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Jehovah Jireh – The Mountain (Repost)

I’m taking a couple of weeks to do some hiking and praying off in the woods.  While I’m gone I’ve felt that I should repost my Top 10 most read articles.  Some of you have been following me long enough to have read them already.  If so, my prayer is that they will again be a blessing to you.

Originally, this was the final post of a series about how Abraham positioned himself to receive God’s supernatural provision.  To go to the original series, click here.

At this point, we find Abraham with the knife raised, about to sacrifice his only son.

But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham!  Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said.  “Do not do anything to him.  Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
Genesis 22:11-12

Abraham was able to come through this time of testing victoriously.  But there was something that always puzzled me.  God said, “Now I know that you fear God.”  I thought God knew everything, so why would He say that?

The Hebrew word for know is Yada, which means to know by seeing.  What God said was that now Abraham’s faith could be seen.  His fear of God was now obvious to everyone.

That’s the reason for trials and testing.  We may have faith quietly tucked away in our hearts.  Without works, it’s not yet a living faith.  It must be proved genuine.

It’s the trying of our faith that causes it to be seen by those around us.  That’s why Scripture tells us over and over again that without trials we’ll never become mature in Christ.

It was when his faith was tested, and proved genuine, that Abraham’s eyes were opened to the provision of God that was before him.

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns.  He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.  So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide.  [Jehovah Jireh]  And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
Genesis 22:13-14

Jehovah Jireh – the God Who provides.  There are many who think this name is a promise of unbridled wealth.  They think that it’s all about their physical comfort.  What they fail to see is that Jehovah Jireh is a place of supernatural provision in Christ.

As I said in the first post of this series, it’s a spiritual mountain that must be climbed.  To get to that place in God, it will require the same thing from us that it did of Abraham.

It will take a life of immediate obedience to God, perseverance, speaking our faith, and a decision to give up everything for the cause of Christ.  That’s the real mountain that Abraham had to climb.  The physical mountain was easy in comparison.

As with all things in Christ, God has already provided everything we need for life and godliness.  The problem is that we need to position ourselves to receive the provision of God.

That’s the point.  Why do we want God’s blessing?  To accomplish His will or ours?

If you want Christ to be exalted in you, then you’re in a position to receive.

Question: What is God calling you to do that you need His supernatural provision for?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

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Posted by on August 29, 2018 in Faith, God's Provision, Spiritual Walk

 

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How Far Can You Trust God?

CliffWe’ve been looking at Abraham’s example of what it takes to be in position to receive God’s blessing.  The big question remains.  How far are we willing to walk with God down this road of faith that He chooses for us?

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.  He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.  Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
Genesis 22:9-10

In this remote setting it would have been very easy for Abraham to have chosen differently.  He could have taken Isaac with him, and left the area.  Yet, he made the choice to follow God’s instructions no matter how painful they were to him.

It’s easy for us to look back and say, “Of course he trusted God.”  We have the completed Bible to refer to.  We have a knowledge of how the story ended.  We know now that God never asks for human sacrifice.

There’s no way that we could ever fathom what it was like to be Abraham at that moment.  All he knew was that he was about to take the life of the most precious person in the world to him.

When I see how far Abraham trusted God, it begs the question, how far am I willing to let my faith take me?  How much am I willing to give up based solely upon God’s Word?

I think that this generation of believers are more like the rich young man who came to Jesus.  The Lord told him to give up everything and come and follow Him.

When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Matthew 19:22

In our society, this call is commonplace.  Athletes are told to “leave it all out on the field.”  In entertainment competitions they are told to hold nothing back.

Why do we get the idea that Christ is asking too much of us by saying that we must lay our lives down to follow Him?  It’s only when I come to the place of total surrender at the feet of the Lord that I’m in the position to receive the strength and blessing that comes from His hand.  Jesus held nothing back for our sakes, and now we must follow in His footsteps.

This may not sound like your typical “Six Steps to Prosperity” message.  It wasn’t meant to.  I’m not looking for the wealth it takes to fulfill my every whim.  I want to see the provision I need to fulfill God’s destiny in me.  I want to see and experience revival in God’s people.

