What was the last thing you asked God for?
After all, one of the names God revealed for Himself in the Bible is Yahweh Jireh, our Provider, right? And let’s not forget what James wrote: “You do not have because you do not ask God” (James 4:2 NIV).
But how do we respond when God does not give us what we ask for?
When a loved one dies.
Or when a child, raised in the faith, rejects everything he was taught.
When we don’t get the job we need to pay our bills.
Or when a spouse walks out on our marriage.
Do we become angry? Resentful? Do we feel as if He betrayed our relationship with Him because He is our Father and we are His children in Christ?
Let’s go back to the first place in Scripture God reveals Himself as our Provider. It first appeared in Genesis 22:14, where God asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. Just as Abraham is about to kill Isaac, God stopped him and provided a ram as a substitute sacrifice.
Abraham sacrificed the ram, and called that place “The Lord Will Provide” (Yahweh Jireh).
We often forget the first mention of God as Provider was not in relation to material things. Rather, this name was first and foremost associated with the provision of a substitute sacrifice, pointing to the time when God would provide a once-for-all substitute sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:11-14).
So here’s the $ 64,000 question for those who are Christ-followers:
If God never granted another one of your requests, would the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ—which restored us to the Father—be enough? Would His provision of our salvation be enough? Would the gift of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit be enough?
Or would we feel cheated if God did not continue to grant our requests? As if eternal salvation is not enough?
When James wrote, “You do not have because you do not ask God” (v. 2), he followed it with, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (v. 3).
Wrong motives. What motive could be more wrong than thinking God “owes” us? The God who provided His own Son has given us more than we deserve: a grace gift eclipsing anything else we could ask for because it’s eternal.
So the next time we find ourselves quoting God’s name, Yahweh Jireh, let’s remember His greatest gift—the one He provided before we even asked.