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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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Calling – What and How

BeamI’m posting on the subject of our callings. In the last two posts I talked about how the Lord calls us by name.

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
Acts 13:2

The next calling is a calling of work. We’re called to do something. Christ has prepared a work for each of us to do in His kingdom.

This is the calling that seems to be the most important to believers today. Much emphasis is placed upon people to find what God wants them to do. The problem is that many never seek God to find out how He wants them to fulfill their work. Instead they try to copy another person or ministry.

“I will destine you for the sword, and you will all bend down for the slaughter; for I called but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me.”
Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “My servants will eat, but you will go hungry; my servants will drink, but you will go thirsty; my servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame. My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts, but you will cry out from anguish of heart and wail in brokenness of spirit.”
Isaiah 65:12-14

When we try to fulfill the what of our ministry in our own way, we ignore the call of God to do it His way. When that occurs, we don’t have any supernatural provision for what we’re doing. Everything God has for you is tied to your calling.

If you don’t respond to His call, both the what and the how, you lose out on the grace that has been provided for you. This is a cause of great frustration in ministry; because you think you’re doing God’s will when, in reality, you’re only halfway there.

There are many believers in ministries today who are spiritually hungry and thirsty. They’re being put to shame and crying out of anguish of heart. This isn’t God’s portion for us. He wants ministry to be a joy. This will only happen as we follow God’s call. This means not only what He wants me to do, but also how He wants me to do it.

Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.
Revelation 2:20

Another mistake that can totally disqualify you is to seek your own will altogether. The above Scripture says that she called herself a prophetess. It doesn’t matter what you want to call yourself. The important thing is to find out what God calls you. Only then can you enter the abundance of God’s supernatural provision. Taking His road for your life is the only path that will lead you to the level of excellence that God has reserved for you.

Please realize, the how is as important as the what in serving God. That’s why preparation for ministry is so important. It’s not enough just to go to Bible School to train. The “School of the Holy Spirit” – spending quality time in the presence of the Lord – is essential to the fulfilling of the total plan of excellence God has for your life.

Question: What is the work God is calling you to do?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 

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Asking, Seeking, and Knocking…For Others

DoorI’ve been posting about how we go to God for the needs of others.  Let’s continue looking at the parable in Luke, chapter 11.

“I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Luke 11:8-10

Listen carefully to the reasoning as to why the man was given bread.  It was NOT because of friendship or need.  It was because of boldness.  It was because the friend was willing to go to the neighbor’s house in the dead of night and pound on his door.

Other people who lived around started to wake up when they heard the commotion.  They looked out their windows to see how this man would respond.  It was only when it became a matter of his reputation in the community, that this man responded by supplying bread.

Our God is not going to be pressured because you’re begging Him for provision.  You can’t gain His sympathy by magnifying the need.  These things don’t affect God.

What He’s looking for is someone who’s willing to publicly declare the Word of God before men.  He’s looking for boldness.

The important part is found in verses 9 and 10.  This is the section that tells us that if we ask, it will be given, if we seek, we will find, and if we knock, the door will be opened.  Our normal thoughts are that this is all about me getting what I want from God.

In this context, Christ is speaking about going before God on behalf of the needs of others.  It’s about meeting the needs of those around us.  People we meet everyday – at our jobs, in our schools, and in the stores.

They all have problems they’re facing each day.  Most of them have no access to God except through us.  We must throw out this idea that the blessings of God are only for me and a chosen few.  It’s God’s desire to bless the world through His people.

You don’t have to convince me that God wants to bless believers; that’s beyond question.  What I want to open our eyes to is the world around us that’s in need.  They need a Savior, a Healer and a Provider.  All of these things are found in Christ.

It’s up to us to take this message to the world.  Not just by saying, “God loves you.”  But by actually bringing the power of Christ into the lives of the hurting people around us.

Take the time to go before the throne room of God with the needs of others.  Trust God to perform miracles in those you pray for.  If you hear a Word from God for them, then act on it.

We must be God’s hands extended to the world.

Question: What are the specific needs you know about the people around you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2014 in God's Provision, Ministry, Prayer

 

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God is Our Supply

Our Supply in GodIn my last post I started talking about a parable of Jesus found in Luke, chapter 11.  In the Lord’s teaching, a man is looking for bread from his neighbor at midnight.

This parable is about going to God on behalf of the needs of others.  Let’s compare this neighbor to what we know about God.

“Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’”
Luke 11:7

The first thing this neighbor says is, “Don’t bother me.”  The word bother comes from a root word that means to cut.  We know from the Scripture, that Jesus Christ was cut and bruised for me.

He bore my sicknesses and diseases.  He took upon Himself everything that would hurt or harm me.  This neighbor may not want to help, but the God I serve is ready, willing, and able to meet the needs of those I’m praying for.

The next thing he said was, “The door is shut and locked.”  How does this compare to what Christ has done for us?

I know your deeds.  See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.  I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
Revelation 3:8

The Lord is the One who opens the door before us.  I know that I can go forward boldly because of His work in my life.  If I seek God’s path, then I’m assured that the door stands open before me.

No matter what the circumstances look like in the natural, my advancement does not rely upon the hand of man, but on the power of God.

The neighbor also declared, “My children are with me in bed.”  Of course, this is how many Christians would like to picture their relationship with God.  We want to be cozy in our room – “us four and no more.”

This is not a picture of the God we serve.  Christ has clearly commanded us to go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone who would listen.  God wants us to be a blessing to those around us.  We are to be salt and light in this dark generation.

The neighbor’s last statement was probably the most important of all, when looking at the comparison with Christ.  The man said, “I have no power to rise and give you anything.”

Jesus Christ proved that He was the One with power enough to do all of God’s will.

“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life– only to take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.  I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.  This command I received from my Father.”
John 10:17-18

All power in Heaven and earth was committed to Christ.  He had the power, not only to lay down His life, but to then rise from the dead three days later.  He has proven Himself victorious over sin and the grave.
Unlike this neighbor, Christ has everything I need to be an abundant blessing to those around me if I will go to Him for supply.

Question: What are the needs of others that you are currently seeking God for?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2014 in God's Provision, Ministry, Prayer

 

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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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