It’s time for us to lay everything down before the Lord.  If you can’t do this, then pray for the strength it takes to get to this point.  Then watch what God will do on your behalf.

Question: What things would be the hardest for you to give up if the Lord asked you to?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2013 in Faith, God's Provision, Revival

 

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Is Your Tongue Your Problem?

DogI’ve been talking about Abraham’s example to us in receiving God’s blessing and provision.  In my last post I said that we needed to speak what we believe from our heart.  This is important because it’s usually our speaking that gets us in the most trouble.

Listen to the exchange that took place as Abraham was taking Isaac up the mountain.  All Abraham knew at this point was that God was asking him to offer Isaac up as a sacrifice.

Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”  And the two of them went on together.
Genesis 22:7-8

I can only imagine how much pain this question caused Abraham.  I believe that there was a long pause while Abraham thought about how he could answer the boy.  It amazes me how simply the answer was formed.

In spite of his confusion, and without anger or bitterness toward God, he spoke the truth in faith and love.  This is a lesson we need to take to heart.

So many times we speak without thinking.  We especially run into trouble when we talk from the hurt and anguish we’re experiencing.  We say many things that we wish we could take back.

That’s why one of the secrets to positioning ourselves to receive God’s blessing is to watch what we say when we’re hurting.  James understood this truth.

Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.  The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.  It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
James 3:5-6

James is looking at this from a negative perspective.  Controlled by the spirit, the tongue can set your life on course for God’s blessing.  Controlling the tongue is one of the hardest things we’re called to do, yet it’s one of the most important.  What we say can set the emotional foundation for our eventual success or failure.

How we speak, especially in times of confusion and pain, will have a lasting effect on both us and those around us.  Is what you’re saying building up or tearing down God’s work?

We must choose to keep a watch over our tongues.  If needed, we can go to the Lord in repentance for things that may have been said in hurt or anger.  We can ask for His strength to take control of this unruly member of our body.

If we will spend time in the Lord’s presence and meditate upon His Word, then there will be a greater chance that truth and love will come out during stressful times.

Question: When have your words either helped or hurt the situation you were in?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2013 in Faith, God's Provision

 

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The Time to Speak your Faith

Cross SunsetI’ve been posting about Jehovah Jireh – God my Provider.  Specifically, I’ve been talking about how to enter that place of provision in Him.  I’m using Abraham as our example as he was taking his son Isaac to the mount of sacrifice.

After days of walking through the wilderness, the Lord showed him the mountain he was to ascend.  Abraham, Isaac, and his servants made camp at the base of the mountain.  As he stands looking up at it he realizes that this is the place where he will offer up Isaac to the Lord.

What happens next goes beyond my comprehension.

He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there.  We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife.  As the two of them went on together…
Genesis 22:5-6

Abraham tells his servants to wait by the goods.  Then he says, “WE will worship and then WE will come back to you.”  I believe that this is one of the most incredible statements of faith in the entire Bible.

The only thing that he had to go on was the original promise of God.  The Lord said that it was through Isaac that Abraham’s descendants would become as numerous as the stars in the sky.  As a matter of fact, the writer of the book of Hebrews tells us (In the 11th chapter) that Abraham believed that if he actually came to the point of killing his son, God would raise him from the dead.

What Abraham believed and what he spoke where in perfect agreement.  He had the boldness to declare what was in his heart.  We need to learn this lesson.  If we are to be victorious under trials and see God’s provision for our needs, then we must learn to speak our faith, just as Abraham did.

Please understand that I’m not talking about denying our circumstances, as some do.  I’m not talking about positive thinking, mind control, or wishful thinking.  It’s not about speaking what you want to happen, or what some preacher has told you, but what God has already spoken.

We must speak what the Word of God says is true.  This is a lot harder.  It requires me to spend time reading the Bible and listening to the Holy Spirit.  Only then can I declare what I’ve heard from the Lord.

As I spend time in His presence, I begin to understand what I’m called to do in His kingdom.  This is important because my provision is intimately attached to my calling.

Abraham knew God’s will for his life and the life of his son.  That’s why he could say, “We’re both coming back.”

