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Old 05-14-2019, 09:28 PM
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This one has hamstrung me all my life. How are we to define or determine what is God's provision? What are we to do for ourselves, and what are we to rely on him taking care of? If we do too much on our own, are we sinning by not trusting in his promise of provision? I trust in his provision. What I don't trust is my understanding of what "his provision" actually means, or to what extent it should be trusted / expected to provide for.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:02 PM
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What has your experience shown you?
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:31 AM
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Pray, and then listen. And wait on The Lord. Watch and see Him do glorious things

Right now, I'm trusting God for provision of the job I'm supposed to have, in His time. That doesn't mean I'm not looking or not applying. God has not told me to quit normal, ordinary job hunting activities that people do when moving to a new state. But I do a lot of praying and listening, and understand whatever happens it will all work out. Some things have happened that God has used to show me which direction is not His will, but He has not yet shown me what His will is...

So, I'm praying, and listening, and waiting, and watching, and trusting
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:18 AM
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So far... I do what I am able. All that I am able. Then I put it in God's hands. So far... every time (every time) I have done this, every thing has turned out perfectly, every time. I do not believe God provides for those who refuse to work for themselves. You do what you are able, you pray, and you trust.

More faith, less fear.
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:30 AM
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First, remind yourself everything is His provision. Your life, your breath, your knowledge, your skill, the world you live in ... everything is His provision. Give thanks, be grateful, praise God.

Then, do all you are able with what you are given.

And when you are done, look back upon what you did and praise God for providing you the means to do so. And be content - there is no line between what is yours to provide and what is His. It's all His, and you participate in it.

There seems to be a relationship between how well that works out for those who eagerly participate. Those who do not somehow still are provided air, rain, and life ... but the quality seems markedly different.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:25 AM
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Pray, and then listen. And wait on The Lord. Watch and see Him do glorious things

Right now, I'm trusting God for provision of the job I'm supposed to have, in His time. That doesn't mean I'm not looking or not applying. God has not told me to quit normal, ordinary job hunting activities that people do when moving to a new state. But I do a lot of praying and listening, and understand whatever happens it will all work out. Some things have happened that God has used to show me which direction is not His will, but He has not yet shown me what His will is...

So, I'm praying, and listening, and waiting, and watching, and trusting
There is a fine line between trusting God and testing Him.

The good news... I've never gone hungry, always had a roof, have been provided excellent health for the most part. Praise God for that.


Pretty much the same deal here though. I've had a lifetime of crummy, unfulfilling work providing just enough to scrape by essentially. Tired of it, and still have 10-15 years to endure depending on when I'm able to retire. Praying on this for decades hasn't led to any sort of answer that I can convince myself is from the Lord. I never hear anything or feel I'm given a direction to follow. I'm not lazy, but I've never felt passionate about a specific line of work that I felt directed to pursue. That's what I've prayed for for years.

I'm nearing a breaking point with my current employment. Need a change, but I have no idea where to go. Feels like he provided me a family, but not the provision to provide for them.

I've joked that after 45+ years, I've finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up.... a small scale farmer. My wife joked, "that's great... too bad you don't know any experience in that". That's my passion. I have been entertaining the idea of relocating back to the country to raise pastured poultry and pork, and basically start my own business. It would have to be a side hustle to begin with.

Problem is, I have no idea if this is God's provisional plan. It could be a disastrous decision if its not.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:17 AM
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I moved 9 times following my career. In that time I applied many more times and wasn't successful in getting those jobs. Our practice was to apply for jobs that might fit and I could have been happy with, and then we prayed a lot. To me it meant me asking and God answering.

I finally got my final home a few years after retiring. Since then it has been one amazing event after another that could only have been Gods work. I am sure he put me here to accomplish something for him, like maybe after the world starts to come apart. I am busy doing some serious prepping in a place where it can work.

Lots of major things have happened since we moved to this place but a couple of small examples of his doing: I was camping here before we moved, 5 days here then home for the weekend. Didn't have electricity. Extended camping like that without refrigeration isn't fun. This place was a junk yard I literally had to clear almost every square foot. I had seen an old refrigerator and paid it no attention. Then one day I was working in the vicinity and gave it a second look. It was a PROPANE refrigerator!!!! Aside from camping trailers I had never seen a propane refrigerator before. I owned this one. And it worked.

Another time as I was building my house I found that I had to have an exterior door that was shorter than standard. Any exterior doors that I know of to buy (that I could afford) are metal clad. Cutting one down would make a mess. Then one day I checked out a door I had seen laying around in an old building and thought it was just a junk interior door. It was a new unused wooden exterior door that was no problem to cut down a bit!!!

Time after time things like this have happened to me since I bought this place. Some, like how I happened be able to buy this place even more astonishing, but longer stories. I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT GOD HAS PUT ME HERE. NOW MY PRAYERS ARE, THAT I KNOW WHY, AND THAT I DO HIS WILL WHEN THE TIME COMES.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:53 AM
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It's hard to know what God's will is. It's easy to say something feels like the right decision, or the wrong one, but ultimately we just have to give it over to God and trust. If it's a disaster, then we pick ourselves up and get busy again, trusting the Lord will provide.

