ‘to research’. Thus, one of the ways that we go about to accomplish the task of seeking God’s kingdom is for us to continually study, research and apply the principles we find in God’s word.
Yes, God’s word is an integral part of the process of drawing upon the resources of God. Just listen to Jesus explained in John 15 how we could draw our provision from him as we abide in him and in his word:
Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me. I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man doesn’t remain in me, he is thrown out as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you. John 15:4-7
Jesus is telling that he is our source. We must remain or abide in him; we have to stay in union with him. You see, Jesus is a person and he desires a personal relationship with each of the members of his body. It would be just like what you would do when your desire to stay in touch with a close friend of relative. You would stay in constant contact, passing on to each other your concerns, needs, hopes, dreams, encouragement, request and instructions. Thus, we stay connected to him by
- Speaking to him in prayer often during our day
- Reading, listening to and meditating on his word
- Listening for and obeying his voice
- Worshipping him in songs
- Giving him thanks for his care and provision
- And joining together with other believers for fellowship, teaching and worship
When we abide in him in this way, he abides in us also. The more of ourselves we give to Jesus, the more of him we get on the inside of us. That reminds me of something Paul said in Galatians 2:20:
I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.
Was Paul talking about the result of abiding in Christ? That the more we stay in union with him and the more we take in his word, meditating on it and applying it then does Jesus gains greater influence over our thoughts, words and actions? I think so. Through our union with him Jesus and his kingdom becomes big on the inside of us and he begins to affect the people and circumstances around us.
Yes God was to be our source through his Son, Jesus. Once we develop our ability to stay in union with him and continue to meditate on his word then we are in the prefect position. A position where we can ask for what ever we desire. Why does Jesus make such a generous promise? Because now he knows that we can be trusted. He knows that the things we may seek will not be misused, they can not lead us away from him nor can they take the Lord’s place in our lives. Things do not have us. There is no person, possession or purpose in our lives that is greater than him.
The result is boldness in our lives. Boldness for accomplishing what ever the Lord assigns us to do and boldness in asking for what ever we need, as the Apostle John reminds us in 1 John 3:21, 22:
Beloved, if our hearts don’t condemn us, we have boldness toward God; and whatever we ask, we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing in his sight.
My brothers and sisters, it is plain in the word of God that he wants to be our source. We need to stop struggling and worrying about the things we lack. Our job is to continue developing our relationship with the Lord, learning to listen to and obey what he tells us to do, learning to place our confidence in his word and waiting expectantly on him. Then we will see obstacles moved in our lives, opportunities opened to us, victories won and lives changed as God demonstrates his power in our lives.
Copyright © 2008 by Alan Pasho. All rights reserved.