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The Provision of Prayer

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
November 25, 2020 7:00 am

The Provision of Prayer

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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November 25, 2020 7:00 am

Even if you have multiple incomes, you only have one source. Thats why Dr. Tony Evans is here to talk to us about how God "gives us this day our daily bread" and how we can avoid the temptation to take his provision for granted.

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Your commitment to the kingdom will affect God's provision in your life. Dr. Tony Evans says God is more than enough for whatever your situation happens to be. God says, I got you. And if you would focus on my kingdom, then you'll see me focus on your provision. This is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. God has promised to provide for our needs. Today, Dr. Evans takes us to the Lord's Prayer for a look at how we present those needs to the Lord and how he responds when we do.

Let's join him. When my children were young, we invited and welcomed a new member to our family. It was a poodle. His name was Solomon. Solomon was welcomed into our home. One of the responsibilities we took on for Solomon was providing him his daily food. There were two bowls next to the pad that we had laid out for him to rest on.

One was filled with water every day, and one was filled with his food for the day. Every day, some part of my kingdom made sure Solomon was cared for, and his daily needs and his daily bread was provided. On one specific occasion, after I put his daily food in his bowl, Solomon began eating his food, and he unexpectedly knocked some of the food over onto the floor. I reached down to pick up some of the food that he had knocked on the floor, and evidently, in Solomon's mind, got too close to his food. So Solomon growled at me and snapped at me. Evidently, Solomon was confused. Solomon didn't understand that the only reason he had a meal that day is because the head of this kingdom provided it. The only reason he had water that day is because it was provided for him. The only reason he had warmth in the winter and air conditioning in the summer was because my kingdom was responsible for it. The only reason he had a pad to lay on each day of the week, and I was willing, we were willing, to inconvenience ourselves was because he was a guest in another person's kingdom.

You know Solomon's problem? He got used to the provisions of the kingdom. You see, they had been coming so regularly, so expectedly, that he viewed it as a right and not a privilege for which he was grateful. For if he were grateful for the daily provision, he would have been grateful for my hand that he thought was interrupting him that was actually designed to help him. Likewise, God's children can get so used to his goodness.

God's children can get so used to how faithfully he provides that we lose sight of the fact of a provider because we get so focused on the provision. The next line of our exposition of the Lord's Prayer is give us this day our daily bread. Give us this day our daily bread. Now before we go any further, I want you to understand where it's positioned in the prayer. He doesn't start off, the Lord doesn't tell his disciples to start off praying, give us this day our daily bread.

He says where you start is hollowing my name, submitting yourself to the authority of my kingdom, and yielding to my will. Now we can get to give us this day our daily bread. See, a lot of us want to reverse the order of the prayer. Give us this day our daily bread comes after you put God in his proper place. You cannot have God on the perimeter and the periphery and still ask give us this day our daily bread because you've gotten things out of order. You've replaced the blessing of provision ahead of the blesser who is the provider.

It's I'm going to make a big deal about your name, hollow your name, your character, your person. I'm going to yield myself to the rule of your kingdom and I'm going to subject myself to the desire of your will all because you're a father for whom I want a relationship and out of that give me the day the daily bread I need. What Jesus is telling his disciples then and now is to put your call for his provision underneath your exaltation of his person because whenever you reverse the order, you're putting God in the wrong place of your prayer. So that leads to the first of three thoughts I want to give you from this line today. The first one is the source of your provision.

Now I'm going to repeat something that if you've been here for a while, you've heard me say a multiplicity of times. If you're new, perhaps this will be new to you, but everything banks on it and that is that you only have one source. You do not have multiple sources in life. God is your only bona fide source.

Everything else is a resource and he can shift resources whenever he wants because he is the sole source. Your bank is not your source. Your money is not your source. Your job is not your source. You only have one source and that source is God.

Everything else, the bank, your money, the job, the people you know, they are merely a resource or a mechanism through which God uses. Now the beauty of knowing that you only have one source and everything else is a mere resource is that now you put the proper focus on your source knowing he can shift the resource anytime he chooses. He can move it about. He can flip it. He can change it.

He can destroy it. He can build it up because you weren't looking to any of those resources to be your source. The moment you make a resource, job, money, bank, people, the moment you make a resource, a source, that's called idolatry because idols in the Bible were things people looked at to meet their needs independently of God. Since God is your only source, here it is, no resource can own you. If God is your only source, no resource can control you.

No resource can threaten you and no resource can ruin you because your resource was never your source. Your source was the living and true God. Psalm 104 talks about how God is our source and our provider. I'll just read a few of the verses beginning with verse 10 of Psalm 104. He sends forth springs in the valley that flow between the mountains that give to every beast of the field and the wild donkeys quench their thirst. Besides them, the birds of the heavens dwell.

They lift up their voices among the branches. He waters the mountain. The earth is satisfied with the fruit of his works. Verse 14, he causes the grass to grow for the cattle and the vegetation for the labor of man so that he may bring forth food from the earth. Verse 15, and wine which makes man's hearts glad.