Look back in your life and see if there are any times when you had done all you could, you could do no more and things started to go wrong. Did they eventually turn around? Was a way made that you could not have made or chosen for yourself? I think you'll find that yes, a way was made, and everything turned out ok. Maybe not the way you would have chosen it to turn out, but it worked out nonetheless.

That's how God provides. When you do all you can do, and you can do no more but you still have faith, God WILL make a way.
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:17 PM
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God expects us to do what we can. God will do what we cannot.

Example. Peter is in prison chained to two guards.
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Act 12:5* Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.*Act 12:6* And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.*
An angel came and told Peter to arise and caused the chains to fall off.
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Act 12:7* And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
The angel told Peter to gird(cloth) himself and put on his sandals.
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Act 12:8* And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.*
The angel opened the gate of the prison.
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Act 12:10* When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.
Then the angel left Peter. The angel had told Peter to do the things peter could do, ie arise, gird thyself, put on thy sandals and follow the angel. The angel did the things Peter couldn't do, ie made the chains fall off and opened the gates to the prison.

The key to this is the prayer being made for Peter. verse 5 above.

The lesson is do the things you can do and pray and God will do the things you can't.
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:16 PM
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Except in very specific instances God is not going to drop manna from heaven on you. You can't go out and lay in a field and think God will be your waitress, providing warmth, food and shelter. He WANTS you to work. It's good for you. He worked (hard) for 6 days to create the world now we have to work to keep it and us.

That being said, if you keep his commandments and love the Lord he will provide. Meaning he will put you in the way of getting what you need. He will open all doors. You still have to go harvest that field that God made grow for you. You still have to put up a ladder and climb to pick those peaches that God made grow for you. You still have to go apply for that lucrative job he set you up for. God doesn't make you a house to live in, he puts it in the heart of a builder to build you a good house at a great price and you have to pay him from that great job God put in your path.

You sit in a nice house and eat peach pie instead of hunkering in a muddy cave gnawing on rats because God put those things within your reach. That's how God provides.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:55 PM
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Pretty much the same deal here though. I've had a lifetime of crummy, unfulfilling work providing just enough to scrape by essentially. Tired of it, and still have 10-15 years to endure depending on when I'm able to retire.
In my younger days (67 now), I thought much the same way, but then I realized we are NOT here to serve only our purposes. IMO, we're here to serve God's purpose. This might include times when "unfullfilling work" etc, is not apparent to us that their are others that might need our help/assistance. I often stopped and asked myself (not so much these days ) if there is someone here that needs my help more.
Example:
My son wanted to quit his job It had a lot of disagreeables involved, but I felt the spirit take over and I counceled him to hang on to it, reason being, the owner was desperate for decent drivers, my son's work history wasn't that great and the owner was willing to take a chance on my son. Long story short, God provided them both in ways that both never expected.
Like another indicated, God might not always do as you desire.
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:06 PM
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God expects us to do what we can. God will do what we cannot.
Exactly.

For instance, many years ago I spent 9 months looking for work, and I tried everywhere. No go. We tried to be frugal but we were down to the last $25 bucks after buying groceries, and then a job just dropped into my lap.

The $25 that we had went to pay for the pair of decent shoes that I needed, as I would be working on my feet.

God has stepped into my life many times, but only when we had done everything that we could. We have truly been blessed.
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:22 PM
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I'm nearing a breaking point with my current employment. Need a change, but I have no idea where to go. Feels like he provided me a family, but not the provision to provide for them.

I've joked that after 45+ years, I've finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up.... a small scale farmer. My wife joked, "that's great... too bad you don't know any experience in that". That's my passion. I have been entertaining the idea of relocating back to the country to raise pastured poultry and pork, and basically start my own business. It would have to be a side hustle to begin with.

Problem is, I have no idea if this is God's provisional plan. It could be a disastrous decision if its not.
Excellent.

Shall we get started? I am serious, by the way. I was going to be a small scale farmer but I got sick the very week that I put a down payment on land. Before I did put the downpayment down I had taken the classes, saved up some money, and had been selling at the farmers market on weekends. You, to, can walk this path if you choose to, and hopefully you will not get sick the very week that you put a down payment on land!

You see, being a farmer was NOT what God had decided for me, and I do not complain.

So.

To start with you will need to price land (rented or bought), find a market for what you choose to produce, and write up a business plan. The business plan is where you will pencil out the numbers and such.

As for start up funds, are you making payments on a car that will soon be paid off? If so, when the car is paid off then you can shift the same amount of money into the bank, yes?

One point about livestock: stock needs to be checked daily. One gent rented a field between his job and his home and so he could stop twice a day to check that they had water and had not gotten out and such, and that plus weekend trips meant that his cattle were well cared for.

