Applying 7 themes of Sukkot to my daily life! Day 4: This day reminds me that God provides! God instructs us in Lev. 23:42 to “live in booths (sukkahs) for seven days…so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt.”
When the Israelites traveled through the desert for 40 years on their way to the Promised Land, even their clothes and sandals did not wear out (Deut. 29:5). God provided for their every need. They had no one and no place to look to for their every need, except to God – His pillar of cloud by day and His pillar of fire at night (Ex 13:21). They were 100% dependent upon Him for absolutely everything. What an incredible picture of God’s provision!
In today’s world, we have many distractions, many other places that we look to for our provision, such as our spouses, friends, parents, jobs, government, etc. etc. We become blinded to the reality that God is our ultimate provider, that He is the source for all of our needs. We never have to strive or fear when we know in our hearts that He is our provider. Just this past weekend, I felt my own fear and anxiety rising when someone let me down who I was depending upon for a ministry function. As I prayed, I heard the Lord say, “You don’t have to strive, I am with you. You are not alone in this. I will provide for you. Do you think I would call you to do something and then not provide the way for it to be done? When you strive, what message does that send to those around you about who I am, about the God that you follow?”
The roof of the sukkah is thatched and made of plant material so that you can see the stars and be reminded that God is always watching over you. He is familiar with all of your ways, He knows your words before you speak them, there is no where you can go to flee His presence (Ps. 139:1-12), He stores your tears in His bottle (Ps 56:8), His thoughts toward you outnumber the grains of sand (Ps 139:17-18), and the hairs on your head are all numbered to Him (Luke 12:7)!
When we fear, we need to ask ourselves the question – “Where is God in the picture?” Usually the answer is “He’s not in the picture,” or else we would not be experiencing fear. Oftentimes, it’s our strongholds and misperceptions of Him that have “pushed Him out.” He never leaves us, no matter what we do or don’t do. Remember, our relationship with Him is not based on what we do, but rather on what Yeshua did for us. Nothing can separate us from His love (Rom 8:38-39). So we never have to fear or strive for our provision.
The next time you find that you are stressed, fearful, or striving for your provision, ask God to show you – “Where do you have Him in the picture? Is He in the picture? What are you believing about Him? How is He seeing you in this picture? What messages are you getting from Him?” Confess the fear and any misperceptions of Him as sin, and command the spirit of fear to go (2 Tim 1:7). Fear is not from God! Throw off the sin (strongholds and misperceptions) that so easily entangle, and fix your eyes upon Yeshua! (Heb 12:1-2)
Picture yourself in the sukkah — safe, completely surrounded by God’s love, protection, provision, grace, wisdom, truth, and favor. Be reminded, you are not alone, God is with you, He alone is your provider. As the Israelites did, keep your eyes on His glory – the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire, seek first His kingdom, and everything will be added to you (Matt 6:33). Remember, sons and daughters of Kings never have to strive, all their needs are provided for, and so are yours!