Trajectory: Finding Direction for Your Life Part 5 Trust God's Provision

Sermon Summary

This message discusses God's provision in a person's life who is seeking God's direction. God will not lead you down a path and not provide what you need to travel that path. He is faithful to provide for those who trust Him to do so. We are certainly to do our part by working and being good stewards of what God provides, but ultimately, when we are on God's trajectory in life, it is His responsibility to provide all that we will need to accomplish His will and purpose. If we decide to take matters into our own hands and follow ungodly methods to in order to gain things or wealth then we will find ourselves headed in directions that will cause us to not only miss our God-given target, but will have unintended consequences.

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. Share a time when you trusted in God's provision and He came through for you and a time when you decided to take matters into your own hands and things didn't work out so well?

2. David seemed in a moment to forget how God had provided for him in the past and was about to make a tragic mistake. What are some of the reasons we sometimes do the same? 

Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. NKJV

Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.

3. Share your thoughts on Abigail and her words of wisdom to David.

1 Samuel 25:30-31 "When the LORD has done for my master every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him leader over Israel,
my master will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the LORD has brought my master success, remember your servant.”

4. Some of the lessons we learn from this story in David's life is that God is faithful, has resources beyond our imagination, and chooses to bless those who are willing to spend time, effort and resources building His kingdom. How can these lessons be applied to your own life?

2 Corinthians 9:8-15 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people 
but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.

 


Full Sermon Notes
Trajectory: Finding Direction for Your Life Part 5 Trust God's Provision

"You made a way where there was not way and I believe You'll do it again!" I just love that! You see, when you're thinking about finding direction for your life, remember this: "God will not lead you where He will not provide for you!" In order to find God's direction for our lives we've learned that we must trust His aim, His power, His plan, His protection and today we're going to learn to...

Trust God's Provision!

Let's pray and ask God to help us understand why it's so important to trust God's provision in our lives. Prayer!

Okay, why is it so important to trust God's provision in our lives? I believe there are many reasons, and today we're going to explore some of the most important ones. We will look at another story from King David's life. This story teaches important lessons about this topic and I hope each of us will apply them to our personal lives. Let's start our story...

A Reasonable Request

1 Samuel 25:1-9 Now Samuel died, and all Israel assembled and mourned for him; and they buried him at his home in Ramah.
Then David moved down into the Desert of Maon.
A certain man in Maon, who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy.
He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearing in Carmel.
His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman,  
but her husband, a Calebite, was surly and mean in his dealings.
While David was in the desert, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep.
So he sent ten young men and said to them, “Go up to Nabal at Carmel and greet him in my name.
Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!
“ ‘Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us,  
we did not mistreat them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing.
Ask your own servants and they will tell you. Therefore be favorable toward my young men, since we come at a festive time.  
Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can find for them.’ ”
When David’s men arrived, they gave Nabal this message in David’s name. Then they waited.

David's request was not unreasonable. He basically left it up to Nabal as to what he would contribute to David and his men. David reminded Nabal of the protection he and his men had given to Nabal's shepherds from the various raiding parties in the wilderness. Even though David had been given his company of soldiers by King Saul, and even though Saul had once again made promises to never harm David, David had made the decision to serve Saul from a distance and therefore had to find other means to support his troops. So David asked for local help from Nabal, a very rich man, but Nablal's response is...

An Unreasonable Response

1 Samuel 25:10-11 Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse?
Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days.
Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers,
and give it to men coming from who knows where?”

Nabal may have been insinuating that David had rebelled against Saul and therefore he would not support a rebel. This obviously didn't set well with David because, as we all know, David had not rebelled against Saul, but Saul had rebelled against God and David, God's anointed future king of Israel. Though this was true, and David was God's choice to be the future King, David had…

An Ungodly Reaction

1 Samuel 25:12-13 David’s men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word.
David said to his men , “Put on your swords!” So they put on their swords, and David put on his.
About four hundred men went up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies.

And then in verse 21 David shows just how fast a person can go from being a man after God's own heart to falling prey to our old human nature…

1 Samuel 25: 21-22 David had just said, “It’s been useless—all my watching over this fellow’s property in the desert
so that nothing of his was missing. He has paid me back evil for good.
May God deal with David, be it ever so severely, if by morning I leave alive one male of all who belong to him!”

