God has blessed Mars Hill with an incredible team of men and women who love Jesus – the risen, reigning, and returning King. Together, we passionately pursue Him as we work to see the Great Commission fulfilled. Together, we study the Scriptures. We embrace and celebrate the mystery of faith and the magnificence of our AWESOME God. And we long for our Savior’s return, when we will know fully as we are fully known.
The Holy Spirit has breathed unique wisdom, discernment and gifts for service into each member of our staff. That said, we are delighted to commence a new series of devotionals, in which each member of our staff will be sharing insights from their inimitable journey with our Father.
We hope that God’s redemptive work in our lives will resonate with what He’s doing in yours.
Today’s Devotional is from team member, Doug Whitehead.
Doug serves Mars Hill as the VP of Administration.
Do I REALLY trust God for my provision?
I should consider this question in every facet of my life. Do I trust God for His provision of my sanctification, protection, healing…everything? Today, I’m narrowing this question down to one area, my financial support or material provision.
Belonging to a ministry that lives in a community of missionary-faith-based supported staff (say that three times fast) brings me face to face with this question and continually causes me to consider and sometimes walk in the reality of God’s absolute provision for my support. If I am wavering in my faith about God providing my salary support and all that it entails, then God brings me assurance of the reality of His provision right when I need it. For example, when I work with new staff people to help them in the process of discovering who God is bringing to them to support their work at Mars Hill, when I recount (REMEMBER) the stories of God’s provision to them, it re-charges me and continues to build my faith in Him as my provider.
Whether it’s God’s reminder through His word that “He owns the cattle on a 1000 hills” (Psalm 50:10) or “my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus,” (Phil. 4:19) or “therefore, don’t be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’” (Matt. 6:31) and “your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” (Matt. 6:32)…….the scripture is very specific that God will provide what we need.
Continuing to REMEMBER what God has done and how concerned I was before He did it, helps me with my faith and trust that He will continue to provide. (Beverly keeps a long list of the things that God has provided for her for this very purpose!) When I reflect back on how the Lord provided, it is humbling. For example, when I first joined the ministry of Mars Hill my second child hadn’t even been born but I remember saying to the Lord “ there won’t be enough left over to prepare for my children’s college expenses so I’m going to have to trust you to come through. I let that concern go for many years, but it started creeping back into my mind as our boys moved closer to the college years.
When the guys were something like 17 and 15 years old we were at the beach with our best friends. I was expressing my concern to my friends that we didn’t have any money for college expenses and if either of our sons was injured, all the preparation in their respective sports wouldn’t do much good. There were so many unknowns about the athletic scholarship path. I recognized there wasn’t any security on that path. Somehow, before the trip was over, the Lord reassured me that I should continue to trust Him.
Now, one son has a college degree from the University of Texas and the other has a college degree from Rice University and we didn’t have to borrow a penny. Some of the Lord’s provision for these years came in the most unexpected way. The Lord keeps answering that prayer for His provision for college expenses as it appears that both my youngest son and his wife can get a free Masters and MBA degree at the college they are currently working for.
Another example was in 2004 when the time came to replace my wife’s car. A friend and ministry supporter ‘got wind’ of it and offered to buy my wife a new car. My wife had always wanted a Camry. I didn’t tell her about the conversation with our friend but tricked her into telling me what color she wanted for her next car. Armed with that information and the gift from our friend, I found a car and brought it back to the Mars Hill office. I parked it on the second row of the parking lot and with Bev and Regina watching on from the office windows, I took my wife out and said God had provided her a car. Not having had a new car since leaving the corporate world 14 years earlier, (not that we had to have a new car then) as we stood beside a new blue Camry ‘looking around’ for the car, I handed the keys of the Camry to her and said, “This is the car.” She was in so much shock; I had to help her open the door. She got into the car and started weeping uncontrollably. It was an overwhelming moment of God’s love and provision.
Although I could tell story after story about God’s provision of our support for the ministry and our family for the last 25 years in ministry, I can summarize by saying that we haven’t ever LACKED for anything and in most cases, God usually provided exceedingly above anything we could imagine. I can’t presume that that will happen forever. BUT, I can presume upon God’s promises that he will ALWAYS provide what we need and that I shouldn’t be anxious about that for a moment.
Now, what about retirement? (Non-biblical concept but you understand what I mean) Here I am again, with a slight underlying concern. When the time comes, will it be enough? Quite a few wealthy people I’ve known that had decided to retire asked that question aloud or talked about that subject in my presence. One time my next door neighbor (that I didn’t even know well) told me he was retiring and he hoped he had enough. One person who told me they hoped they had enough had $5M. Another who asked the question had $10M. I guess that’s just the human condition to wonder if there will be enough. But, here I am. The end of the ‘earning years’ path is closer than before. Will I have enough? Hmmmmm…..what was it that the Lord said in His word? ”God will supply every need of yours.” REMEMBER!