God is my source; everything else is a resource. That is my conviction and how liberating it is! Like most of us, I was socialized to think and believe that people and things were the sources from which we get the things we need, leaving us somewhat dependent on these sources. To some extent, this is true. For example, our jobs provide the income we need to provide for ourselves and our families. However, if we are not careful, we start seeing the job as the source and conclude that our managers control and determine our outcomes. This can be a source of anxiety because if we believe we are not in their favor, we become overly concerned about what they might do to us, or how their actions might impact us. Are we at the top of the list of those to be laid off? Will we get that promotion? That salary increase? If we lose our jobs, what would happen to us? How would we survive? Those are legitimate questions. Yet the anxiety would be lessened if we recognize that the source of our finances and everything else we need is God, and He channels those things to us through resources including our jobs. French mystic Francois de la Mothe Fenelon puts it this way, “We sleep in peace in the arms of God, when we yield ourselves up to His providence.”
The online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a source as “a point of origin or procurement [to get possession of (something)],” and a resource as “a source of supply or support.” From the Christian perspective, the Scriptures clearly teach that God is our ultimate source, the origin from whom everything flows. To the church in Corinth, Paul affirms, “. . . for us there is [only] one God, the Father, Who is the Source of all things” (1 Corinthians 8:6, AMPC), and to the one in Philippi, “And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). From the pen of James, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17, KJV). From the psalmist, “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing” (Psalm 34:8-10). From the chronicler, “Everything we have has come from you [God], and we give you only what you first gave us!” (1 Chronicles 29:14). And there are many others. Our trust for the things we need should start and end in God.
It is no wonder then that David started one of the most well-known psalms with the words, “The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1, AMP). The Living Bible translation puts it this way, “Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!” Regarding those who allow the Lord to be shepherd over their lives, Bible scholar Adam Clark writes, “He who is their Shepherd has all power in heaven and earth; therefore He can protect them. The silver and gold are His, and the cattle on a thousand hills; and therefore He can sustain them. He has all that they need, and His heart is full of love to mankind; and therefore He will withhold from them no manner of thing that is good.” The supplies of our God are inexhaustible to the extent that He is “able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20, AMP). Our minds cannot begin to comprehend what God is capable of doing, especially for those who are His. Because He is our ultimate source, no one can stop Him when He decides to pour out His favor on any of His children.
So, what about people and things? Again, these are the resources God uses to get things to you and me. People do not hold your future in their hands; God does. No matter how much they may not be for us, they cannot stop the ultimate plan of God for our lives. In the proverbs, we read, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it whichever way He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1). As it is with the heart of the king, so it is with the hearts of the bank managers, our supervisors, and all the people we encounter that have some influence over our lives. They are not in ultimate control; God is. The psalmist reminds us, “The Lord bestows grace and favor and honor; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). When one door closes, He simply opens another. Because of God’s favor and honor, even when we are in an environment with people who do not like us, He “will command the blessing on you . . . and in all that you [do]” (Deuteronomy 28:8). Just because, as the saying goes, “favor ain’t fair!” Who or what is your source?