He says in verse 27, they all wait for you to give them their food in due season. You give to them. They gather it up. You open your hand. They are satisfied with good. But if you hide your face, they are dismayed. You take away their spirit.

They expire and return to the dust. All of that is saying is if it weren't for God, you couldn't go to the grocery store. Anything in the grocery store had to be taken from a mill or from a butcher shop. That meant it had to be raised on a farm or cattle herded on a ranch. That only means that there had to be seeds to be planted or animals that could reproduce themselves.

The only reason you get to eat cereal with milk is because cows feed on grass that allows the system that God put in them to produce the milk that allows you to enjoy your cereal. So you take away God, you take away seed. You take away God, you take away land. You take away God, you take away rain. You take away God, you take away sunshine. You take away God, you take away the mill.

You take away the mill, the grocer has nothing to sell. So when you go to the grocery store, it's God that makes that possible because the store is a resource. God is the source. And He says He is the only source and those He says who fear Him. Psalm 34 verses 8 through 10 understand that He's the source.

Matthew 7, 7 through 11 invites God's children to come to Him as a Father and recognize that He is your source. Your commitment to the Kingdom, the rule of God, will affect God's provision in your life. In Matthew chapter 6 verses 31 to 34, God tells His people don't worry about what you're going to eat or what you're going to drink or what you're going to wear.

Don't make that an obsession, He says. He says all these things the Gentiles, the non-Christians are all nervous about and seek and panic over. He says but your Heavenly Father, He already knows what you need.

And so He says in verse 33, seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His standard, His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. God says I got you, I got your back, I know what you need and if you would focus on my Kingdom, then you will see me focus on your provision. But if you make the obsession your provision at the expense of my person, my Kingdom and my will, then what you're saying is you are your own source and I'm just a convenient addition. Unfortunately today that's what so many people do when they come to church, they come for their blessing. They want the provision regardless of how much attention they give the blessor.

They want the blessing and I'll pay a little homage to the blessor but as long as I get my blessing for their own personal benefit. God says but if you understand I want a relationship, I'm a father, I want you to hollow, make a big deal about my name. I want you to submit yourself to my rule Kingdom and then I want you to say my will be done, you'll see the kind of provider I can be. For God wants to be your provider. And so the spiritual must come first. The first part of the prayer must precede give us this day our daily bread. Dr. Evans will continue our look at God's provision through prayer when he returns in just a moment. First though a quick reminder that you can get today's message to review again and study at your own pace as a part of Tony's current series The Lord's Prayer available on both CD and digital download. This eight-part collection focuses on how to make your prayers more like the model Jesus gave us so they'll become more effective, more intimate, and more about God's agenda than your own. Just visit tonyevans.org, make a contribution, and we'll say thanks by sending you full-length copies of all the messages in The Lord's Prayer series, including material we won't have time to share here on the air. And as a special bonus for just a few more days, we'll also include a copy of Tony's powerful book God Is More Than Enough.

Centered on Psalm 23, Dr. Evans explores how David's timeless masterpiece goes beyond literary brilliance and teaches us the secret to finding a happy life by looking for fulfillment and provision in God alone. So visit tonyevans.org right away to get the details and make a donation. Or call 1-800-800-3222, where members of our resource team are on duty 24 hours a day to help you.

Again, that's 1-800-800-3222, or online at tonyevans.org. Well, Dr. Evans, we'll come back with more of today's lesson right after this. The thing about serving an infinite God is that no matter how much you know about Him, there's always more to learn. So whether you're brand new to Scripture or an experienced ministry professional, there's something for you at the Tony Evans Training Center. You'll find online courses covering core concepts of the faith, working at your own pace and schedule. You'll dig deep into the historical context of the book, uncover the key teachings, and learn how to apply them in real-world situations. There's lots of exclusive content from Dr. Evans to keep you interested and motivated and an online forum where you can ask questions, get answers, and collaborate with other students. The more you learn, the more you'll want to learn. Give it a try. The Tony Evans Training Center.

A world of discovery, anytime, anywhere. In John chapter 6, verses 33 to 35, Jesus was feeding people bread. They were hungry.

They wanted to make Him King. Jesus says, you're missing the point. You want to keep me here for the physical while you're missing the spiritual. He says, I am the bread of life. He says, I am, I'm feeding you so that you would come closer to me. I'm not just feeding you so you get food.

When He prayed over some sardines and crackers and turned them into a Moby Dick sandwich on the beach, that was to show them, spiritually, you are to follow me. I'm not just feeding you so you can eat for another day. Give us this day our daily bread is to remind you that the one you're asking to give it is the source. Everything else is merely a resource.

Having established the source, let's look at the substance. He calls it daily bread. Now, I don't know how it is today, whether it's even used anymore, but when I was growing up, we called money bread. We said, hook me up with some bread. And that was a synonym for money.

We call it bread. Money is a medium of exchange. You don't eat money. You don't build houses out of money. It's merely a medium of exchange for provision.

