by Bruce Strom
Ever heard of George Muller? Google him. He had a crazy business plan – pray! Seriously. He prayed for provision and God provided. George ran an orphanage in England so I’m not suggesting that every business leader throw out their Jim Collins’ books, but I am suggesting we can rely too heavily on our plans and forget to seek the provider of it all.
One of the names of God is Jehovah Jireh which means “He will provide”. Abraham had a promise that he would be successful. A nation would flourish through his son Isaac. But God told him to kill his dream – to kill his son. He didn’t want Abraham to rely on anything but God. Was Abraham willing to set aside the dream or was the dream really an idol that was more important than God. Abraham didn’t flinch. God was first. Abraham had faith and God provided. Genesis says, “So Abraham called that place, ‘The Lord will provide.’ And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” Gen. 22:14.
There is a wonderful intersection between faith and dependence on God. Some of you know my story of leaving a lucrative legal career and depending on God for provision as my family served the legal and spiritual needs of the poor and vulnerable. God never disappoints. Recently my wife and I set up a “War Room” in our house which is a small room with nothing in it except prayer request and verses which we post on the wall. A couple of months ago my wife and I were talking and I shared my concern that we needed $100,000 to finish the year. I’d forgotten, but Helen wrote down the number posted it on the prayer wall and has daily been praying.
Meanwhile I did the good business plan to create a funnel to produce new gospel justice centers. My plan fell short. God’s did not. While I was busy, Helen was praying. Last night a business man contacted me to say that the Lord had impressed on him the desire to give $100,000 to Gospel Justice Initiative. No ask. No great business plan. But a GREAT Jehovah Jireh and a powerful answer to prayer!
I believe we should pursue wise stewardship of time and resources which means planning and pursuing best practices to grow our business. But the chief plan should always be to glorify God. He is the owner of our business, church, ministry, family and life. How can we serve our CEO if we never talk to him? Prayer is communicating with God – both talking and listening. My wife was talking and my business friend was listening. And God receives the glory!
He is an amazing God who is able to do abundantly more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us (Eph. 3:20). But we have to ask. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Mt. 7:7.
I don’t know what you are facing right now. You may have a financial need. You may have a relational need, a business need, a health need. You might be carrying heavy legal burdens. Whatever it is God is able to supply all you need according to His riches in glory (Php. 4:19). And the Bible is clear that when your needs are met, you have opportunity to be a blessing to others (2 Cor. 8-9).
This year let’s be certain our plans include prayer. Let’s be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading as we cry out in our need and in our abundance. Let’s be Good Samaritans following the Great Samaritan as we use our resources to serve others and
Go and Do Likewise.