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God Still Clothes the Lilies, Lesson 2: View Your Needs from Heaven’s Higher Perspective

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Does it seem God isn’t providing for your needs? Has this caused you to become angry, disillusioned, despondent — perhaps even to the point you find it hard to pray? I can relate. I’ve felt that way even recently. So I’m revisiting a truth I learned years ago.

The second lesson and action step to implement in seasons of suffering and uncertainty is:

Lesson 2: View Your Needs from Heaven’s Higher Perspective

The title of this series is based on Matthew 6:28-30, which says:

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”

One of my favorite backyard flowering plants is the hibiscus. The flowers are gorgeous! But the blooms on some species only last one day. Just a single day.

If God tends to the needs of a flower that has such a fleeting life, is He not much more keenly aware of our needs and fully committed to meeting them?

Matthew 6 continues:

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (vv. 31-33).

As we seek God first and desire Him above all else, He provides for our needs.

However, in order to reach the point where we can consider it pure joy whenever we face trials of various kinds (James 1:2-4), we must be willing to view our needs from heaven’s higher perspective. (Tweet this) We must see them as God sees them.

A Picture of a Bird Speaks a Thousand Words

Have you ever observed a mother bird feeding her babies? When I was confined to my home for years with ample opportunity to watch birds, God used them to illustrate to me truths about His character and His works in my life.

For a period of time I was unable to sit elevated from the waist up. So to see outdoors, I would lie down on a cot by a glass, sliding door. That spring, a begonia plant hung from the eave just outside the door. To my delight, wrens built a nest in the plant . . . and little baby wrens soon hatched! I learned a valuable lesson while watching the parent birds with their babies. The parents were totally consumed with providing for their babies’ needs. While the mother was feeding the babies, the father was out looking for food. When he arrived with bugs to feed the babies, the mother departed to find food. They alternated like this all day long—constantly, never taking a break.  At any given moment, one parent was feeding and one was out looking for food. They were totally consumed—twenty-four hours a day—with meeting their babies’ needs.

In the same way, our Father God is consumed with meeting our needs. He is busying himself—twenty-four hours a day—with our every step.  (Psalm 37:23, AMP) (Tweet this) One bird watcher has observed a set of wren parents providing over 1,000 feedings to their babies in a single day. Now that’s “busying” oneself. But that pales in comparison to how intensely God is busying Himself with your every step—with your every need!

However, like the baby birds who chirped constantly as if they weren’t being fed, in spite of their parents’ tireless efforts and vast success at meeting their needs, we may feel (and sound) as if God isn’t constantly tending to our every need. But He is! If only we could see in to the spiritual realm and see what He is doing for us!

God loves you and is diligently involved in the details of your life, providing for you, giving you exactly what you need when you need it. (Tweet this) He’s moving heaven and earth, coordinating the tiniest details of your life, in order to do so! (Tweet this)

Meeting Needs According to Heaven’s Higher View

It’s important to note that what we truly need may be different than what we want. We often view our wants as needs and when God doesn’t provide for them, we become disillusioned as it seems God isn’t doing what He promised. But He is!

In addition to meeting our legitimate material needs, He is meeting our spiritual needs. God often denies or postpones giving us our wants (or meeting our material needs in the time-frame we desire) in order to give us something we more desperately need—Himself!! (Tweet this)

A few months after God showed me the illustration of the birds caring for their babies, my body descended into an even deeper abyss of physical and mental suffering. My mother kept bird feeders in the back yard so there would always be birds for me to watch. As I lay watching birds, I was reminded that God was consumed with meeting my needs.

At first, though, this truth seemed incredibly contradictory to my circumstances. At the time, I panted constantly, laboring for every breath. Every inch of my body was wracked with intense pain. But worse than that, the encephalitis in my brain caused seemingly unbearable mental torture. I felt buried alive; ceilings appeared lower, rooms seemed darker—like a strange, traumatic nightmare. I also felt electrocuted or burned alive, but in my brain where one feels thoughts. Images and diversions, such as TV, didn’t quite cross the great divide of mental torture. There was no distraction from the relentless agony. Nothing could take my mind off the torture or insert any kind of momentary pause in the suffering.

“Are you kidding me? God is consumed with my needs?” I questioned. “I can think of quite a few needs I have that He’s not providing—like breath that comes easily, a body not wracked with pain, a brain that isn’t tortured.”

