Faith, Gratitude and Provision - David Mitts

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (Joh 10:10)

Click here to listen to "Faith, Gratitude, and Provision"

There is perhaps no issue that strikes at the heart of our faith, the inner conversation of our heart than provision. Provision goes beyond the money in our accounts or the home we live in, the job we work at or the family we are blessed to be a part of. In its purest form, provision is the outcome of the god we serve.  What is a god really?  Isn’t a “god” a perceived source of provision, of power?
Since the beginning man has been in search of power. We see this played out in the Garden with the encounter with the serpent. 

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'" The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die! "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. (Gen 3:1-7)

I know we have visited this section of scripture many times and it may seem overdone, but I want to help us unlock the realm of true provision. What occurs here that may not be so obvious, is the attack of gratitude and the doorway of true provision. We know that the temptation was to be like God. What is “being like God?” 

The serpent defines it as knowing good and evil and having our eyes opened. What does it mean to have our eyes opened and through that to “know” good and evil? What are the eyes about?

How are the eyes related to gratitude? How are they related to provision?
Enayim.  The word for eyes is of a special type reserved for things that occur in pairs. Why do we have 2 eyes? Eyes function as a pair primarily to generate a relationship to objects in our external experience, known by the term depth perception. Our eyes triangulate on a position and our brain does a calculation to determine exactly where something is relative to us. An interesting fact is that if you lose one eye the brain will use the data from the other eye to recreate depth perception. This tells us that what our eyes “see” is affected by how we think about what we see. 

Now, what does it mean to have the eyes opened? The Serpent told them that the outcome would be to be like God and be able to distinguish good and evil.  In the moment of the rebellion, the choice to listen to the voice of chaos, trust was shattered.  The reality of unity fell into the experience of duality. God is one, unity. Duality is all about comparison, good and evil, right and wrong.  One outcome was the awareness of being naked and the desire to cover themselves. What happened that this new awareness came to them?

They heard the sound (voice) of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" He said, "I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so, I hid myself." And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" (Gen 3:8-11)

Notice 2 things. First, they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden.  The actual Hebrew is that they heard the “voice” of the Lord God walking in the garden.  What or who is the voice of the Lord that would be walking in the garden? It is Yeshua.  Remember Yeshua is the light of the world. He is the voice of God, the Word, the conversation of eternity that speaks light and order into our existence.

Through the desire to have power, to be like God the voice became a threat.  Remember His voice brings light to chaos, to the voice of tohu vbohu, the voice of emptiness and the void of chaos.  Light is walking in the garden; Order is walking in the garden. From light and order, Adam and Eve hid.

Secondly, when asked by the voice, the conversation, “where are you”? they respond that they began listening to another voice. How do we know? Because the Voice asked them, “Who told you”?  He knew that nakedness and shame would only occur to them through another voice, the voice of chaos. You see it wasn’t just that their eyes were opened, like a physical act that somehow made their eyes different.  No! It was that the conversation that ordered their reality changed and with the new conversation they “saw” the world differently which brought the distinction nakedness and shame. 

Is there anything inherently shameful about being without clothes? Look at small children or even primitive societies. No! the shame lives in a conversation.

You see what changed was the inner conversation.  The conversation changed from one of light and order, grounded in faith and trust, to a conversation rooted in the desire to make our own decisions, judgments and set ourselves up as the power source in our own lives, to become as gods. This is what the voice of chaos offers us, to know good and evil and to be able to run our own lives, chaos.

This is till the conversation today. It is an ancient battle. So how does this affect our lives? When we think, which is the inner conversation that it is up to us to make it all happen, then we have to figure out how. This decision puts us in the position of judging our own lives.

In this way, we literally become our judgments.
"Do not judge so that you will not be judged. "For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. (Mat 7:1-2)

The standard of measure is another way of saying the boundaries of our heart. It sounds almost like God judges us by the way we judge, our measurement. Actually, I think it is the measurements that define our lives.  This is the place of authority in our lives.  What we say in our heart has ultimate authority in our lives.  This is what faith truly is and is defined by the definitions in our heart, the boundaries or measurements.

Another biblical term for this is binding and loosening.  These terms describe how we respond to the conversations in our lives. Look with me at Matthew 16:

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." He *said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." (Mat 16:13-19)

You see binding and loosening are not about how to deal with satan and demons. No. Binding and loosening are about boundaries in the heart.  Yeshua is asking about the conversation, what people are saying about Him.  Simon Peter answers with the God-conversation. Yeshua “measures” that this response shows that Peter is listening, sh’ma, to the voice of the Father. This transforms the conversation to one called the rock. Look with me at Matthew 7:24-27

"Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. "The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall." (Mat 7:24-27)

The “rock” is the example of how solid a life is that is built on listening to the voice of God and allowing His voice to transform our inner conversation. We have authority or if you like responsibility in the arena of faith, the inner conversation of our heart. 
When Yeshua says He will build His church on the revelation, the rock, He is speaking about the inner conversation.  The gates of hades are the boundaries that are built in our hearts based on lies and false gospels. It wasn’t peter himself that was the rock. God would never build His church on a man. No! He builds His church on a relationship, a listening and speaking hat comes from the only secure reality that exists.  We have a responsibility to respond!  

Our autonomy is a sign of His love! No one wants love based on obedience. That is slavery.  The Spirit of God doesn’t lead us into obedience. No! He leads us into love and love produces obedience out of love. 

Our autonomy is called binding and loosening.  These are called keys to the kingdom.  Keys open up doors or gates, the shaarim.   These are the thoughts in our hearts, the boundaries in our lives. The thoughts control our heaven earth reality.  God honors our thoughts.  He releases authority into our lives based on our thinking.

So, how do we alter our reality, our gates, our boundaries?  

One way is through gratitude. Hebrews 12:28
Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; (Heb 12:28)

Gratitude is a way to move or open the gateways, the boundaries of the heart, the sharim. 

Through gratitude we reestablish trust. When I am grateful, I am appreciative of what someone has done for me.  There is power in appreciation. It honors the person or in this case God. Through honor, the anointing is released. Yeshua could do very little in Nazareth because the conversation of the heart was rooted in ingratitude.  Where there was great honor like the centurion, there was great power, great anointing. Gratitude is the opposite of the need to provide for oneself.  Independence is needing to be the source of our own provision.  This drives us to be naked and ashamed. When instead we honor God and are grateful that restores our unity with Him who is beyond the duality, beyond polarity. We move from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil back to the tree of eternal life.

Man has always sought for the solution to death and dying.  We do everything we can to distinguish ourselves as younger and more virile. All the time we are trying to do what is good and avoid what we think to be evil. I’m not criticizing our attempts. I just want to suggest there may be another way. There may be a way beyond good and evil, right and wrong.  There may be a way that is a new way of seeing life.  Maybe the true opening that our eyes need to have is back to oneness. To get there one gateway may be the path of gratitude and honor. 

Activation: Begin your prayers with gratitude. Instead of focusing on lack, what is not the way you want it in your life, begin with abundance, with gratitude. The power to meet the lack is in the abundance and the abundance is activated through thanksgiving. So first give praise, give thanks. Then in that place of the fullness of God and the overwhelming joy of His provision, whisper your requests to Him, knowing that His love for you is worthy of your trust because He has never forsaken you or left you. He has always provided for you. Now in that place of trust experience the shalom, the peace that surpasses what your circumstances look like.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.(Php 4:6-7)


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