“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Then Jacob made a vow, saying, If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go and will give me food to eat and clothing to wear, 21 So that I may come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God; 22 And this stone which I have set up as a pillar (monument) shall be God’s house [a sacred place to me], and of all [the increase of possessions] that You give me I will give the tenth to You. Genesis 28:20-22 AMP
God Himself came to speak to Jacob to establish a covenant with him as He had with Jacob’s father and grandfather. Jacob agreed to keep covenant with God and promised to honor God with a tithe of all that God would give him. In return Jacob asked God to protect him and provide for him. He specifically asks for food and clothing and nothing more materially. Of course we know that God greatly blessed Jacob with more than that in his lifetime.
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? 27 “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:22-31 NIV
If you think about it, all we really need in life is food and clothing – everything else is gravy! We might want more things, but we can survive if we have these two things. Jesus tells us not to worry about what we will eat or what we will wear, because our Heavenly Father will provide for us. He tells us not to worry or to strive, but to trust God to meet all our needs. The sinner pursues these things – striving over and worrying about them – but the believer can have and enjoy God’s peace, because they have His promise to hold onto! Their provision becomes God’s responsibility and He always keeps His word! Jesus says, “Food and clothing – that’s nothing hard for God! There are more important things for you to focus on. Leave the food and clothes to God to provide!” If you obey God’s word and you put Him and His Kingdom first in your life – making Him and His will your priority – God promises that you will never have any lack in your life.
For we brought nothing into the world, and obviously we cannot take anything out of the world; 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content (satisfied). 1 Timothy 6:7-8 AMP
In Philippians 4:6-7 Paul tells us to not be anxious about anything, “but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV) And then in Philippians 4:11-13 he says, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (NIV)
Paul tells us that we need to make up our minds to be satisfied with our food and clothing and not make possessions our priority. That doesn’t mean that the Lord won’t give us more than that. Jesus just wants us to be free of worry and striving and to relax and trust in Him. Paul found the secret of being content in any and every situation and of not being anxious about anything. He tells us to let the Lord know what we need and trust Him to provide it. He tells us that God will give us the strength and the victory in any situation we have to face. Here are some promises from God’s word:
He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger or temporary resident and gives him food and clothing. Deuteronomy 10:18 AMP
He has given food to those who fear Him; He will ever be mindful of His covenant. Psalms 111:5 NKJV
The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. Psalms 34:10 KJV
These all wait and are dependent upon You, that You may give them their food in due season. 28 When You give it to them, they gather it up; You open Your hand, and they are filled with good things. Psalms 104:27-28 AMP
The eyes of all wait for You [looking, watching, and expecting] and You give them their food in due season. 16 You open Your hand and satisfy every living thing with favor. Psalms 145:15-16 AMP