Wow! Can you believe this? How quickly David went from the man who showed great mercy and compassion to the mad man King Saul, who was consistently trying to kill David, to a man who was willing to kill innocent men over the insults of a foolish man. More on this later, but do you see why it is so imperative that we make the decision to allow Jesus to be our Lord each and every day! David is about to make a tragic mistake! He is about to derail his future kingship in much the same manner as Saul. He is about to take matters into his own hands rather than trusting God to meet his needs and the needs of his troops. God, however, provides a way out of this predicament by sending...

An Unexpected Referee

1 Samuel 25:14-29  One of the servants told Nabal’s wife Abigail: “David sent messengers from the desert to give  
our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them.
Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreat us,
and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing.
Night and day they were a wall around us all the time we were herding our sheep near them.
Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household.
He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.”
Abigail lost no time. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred
cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys.
Then she told her servants, “Go on ahead; I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.
As she came riding her donkey into a mountain ravine, there were David and his men descending toward her, and she met them.
When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground.
She fell at his feet and said: “My lord, let the blame be on me alone.
Please let your servant speak to you; hear what your servant has to say.
May my lord pay no attention to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name is Fool , and folly goes with him.
But as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my master sent.
“Now since the LORD has kept you, my master, from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands, as surely as the LORD
lives and as you live, may your enemies and all who intend to harm my master be like Nabal.
And let this gift, which your servant has brought to my master, be given to the men who follow you.
Please forgive your servant’s offense, for the LORD will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my master,
because he fights the LORD’S battles. Let no wrongdoing be found in you as long as you live.
Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my master will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the
LORD your God. But the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling.

Obviously Abigail had heard of David's exploits with Goliath! She reminds David that his protector was God Himself when she says "The life of my master will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the LORD your God!" A bundle of the living was a term used to describe a rolled up bundle of a living person's most important possessions. She was implying that David was one of God's most important possessions and as such was wrapped up in His protection. She continues…

1 Samuel 25:30-31 When the LORD has done for my master every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him leader over Israel,
my master will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself.  
And when the LORD has brought my master success, remember your servant.”

Wow!! Such wisdom! Abigail confronts David with the gravity of what he is about to do and how it would be a total affront to everything he was supposed to stand for and how it would do great harm to his future leadership as King of Israel. David now has a choice. Is he going to trust in God's provision or take matters into his own hands and do great evil?

A Decision to Repent

1 Samuel 25:32-35 David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me.
May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day
and from avenging myself with my own hands.
Otherwise, as surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me,
not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak.”
Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said,
“Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request.”

Now I know there may be someone here who is thinking: "Now, that's a really good story, in fact, a fascinating story, but what does that story have to do with me?"
Now that's a really good question, and I bet you already figured out that I'm gonna tell you! So get ready for some quick lessons from this story on...

Trusting God's Provision!

We know we can trust God's provision because...

Lesson 1: God is Faithful

Okay David, did you forget how God had been faithful to provide for you when you faced the lions and bears while tending sheep? Did you forget how Samuel the great man of God had anointed you to be the future King? Did you forget how God used one stone and your sling to bring down a giant that had brought fear to an entire army? And all those times with Saul's spear?

Now, how about you and me. Have we forgotten God's faithfulness to us in the past? Have we forgotten to count our many blessings and to name them one by one? Even if you are not yet a follower of Jesus Christ, I would encourage you to count your many blessings and realize how many of them you had nothing to do with! Some things you just can't take credit for. Have you considered it might just be the hand of God? One of the writers of the Psalms, Ethan the Ezrahite, had this to say about God's faithfulness in Psalm 89 and he mentions God's faithfulness to David…

Psalm 89:1-8 I will sing of the LORD’S great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant,
‘I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.’ ” Selah
The heavens praise your wonders, O LORD, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings?
In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him.
O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

We also know we can trust God's provision because...

Lesson 2: God has Resources

David decided to look to a wealthy man named Nabal for his provision and when that didn't work out he became extremely angry and wanted to take matters in his own hands. Now, just as I said concerning God's protection, I don't think it's wrong to do our part! It's the same with provision, we work, and plan, and save, and do what we can, but in the end we depend upon God's provision! I have a retirement plan, but I definitely don't trust in that for my future provision. My wife and I do our best to be good stewards of all that God has given to us, but we don't trust our financial savvy to provide for us! We know all that we own could be gone in a moment, but God owns our hearts and our future, and that is what we know and trust! God has resources you don't have and He'll do what He needs to do to get that resource to you if you need it. Trust His timing. By the way, if someone is standing in the way of His provision for you, don't take ungodly actions to secure what you need. Do what you can within reason, according to Godly principles, and let God do the rest. He has ways and plans that you don't know of or understand!

