God’s kingdom purposes are the reason for His complete provision. When we ask, seek, and knock, it must be for the kingdom as much as for ourselves.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)
How wonderful it is to know that our God never does anything by halves. In fact, when I look back over my life, I can testify to countless examples of complete provision – even for details I wasn’t even aware of at the time. God’s definition of ‘complete’ is ‘all-sufficiency in all things.’ It’s way beyond our ‘asking or imagining.’ By God’s measure, complete provision spans the material and the spiritual. It transforms ordinary daily needs into extraordinary supernatural opportunities.
God’s complete provision is kingdom focused.
It’s tragically easy to limit our perception and understanding of God’s complete provision to the ‘here and now’ of our needs. While our needs are real, they are also so much more than simply ‘ours.’ We are part of the kingdom, and our individual needs are woven into the needs of the kingdom as well. There is no individual ‘bubble’ that neatly separates our lives and our needs from the eternal kingdom needs. Christ is in us and we are in Him. It’s an inseparable, eternal union. The needs of both continually overlap and interact in a dynamic, supernatural way.
Unless we see our place in eternity – in God’s plans – we will never fully grasp the real relevance of ‘complete provision. This, to me, is the real and powerful definition of ‘narrow mindedness’ – we see only self when we should see our lives in Christ and in the full relevance of the kingdom. Everything that happens to us, and every intervention of God in our lives, is complete provision for the kingdom as well as ourselves. As a simple example, if we were to suddenly land the ‘dream job’ after months of unemployment, this is personally and individually powerful. But it’s also kingdom powerful – our new affluence enables us to give to the work of the kingdom. Our testimony encourages others. New work environments create opportunities for greater witness. Our lives are always part of the greater kingdom life of Christ in us.
God’s complete provision includes every ‘contingency.’
I once worked in events co-ordination, and learned very quickly that the ‘contingency’ fund was often the most critical part of the budget. Life is fraught with the unexpected. Even the most meticulous planning can be overturned in an instant by a broadside – which doesn’t need to be of earth-shattering magnitude to derail things. The contingency fund is that allocated as a ‘reserve’ to draw on in an emergency. It’s a little extra to take care of that crisis or the unexpected expenses that crop up and which simply cannot wait for normal processes – the world’s version of complete provision.
Kingdom provision includes a contingency for those things we don’t see or aren’t aware of. Our complete provision, because of its connection to kingdom provision, includes contingency for kingdom issues. God sees all, and so releases enough for ‘all,’ even though we may not be aware of it. I’ve learnt, over time, that whenever I see ‘more than I need,’ I stop and look for what God has planned. While I don’t deny that there are times when He simply desires to bless us with His ‘exceedingly, abundantly,’ I also always find that has additional purpose over and above ‘me.’ I’m still blessed, but so are others.
Thy kingdom come and complete provision.
If we’re looking for a quick ‘overview’ of complete provision, the Lord’s Prayer references every aspect of human need. More than this, though, it reinforces the critical truth that the kingdom is always centre stage. It’s an affirmation that if we first seek the kingdom of God, all these things will be added unto us. That’s the divine order of complete provision. In the Lord’s Prayer, thy kingdom come is found before our daily bread. It highlights God’s priorities and gets us focused beyond self to kingdom matters.
Of course, this does not negate the truth that God is our provider. He has promised and He will provide. That’s the assurance we rest on. It’s also the assurance that enables us to look beyond our problems to kingdom priorities. If our hearts are set on His will, He will take care of everything else, including us and our needs. The needs aren’t any less relevant. They still exist and they still require complete provision. All that changes is the perspective. It moves from us to the kingdom. Our priorities change, and when we cease to worry about the little things, we find them miraculously provided for along the way.
Our spiritual purpose and complete provision.
While a strong, constant focus on kingdom needs is essential, we must also not lose sight of our individual spiritual purpose. God grows His kingdom by growing the citizens of His kingdom. We are the kingdom of God. His life is manifest in us. It is therefore impossible for Him to provide for the kingdom and not provide for us. His complete provision includes what we need to grow us spiritually. When we grow, His kingdom grows. This is the reason why our spiritual purpose is intrinsically tied to complete provision.
There are, of course, two levels to our spiritual purpose. The first is our calling to worship and glorify God. That’s what we were created for, and that’s the first purpose of our salvation and relationship with Him. The second level is our purpose in kingdom work, whatever that might be. This purpose is always individual and person-specific, though we work with others as one body. Our first-level purpose is a personal testimony to the truth of God, the love of God, and the power of salvation. It manifests the first commandment to ‘love the Lord your God. Our second-level purpose is the practical outworking of the first – love your neighbour as yourself. Complete provision covers both.
Ask, seek, and knock for complete provision.
It’s critical that we look at today’s verse in the context of kingdom purpose, our spiritual purpose, and God’s will. Unless we do that, we set ourselves up for disappointment borne of misunderstanding. Receiving complete provision requires our participation. It doesn’t simply ‘whoosh’ down from heaven before we even realise we need it. For whatever reason, God has chosen to work with and through man. That’s His divine prerogative. What it means, however, is that we must ask, seek, and knock before anything happens. Anyone who has a genuine need will find this easy enough to do, but it’s the manner in which we do it that makes all the difference.
When we seek first the kingdom of God, we ask that His kingdom come, we seek His kingdom purpose, and we knock on kingdom doors. The motive behind our participation is kingdom first and self second. When we join willingly and joyfully with God and step out to participate in His kingdom purposes, our prayers are imbued with His will rather than ours. This is way to complete provision.
Gracious heavenly Father, thank You for Your perfect and complete provision. Forgive us when we’ve seen self only and lost sight of the kingdom. Help us to ask, seek, and knock according to Your purposes so that Your kingdom may come in our lives and in the lives of others.