Boldly speak what you’ve heard from God, and leave the provision in God’s hands.

Question: What has God called you to do?  Are you trusting Him to provide for it?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2013 in Faith, God's Provision

 

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The Link Between Obedience and Provision

SunriseIn my last post I started a series about God as our Provider – Jehovah Jireh.  I’m using Abraham’s experience on the mountain of sacrifice as our example.

Before Abraham ever called God by this name, the Lord asked him to offer his only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice.  It was Abraham’s response that floored me.

Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey.  He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac.  When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.
Genesis 22:3

I don’t know what time of day God spoke to Abraham about taking his son to the mountain of sacrifice.  But what strikes me the hardest is the fact that immediately – early in the morning – the next day, he was ready to travel.

If I were asked to give up a child, I could find so many excuses to put it off.  I would want to spend some time with him.  Maybe even throw him a going away party so his friends could say goodbye.  I might spend nights in prayer so that I could get a “confirmation” that God really said what He said.

I remember when my middle daughter, Sarah, went away to a ministry internship in Texas.  Even knowing that I would see her again from time to time it was hard to let her go.  I can’t even imagine what Abraham was going through internally.  I don’t know that I could have gone through with it.

Unlike me, Abraham did just what God had asked him to do.  Not only did He respond positively, but he did it immediately when he was asked to do it.  This is the secret to persevering under testing.  We must be quick to obey God.

I have talked to so many people who have told me things like, “I know God wants me to do this, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.”  Too often the things that God asks of us get put on the  back burner.  We are waiting until our goals are finished.

So often we like to put the teachings of Scripture into little bubbles.  When we talk about God’s provision, we only want hear about how to tap into God’s supply.

Obedience is in a different bubble.  That’s one we don’t want to hear about very often.  In the life of Abraham we learn that everything is interconnected.  How well I tap into God’s supply is dependent upon my level of obedience.

Don’t fall into the “bubble” trap.  Review your life.  Is there something you’re neglecting that you know is God’s plan for you.  Repent of your inaction.  Spend time with Him and commit yourself to His desire for you.

This could very well release a blessing that has been stalled out for a while.

Question: Is there something God wants you to do that you’ve been slow to obey?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in God's Provision

 

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Jehovah Jireh is a Place

MountainThere are a lot of people who write about how you can have the blessing of God on your finances.  I’ve been feeling lately that the Lord wants me to write about this truth for a couple of weeks in my posts.  I’m hoping that it will be a benefit to you.

There’s a name of God that gets a lot of attention.  Jehovah Jireh – which is Hebrew for the God Who provides.  This is one of the names of God that has inspired so many songs and sermons.

It was on the mountain of sacrifice that Abraham used this term for God.  This was the first and only time it was used in Scripture.

It happened just after God stopped Abraham from offering Isaac as a sacrifice.

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns.  He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.  So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide.  [Jehovah Jireh]  And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
Genesis 22:13-14

There are many people who view this name as a promise of provision.  What they fail to see is that Jehovah Jireh is not a promise but a place.  It’s a spiritual mountain that must be climbed.  To get to that place in God, it will require the same thing from us that it did of Abraham.

Some time later God tested Abraham.  He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah.  Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
Genesis 22:1-2

Of all the things that come with the spiritual walk, testing has got to rank among my least favorites.  Yes, I understand from the Scripture that unless my faith is tried and tested it’s worthless.  But that still doesn’t mean I have to enjoy the process.

When we think about Abraham, we usually refer to him as the “father of those who walk by faith.”  A lot has been written about the faith of Abraham.  I’ve heard many people say that they aspire to have that same level of faith.

What’s sometimes forgotten, however, is that along with great faith comes great testing.  Abraham was no exception.  Because his faith in God had risen to such a high degree, he endured trials that I can’t even imagine going through.

Just as he is our example of faith, Abraham can give us insight into how to stay strong under testing.  For the next few posts we will take a close look at this aspect of his walk with God.

As we take this journey with Abraham, I hope that you’ll find that place of abundant provision in Christ.

Question: Have you noticed that with each new step of faith, you enter another phase of testing?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2013 in Faith, God's Provision

 

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