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-- © GodSpeak International 2001 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Rodney Hogue <RodHogue@aol.com> http://www.restorationdepot.org
Teresa Seputis <ts@godspeak.net> http://www.godspeak.net
Editors: Teresa Seputis & Bob Hawley
Transcriber: Nichole Marshall

Prayer-School Course #17

Getting In God's Order

Lesson Eight

Provision For God's Calling

By Rodney Hogue

I Peter 2:9 says, "But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God's holy nation. His very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God because He called you out of darkness into His wonderful light."

Revelation 1:6 says, "God has made you to be a kingdom of priests."

The truth is each of us is a priest. We are priests whether we feel like it or not. If we look around us, we see what priests dress like and what a priest looks like. What we have to learn is how to support our priesthood. We have to have an identity change. One person may say, "I am a plumber." But he is not a plumber, he's a priest. He simply supports his priesthood by plumbing. A priest stands between God and man, interceding on behalf of the world to God. We also represent God to the world. But we have to support that priesthood and there are several ways to do that.

Let's look at some of them:


Sometimes God provides things supernaturally. God just gives it to us. We didn't do anything, He just provides it. The Bible talks about that in I Kings 17:2, "And then the Lord said to Elijah, 'Go to the East and hide by Kerith Brook at a place east of where it enters the Jordan River. Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.' So, Elijah did as the Lord had told him and camped beside Kerith Brook. The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening and he drank from the brook. And after awhile the brook dried up for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land."

So when it was time to move on, when that provision dried up, he left. Sometimes God just does it. And it is not usually for a very long time. However, there is one group that had it for a very long time -- the people of Israel in the wilderness. God provided for them for 40 years. Exodus 16:35 says, "So the people of Israel ate manna for 40 years until they arrived in the land of Canaan, where there were crops to eat."

God provided for them until they got to the land. They got tired of manna and complained, "God, can't you give us meat?" So He gave them quail. He also stretched what they had and in Deuteronomy 29:5 it says, "And I led you through the desert for 40 years and neither your clothes nor your sandals wore out." Sometimes God does provide supernaturally.


Sometimes God has us ask someone. Let's return to Elijah. The brook has dried up. It is time to leave that provision. God has another provision for him and he had to ask. The act of asking is an act of humility. So there is a place for asking. Here again it says in I Kings 17, "Then the Lord said to Elijah, 'go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. There is a widow there who will feed you. I have given her my instructions.' So, he went to Zarephath and as he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks and he asked her, 'would you please bring me a cup of water?' and as she was going to get it he called her, 'bring me bread too.' "

He had to ask her. Sometimes it is OK to ask. Sometimes we don't have because we don't ask. We know that we don't have from the Lord because we don't ask. So there are times it is legitimate to ask for somebody to help meet a provision, a need that we have.


That isn't the only way God does it. There is an appropriate time to ask, but it is not the main way. In fact the most common way is that God may have us get a job. We find this modeled with Paul supporting his ministry. Acts 18:3 says Paul was a tentmaker. Paul went to start churches, that was his call, and while he was planting a church he didn't have any income.

II Thess. 3:8 says, "And when we ate another person's food, we always paid for it. We worked very hard night and day so we would not be an expense to any of you." He said, "Listen, we do not want to take advantage of you and everywhere that we go we want to make sure we pay our own way and pay for our own food."

He said he had the right to ask, especially as the church was established. "We have the right to ask you to help us, but we worked to take care of ourselves so we would be an example for you to follow. When we were with you we gave you this rule, 'anyone who refuses to work should not eat.' "

Priesthood As A Job

For other people, the priesthood is their job. We find this in throughout the Bible. In the Old Testament the precedent was set with the tribe of Levi. When it came to handing out the Promised Land, every tribe got an inheritance except the tribe of Levi. They got the cities; they didn't get any land.

They were totally dependent upon everyone else making something and producing something on the land. God would not give them that land as an inheritance. They had to depend upon everybody else being faithful. Numbers 18:21, 22 says, "And the Lord said to Aaron, 'you priests will receive no inheritance of land or share of property among the people of Israel. I am your inheritance and your share. As for the tribe of Levi, your relatives, I will pay for their service in the tabernacle with the tithes that come from the entire land of Israel.' "

He is saying that the service to the Lord was so important, so significant that God did not want that neglected. Those who were given an inheritance of land were to support this tribe so it could have the time and energy to devote to the ministry of the Lord and to make sure the ministry was never neglected. In fact, the biggest problem came when they didn't give their tithes and offerings and the House of God was not supported and the tribe of Levi had to go out and get a job. The worship of the Lord and the ministering to the Lord were neglected because there was nobody to lead them.

There are several times the Lord rebuked His people for not supporting ministry. So, it is OK for some people to be in full-time ministry. In the New Testament, Paul supported his ministry with his tent-making job. However, the other apostles did not. Peter and John didn't return to fishing. After Jesus died, they didn't know what to do. They went back to fishing, but soon were too busy to do any fishing. God will use many ways to provide. All are legitimate ways, but once God begins to make provision we need to put ourselves in a position to keep the provision coming. But God is faithful.

Doing Our Part

If we want to keep God's provision we have to do our part. Malachi 3:10 says, "'Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, how do we rob you? In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse, the entire nation of you because you are robbing Me. Bring the whole tithe to the storehouse that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this,' saith the Lord Almighty, 'and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pest from devouring your crops and your vines and your fields will not cast your fruits,' says the Lord Almighty."

So, how do we keep the provision coming? Don't rob God! Don't steal from God by taking tithes and offerings and keeping it or diverting it to places God doesn't want it diverted to, because it belongs to Him.

What is tithe? A tithe is 10 percent, or a 10th, and the Bible says bring the entire tithe to the house and also an offering. A tithe is the first 10 percent. We never give an offering until we've paid the tithe. An offering is what we give over and above tithe. During Jesus' time on earth, the people were giving a tithe, paying a temple tax and giving to the poor. So they were giving 15 to 25 percent and that was before the Roman government began to take its share. They did not dare to not tithe. They wanted to make sure, with the Roman government especially, that they always had their needs met and God provided for their needs. So the way to protect us and keep the provision coming is not to rob God.

-- © GodSpeak International 2001 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

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