Pressing In To Supernatural Provision With Thanksgiving And Testimony
In our last post, we shared about a paradigm for supernatural giving and supernatural provision which doesn’t include the legalism. Today, I’d like to share some of my testimonies of God’s provision.
When I started seeing people healed I started talking constantly about what I saw God do. I was talking about testimonies all the time, and I would begin to feel God’s power well up in my heart as I shared. God’s power would come on people through the testimony and it would happen again.
As I was writing the last blog post a few memories of God’s provision came up, and I felt God’s power on them as I remembered. It felt a bit like a sudden rush of adrenaline to my heart. As I do with healing, I’ve been taking the attitude of focusing on testimonies and thanking God, even for the small things.
Last month I was excited by my friend Reinhard’s teaching and testimonies, and I was enthusiastically telling my wife about it. I was happy to see where I’d failed to trust God before. The church had a big event at a sports club during Carnival, and I wanted to go. When we got there we found out that it cost a lot more to get in than I’d been told. I only had a little money, and my daughter wanted to go to the pool. But then the gatekeepers said, “You know, there’s just four more hours to the day.” And they let us in free! It may seem like a little thing, but I was so excited. I said “See, honey! God provides for us!”
Don’t Take Any Money!
Jesus told this to his disciples when he sent them out to proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven:
Matthew 10:9-10 (NIV) Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep.
When I was 15, my uncle called from New England. He felt the Lord was calling him to go on a prayer walk through Washington D.C. with his 12-foot cross. The plan was to go through the city twice, in the shape of a cross. I think it was 15 miles each way. He wanted to know if I would go with him.
My parents prayed. They were reluctant to let me go, feeling that it would be dangerous, but they felt the Lord say “release him.” When my uncle got to our house to pick me up for the weekend trip, he didn’t even have enough money in his wallet for gas to get back! My mom was concerned, saying “What are you going to eat?” He said, “God will provide for us.” He was taking Jesus’s words about not taking any money seriously! Still, mom made us take a bunch of sandwiches and apples.
We were staying at the house of a Christian family my uncle met at the beach, and someone connected with some prayer groups in Washington D.C. who were praying for the country. We didn’t tell anyone we needed anything, but people kept handing us $20 bills and inviting us out to eat steak. We returned with more money than we’d left with.
That trip had a big impact on me as a 15-year old kid. I met three people who had been raised from the dead. One was the daughter of the family we were staying with. Another was a missionary who had died of tuberculosis. And all the prayer ladies inspired me. We met with them at night after walking through the city. These ladies prophesied, healed the sick, and told us stories of God’s mighty works. They were racially mixed, black and white together, united in purpose and in love.
My uncle told me later that he’d had a credit card and would have been able to buy gas with it if we hadn’t had money, but he’d been determined to trust the Lord to provide. And he did! As I recently remembered this testimony again and how the experience inspired me, I felt a great release of God’s power just as I have so often felt released with healing testimonies. It made me want to go on a mission again and not take anything with me!
Coins From Thin Air!
As I remembered the trip with my uncle, I began to think of other testimonies of provision. I remembered another experience that may seem small but was so encouraging to my heart.
Some of my most memorable times of seeing God move were in Russia. On my second trip, I was preaching to the old ladies, visiting orphans, and speaking in houses. I was so happy sharing testimonies and praying for people! One evening, I was going to an apartment to speak to a bunch of youth. There was a meeting with about 20 youth there, and I was going to share about God’s power and love.
We were in a rush and were already running a little late. But when we walked in the metro in St. Petersburg, we only had one metro token left and the line to buy more was so long it might have taken us half an hour longer.
All of the sudden, it seemed like a metro token fell right out of thin air in front of us. Someone picked it up and gave it to us. I looked all around and couldn’t tell where it could have come from. But we walked right into the metro, deposited our two metro coins, and our arrival was only slightly delayed. I felt the Lord’s presence powerfully there, like there were many angels, and one young man whose heart had been hardened for a long time opened up and talked to his mom about his struggles after hearing me speak.
