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Rev. J.

Patrick Bowman
P.O. Box 1386
The Dalles, OR 97058
revjpbowman@gmail.com
541-980-8310

North American Rights


© Rev. J. Patrick Bowman, 2009
Pages: 15
Word Count: 3148

The Provision of God


By
Rev. J. Patrick Bowman

God has always been a God of provision. From creating the Garden of Eden for man
to dwell in, and creating clothes of skins for them when they fell. Making a way
for Noah’s family and the animals in the ark, providing for man’s new beginning,
providing a new land for Abraham and a son in his hundredth year. The list could
go on and on. But, of course, God’s greatest provision came in His son, Jesus, for
the redemption of mankind.

After Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose again, He spent time with His
disciples. He wanted to comfort them in the fact that he was leaving soon and that
all would be alright. In Luke 24:44-53 we read of such an encounter.

Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still
with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and
the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the
scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to
suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and
forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from
Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what
my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with
power from on high.” Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his
hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was
carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with
great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

So here we see that Jesus makes a promise of a promise: He will send what the
Father promised. The promise comes with a condition: Remain in the city until you
have been clothed with power from on high. Just imagine what their waiting was
like! They didn’t know what, when, where, and how. They knew the who was them, but
that’s all they knew.

In Acts 2 we see the fulfillment of this promise:

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And
suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it
filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire,
appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled
with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave
them ability (Acts 2:1-4).

It truly is a miracle that they were all together in one place. Unity has not been
the hallmark of the Christian church. Frank Bartleman, a key figure in the Azusa
Street revival of 1906 in Los Angeles, wrote the following about unity.
"Every fresh division or party in the church gives to the world a contradiction as
to the oneness of the body of Christ, and the truthfulness of the Gospel.
Multitudes are bowing down and burning incense to a doctrine rather than Christ.
The Spirit is laboring for the unity of believers today, for the ‘one body,’ that
the prayer of Jesus might be answered,' that they all may be one, that the world
may believe.’”

Controversy, jealousy, and lack of unity eventually squelched the fire that had
burned so hot and brightly at 312 Azusa Street.
Now, let us continue in Acts chapter 2.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And
at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them
speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are
not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us,
in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of
Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt
and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and
proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about
God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What
does this mean?” But others sneered and said,
“They are filled with new wine.” (Acts 2:5-13).

Bewildered, amazed and astonished, perplexed! When was the last time you were in a
service where people were bewildered, amazed and astonished, and perplexed?
Bewilderment, amazement, astonishment, and perplexity will always bring with it
the question, “What does this mean?”

The church better have an answer, because the world has an answer waiting! Satan
has a counterfeit for everything that the Church should be walking in the reality
of. Not just in words, but walking in it with power. Good old Holy Ghost power.
Even Pentecostal peoples are not walking in the Power. Things have become
comfortable. Things have become rote. We laugh at the churches that use the
liturgical form of worship but many of our ‘Spirit filled’ churches are no better:
3 hymns, 3 choruses, announcements, offering, sermon, altar call (only if somebody
new has slipped in) and a pat on the back for church well done. Well, how many
know that when you cook something well done, a lot of the flavor is lost?
In many ways we’ve lost the flavor, we’ve lost the anointing. We cannot live in
the glory of yesterday. Yesterday’s anointing was for yesterday. The anointing is
like manna. It is fresh each new morning and you can’t keep it for another day.
Let’s look in Exodus 15 and 16.

Then Moses ordered Israel to set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the
wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water.
When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was
bitter. That is why it was called Marah. And the people complained against Moses,
saying, “What shall we drink?” He cried out to the LORD; and the LORD showed him a
piece of wood; he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the
LORD made for them a statute and an ordinance and there he put them to the test.
He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God, and do
what is right in his sight, and give heed to his commandments and keep all his
statutes, I will not bring upon you any of the diseases that I brought upon the
Egyptians; for I am the LORD who heals you.” Then they came to Elim, where there
were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees; and they camped there by the
water.
The whole congregation of the Israelites set out from Elim; and Israel came to the
wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the
second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. The whole
congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the
wilderness. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the
LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread;
for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with
hunger.” (Exodus 15:22-16:3).