How many times have you been tempted to cut corners, or play with the numbers, or just be a little dishonest in order to get ahead or to make a little extra? That may not seem to be on the same level as what David was tempted to do, murder and steal, but it is still not trusting God's provision and who knows what those kinds of behaviors will lead to.

God understands what you need and has resources to meet those needs and beyond. The question is whether or not you will trust Him to provide! In fact, another Psalm writer, Asaph, penned these inspired words from God concerning resources and the principle of giving...

Psalm 50:9-15 I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens,
for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine.
If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?
Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High,
and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”

In other words God has endless resources and when we give an offering it is not because God has run out of resources and needs your gift. God has established the practice of giving not because He needs it, but because we need it! That's right, we need it! God has chosen to fund His work through the gifts of His children because we need to understand the importance of giving! We need to understand the importance of sharing, not hoarding! God is a giver and gains great joy from giving to meet our needs. He wants us to know the joy of giving. He wants us to partner with Him in providing the needs of others. Paul had some things to say about this in the New Testament and they are powerful...

Acts 20:34-35 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions.
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself
said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

Paul could have survived on love offerings from the people in the churches he served, but he worked with his own hands as a tent maker so he could be a giver because he wanted to be a giver.

Asaph, in the Psalm we read, had quoted God as saying, "Sacrifice thank offerings to God!" Thank offerings are offerings we give to show our gratitude for all that God has given to us! And once again Paul weighed in on this matter when teaching the Corinthian Church...

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Lesson 3: God Blesses those who build His Kingdom!

For a moment, David was full of himself. For a moment it was about his pride, his power, his men, his kingdom! It took a humble, yet very wise lady named Abigail to help him remember that it was not about almighty David, but about Almighty God and His Kingdom.

1 Samuel 25:30-31 When the LORD has done for my master every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him leader over Israel,
my master will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself.  
And when the LORD has brought my master success, remember your servant.”

How easy it is to think that we are the center of the universe and everything revolves around us! God created in us a need to trust in His provision so we would not become self-centered and conceited. And God created within us a need to give so we would not be destroyed by greed. Greed consumes a person and sucks the life right out of them. Saul was such a person and so was Nabal. We know from Scripture that Saul was so consumed with greed, hate and contempt for David, that he took his daughter, Michal, who loved David, and was married to him, Saul took her away from David and gave her to someone else. This kind of selfish living is self-destructive and we know that it eventually destroyed Saul and Nabal both.

My prayer is that by God's grace I won't ever become a self-centered, self-absorbed, selfish, and self-destructive person. I hope your prayer is the same. One of the reasons we never have to harp on money at Northshore Church is that we are a giving people motivated by thankful hearts. We have learned the joy of giving.
We have learned to trust God's provision for us individually and as a church! We do sometimes let you know when we have special needs and give you the opportunity to give above and beyond the tithe. And what is a tithe? For many of us we give 10 percent of what God has blessed us with to meet the ongoing financial needs of the church. God allows us to live on the 90 percent left over. And we trust Him to provide by letting the 90% be enough. I know you have heard that J.C. Penny's is down-sizing. But let me just tell you something that is really interesting. Back when Mr. J.C. Penny was alive, he started off with giving 10% and living on 90%. His goal was to eventually give 90% and live on 10%. He achieved that goal before he died, and his 10% was nothing to sneeze at!

I'll tell you again, I'm not talking about magical formulas to make you rich in things, or stuff. But I will say this, once you begin experiencing the joy of giving and see the needs that are being met, and realize you are a part of building God's Kingdom and understand it is changing lives and families, it becomes super exciting to be a part of something so much bigger than just you! We've got so much more we want to do and accomplish here at Northshore Church. We are trusting God's provision to help us have the resources to to do these things, and are trusting His timing. I pray you will do that in your personal life and with your personal finances. I believe God wants each of us to have financial freedom and peace. Notice I didn't say financial riches.

If you find financial freedom and peace, and have extra to help someone else or to help build God's Kingdom through sharing the good news of Jesus' love and salvation to the world, then I consider that true wealth! Paul wrote words that speak beautifully about trusting God's provision in this area of our lives…

2 Corinthians 9:8-15 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times,
having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed
and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion,
and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people
but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession
of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Let's pray!