Think about it.
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:20 PM
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Iíll respond to some of these later. Iím wrapping up my work for the day.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:38 PM
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It's hard to know what God's will is. It's easy to say something feels like the right decision, or the wrong one, but ultimately we just have to give it over to God and trust. If it's a disaster, then we pick ourselves up and get busy again, trusting the Lord will provide.
When others are depending on you, I don't feel like one has the luxury of making a critically bad decision due to a misunderstanding of the parameters of God's provisional promises. I do believe that in such a case, He would always provide us a way to eat and scrape by nonetheless.



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Look back in your life and see if there are any times when you had done all you could, you could do no more and things started to go wrong. Did they eventually turn around? Was a way made that you could not have made or chosen for yourself? I think you'll find that yes, a way was made, and everything turned out ok. Maybe not the way you would have chosen it to turn out, but it worked out nonetheless.

That's how God provides. When you do all you can do, and you can do no more but you still have faith, God WILL make a way.
Therein is part of the problem. It's a chicken and the egg situation.I can't "do all I can do" until I feel like he has answered my prayer for a vocational direction. I can't simply say.. "well I want to be an astronaut" and just start pursuing that and hope it syncs with his plan for me.


We were in a bind in the Great Recession. Long story short, a way was made. I'm grateful that it did seemingly plop into my lap in just the nick of time. But the irony is that it's also the gig I'm now desperate to escape because it only provided enough to stay afloat. No further guidance has been forthcoming. I don't expect God to do all the work, but I do expect that he would make you feel informed of what to do to better your standing in answer to the prayers asking for said guidance. I've never felt that in all my working days. That's a big part of why I've come to believe predestination / God's plan or script for you far outweighs your freewill choices in how your life turns out.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:59 PM
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That's a big part of why I've come to believe predestination / God's plan or script for you far outweighs your freewill choices in how your life turns out.
If you have asked God to guide you, then you have ASKED him to do so. In that case His plan may well outweigh your free will choices in how your life will turn out
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:59 PM
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God expects us to do what we can. God will do what we cannot.
I agree with the first part, but not the second. While God can do anything, He will only do what He sees fit to do IMO. His will doesn't always necessarily align with our prayers, hopes, dreams. His provision is his decision, and that's why I'm flummoxed as to whether we really have any control to improve our individual situations. How can anything we achieve personally be attributed to us, our own hard work, drive, determination alone, and not God's provisional will for our life. I hate to quote Obama, but "you didn't build that..." (I realize I'm appropriating that line out of the context that he used it, but the application fits in this sense.)

I appreciate your response with the Peter in chains verses! But its not an apples to apples situation. It would have been easy for Peter to follow the direct orders communicated to him in what must have been an obvious divine intervention moment. That's the crux of the problem. I don't feel like God has ever delivered a clear instruction to me, even with prayer for a fulfilling career path which serves Him.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:18 PM
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In my younger days (67 now), I thought much the same way, but then I realized we are NOT here to serve only our purposes. IMO, we're here to serve God's purpose. This might include times when "unfullfilling work" etc, is not apparent to us that their are others that might need our help/assistance. I often stopped and asked myself (not so much these days ) if there is someone here that needs my help more.
Example:
My son wanted to quit his job It had a lot of disagreeables involved, but I felt the spirit take over and I counceled him to hang on to it, reason being, the owner was desperate for decent drivers, my son's work history wasn't that great and the owner was willing to take a chance on my son. Long story short, God provided them both in ways that both never expected.
Like another indicated, God might not always do as you desire.
I have those very same thoughts as far as "OK, I'm here in this station in life, because God wants me to be his spokesman to someone in this work environment. When the opportunity presents itself, I gladly witness. In fact I've prayed that he would open more doors for me to have those discussions. I enjoy those rare moments. That doesn't mean that I don't feel like I shouldn't want to improve my standing as well. But can we truly reconcile our wants and His will for us. That's where this "provision" enigma plays on my mind.

For better or worse, I also tend to come to the same conclusions that your are inferring.... we are here COMPLETELY for Him and NOT AT ALL for ourselves. This drags us back into the predestination versus freewill dichotomy. Folks forget that we are slaves to a master. Slaves don't get what they want if they accept the master. Some slaves seem to receive more favor than others. And that is His will and His whim. God is the potter, we are the clay. Sometimes I feel like we are c(p)lay dough. Willing c(p)lay dough, but c(p)lay dough nonetheless. Should my mental well being (for lack of a better term) come at the expense of serving the master? That's how it feels most days. If we are truly in a slave / master relationship with our creator, then it really doesn't matter what we want. That's basically the message that God delivered to Job. Don't question regardless of your situation. Just do what I tell you and don't question. Frustrating.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:33 PM
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If you have asked God to guide you, then you have ASKED him to do so. In that case His plan may well outweigh your free will choices in how your life will turn out
Is that different than any believer? Essentially, all that have asked Christ to be their savior have done this and forfeit the direction of their life logically speaking.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:43 PM
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Is that different than any believer? Essentially, all that have asked Christ to be their savior have done this and forfeit the direction of their life logically speaking.
I disagree.

In my eyes, we all have free will. I COULD have said "God, I have decided to be a farmer, please let me know how this farmer can serve you", but I did not.

Instead I said "God, please let me know how best to serve you", without setting any limits, and He said "Yes".
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