Sometimes the past life seems to hold all that we now need. Our flesh was
satisfied in the sin that we found ourselves in. We ate our fill. Jesus explains
our former state like this in Luke 12.

Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he
thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’
Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones,
and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul,
‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’
But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of
you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those
who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-
21)

We were happy when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread. We said,
“Soul, this is the good life. I’ve got a nice house, new car, all the toys I want,
and money in the bank. I’ll just kick back, eat my fill of what the world has to
offer, drink myself silly, and be happy!” But what happens when, in our merriment,
we find ourselves mortgaged to the hilt, no money to fix the new car we wrecked,
and all the toys are as broke as we are? What happens when, with our lifestyle, we
auction off our life to the lowest bidder?
Let’s continue in Exodus.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and
each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I
will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. On the sixth day,
when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on
other days.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you
shall know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in
the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your
complaining against the LORD. For what are we, that you complain against us?” And
Moses said, “When the LORD gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of
bread in the morning, because the LORD has heard the complaining that you utter
against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but” against the LORD.
Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, ‘Draw
near to the LORD, for he has heard your complaining.’“ And as Aaron spoke to the
whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the
glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. The LORD spoke to Moses and said, “I have
heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat
meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know
that I am the LORD your God.’“
In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a
layer of dew around the camp. When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface
of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. When
the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not
know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the LORD has given you
to eat. This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Gather as much of it as each of you
needs, an omer to a person according to the number of persons, all providing for
those in their own tents.’ The Israelites did so, some gathering more, some less.
But when they measured it with an omer, those who gathered much had nothing over,
and those who gathered little had no shortage; they gathered as much as each of
them needed. And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over until
morning.” But they did not listen to Moses; some left part of it until morning,
and it bred worms and became foul. And Moses was angry with them. Morning by
morning they gathered it, as much as each needed; but when the sun grew hot, it
melted. (Exodus 16:4-20)

Has the anointing we should gather anew each morning bred worms and become foul?
Are we trying to live with the nourishment of an old anointing? There is no
nourishment left. It has spoiled. Is Jesus not the one who quenches our thirst,
and satisfies our hunger each evening and morning?

Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because
you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the
food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son
of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.”
Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus
answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has
sent.” So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we
may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the
manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to
eat.’” Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave
you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from
heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life
to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to
them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and
whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen
me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from
heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the
will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me,
but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all
who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up
on the last day.” Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am
the bread that came down from heaven.” They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the
son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come
down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. No one
can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that
person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be
taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen
the Father. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the
bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This
is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I
am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will
live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my
flesh.” The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us
his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat
the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those
who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on
the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat
my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father
sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of
me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your
ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”
(John 6:26-58).

There is a time when the manna is fresh. If you wait, it will leave you. How many
are hungry for the bread that comes down from heaven, satisfies your every hunger,
and never grows old? How many are thirsty and would like to
thirst no more?

What promise has the Father made you? What promise has Jesus said to you, “I will
send?” What condition was put upon it? Have you been waiting in the city? And the
waiting! You don’t know in what form it will manifest. You don’t know the hour it
will come. You don’t know where you will be when it comes. And you don’t know it
what way it will come. The only thing you know is that it is a promise for You!
Have you been waiting in Jerusalem and it’s now feeling like you’re in the desert?
Are you weary? Are you needing fresh water, fresh food, provision for your
journey?
Are you a pastor and would say, “I’ve been trying to work with an old anointing
and it isn’t working? I’ve been trying to hold onto the glory of the past?”
Whether that was last month or 20 years ago, your manna has become wormy and foul
and it no longer satisfies the hunger of your congregation. When was the last time
the Spirit moved in such a way that “All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one
another, “What does this mean?”
God has always been a God of provision. Will you allow Him to provide for you?

The Provision of God/Bowman


Are you a pastor and would say, “I’ve been trying to work with an old anointing
and it isn’t working? I’ve been trying to hold onto the glory of the past?”
Whether that was last month or 20 years ago, your manna has become wormy and foul
and it no longer satisfies the hunger of your congregation. When was the last time
the Spirit moved in such a way that “All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one
another, “What does this mean?”
Our God has always been a God of provision. Will you allow Him to provide for you?