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God’s Provision for Leaders By Andrea Leigh Capuyan

 

God’s Provision for Those Who Trust Him

Sometimes our leadership practice looks like we are obeying the economics of supply and demand versus trusting God’s provision. We have budgets to meet, folks knocking at our office door, and there is always one more nagging email. Our time and attention become an exchange of ‘goods and services.’ Deeper than that, we are responsible for managing the growth, wealth, and expansion of the organization – both our bottom line and our team. Trusting God for provision becomes not only an exercise of faith. It becomes an opportunity for transformation.

God’s Table of Provision

I like to imagine feasting halls from days of old filled with revelry. There is music and laughter and pageantry as food and wine flow. Expansive banquet tables welcoming both princes and paupers, all together celebrating the abundance of the king.  Ancient, medieval feasting was as much a display of a king’s dominance and power as it was a display of the king’s wealth and provision. These colorful images fascinate me, and I wonder how it might reflect God’s Kingdom. These depictions of extravagance offer wondrous insight into the relationship between the godly steward and God, our King. The king’s provision for his kingdom can teach us so much about our perspective on scarcity, competition, and protection. This perspective about God’s provision can radically alter our leadership and stewardship.

Scarcity

Caught in the daily grind it is easy to forget that God “owns cattle on a thousand hill.” If forgotten, responsible resource management gives way to obsession and possession. Fear of deprivation can improverish our thinking. Our decision-making becomes reactive and we isolate. Hoarding, rather than protecting and overseeing. This flies in the face of our proclaimed dependence on God.

Sometimes when we doubt God’s provision, it is from a deep-seated fear of abandonment. When we fear there isn’t enough, it is because we fear we are “too much.” Too needy, too exhausting… our King will kick us out of His feasting hall because we have too many longings. This is not true. Our God does not grow weary. We cannot exhaust or overwhelm Him. He is not desperate. Abundant. Everlasting. Overflowing. These words describe God’s Kingdom and His provision for us.

When we are trapped in a scarcity mindset, imagine how we impede growth in the lives of those we lead and care for. If I believe I am “too much” or “too hard to handle”, then it leads to an organization void of interdependence and reliance. This is because we doubt other people are capable of meeting our needs.

Whether it is a family, a church, or the workplace all organizations cultivate need. We are created to need help and to need each other. If we believe we are supposed to satisfy our needs alone without assistance, it is a lie, designed to deplete us. The scarcity of supply often lies in our resistance. God’s abundant provision is anchored in the communal experience, our willingness to share at His table.

Competition

In Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son. I often wonder more about the older son than the wayward brother. The parable ends with this son’s refusal to feast. When I read the exchange between this son and father, I see a person caught in competition. He’s reduced his relationship with his father to simple ‘quid pro quo’. Transactional relationships foster competition and distrust. If I believe my performance or loyalty earn my place in line, then I am always trying to qualify or justify my need.

This parable challenges our notions of a transactional God, who doles out His blessings and provisions solely because of one’s allegiance. There is a paradox that to be honest, confounds me. As God’s steward, I must relinquish all my privileges and demands. I own nothing. At the same time as a child of God, He stands at the banquet and declares that all He has is mine, a royal inheritance. I wonder if this paradox is meant to rid of us a competing spirit. There is an open, giving exchange He is fostering. Perhaps God longs for us to sit and share a cup of coffee with Him rather than spend our days reciting a thousand pious prayers.

When performance is the cornerstone of our relationships as a leader, we undermine unity and collaboration. If loyalty, especially loyalty to the leadership, is the highest organizational value, then we sow division. We rob our teams of fellowship because we are too distracted divvying up resources.

 Protection

When I imagine the banquet table of God’s Kingdom, the verses of Psalm 23 come to my mind…

You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
    forever.”

God’s provision is His protection. No matter the circumstance I am secure within His fortress. His provision is a reminder of His presence. What humbles and astounds me is that even in the face of enemies, God invites us to abundance. This is not a siege. We are not short-supplied. There’s no need to ration…’my cup overflows.’

In times of crisis does our leadership reflect confidence in the abundant provision and protection of God? When do you find yourself caught in scarcity or competition? Would you use words like abundance and flourishing to describe your organization? Do you find yourself desperate and defensive?

In the worst of times, in our seasons of doubt – God still provides. You can never demand more than He can give. His feast is never-ending. He is simply waiting for you to take your seat.

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Andrea Leigh Capuyan is the Executive Director of Laurel Pregnancy Center. Andrea holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from York College. She is a Credentialed Christian Nonprofit Leader with Christian Leadership Alliance and a Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional.

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