When Eunsil and I were first married, we lived simply. Our kitchen table was a folding card table. We had no dresser so our clothes hung in the closet and our socks and undergarments were in a drawer in our nightstand. But I will never forget my excitement, though, when we saved enough money to buy to buy a dresser. We went to Naked Furniture on Main Street in Wheaton and found a beautiful dresser. We went home to think about it. The next morning my wife was doing her quiet time and was convicted about generosity. A college student she was discipling at the time could not pay her community college tuition. Eunsil asked if we could use our dresser money to support this tuition. One thing that I had learned from her early on is that generosity had a price. If we wanted to give, then it would cost us something. And for us to give generously to support this student, we would have to forgo our dresser. I said yes, reluctantly, knowing that my poor socks and other things would remain cramped in their little home. Little did we know how this step of sacrificial obedience would lead to God’s abundant provision!
A few days later we pulled up to the church and saw a garage sale in the neighborhood. At the garage sale, a number of items were piled on top of a solid wood dresser, with nice grooves and a natural finish. There was no price tag. I quietly asked the man, “How much for this?” He said, “$20.” I quickly said, “I’ll take it.” I pointed to the kitchen table and chairs a few feet away. “How about that?” “$10.” Feeling like bandits, my wife and I got a wonderful wood dresser, kitchen table and chairs for $30. For the amount of money that we would have used to buy one wood dresser at Naked Furniture, we were able to pay for a student’s community college tuition, a dresser, a kitchen table and chairs to boot! And all of this provision was sparked by a small step of sacrificial obedience.
The path of God’s abundant provision is paved by steps of sacrificial obedience. We often want miraculous provision without sacrificial obedience: manna without the wilderness, fire from heaven without the sacrifice of the altar, and feeding of the five thousand without giving five loaves and two fish. So instead of living on manna and quail from heaven we live by our own abilities and relegate miraculous provision to stories in the past. Friends, let us live with sacrificial obedience. As we walk in that type of obedience, we will experience God’s abundant provision. Let us be sacrificial, generous givers as we worship our generous Father who sacrificed even his own Son for us. And let us view opportunities for sacrificial obedience as opportunities to witness God’s miraculous provision.