When God Speaks – Part III – He Provides the Way (the Resources)

For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him. – Luke 5:9-11.

It is known that Simon was married and now that he would no longer be a fisherman how would he provide for his family? The most immediate needs were probably provided for by the huge catch of fish. It may have been the equivalent to what they would normally catch in an entire month. After the month was over though what would they live on then? My wife suggested that Simon’s wife took over the role as fisherman and provider. Which is a possibility. It could also be that other relatives may have taken over the fishing business for a time. We do know one thing and that is that God provided for Simon’s family somehow.

The question of surviving financially while engaging in ministry has been a bothersome question for most of the people that God has called. For me it was one reason that I was reluctant at first to answer God’s call. I had a good job but without any savings with a young family – how would I be able to afford to go to seminary? With 20/20 hindsight, I know that within a year’s time we would have had the resources for me to go to seminary and to support my family. A year later, it was too late to take that course of action. Eleven years after first clearly hearing God’s call at the age of 40 it was still a difficult question. How would we survive financially with our oldest son ready to go to college?

God gave us direction for the financial decisions that we needed to make once we were committed to obeying His will for our lives. We sold our house and downsized. At one point, our income was not enough to pay all of our bills each month. However, God was faithful to provide from one source or another the funds necessary to pay what was due. We went to many a garage sale. Once when I needed a new suit God provided a Christian Dior suit in my size for five dollars. We are told in Philippians 4:19, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” God will not call you to do what He will not provide the resources, the way to do it. If God calls you, He will be faithful to provide in one way or another for what is needed to sustain you along the way.

Of course, you have to do your part. The apostle Paul was a tentmaker during his entire ministry except while he was in chains. I was a substitute schoolteacher for a while and my wife has worked during most of the time that we have been in the ministry. We did not have those bargains handed to us at garage sales we had to get out there early and try to find them. I think that Matthew 7:7-8 is applicable, “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.” God will provide but you need to do your part. You are a co-laborer with Him.

When God speaks calling you to be His servant in ministry, He will provide what you need to do it. You can count on it.

(When God speaks calling you into ministry He will provide the resources necessary.)

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