The dichotomy between God’s promise and my reality stunned me at first. But after a while God gave me His perspective. I saw that He was indeed giving me exactly what I needed—Himself! He was infusing me with His resurrection power, His endurance, His perspective (His mind), His joy, and His peace.

Infused with His very life living for me—enduring what by my power alone I could not endure—I had been given the privilege of knowing Jesus more intimately than I ever would have apart from the suffering. Nothing—not even a life of ease—could compare to knowing Jesus intimately.

God postponed meeting my physical and material needs in order to meet a far greater need, a spiritual need. He gave me something of far more value than health—He gave me an experience of Himself.

God Loves You Intensely and is Consumed with Your Care

In His infinite wisdom, God knows what we truly need.  He defines our needs according to His eternal perspective.  He takes things such as our holiness (not just our happiness) into consideration. Most of the time, we define our needs from an earthly perspective—a perspective based on temporal happiness, not eternal holiness.

This difference leads us to assume, when we don’t get our ‘needs’ met in the time frame we desire, that God isn’t meeting our needs—that He isn’t doing what He promised. But He is! He is consumed with our care!

God loves you more than you can fathom! And He is constantly at work behind the scenes taking care of you.

So wait for Him … wait for Him only and altogether! Everything we need, He is! (See 2 Pe. 1:3.) May earth have nothing we desire besides Him! (Psalm 73:25) Because nothing compares to knowing Him. (Phil. 3:8)

We come to know Jesus more intimately when we need Him and require His presence in our lives. But sadly, we often don’t realize our need for Him until we’re deprived of the things we cling to more tightly than Him—the things we depend on in lieu of Him.

The Place of Rejoicing

When life’s discomforts and heartaches and impossibilities become more than we can handle on our own—when we reach the end of ourselves and our hoarded resources—we’re driven to the foot of the cross. To resurrection ground. To the supply of our need—to Jesus! (Tweet this)

Suffering impairs our ability to live autonomous of God. In times of suffering and great uncertainty we realize what has been true all along—that we’re incapable of surviving by the abilities of our natural man. Suffering pushes us to the end of ourselves and over into a glorious life. How so?

When life is comfortable and easy, nothing nudges us to the point where God is an indispensable necessity—to the place where feeling, experiencing, seeing and hearing Him are not options, they’re daily requirements.

And when we reach this place of requiring Him, which often comes through suffering or the postponement of answered prayers, we’ve reached the place of rejoicing:

“Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek and require the Lord [as their indispensable necessity]. Seek, inquire of and for the Lord, and crave Him and His strength…seek and require His face and His presence continually evermore” (Psalm 105:3-4, emphasis added).

When we view our needs from heaven’s higher perspective and realize that God Himself is our greatest need, we reach a place of deep joyjoy that remains no matter our circumstance! Nothing and no one can satisfy like Jesus.

More Tweetables

  • Viewing our needs from heaven’s higher perspective helps us consider it pure joy when we face trials of various kinds. > Tweet this
  • God is consumed with meeting our needs. He’s busying himself 24 hours a day with our every step. > Tweet this
  • God is moving heaven and earth, coordinating the tiniest details of your life, in order to provide for your every need. > Tweet this
  • God often denies or postpones giving us our wants in order to give us something we more desperately need—Himself!! > Tweet this
  • When we view our needs from heaven’s higher perspective, we realize that God Himself is our greatest need. > Tweet this
  • When life is comfortable and easy, nothing nudges us to the point where God is an indispensable necessity. > Tweet this
  • Nothing and no one can satisfy like Jesus. > Tweet this
  • “Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” ~ Phil. 3:8 > Tweet this

A Moment of Worship: Already All I Need


Already All I Need by Christy Nockels
From the Album: Into the Glorious

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A Moment of Worship: All I Need is You

We cry outAll I Need is You (Live) [Feat. Kim Walker] From the Album: We Cry Out

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Questions:

  • Does it seem God isn’t providing for your needs?
  • Has this caused you to become angry, disillusioned, despondent — perhaps even to the point you find it hard to pray?
  • Have you stopped to think God could be delaying the provision of your material need in order to give you something you need even more—an experience of God Himself?

OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES

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