Why does God sometimes withhold provisions and protections if we do not trust Him to supply them?
"Ye have not because ye ask not… They could not enter not in because of unbelief" (James 4:2; Hebrews 3:19).
The answer lies in the truth of our personhood. The Lord originally created us in His image for the purpose of living relationship and fellowship with Himself. As the one true God, He necessarily made us in a dependent, subservient role. We rely upon the Lord for our existence and sustenance - "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). Some blessings come to us with no response on our part, including life, breath, and the shining sun and falling rain on the just and unjust (Acts 17:25; Matthew 5:45). In many matters, however, we must consciously determine to avail ourselves of our Heavenly Father's good gifts. Regarding personal salvation and subsequent relationship with our Heavenly Father through the Lord Jesus Christ, we must actively receive God's grace. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved… Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you" (Acts 16:31; James 4:8).
Recognition of our privleged responsbility to trust and submit unto God motivates believers to actually do so. The more we discover His promises and our need, the more likely we are to join the Psalmist in trusting determination: "I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised" (Psalm 18:3). As A.W. Tozer wrote, "we will all know God about as well as we choose to know Him." Thus, God's trusting children in Christ must recognize that He sometimes withholds His provisions and protections because we do not seriously look to Him for their supply. He waits to be trusted before acting on our behalf. This is true relationship and fellowship between the Divine and human, as opposed to merely technical programming of the latter by the Former.
I find this truth to be both blessedly encouraging and greatly challenging. No more thrilling reality exists than the possibility of knowing God in living reality. "In Thy presence is fullness of joy. At Thy right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11). We live in a world, however, wherein many obstacles (including our own flesh) seek to hinder our knowledge and reponse to the love of the Lord Jesus. "Mine enemies are lively and they are strong, and they that hate me without cause are multiplied" (Psalm 38:19). Through Christ we can overcome, and by His indwelling Spirit we may and must avail ourselves of God and His good graces. The path is nevertheless not easy, and much conscious determination will be required if we are to increasingly respond to our Heavenly Father's love. Thus, we do well to pray for each other and ourselves that we will avail ourselves of the Available, that is, that we will grow in our awareness of God and His faithfulness in order that we might respond accordingly, experiencing those wonders that can only be known as we consciously access them by faith…
"Then shall ye call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek Me and find Me when ye shall search for Me with all your heart."
Weekly Memory Verse
I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come nor height nor depth nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.