So many weird things started to happen around this time. Some I wasn’t absolutely sure had no natural explanation so I tried to be realistic. I kept seeing gold specks on my girlfriend as we went around praying for people and asked if she had glitter in her makeup. She said she didn’t, but her bed had been covered with gold dust. It went on for two weeks. When I got home and shared the testimonies with my mom, gold specks appeared on both of our faces as I was speaking.
After that, other things happened like supernatural winds as angelic manifestations in my house. They certainly had no natural explanation! As for the metro coin, I thought it was probably the Lord taking care of us getting to the apartment on time to preach, but I also considered that maybe it was a coincidence and I just didn’t see where it came from.
More crazy stuff was happening. I spoke at one church and a little girl told her mom something was stirring the water in her water bottle. The mom thought it was her child’s imagination but something really was stirring it. Some things like that we didn’t understand at first. Then I thought it must be a sign of the Lord’s angel stirring the waters at the pool of Bethesda. Then there was the supernatural rain inside my house!
I returned from one mission trip and my housemates were all excited. They said they thought that angels were on the porch and in the house, and things were happening that were “weird but good.” (My housemates were not hyper-charismatics or anything like that. They were open to those kinds of things but didn’t really have much experiences of their own like seeing God heal people.)
One of my friends who had really been struggling in life told me what happened when he was on my porch. He was sitting there on the steps, nobody anywhere around him, and all a sudden a quarter dropped out of thin air into his open hand! There was no possible explanation, nobody nearby!
Like, I said, I was seeing things sometimes that God was doing and I didn’t always understand. Honestly, I thought “What’s the point? It’s a quarter! Why would God do that?” But it seemed like it meant something to my friend, like God touched his heart through it. and more than that, it seemed like a message to me. When the metro token in Russia seemingly dropped out of thin air in front of us, I had thought it was God but also considered that maybe there was a natural explanation. Yet now, there really was no natural explanation for where that quarter was. It really seemed like God was telling me “Yup. That Metro Token was from me!”
Look For What God Is Doing
Both these testimonies may seem small. I could have also shared about when my family was in need as a child and God told people to buy us groceries. We never knew who they came from. Yet the testimonies I’ve shared here meant so much to my heart. The important thing is the revelation of Jesus that I received through them. I encourage you guys to keep a watch out for what God is doing. Have eyes to recognize it.
Maybe you have a need that seems so big, but don’t fail to recognize God’s provision in the little things. A few weeks ago I was caught in a rainstorm on the street with my daughter sleeping on my shoulders, so I ducked into a “pomonharia.” A pomonharia is a place that sells pomonha. And pomonha is a food made with corn and wrapped in the corn husks, very popular where I live. I love “Pomonha a moda,” which is pomonha with a sausage and cheese inside.
The owner didn’t have a way of accepting credit cards. And my little five-year-old had stolen all my money and put it with her stash of coins. Only when I was already on the street and found my wallet empty did she confess! But the other customer said something like “No problem, I’ll buy your pomonha. I can’t let you go without pomonha!” So I ended up eating pomonha and talking with the guy for like 2 hours!
It feels a bit awkward when a stranger wants to buy your food. At least it does for me. But I think the Lord would like us to get to the place where we are comfortable with both giving and receiving generosity.
I had much bigger needs than a pomonha! But I chose to not worry about it and thank God for provision in even the littlest of things. When we have this attitude it fosters an eager expectation for what God will do next and how he will take care of us. Instead of worrying about money, we are enjoying an adventure with our Heavenly Father! Learning to trust him for provision frees us from the hoarding mentality and enables us to give generously from the heart, not of necessity and free from compulsion.
1 Timothy 6:17 (NRSV) As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
2 Corinthians 9:8 (NRSV) And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.