You use money for the things money can buy. So it's a way to be provided for. So when Jesus says bread, He's talking about provision. Now, to be fair, I must tell you a few times when God will not provide. One, God will stop providing when it's time to take you home.

So either you can't take it, you can't eat it, you can't buy the medicine, you can't, the medicine won't help you. He will keep provision away when He's transitioning you to your eternal provision as a child of God. So that's a time He may not or will not provide. A second time He will not provide, which I've already hinted to, is when He's trying to grow us spiritually. So in order to grow us spiritually, He'll let the brook dry up, He'll let the raven stop, He'll let you lose the job, He'll let the money run low.

He will allow that. A lot of couples in here fight over money when God is the one who caused it to be a problem because He's trying to draw you into a deeper relationship with Him instead of loving money more than Him. And so He will grow us through the process of letting things go south for a period of time through a provisional trial. Now, the final reason why God may delay provision is because of disobedience or carnality. That is, you're living in rebellion, so He stops providing, He stops meeting the need, or He allows the need that's being met to be destructive to you.

Psalm 106 verse 15 puts it this way. Israel was fussing about not enough meat. Like our kids fuss when they don't want this vegetable or that vegetable. You see, God was sending them manna.

Manna is corn flakes from above. But they were saying, no, we want meat. We want more meat, not enough meat. So God says, okay, since you want to be that ungrateful, I'm going to give you meat.

I'm going to give you more meat. And the Bible says quail rained down from heaven. More quail than they could eat. Soon as they gathered it up, more quail fell.

Then the quail became stale. And then it says God gave them what they wanted but sent leanness to their souls. See, God will even over bless you until you learn man does not live by bread alone.

But he lives by every word that comes out of the mouth of God. Now, there's somebody else who wants to provide for you. How do I know that? Because in Matthew chapter four verse four, the devil told Jesus, turn these stones into bread. Jesus, you've been fasting 40 days and 40 nights. You know you're hungry. I know you're hungry.

And I have an operation bread basket food program with your name on it. Now, if the devil will do that to the sinless son of God, Jesus Christ, you know he's got a meal plan for you. He says, turn these stones into bread since you are the son of God.

So he's saying to you and me, since you are a child of God, I have a job for you. I have a way you can make money. I have a way you can get some bread. I have a way you can get this thing that is not in God's will.

I can work it out for you if you hang with me. If you just disregard God for a moment and just do it my way, I can work this thing out for you. There are a lot of people here who have been tempted to follow the devil in order to get the money, to follow the devil in order to be accepted by the folks at work, to follow the devil in order to get the opportunity because he's got the bread to offer you like he offered it to Jesus. But what did Jesus say? Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

What does he mean? Just because it's money doesn't mean it's money that you should be handling. Just because it's a job doesn't mean it's the opportunity for you to take advantage of. Is the devil providing it or is God providing it? Because if the devil provides it, then he can lay claim on what happens to it.

And finally, let's look at the schedule. Give us this day our daily bread. Today. Matthew 6, seek ye first the kingdom of God's righteousness and all these things will be granted to you. And then he says, don't worry about tomorrow for today has enough trouble of its own. So the context of daily food is to recognize God as your source on a daily basis. But I want you to now move to gratitude. Lord, this may not be what I want, but I'm thankful I'm not starving.

This may not be the car that I want, I thank you I'm not walking. I want you to move into gratitude while you make your request made known unto him. And I want you to know that your God and my God is a providing God. When Israel was leaving Egypt, you know how they got the money to run away from Egypt and move to the promised land?

God said he went to Egypt, hit the enemies and cited them to grab all of their jewelry, all of their fineries, all of their money and give it to Israel to get them out of Egypt. God even knows how to use a wicked employer, a wicked job to move you to the next place. Dr. Evans will come back in a moment with a quick word to wrap up today's message from his current series, The Lord's Prayer. Remember, you can stop by tonyevans.org to get that special double offer I mentioned a little earlier, a copy of this eight-part series, as well as Tony's powerful, life-changing book, God Is More Than Enough, where he takes an in-depth look at how Psalm 23 can help you realize this simple truth, If the Lord is your shepherd, he will meet all your needs. Both of these resources are great tools for digging deeper into learning about God's provision, and we'd like you to have them with our thanks when you make a contribution to help us keep Tony's teaching on this station. Contact us today at tonyevans.org to get the details and make the arrangements. Or call us on our 24-hour resource request line at 1-800-800-3222.

That's 1-800-800-3222. God's forgiveness is a gift, but Dr. Tony Evans says the grudges we hold toward others can prevent us from receiving it. Tomorrow he'll take a look at the prayer that leads to pardon. Right now, though, he's back with a quick thought to wrap up today's lesson. If you let God be the provider, tell him what you want, be grateful for what you have, and put it in the priority of his name and his kingdom, you will see how much of a provider God can be. God is more than enough for whatever your situation happens to be. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-21 16:46:20 / 2024-01-21 16:55:36 / 9

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