Why God Causes (or Allows) Lack: You Only Have One Source

while i was homeless

While I was homeless and sleeping on a former coworker’s basement floor with my two cats and a broken foot last fall, I shared 12 reasons God may be allowing you to suffer. One, of course, is that you’re facing the consequences of your decisions and addictions. But if you’re still wondering why you’re experiencing lack in some area of your life, Tony Evans recently provided a few more reasons while emphasizing their common denominator: you only have one source to fulfill your needs.

“God … made it clear that when you go after other gods, you let those other gods take care of you,” he said. “… In other words, don’t call on my blessing when you’re worshiping another god. Let the competition take care of you. … Remember, an idol is any noun — person, place, thing, or thought — that you go to and appeal to as your source. … “[F]or some people, their job is their idol. Or their bank account is their idol. Or their contacts, that’s their idol. Or their [education], that’s their idol. Because they think, ‘Because I have this resource, I am taken care of,’ which then makes that resource your god because God wants to be your only source. Until you establish that principle, you will always be controlled by the presence or the absence of your resource.

“But that’s not the only reason,” he said. “Another reason why God allows lack of provision in our lives … is because he is trying us, testing us.

god allows lack or poverty because he's testing us

“God says, ‘I let you get hungry. I let your food get low so that I might test your heart.’

god will allow you to run out of food

“In addition to that kind of test, he goes on in that same passage and says, ‘And I did it to humble you.’ In other words, to get rid of some of your self-sufficiency. One of the reasons God will allow lack — emotional lack, physical lack, financial lack, career lack — one of the reasons God will allow lack is to strike a death blow at our independence. God hates pride, and he hates when you feel like you can make it without him, [so] he will allow your contacts not to come through, the promotion not to come through — he will allow … something else to break down [just when you’d started to build a savings account]. He will allow lack to let you know that you are not self-sufficient — that on your best day, on my best day, we are dependent [on him].

god doesn't want us to rely on ourselves

“[In 2 Corinthians, Paul] said, ‘He let us get that low to deepen what it means to trust God at a point we couldn’t fix.’ So God will allow us to get into circumstances we can’t fix even when we’re in his will in order to take us to a deeper level of experience with him and deepen our faith. …

“You only have one source. … [A]nything outside of God is a resource, not a source. It’s merely a vehicle. Over and over again, the Bible declares that God is your only source. …

“[In 1 Kings 17:8-24], God told Elijah to go to a widow. Okay? So he tells him to go to somebody who can’t even take care of herself … ’cause she’s down to her last meal. ‘And I want you to find the woman in a bad location. And I’m commanding you to go there.’ …

[God prepared him for this in an earlier chapter.]

god fed elijah via ravens

god told him that ravens would feed him

“Now, why is that a big deal? ‘Cause ravens are unclean birds. The Jews were prohibited from eating ravens. … And yet he says, ‘I’m going to tell the unclean birds … to take care of you.’ So, let me tell you something about God: he can use evil to make provisions for his people. He can use the unclean to answer a prayer. God said, ‘You can’t eat a raven.’ He didn’t say, ‘I can’t use one.’ … Anything he created, he can use to accomplish his purpose even if it belongs to the devil. I’mma throw a curveball to you right now: … God can use the devil to answer your prayers. That’s how good God is. So if you have this tiny view of God, [thinking] God can only do it this way that I understand, that I’m used to, and I can see, you’re gonna miss out on some stuff.

god's going to put you in a situation you can't solve yourself

“So God knows you’re gonna need an encounter, which means he’s gonna have to create for you a situation. He’s gonna have to put you in a scenario to either deal with your idolatry or take you deeper in your faith, and that usually means it’s a scenario that you can’t solve yourself. ‘Cause if you could solve it yourself, he knows you would go to that earthly solution rather than his heavenly intervention.

“Until we understand that we only have one source, until we understand that God is your only source and he doesn’t want any competitors, then you’ll be bouncing from resource to resource … hoping that maybe this is the resource. I’m trying to free you up. You only have one source. …

Reserved sign on restaurant table with bar background
Photo credit: Food & Wine Magazine

“So he’s already gone ahead of Elijah and set him up so he could get something to eat. So Elijah goes to Zarephath. So let me just pause there. He didn’t just say, ‘Amen.’ … He obeyed. See, a lot of us want to see God’s provision without our obedience. We want God to provide first, and then we might obey. No. He wouldn’t see the provision until he did the obedience. …

widow said she didn't have anything to feed him - she only had enough for herself

“When God wants to do something for you, he may first want something from you. … Why, if you need something, would God ask you to give something that you yourself need? She needed her own food. Because God wants to know whether you trust his word. This principle is over and over in scripture.

generous people will prosper

leave food for the foreigner the fatherless and the widow - people who can't help themselves

give and it will be given back to you

“[In verse 13], Elijah tells her not to be afraid, because when you’re in a situation where you need God to provide and then he’s asking you to do something that you don’t understand, you get scared. He says, ‘Don’t be afraid.’ He knew the woman was afraid to do what God said [to] do because it didn’t make sense to do it.

“You need somebody in your life who’s going to move you to God when you don’t feel like going that way. You need somebody in your life who is spiritual enough to know what God is doing when you can’t see it even though they can show you from the Bible because it says it. … Unfortunately today, too many Christians limit themselves to their five senses, so they don’t live in the spiritual. They only live in the five senses of the visible and the physical, so they never get to see what an encounter with God feels like.

god will provide

“And it says when she let her faith overcome her feeling, proven by the fact that she did what the prophet [told her to do], it says that ‘she did’ — verse 13 — ‘according to the word of Elijah,’ which was based on the word of God, and she and her household ate for many days. ‘The bowl of flour was not exhausted, nor did the jar of oil become empty…’ In other words, God stretched it.

“The point of this passage is for you to experience and encounter God as your provider. You only have one source. Everything else is a resource. … So the idea is for God to be your source and let him choose what resource he wants to use today.”

5 thoughts on “Why God Causes (or Allows) Lack: You Only Have One Source

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s