Christians seem to typically fall into two extremes when it comes to understanding God’s provision in our lives. Blessings, pleasure, and enjoyment are all sometimes difficult to fathom in their relation to God’s plan.
Many earlier Christians and several today seem to believe that God did not want us to enjoy ourselves. That pleasure is carnal and misery is spiritual. Monks that starve themselves, eat boring food, barely speak, and whip themselves come to mind. Self-denial with the purpose of enlightening the soul is a practice that Christians have embraced from time to time.
A few earlier Christians, and many today. Believe that God desires our pleasure almost above all else. That He will consistently provide blessings and pleasure and happiness without regard to the inconsistent obedience we may show in our lives.
Both of these are wrong. God provides for our needs because He knows our needs and He promises to fulfill them. God provides much for our pleasure because He wants to show His love for us in that way.
God provides for our needs. When Israel was in the desert, they needed water. So He provided water. He didn’t give them sparkling soda, or coconut water, or papaya juice. He didn’t give them every variety. Just what they needed. And that was okay. He didn’t have to provide anything else. His promises didn’t require anything else either. He promised a land with milk and honey, for now, they had water.
God gives us blessings and pleasures from His goodness and by his prerogative. At the wedding at Cana, they ran out of wine. Jesus Christ, God on earth, was there and noticed it. By Mary’s faith, she requested that he fulfill the need. Jesus answered by turning water into wine. The thing is, they could have drank water. Honestly. Nobody “needed” wine. God provided it anyway. God who made the beauty in the sky and the flowers of the field and the immense variety of foods to eat, wants us to enjoy ourselves – in the contest of putting Him first. He wants us to be content with water. But I would suggest that when we are, He is just waiting to give us “wine.”
God promised to provide our necessities. He is not obligated to provide our pleasures. He does both out of His loving and generous heart. And when God gives us blessings to enjoy, they are the better than anyone else could offer.
As in the wedding at Cana, not only did God provide wine to enjoy instead of water, He provided the best wine. Wine so good it impressed the ruler of the feast and he complimented the groom on saving the best wine for last.
God provides wonderful blessings to us when we obey Him. Let us praise Him for His goodness!
“He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.” – Psalm 104:14-15
God is the God of water. And He is the God of wine.
He is also the God of quail. Check back next time for a more complete understanding of how pleasures and necessities fit into God’s plan.