Do you ever wonder sometimes where the resources we need will come from? God is in the providing business. He provides for our needs and has been known to provide blessings that overflow. His intent is that we would use the overflow to provide for others. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

What do you think when you hear the word providence? Did you think about a city in Rhode Island? Providence received its name from Roger Williams, a religious exile from Massachusetts, for him this was God’s provision. So, he named the city Providence. Have we seen God’s hand provide for us?

When we focus on having the resources to live, there is something we should consider, God Provides. But, does God provide what we want or does he provide what we need? Even when our world seems to be crashing down around us, God makes a provision for us. That provision however will require us to decide who we honor, God or ourselves. What is more important in our life?

Hank Parker Jr. is not a household name because of a decision he made. At home, instilled in him, were Christian values that would serve him well when he had to make a difficult choice. His biography helps us understand how he honored God.

The Parkers are big on family, always have been. When Hank Jr. began racing in the then Busch Series, he did so in a car fielded by his father, a well-known outdoorsman. The team did the best it could through the 2000 season, after that, young Parker turned to a team co-owned by Frank Cicci and Scott Welliver. It was with them that he scored his two career victories, one each in 2001 and 2002.

Parker appeared headed for even bigger things. He made the lone start in the top division of Stock Car racing for Ray Evernham late in 2002, completing 389 of 393 laps at Rockingham and finishing 33rd. With that experience, he went to work on putting a deal together that would put him in a Roush Racing Ford, one of the top teams at the time in NASCAR’s top division, for the 2003 season.

The deal was done. Parker was testing a car that would have been his car at Daytona when word came down that the sponsor, the funding, was going elsewhere. You see Hank had made it clear that he would honor God and not drive a car with certain types of sponsors. They heard that and decided to go elsewhere. No other funding was available. Parker was out of the ride, almost for good.

He drove just six Busch Series races in 2003, three of them in a Dale Earnhardt Inc. car because of his relationship with his good friend Dale Jr. While Parker scored four top-10 finishes in those half-dozen races, he had just one other start in the highest series, at Nashville for Roush in a fill-in deal for their regular driver, Carl Edwards.

While turning down a certain chance at stardom in the highest division of Stock Car racing might have deflated a lesser person, Parker was confident that moving away from racing was God’s plan for his life.

“Seeing how God is in control has been amazing,” Parker said. “There came a point in time in my career where I really just laid down my career and my life, and gave my life to Christ. God has changed so many things and my perspective on things.”

“I’m good … I’m content,” Parker said. “I actually had a phone call the other day to see if I’d come back, and I felt really good about saying no. … It was time to bow out. I feel like I gave it a good shot. I feel like I gave it my best. A lot about racing is timing. Obviously, there are people that were better than I was, but I feel like I did the best that I could.”

He decided to honor God in his decisions and trust God for his provision. He let his life be led by the values that he was taught in his home about God. While walking away from fame and fortune may not seem to be the best course of action from a worldly standpoint, it was the one that honored God.

We see God’s provision when we allow God to have priority over everything in our lives. God has a provision for all of us, but it requires that we see things through His eyes. It requires that we have His values. It requires us to allow God to have full control over our lives.

James 4:13-17, Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

James points out to us that when we make our agenda and we live focused on it we fail to see what God would have us do. Even if we plan on doing good things we miss the point if we are not doing what God wants us to. Sometimes we say, “Get out of my way I am going to do great things for God.” We can get so focused on what we think is right that we lose sight of what God is doing around us.

We see it in racing, teams are so intent on winning they will do almost anything. They justify the means by the result. How do we live our life? Do we think we can live any way we want as long as we get what we want and sometimes justify it by saying we are doing something good?

If we have faith we will depend on God to provide our direction, our needs and our life. When we start to think that we know what is best then we start down the wrong road. Depending on God isn’t easy because it means relinquishing control of our life to Him. Letting God have control means that we will have to stop living on our agenda and live on His.

Let me challenge you this week to stop and ask God for His provision. Depend on God and He will lead you down the right road. The writer of Proverbs puts it this way;

Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

We should make every effort to honor God in the decisions we make. We should be ready to draw the line when we are asked to compromise God for success. We should learn that some things are not worth compromising our faith over.  Make every effort to honor God in everything you do.


Pastor Don

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